Ministry approves walking billboards at popular areas to attract tourists

The walking advertisements during the launch at the Tourism Centre.

THE Tourism and Culture Ministry has endorsed the walking billboard, saying that it is cost effective and capable of reaching a larger audience.

Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general (tourism) Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah said this form of advertising was a medium that was interactive and capable of catching the attention of pedestrians on the street or visitors at exhibitions.

“Besides that, it is also cheap. This is a new medium that corporate companies, NGOs and government agencies could use as an alternative method of promoting events, products and services.

“Last year, 25.7 million tourists visited Malaysia and we would look at using walking billboards as part of our promotions in tourists spots,” said Rashidi, who launched the walking billboard in Saloma Bistro at the Malaysia Tourism Centre, Jalan Ampang.

Young entreprenuers Ahmad Firdaus Ahmad Hamizan and Abdul Farhan Ibrahim are the men behind the idea.

Ahmad Firdaus said he had first thought about it when he was travelling in Europe and saw restaurants using ‘Sandwich Men’, who were displaying two advertisements as they walked the street drawing attention.

“I returned home and discussed the idea with Abdul Farhan. Our first run was in Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) located at Bandar Tasik Selatan, Cheras two months ago. Since then, we have 30 billboards and both part-time and full-time staff.

“The price of two walking billboards is from RM800 to RM900 daily and the most popular area for the walking billboard is around Bukit Bintang,” said Ahmad Firdaus, who said that each billboard weighed only 7kg and was lit up by LED lights.

Abdul Farhan said the initial target was telecommunication companies and they had already advertised for Altel.

“We are still negotiating with Digi. We are also looking at restaurants to advertise with us as well as other corporate companies. The staff using the walking billboards are given proper training before they are allowed to go out on the streets.

“Those who do this work must be properly attired and fit. Unlike the Sandwich Man, the person carries the walking billboard on his or her back is quite mobile,” he said.

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