Uber drivers wrap cars with Tampa Bay photos as tourism promotion

Visit Tampa Bay and advertising startup Carvertise are using ride-sharing to promote the destination within Florida and up north.
Carvertise, a Delaware startup, created a campaign for Visit Tampa Bay using ride-share cars to show off Tampa. [Courtesy of Carvertise]
Carvertise, a Delaware startup, created a campaign for Visit Tampa Bay using ride-share cars to show off Tampa. [Courtesy of Carvertise]
Published April 9

Tampa Bay’s tourism agency has embarked on a new advertising frontier: Turning Uber and Lyft cars into roving billboards promoting the region.

Visit Tampa Bay and marketing startup Carvertise have teamed up to push the destination on ads wrapped around ride-share vehicles in busy northern cities. Patrick Harrison, chief marketing officer of Visit Tampa Bay, said Visit Tampa Bay was the first destination marketing organization to partner with the Delaware marketing firm.

Drivers for ride-share apps such as Uber and Lyft have been servicing New York City, Chicago and Boston riders inside cars wrapped with an image of Tampa Bay. Visit Tampa Bay also used wrapped ride-share cars in Miami and Orlando to target "active adventurers." Drivers were equipped with Visit Tampa Bay pamphlets for passengers.

"Competition is heavy in Miami and Orlando due to strong tourism markets, but both cities are key in-state feeder markets for Tampa," Harrison said in a statement. "Despite those unique conditions, Carvertise was an innovative media effort that allowed us to raise brand awareness and drive incremental revenue.”

Carvertise reported it made about 12.4 million impressions with dozens of cars featuring the Visit Tampa Bay advertisement. Those cars drove a total of nearly 88,000 miles, according to the marketing firm. The photo used to lure in visitors shows a woman paddle-boarding, the Tampa skyline as her backdrop.

Drivers who use wrapped cars are paid. In total, Carvertise says it has a network of about 425,000 drivers.

Earlier this year, Visit Tampa Bay launched a campaign in London where it wrapped taxis with similar imagery. It was part of a $250,000 campaign that included a network of digital billboards promoting the area in Britain.

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

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