Making Money Just Driving Around
Electronic billboards have become commonplace in Jamaica, but one man has taken it to another level by installing the electronic advertising board on the back of his vehicle.
Laurence Peart, part owner and operator of Movementz Pon Di Lawn, told THE STAR that he believes that the 52-inch display screen attached to his van is the future of advertising. He said that the more than $1 million dollars he spent on the investment will all be worth it.
"This is the future because when you go on the Internet and type in LED screens, it is all over. It is not a cheap concept, but if you set it up the right way, you will get back your money, because advertisement is very expensive, and that alone shows that you will make back the money," he reasoned.
The Old Harbour, St Catherine, native said the idea came about two years ago when he was at home on sick leave. He was forced to take a rest after he suffered a broken arm at his day job as a maintenance personnel.
"I stared thinking: suppose something worse had happened to me, where I would end up in my bed and could not move. How me woulda a survive? How me woulda get fi live? What would be the legacy I leave when I'm gone?" Peart questioned.
Considering his love for watching movies, Peart came up with the idea of 'Movies Pon Di Lawn', where he would host movie nights in public spaces for communitybased groups such as citizens' associations.
However, it was difficult to get sponsorship for the events. Peart then decided he would do advertising for the sponsoring companies as an incentive for their sponsorship.
Peart researched, designed and implemented the billboard with the aid of some friends. He said the process was laced with obstacles, but it eventually pulled though, and he now offers his advertising services to the public.
The 42-year-old registered the business in January and has been traversing the streets with the mobile advertisements since late July. So far, he said he has got rave reviews, but he noted that there will always be naysayers.
"Last week, I had two advertisements on it, and when I went to Mandeville, persons were amazed. They gathered around watching the advertisements on the vehicle. One man came to me and congratulated me for thinking outside the box," Peart shared.
"There are people who say that I'm breaking the law, but that is just a myth. People don't check their information before they talk. Before I did it, I did my research. I went to Transport Authority, I went to parish council, I went to Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers to find out if there is a breach, or law that I would break. At present, there is no breach or law on it," he assured.
Peart said he has a strategic business plan for expanding the company, and the next move for him is to increase his fleet of billboard-bearing vehicles to reach a wider audience. For now, he makes money from advertising on the back of the vehicle, which he also uses for courier service.