Will Drone-Vertising Be the Next Big Thing in Advertising?

Will Drone-Vertising Be the Next Big Thing in Advertising?

By Shehwar Ali

In our previous article Are Quadrotor Drones Going to Invade our Skies?, we soared into the world of drones: what was, what is and what might possibly be coming. “We might see drones flying around everywhere in the near future, the same way as cars on the road” seemed like something we wouldn’t be seeing for a good couple of years. But, on June 17th, Mexico City drivers were surprised to see a swarm of drones carrying placards invading the highway, advertising for the launch of the new Uber carpooling service, uberPOOL.

What Is Drone-Vertising?

This new trend is called drone-vertising (kind of like flying billboards!). The founder of Hoovy, a drone advertising startup, said that people are fascinated with this unique concept because it is both fun and engaging. And as Uber is the number one ride-sharing company all over the world, it’s no shock for them to use such an innovative idea as their new method for advertising.

Drivers were rather confused at first, wondering what exactly was happening; is this some kind of a stunt or game? It did, however, surely catch their attention. Talking about general public responses, some were of the opinion that drivers were being harassed by a sea of drones while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Others saw it as an attention grabbing technique, both cheaper and more appealing than conventional billboards.

What Safety Concerns Are There?

From the safety point of view, drones in a public setting are not all that reassuring. To start with, drones normally have a battery life of 20 minutes. What happens if the battery drains out while carrying a placard hovering over cars in traffic? Surely, you would not want to be under that predicament. Battery-life is one thing that the drone-vertising industry needs to keep in my mind.

Another issue is distracting drivers. New laws forbid using a cellphone while driving. Now, imagine a robot throwing some stuff right in your face just to grab your attention so you can buy something or use a service, while driving. Road safety is a serious issue and the drone-vertising concept may not do much to promote it.

Privacy is also something to consider. Most drones are equipped with cameras. No one knows whether or not they are filming, or who’s controlling them. Even though drone-verstising is considered to be highly inexpensive and fast where it give companies quick and direct access to consumers, still the biggest challenge is to execute it in a way which not only respects privacy but safety as well.

Drone-Vertising or Conventional Advertising: Pros and Cons

Keeping in mind the above mentioned factors, when drone-vertising is compared with conventional billboards, both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the case of billboards, the first hurdle in marketing a particular product is the cost associated. Being a static form of advertising, to target a certain set of audience will increase cost. Also, since it is a stationary form of advertising, billboards face a visibility issue, lacking the attention grabbing characteristics that drone-vertising has. Nevertheless, keeping other factors in mind, billboards are a secure form of advertising that do not violate any safety and general privacy laws.

Only time will tell if the drone-vertising concept will be the marketing strategy of the future.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

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