If you've hoped inside a London Taxi lately, you may have had an encounter with a word of mouth ambassador. His stories of sunburns in Thailand or last night's online poker winnings could have been part of a buzz marketing stunt for Taxi Promotions.
The London Taxi Word of Mouth Ambassadors programme is a fascinating marketing approach. It's also a neat experience for cab drivers who get whisked away to exotic vacation destinations in hope that they'll be able to pitch their beautiful retreat as a paradise to Londoners complaining about bad weather. Destinations include places like Thailand, Las Vegas and the Florida Keys.
â€œThe average London cab driver is working for an average of eight to 10 hours a day and that involves a lot of thinking time,â€ explains Asher Moses, the managing director of Taxi Promotions.
â€œWhat a lot of people don't realise is that many have a history and were working in the city, in finance or were firemen or in PR before deciding to learn The Knowledge and become cab drivers.â€
He added, â€œThese are cabbies who want to do more than simply drive, getting involved in campaigns and campaign work. By focusing on their individual skills were in a great position to help brands.â€
So basically, they get paid to go on trips, then get to relive their vacations over and over when they tell their stories!
â€The London cabbie is seen as a trusted icon, well known for having his own opinion, and the cab is seen as a comfortable and safe environment making it an ideal place to convey brand messages," Moses says.
"All drivers can do is communicate their experiences â€“ good or bad. It's up to brands and tourist boards to ensure they have the best time possible if they want a positive message communicated."
What a great idea! Although I think many people would find it obnoxious as they don't like to engage with the drivers. It would also be difficult for cab drivers to do their spiel in situations where the passenger is on their cell phone the entire time, trying to sleep, listening to their iPod or engaged with a fellow rider.