Getting Paid to Drive an Ad-wrapped Car

Do you remember the dot com boom phenomenon of turning cars into mobile billboards? Some great photos here. The model was that advertisers would give drivers a new car (or pay some amount per month) to drive around in a car loudly displaying the advertiser’s branding. A few companies entered the business in 2000, including autowraps.com, buzzcar.com, freecar.com and myfreecar.com (the latter two merged).

As far as I can tell, these businesses all ended soon after they were launched. They seem one of the greatest bellweathers of the dot com madness. Competition for eyeballs was so steep that it drove prices up for all media buys. Higher prices created new marketing supply. When the boom ended and prices dropped, marketing supply shrunk accordingly, churning out marginal sources like auto wrapping.

UPDATE: See the Google Answers discussion on this topic from 2004.

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