Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Local startup puts TVs on people’s satchels, literally taking ads to the streets

They say there are many ways to skin a cat. I don’t know why you would ever have to skin a cat but apparently there’s more than one way to do it. One startup has a new and interesting way to skin the cat that is advertising. 

VisionStrike is a startup looking to provide ‘exceptional and affordable digital advertising solutions.’ They say their major goal is to defy belief and their first product fits that bill. 

You may have bumped into what I’m calling the backpack billboards. VisionStrike has mobile digital screens that are worn on the back like backpacks/satchels. Think of a 32 inch TV stuck to a dude’s back and you have an idea what it looks like. 

Source: Facebook

Advertisements are run on these mobile digital screens in portrait orientation.

A Zimbabwean solution

This is a unique solution and you can clearly tell this is a Zimbabwean solution because it solves real Zimbabwean problems even as it takes advantage of unique Zimbabwean opportunities.

Life in Zimbabwe involves a lot of queuing, whether it’s at banks, bus terminuses or elsewhere. Those right there are eyeballs that are bored and VisionStrike wants to take the billboards to them. 

The guy with the backpack billboard walks all over town, taking his advertisements with him wherever he goes. This is not done in a haphazard way, there is a schedule with set times on how long the billboard carrier stays at particular spots. 

Not only do the mobile digital screens zip around town, right where the eyeballs are, advertisers do not have to pay that much to get the exposure. It depends on what you’re selling but for most small businesses, the mobile screens will provide much better value than any other type of billboard.

A full screen ad that displays for 20 sec at a time only costs US$5 per month or $96 per month. I’m not sure how many times a single ad will play during the course of their 5 hour days. I imagine it’s a lot.

The screens

We will try to find out more about the screens themselves. How power hungry are they? Do they have built-in batteries? If not, what kind of portable power solution are they using? 

I realise that the backs of the people hauling these TVs around town limits how much juice they can carry around. Even so, 4-5 hours of screen time a day is impressive but I imagine VisionStrike will be looking to improve on that. 

If they are using huge power banks, they could switch those out around lunch time and be able to run ads the whole working day as opposed to the 1pm-5pm times during the week and 10am-2pm on Saturdays they are doing.

You love to see it

This solution is unique and exactly what small businesses need. I hope to see VisionStrike grow this business and expand from the 2 screens they currently have. 

I fear for them though that there aren’t too many barriers to entry. It doesn’t take that much capital for competition to spring up. However, I love that VisionStrike also does video production and design, helping customers present their ads in the best way possible.

Video production (starting at $120) and design (starting at $30) do cost quite a bit more than actual advertising as they should. VisionStrike seems to be particular about the quality of ads that can be displayed on their screens and imagine most advertisers will need help.

So, I think the main business here is video production which has better barriers to entry. Not anyone can produce quality ads and as we know, it’s not enough to advertise, it’s also how you advertise. If this sounds good to you, find out more from their website here.

What do you think about VisionStrike and their backpack billboards? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Local startup puts TVs on people’s satchels, literally taking ads to the streets

  1. Your introduction made me read half heartedly…
    There are many ways to kill a cat not to skin a cat
    Next time please proof read your work and find someone to help improve your English

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