These peculiar three-wheelers, which have subsequently appeared on the streets of Johannesburg, have a head-turning effect seldom seen in out-of-home media. In a city notorious for its lack of outdoor advertising, the buzz and excitement generated by these little vehicles has left a hugely positive imprint on the brands associated with them.
The Monarch Tuksi Company owns the 20 Tuk Tuks, which operate using a unique "No Fares, Only Shares" business model, where commuters don't just fork over cash for a fare but become shareholders in the business instead. They are then given the Royal Treatment, a perfect fit for the King Cone brand who has been advertising with them for the three months since their launch.
In the short time they've operated on the streets of Cape Town, Monarch has captured serious media buzz from the likes of 5FM's DJ Fresh, 2 Oceans Vibe, Die Burger and even eTV's news channel. With their launch they engaged with hundreds of users across various social media platforms, and saw thousands of interactions in just two months, with numerous users posting photographs of the tuk-tuks to the web whenever they used them.
Marketing synergy between the tuk-tuks and King Cone went beyond simple promotion. In the week before setting up their Nestle supply chain, the Sea Point Pick 'n Pay they used as a supplier sold out of all their King Cone and Heaven ice creams.
In one very special case, two boys seized their chance to use the "Tuksi" service as daily holiday transport by getting their parents to stock up on King Cones at home, securing a ride with a regular driver for their entire vacation.
Ultimately, the Monarch Tuksi Co provides several unique opportunities for brands to interact with their shareholding commuters. Not only do they provide branded canopies and new zip-up doors for cold winter trips, but there is great potential for sales to be made both prior to boarding a tuk-tuk and once commuters are on board. Monarch can also provide a unique research opportunity for brands - commuters will be able to make the most of every trip by quickly and easily filling in a research survey on iPads fitted into the tuk-tuks.
The foundations have been laid and, with winter around the corner, the opportunity stands open for other brands to make use of this unique branding experience. This is more than just another chance to slap a logo on the next available surface. The Monarch Tuksi Co provides a unique branding, sales and research platform.