October 2017, our team was finding ways on how to grow our small startup. For months, we were trying to convince people about the opportunities in advertising inside Uber and Grab cars. We reached out to agencies and brands. Many of them rejected us. Although AdMov was promising they hesitated investing on it for fear working with a startups.

We were facing a problem that most startups are struggling, we needed people to believe that in our product. It was during the IMMAP Digicon 2017 when we were given our big break. The team was invited to join the business-startup mixer. I dont know, maybe it was by fate that we were given a shot to pitch with Unilever.

When we pitched to Unilever, they were amazed with what we were doing. I remembered so well, how excited they were when they saw how our tablet was scanning faces and how it could run contents based on the profile it reads. They saw a lot of potential from the technology and engaged us.

The Big Rollout

Things became very crazy since then. We only had 10 tablets for our beta phase, Unilever wanted to rollout 150. We were chasing around vendors to supply the tablets. Our dev guys were working round the clock, doing their voodoo’s on polishing up the system.

All of us were working round the clock to meet the break date. We ran massive recruitment of drivers through Facebook. I remembered the small condo unit of our CEO Ellard Capiral was filled up with extension cords. It was like a China factory, the unit was filled up with extension cords and we were configuring the devices simultaneously.

When we were rolling out, many drivers were backing down. They were hesitant that the extra income we were offering was too good to be true. Even the drivers were hesitant back then! To address this, we literally had to book rides and invite people to install the tablets at Mateo’s Restaurant in QC.

Despite the limited manpower and funding, we were determined to make it work. Do or die, we will make it work. Within 1.5 weeks AdMov was launched.

 

AdMov Team getting ready for the Unilever deployment

 

First tablet version of AdMov. It was crappy back then. We had to upgrade our tabs/system.

 

AdMov rollout

Lenovo Tablet Rollout for the TNVS Drivers. Since its Unilever we wanted to give the best for our advertisers

Rollout at Mateo’s. 150 tablets deployed for Unilever in MetroManila

The Aftermath

Around late October 2017, AdMov went online. We were working with Unilever getting feedbacks on how the system can add value to them. We were able to uncover ways on how companies can benefit using geo-location for targeting. How it can be used to locate and reach key customers for their brands. Businesses can now run ads in cities, zones and even establishments. This is key to influence people to buy their stuff.

Because of the collaboration with Unilever, we were able to refine AdMov. It was through working with them we validated the value of being able to run targeted ads on the road. Businesses are shying away from doing mass marketing. For them they see a lot of waste doing mass media marketing.

Through facial detection, we were able to get the passenger profile.  Businesses can now select which people they want to run their ads. If you are eyeing for male ages 25 to 30, you can run it through the tech.

Live example of how facial detection distributes contents to the riders. Observe the age and gender of the rider.

Over the past months, AdMov grew exponentially. As we uncover what companies need, it became easier for us to gain traction. People believed in our platform and the value it provides. A few months before, it was so damn hard! We were hitting pavements on this.

Hyper-Growth

We started out with 10 cars now we are already around 300+ cars. It cheers our hearts that our driver partners are earning money through our platform. Many of them are earning more than 3,000 pesos per month. What touches us is that we got feedbacks that our efforts helped these drivers augment their income despite the low fares and incentives.

We use to have like 5 clients before now we were able to serve more than 57 that’s in the span of less than a year. We are able to help with companies from all walks of life. This ranges from food, FMCG, hotels, insurance even SMEs. Businesses are finding value on how AdMov can drive awareness, sales and engagement for their brands. They are getting data that they never thought would be possible.

We were able to create a platform that helps business reach the riders of TNVS (Grab, OWTO and Hype).

AdMov being selected as top 5 startups in Tectonic. Judges were impressed with the speed and traction of the marketing platform.

Key Take-aways

* Always Believe– always believe in what you are doing. No matter how tough the challenge, stick to your vision and mission. Despite the rejections, push forth find people who will believe you. Eventually you will meet people who will give you a shot, once you proven it they will open doors to help your traction.

* Nurture Your Clients– Work with your customers. Talk to them and ask what they need. Value their feedback. It will be your guiding light to create products that add value and sells. Be laser-focused in getting their insights.

* Appreciate your Early Clients– I’d like to personally thank Unilever for giving a shot on us last year. Working with you guys have been the best thing we experienced. For innovative startups out there we recommend you reach out to them. They are the real deal. They value innovation and collaboration. A very good company to bring ideas forward.

Author: Bobby Ben Davis Cristuta

Bobby is the CMO and Co-founder for Admov Philippines. He is a serial technopreneur. He is passionate in delivering emerging marketing channels and bring Manila as destination for innovative advertising technologies.

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