It is almost impossible to spend a day in big cities such as Jakarta without being bombarded by advertisement. Once you walk out of the house, you will see at least six different forms of outdoor advertisement within the first kilometer of the journey.
Though it seems like a lucrative business, outdoor advertising in Indonesia is not without its own challenges.
Sticar spokesperson Teuku Hidayatul Awwalin explains in an e-mail to e27 that there are at least two core problems faced by the industry.
“The outdoor advertising media today is outdated, supported with no data-driven results … Traditional billboard in Indonesia is very expensive, with price ranging from IDR3 billion (US$ 225,000) to IDR4 billion (US$300,278) per year in Jakarta area,” he writes.
He also mentioned several incidents in Jakarta when billboards collapsed after being struck by thunderstorm, with casualties reported. There are also other incidents such as when an operator accidentally uploaded an adult video to a digital billboard in Jakarta.
All these incidents have led the government to restrict billboard in big cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta, and Makassar.
This encouraged Sticar founders, who by the time were final year students at University of Indonesia, to found the company in 2015. Inspired by US-based Wrapify, they were aiming to utilise sharing economy to solve some of the big problems faced by Jakarta, when they realised that Indonesia is facing a bigger issue with outdoor advertising compared to the US.
With the goal to “make brands more closer to their targetted audience,” Sticar wraps advertisement on cars’ body and provided drivers and car owners with a mobile app. Brands are able to track the performance of each advertisement through a dashboard that displays the cars’ route, mileage, and generated impression in real-time, while the drivers will be able to track driving mileage and accumulated revenue.
The startup offers full-body wrap, panel wrap, and rear wrap type of advertisements on driver-partners’ cars that brands can choose from.
Apart from providing the technology, Sticar also handles the taxation matters for their driver-partner, related to the advertisement placed on their cars.
The startup claimed to have up to 4,000 aspiring drivers registering in their platform, with 11 active advertisers and 250 cars on board.
Tough life on the street
Sticar is definitely not the only startup in Indonesia that is utilising the sharing economy concept to provide a solution to outdoor advertising; there are also Ubiklan, Promogo, and Klana. But Awwalin believes that Sticar’s strength lies in its technology.
“Sticar match the drivers app with computer system inside the cars validating the vehicle identification number (VIN) to avoid the drivers for using another car when they are on trip,” he says.
He also highlights that of all the startups working in the sector today, Sticar is the first to have expanded to other cities outside of Greater Jakarta Area, such as Bandung, Surabaya, and Denpasar. The startup is also looking forward to expand to up to 11 cities in the country.
“We do [have] some strategies to compete the competitors. We partnered with car wrapping companies in every city to achieve cost leadership in operational. We do a multichannel selling by partnering with local advertising and creative agencies,” Awwalin explains.
“Our focus is the future innovations of the product and service to create clear competitive advantages from competititors,” he stresses, citing adhesive company Avery Dennison as their partner.
Headquartered in South Jakarta, the startup is currently run by a team of 13 employees.
It has raised a US$220,000 seed funding from RnB Fund last year.
“We think that this sector will be one of the hottest startup scenes in Indonesia because our products and services are seen in ‘real form’ by a lot of people … on the roads,” Awwalin closes.