Beon taps van owners for mobile advertising platform

April 26, 2019 10:37
Emma Yu's Beon advertising platform matches drivers and marketers, allowing vehicle owners to make their vehicles available for marketers to advertise on. 
 Photo: HKEJ, Beon Advertising.

Looking at various vehicles on the streets in Hong Kong, an idea popped in Emma Yu Ka-lai’s head: “We see buses and trams displaying colorful advertisements for passers-by to see. How about putting ads on other types of vehicles?”

Yu found that vans running around the city are the most ideal vehicles to place advertisements on, but there was no platform allowing van owners to rent out the exterior of their vehicles for ads. That inspired her to create the Beon advertising platform last year.

Beon matches drivers and marketers. Van drivers who sign up should make their vehicles available for marketers to advertise on.

By analyzing the driving patterns of the registered drivers, Beon determines the best-suited drivers for each campaign, according to the requests submitted by the marketers, and assigns a third-party service provider to put the advertisements on their vehicles.

Participating drivers are required to install Beon’s mobile app, which allows marketers to track exactly where their campaign is being shown.

“Owning a car is expensive. By making the vehicle available for marketers to advertise on, the owner can earn extra cash,” said Yu.

For a six-month campaign, the advertisement fee starts from HK$2,500 per month, and each van appointed for the campaign can earn about HK$1,500 a month, she said.

Many of the van drivers are self-employed, and Beon cannot control or determine their daily driving routes and the location of their vehicles.

But Yu said the platform would provide a “suggested route and area”, designated by marketers, for each driver. Beon is looking to set up a bonus scheme to encourage drivers to stick with the suggested route as much as possible.

For now, about 1,000 van owners have registered on the platform, which has attracted advertisers and clients such as delivery service providers and juice brands.

But Yu admits that feedback from participants indicate that some van owners are not satisfied with the income-sharing ratio.

Looking forward, Yu plans to install sensors on the vehicles to collect information from passers-by, motorists and commuters, such as their age and gender, which would enable the platform to offer detailed information and analyses for advertisers to improve targeting.

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Hong Kong Economic Journal