Our cars are usually bought out of necessity, but what if they could be made into investments instead? Several Malaysian startups such as MyBump and Roamtify have toyed and with this concept of monetising cars and using them for a purpose other than personal transportation. Some Uber and Grab drivers have also capitalised on this concept and are using their spare time to drive others to help pay back the car installments and earn a bit of extra cash.
Malaysian startup Wrapla wants to take this concept and give it their own spin by giving Malaysian drivers the opportunity to turn their cars into billboards—with an extra feature that will be to the advertiser’s advantage.
Turning Stickers Into Salary
It’s not uncommon to see car stickers emblazoned across the body of a car. Most times it expresses the personality of the driver and is seen as a form of accessory for the car. In fact, as a general observation whilst I was stuck in traffic, I noticed an average of 8 out of 10 cars having at least one bumper sticker on their car.
Wrapla took this idea and converted the concept into mobile advertising, and their aim is to change the static nature of advertising. Malaysians too are open to this concept because the team found that most people find their commitment levels to be commensurate with their potential earnings.
Dinesh, one half of the Wrapla team, told Vulcan Post, “Users tell us that given the current economic situation, to be able to earn a vehicle’s keep or help pay for installments or earn an income with little or no additional effort on their part by having their cars wrapped is highly compelling.”
Driving Home The Money
Through Wrapla, a driver can earn up to RM878 per month, and the driver remuneration depends on the campaign requirements and the degree of wrapping required, as one may choose to cover anything from the car panel alone, 4 doors, partial or fully-wrapping their vehicle.
Some of the basic requirements to being a Wrapla driver would be to have a valid license and to own a vehicle in good condition, which is aged 10 years and below. The driver should also commute an average of 30km a day which would total to an average of 900km per month to would qualify them for the payout.
For those who do not hit the 900km mark in a month, they will then earn a pro-rated rate based on their mileage. Drivers who participate in 30-day campaigns will have their sticker removed after a month of driving and they would then receive their payout. Drivers who are participating in multi-month campaigns would have their wrap inspected every 30 days to ensure that they are in good condition. This means that a driver can choose to participate in campaigns of any duration, whether its as little as 3 days or as long as 3 months.
Leaving the wheel in the hands of the driver allows for more flexibility. Dinesh said, “Drivers will always have the final say on which campaigns they want to participate in. We make offers to drivers that fit campaign requirements, but the ultimate decision lies with our drivers. We’re very respectful of the fact that these are their own personal vehicles, and we want drivers to be comfortable with the messages they drive on their cars.”
Meeting The Needs Of Drivers
“The first spark for Wrapla came up over coffee when a bunch of us were talking over some new and exciting business ideas. This concept came up and I felt it was both brilliant and timely, with the current state of our economy. A week of thorough research later and Wrapla was born,” Dinesh said.
LinkedIn was the portal that connected Dinesh and his co-founder, Farris together and the pair makes up the core team of Wrapla. Eventually over time, the rest of the team shaped up organically to include programmers, designers and installers. Still, as a 2-man team, they do everything that needs doing.
This includes a detailed process from idea to fruition. Dinesh said, “It starts with identifying our clients’ needs and finding the right role that Wrapla can play in their communications. Our in-house designers or our client’s designers then collaborate and develop the initial wrap designs. We then share the design with our installers and get their feedback on the more technical points of the wrap. Test prints are made, necessary corrections made and then drivers get appointments to wrap their vehicles.”
Benefitting Drivers And Their Cars
The team at Wrapla believe in their startup because they trust that this is an option which is more effective at delivering impressions. “We always aim for a solution that is effective, and that means listening and collaborating closely with our clients,” Dinesh said.
Whilst Wrapla has several other competitors with similar business models as mentioned at the beginning of the article, what they do differently is utilise an app which tracks the drivers movement when they are driving.
Wrapla partnered with HelloTracks to enable the app to become a mileage tracker which at the same time allows them to target the zones that the advertisers wish to target. This gives Wrapla the added benefit of geo-targeting that complements communication campaigns that other mediums aren’t quite able to match, yet.
As such, the 2-month old startup, which went live on June 9 has been able to engage 230 drivers who have registered their interest to drive with Wrapla. “We are building Wrapla into a flexible, cost-efficient, high-impression advertising platform that’s also highly targeted and trackable. We believe that that space is not actually contested in the outdoor advertising space at the moment,” said Dinesh.
Considering how there is little effort on the drivers’ end, it is one option that Malaysians could look into to earn extra and turn it into a part-time job. However, even if this medium takes off, if too many other cars on the road are participating in such campaigns, there is a danger of oversaturation and overload of information. When we are bombarded with too much information, we often just switch off, which means the effectiveness of the ads is reduced.
Also, it would be interesting to see how effective some campaigns are compared to others. Simply getting the word out there might not be effective for certain advertisers. Since Wrapla is still in its fledgling state, for it to continue to grow, it will have to find the right balance of wrapped cars going out, and know what works and what doesn’t.