Nickelytics, a platform specializing in mobile out-of-home advertising and attribution recently launched a new product, Ad Shield, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ad Shield is a portable Plexiglas barrier that rideshare drivers can install in their vehicles. In traditional taxis, there is usually such a barrier between the front and back seats of the car, to physically protect both parties. Once ride sharing took over, and drivers began using their personal vehicles, there was a more casual feel to the interaction without the Plexiglas barrier, partly because the personal information of both parties had already been exchanged via the rideshare app.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed social interactions. Judah Longgrear, CEO of Nickelytics, says that as cities are opening up, there is more of a demand for ride sharing, but that fewer drivers on the road, protecting themselves from customers who may be carrying the virus. It’s hard to socially distance when you’ve got multiple strangers coming in and out of your vehicle.
In response, Nickelytics sourced a portable Plexiglas barrier that can be easily installed inside a vehicle to protect drivers and passengers from one another while being in such close quarters. There are 2-3 sizes, which fit 99% of vehicles used for ridesharing.
Nickelytics’ business model originally consisted of high quality vinyl wraps as advertisements on rideshare vehicles, along with technology that could monitor how many views the ads got. As with their vinyl wraps, the Plexiglas barrier can have an advertisement on it, to educate a rider about a local business in the area, while also protecting them from aerosolized germs that may linger in the car.
While a vaccine for coronavirus seems far off, and cities all over the world are trying to open their economies back up, businesses are adapting to the “new normal” that coronavirus has created. Part of this adaptation is about showing customers that they care about their safety and wellbeing and will take extra precautions to create space between them and those with whom they must interact.
In order to qualify for an Ad Shield you must drive for a leading rideshare company on average 5 days a week, and download the Nickel Tips driver app to become pre-qualified. Once selected the company can work with you on getting the Ad Shield installed to ensure you’re getting back on the road safely.
Yet because COVID is affecting everyone equally, and part time rideshare drivers may also want to protect themselves, the company is considering selling the Ad Shield directly to drivers. They may be able to offer the product for free if there is an ad displayed on it. Longgrear says that the Ad Shield offers a chance for businesses to support their local communities; they’re able to advertise their business while doing their part to protect the rideshare drivers who display those ads, and their passengers.
Coronavirus decimated the global economy, yet as cities slowly open up, businesses and individuals are learning to adapt to the “new normal” that the crisis has created. Some jobs require being in close quarters with others, and so products that can create a physical barrier, while still allowing for the feel of a pre-coronavirus interaction are in great demand. People want to get back to their lives while still protecting themselves and others. Longgrear hopes that the Ad Shield will help local economies restart while putting some extra money into the hands of gig workers, and protecting the health of everyone involved in the process. He says, “We want to help protect as many drivers as possible during this difficult period.”