Firefly Wants To Generate Buzz By Putting Its Taxi-Top Screens On Tesla 3s In NYC

January 27, 2021 by Dave Haynes

The VC-funded DOOH media start-up Firefly is looking to generate some buzz by putting its taxi-top ad displays on a new fleet of Tesla 3 electric vehicles that have been approved for use in New York City.

The EVs are run by a taxi concession licensee called Drive Sally. The company says it is the only taxi operator using EVs.

Silicon Valley-based Firefly puts its digital taxitops on ride-share vehicles, as well, so there may be an EV or two – even a Tesla – with a screen on the roof.

“Taxi-top advertising is an institution, and Firefly has made it our mission to usher in the future of the taxi-top, from block-by-block targeting, to creative optimization and full-funnel measurement,” says Firefly’s CEO and cofounder Kaan Gunay. “With our Tesla-top ads, we’re reimagining what taxi-top advertising can be, bringing all-new brands into the category and reaching audiences in a novel way.”

The inaugural Tesla-top campaigns feature Swarovski and David Yurman, using dynamic content triggers like vehicle location, area demographics, traffic patterns, time-of-day, and real-time weather conditions.

Drive Sally has the only electric vehicles registered for use as taxis in New York City. I can’t speak for elsewhere, but know there’s a company in Amsterdam running a fleet of Tesla taxis out of the airport there … though it has not gone well. Those ones do not have ad signs on top.

London has 2,000-plus black cabs that run on electric only. I was in one a year ago. Lotsa get up and go! And roomy. But no ad on top.

It remains to be seen whether a screen on top of a Tesla gets any more attention than a screen on the variety of other vehicles that make up the NYC taxi fleet. Kinda doubt it.

These guys were at DSE five years ago touting how they were going to put taxi-topper screens on Lamborghinis in New York, and that didn’t seem to happen. At a fundamental level, you want the audience looking at the ad screen, not the car.

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