Loop Rides will be in Chattanooga soon. (Photo: Contributed)

Mobile advertising source Loop Rides is bringing free, environmentally friendly transportation to downtown Chattanooga. 

The New York-based company-which provides nontraditional advertising through its electric vehicles-will be servicing the downtown area Jan. 30-Feb. 26.

The vehicles will make a 4.17-mile loop around downtown, including across the Walnut Street Bridge to the North Shore. 

“We like to home in on certain areas where we think a service like this could be a great asset to the community and where there will be a positive reception,” Loop Rides President and CEO Mac Russel said.

Russel said that the cars can “go anywhere within the specified coverage area” but will always be within certain parameters. 

There will be one car for the first advertising campaign, but the goal is to build a bigger fleet if there is interest, he said.

Russel, who worked in finance for several years, said he’s always been intrigued by marketing and advertising. He and a partner created Loop Rides in an effort to merge green energy and positive brand messaging. 

The company launched at the beginning of last year, and the team has been working to expand into new markets. 

They bought the electric vehicles, which go up to 25 miles per hour and produce zero emissions, then customized them for advertising. An advertiser pays the company for a unique advertising campaign that passengers see and hear while they ride. 

Loop Rides has a sales team whose members work in certain cities or with certain advertisers to provide experiential marketing opportunities. 

Experiential marketing is a strategy that engages more directly with consumers, inviting them to participate in the situation. 

For example, the vehicles have television screens that stream visual content and social media campaigns, and the drivers are sometimes trained with specific messages. 

Wave down a Loop Ride

“It’s important to highlight the fact that anyone can wave us down for a free ride. The drivers will be inviting.”

Source: Loop Rides President and CEO Mac Russel

The ride may include a stop at a retail location where advertised products can be purchased or an array of advertising possibilities. 

“We make our revenue in selling the ad space,” he said. “As we continue to build a fleet of vehicles, it enables us to connect to more cities.”

The first advertiser in Chattanooga will be a national brand.

Loop leaders have some fixed rates for advertisers, but they are open to working with local companies. If that happens, there could be more negotiation on costs. 

Anyone who wants more information can contact Russel at 646-593-7848 or mac@looprides.com.

“It’s really great to interact with people and provide a positive service,” Russel said. “From an advertising perspective, it’s really beneficial to get a message out in a nontraditional way.”