Anglers fishing major waterways around Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal this summer may experience a novel form of advertising: bass-boat billboards.
Ottawa-area firm Fluid Visual is wrapping the hulls of 12 sleek, high-performance angling boats with display-panel advertising messages, in the same way buses and cars are sometimes outfitted. “This is a unique opportunity for companies to bring their brand message to consumers where there is almost zero competition,” said Matt Massey, CEO of Fluid Visual.
The boats will then ply the waterways of a large geographical area known as the blue triangle. Encompassing the St. Lawrence, Trent-Severn and Ottawa rivers, as well as major urban centres from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, this area is used by over 2.5 million recreational boaters each summer.
“This is something that we’ve seen in a number of areas of the United States, but no one, until now, has tried to do something in Canada,” Massey told the Ottawa Citizen.
However, Massey, a boater himself, is also sensitive to the fact that many people take to the water to escape the clamor of everyday life, which includes the ever-present buzz of advertising. That's why the company has no plans to bring the boats into pristine lakes or disrupt other boaters’ leisure time.
“It’s not our intention to run rampant down the Rideau Canal,” he told the Citizen. In fact, he said, most of the contracted boat owners are anglers. “So they are actually moving along quite quietly, and that is where they have the opportunity to engage with cottage owners and other people on the water.”
Fluid Visual is currently looking for brands interested in advertising on its fleet of boats, which offer up to 20 feet of display space per side. In some cases, the boat operators will also act as brand ambassadors, engaging consumers with product samples and giveaways, and coordinated with dry-land promotions.