On the up · 1 December 2015

The small business advent calendar: 1 December – The countdown begins

Over the days leading up to Christmas we’ll be revealing one juicy morsel of small business reading every day
Over the days leading up to Christmas we’ll be revealing one juicy morsel of small business reading every day

Behind door one on our small business advent calendar is Car Quids, a young firm that matches advertisers with drivers seeking more cash – and usually places three vinyl adverts on the cars’ bonnet and sides.

Over the days leading up to Christmas we’ll be revealing one juicy morsel of small business reading every day – expect inspirational stories, unbelievable facts, and statistics you’d never have guessed.

But for the first in our series of festive business treats – which will range from the surprising to the amusing to the surreal, depending on what statistic the day of the month provides – Business Advice brings you the story of the company’s quest to sell all the space on a car and realise £1m worth of advertising value.

The startup has partnered with 23 year-old Jamal Afridi – who drives over 100 miles a day around central London – to make every inch of the outside of his Ford Fiesta available to advertisers. The delivery driver is hoping to use the money he earns from the car to buy a house.

Founders Viraj Ratnalikar and Ed Winters Ronaldson were inspired by the Million Dollar Homepage – a one-page site created in 2005 on which every pixel was available to buy as advertising space for one dollar.

Some 30 companies have placed adverts on the car so far – including Satago, Papa John’s, Travelex and YPlan – with event company YPlan throwing a party in the car to celebrate its involvement.

Advertisers and fans of the project can follow the Million Quid Car’s journey around London on a GPS heat map – with Car Quids estimating that 300,000 people a month see it.

The rest of Car Quids’ fleet of 7,000 sponsored vehicles includes 24 Porches and one DeLorean – the ill-fated 1980s car featured in Back To The Future but only in production for two years before its founder was engulfed in a scandal and production ceased.

A total of £1bn is spent every year in the UK on outdoor advertising – and billboards on main routes through central London can cost £100,000 a month.

“Our cars are seen by thousands each day and we tend to drive in the same areas. Coupled with Car Quids’ technology platform, which we are showcasing with the Million Quid Car, this creates an opportunity for brands to reach a highly targeted audience through an innovative outdoor advertising format,” said Ratnalikar.
Come back tomorrow to find out what delicious nugget of business news or trivia is behind door two in the Small Business Advent Calendar.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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