With the recent dip in the economy, several Beale Street businesses hope to drive more customers into the area with local taxicabs. Figuratively speaking, that is.
Taking a cue from NASCAR, Blues City Café, Club 152, and Blues City General Store are the first merchants to try the "AutoGlove," a fabric cover that stretches to fit the hood of any car.
Unlike other vehicle wraps, it is not permanent and it does not damage the car's paint job. In a partnership with Nashville-based AutoHood Media and local taxi company Kumar Transportation, the AutoGlove will be placed on 30 to 50 taxis.
Jeff Goss, director of operations for Blues City Café, Club 152, and Blues City General Store, says that most of their previous advertising was in print products. With the taxi ads, they hope to reach people who may not pick up a local paper.
"We're targeting airport and hotel clientele," Goss says. "If those people who are in town for one or two nights get picked up in a Blues City Café cab, chances are, we may get them."
Prior to last week's launch of the new advertising campaign, one Blues City Café cab already was roaming the streets.
"Within three days, I had people coming in saying they've seen us on a cab, and that was with one cab, so we'll see how it goes," Goss says.
Co-owner and marketing officer for AutoHood Media, Devin James, says the AutoGlove is a perfect outdoor advertisement medium. The ads, which run $300 per taxi per month, are interchangeable, low-maintenance, and highly visible.
"[The ad] goes on in five minutes and comes off in 30 seconds. It's water repellant and heat resistant, and it won't damage the paint on your car," James says.