From videography to crop monitoring and even pizza delivery… like ‘em or hate ‘em, the use of commercial drones is on the rise. And now some local merchants in Philadelphia just bought into their latest use: Advertising.
DroneCast, the inception of a 19-year-old Drexel University student, attaches advertising banners up to 6 feet long by 2 feet wide, to small four-rotor drones, which oscillate around areas with heavy pedestrian or automobile traffic at a height of about 25 feet. They’re even experimenting with the idea of having them cruise up and down skyscrapers allowing local restaurants to advertise lunch specials to the office workers inside!
Now as cool as all this may sound, it’s also clear that commercial drones are a public opinion lightening rod. For every one-third of consumers who believe these machines can truly deliver useful messaging in a more timely and convenient method, the other two-thirds of people, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, say “personal and commercial drones have no place in U.S. airspace(1).”
I usually applaud the entrepreneur who finds a whole new way to reach a marketing audience. Yet if doing so invades our personal space, causes safety hazards, or uncontrollably prevents our enjoyment of our natural environment, now that’s something I think we need to give some major consideration to first.
Gotta go with a GWH W.T.F. (Winner, Toss-up, or Flop) Award TOSS-UP at this stage. This is one where clever could become dangerous very quickly…