Skot Meyer, president of Reno-based Meyer Rosene Advertising Design, got more than he bargained for when he purchased three Xebra electric trucks for his employees to drive around town in a new advertising campaign.
Meyer Rosene Advertising, which lists the Sands Regency Casino Hotel and Terrible's Gold Ranch and Rail City among its clients, has already signed those two casinos to the mobile-advertising program.
Instead of a bed, the three trucks have a large box with casino signage, and company names are plastered across the doors as well. Drivers use the vehicles to commute to work and for daily errands, as well as for scurrying about on weekends.
"Truck" is a tough term to attach to the Xebra. The miniature white vehicles, which cost about $11,500 each, look like little glorified electric mopeds with an enclosed cabin and they functioned as such, Meyer says. The company's initial investment soared as Meyer dumped more money into the vehicles to boost their performance.
"The company that imports these things says they will do certain things," he says. "We were only getting about 30 miles per hour and 30 miles per charge and had to put in $3,000 more to each to get them closer to 40 miles per charge and 40 miles per hour."
Meyer stumbled across the odd-looking Xebra at a dealership in Davis, Calif. and thought the vehicle would serve to cut pollution and also function as a highly visible advertising agent. He says one of the benefits clients are interested in as an add-on service is paying to have the vehicles driven by competing properties during large events such as Hot August Nights or Street Vibrations to attract tourists' attention.
Meyer says further growth of the program would require interviewing potential drivers and analyzing commuter routes. He estimates the trucks will pay for themselves in less than two years.