Friday, August 22, 2008

$1 per DAY Carsharing opens in Toronto - of course there's a catch!

Not only is it cheap, the company REQUIRES that you drive at least 30 kilometers per day. The catch, of course, is that you're driving a vehicle "wrapped" with corporate logos.

It's the brain child of Andreas Kotal of Cityflitz Fleet Advertising in Toronto. The company has had several clients over the past year. Their press materials indicates they have plans to go national.

CityFlitz customers pay a one-time, refundable $350 security deposit, $30 processing fee and $7 monthly fees, then get the cars - which are available 24/7 to members with access to lock boxes on CityFlitz parking sites across the city - for a loonie a day. Drivers have to travel at least 30 kilometres on each trip. Press reports indicates they will use lockboxes for ignition keys although the company press packet says "(cell phone) text message unlock".

Both Autoshare and Zipcar were not worried about the service. The Globe and Mail quoted Zipcar spokesperson Kristina Kennedy, "That's mobile advertising and we're a car-sharing service. I think they're two very different industries."

The launch on August 21 featured Yahoo branded vehicles that were equipped to serve as free wi-fi hubs, along with GPS (presumably so Yahoo knows where they're getting exposure.) They'll be available for carsharing use starting Sept. 1, according to press reports.

Yahoo marketing person Hunter Madsen was quoted by saying that the campaign a "lighthearted field marketing program that aims to surprise and delight people by taking the Yahoo! Canada online experience on the road. People can send emails or look up anything at from the comfort of the zany purple cars we've turned into traveling 'Y!-Fi' hotspots."