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Did you know that 68% of commuters make buying decisions while in the car? Or how about this, ¾ of drivers shop on their way home from work?  Its statistics like these that make it hard to ignore the fact that traditional in-home advertising is losing the effectiveness and reach that it once had.  With the amount of time people spend in their car increasing, Jeff Blake saw an opportunity and created Rush Hour Outdoor.

Rush Hour Outdoor lets commuters advertise for you by placing your ads on the personal vehicles of people who live, work, or play in your target markets. The medium of commuter advertising has been around since the 60s, but earlier iterations of the idea were never executed to the level that Jeff and his team envision.

With the explosion of mobile technology, especially among young professionals, advertisers can use commuter advertising campaigns to not only place their messages in front of targeted populations, but also engage them on a more interactive level through social media and SMS (text messaging).  You have to check out their statistics on the success of this type of non-traditional advertising.

How Rush Hour Outdoor Got Started

Jeff Blake didn’t exactly follow a linear path to entrepreneurship.  After receiving his M.B.A. in 2007, he was offered a job in healthcare PR, and moved from Maryland to Los Angeles, California.  Soon, Jeff began to see the thousands of vehicles in gridlock every day as unused advertising space, and decided to launch his company in 2008.  He was working full time at his PR job and working nights on his business, like most entrepreneurs, but he knew that if he didn’t establish his company as the leader in this market segment, someone else would.

With most of his classmates and colleagues on the East Coast, Jeff   had to build his network from scratch.   Starting a business can be challenging enough, so Jeff took to networking 3-4 nights a week to build up his network of people with experience bootstrapping their business and people who he could bounce ideas off of.   According to Jeff, “Networking will be more important to you and your business than your M.B.A.”

Why Commuter Advertising?

Because of the explosion of mobile technology and the fact that most people have smart phones now a days, Jeff Blake’s company is able to offer their advertisers greater results and tracking on their campaign’s than other traditional forms of outdoor advertising.  Ever had to defend the ROI of a program or advertising campaign you ran? Then you understand why this is so important to Rush Hour Outdoor’s clients.

You can get detailed profiles on your commuter vehicles and customize your campaign for maximum effectiveness based on your results.   Smart phones are an important part of this because they give advertisers a greater understanding of their campaign’s success with proof of performance metrics like on demand pictures, GPS tracking on the vehicles and odometer readings.  Jeff Blake has been able to scale his business by using proprietary processes to leverage mobile technology, which facilitates quality control and proof of performance measurement on their commuter advertising fleets.  You can find their advertising anywhere from Los Angeles, to Seattle, to Las Vegas, with plans for continued expansion in the near future.

With a database of over 10,000 commuter vehicles, and access to the demographics and lifestyles of each driver, Rush Hour Outdoor makes it easy for you to get the most out of your advertising campaigns.

Keep your eyes peeled for the expansion of Rush Hour Outdoor.  They are currently in talks and looking for investors to further increase the reach of their advertising.  Want to connect? Email Jeff or find them on Twitter.