The cash-starved U.S. Postal Service has been racking its collective brain trying to think of new money-making ideas. So after who knows how many hours of diligent brainstorming, what have they come up with?
Ads on trucks.
Yep, a century or so after ads first began appearing on buses, subway cars, trucks and other moveable surfaces, the USPS is experimenting with selling ad space on its trucks.
As part of a pilot program, USPS and Denver-based Lighted Promotions -- which installs lighted outdoor ads on big rigs -- have sold advertising on the back of 17,000 USPS freight trucks in 11 states.
It costs about $500 to $600 a month to advertise on one of the trucks. So far, the ads have been for topics related to driving -- highway safety, seatbelt use, drunken driving.
There aren't any ads for Starbucks or iPhones -- not even any of those ubiquitous Google ads.
Hey! There's an idea. What if USPS did a deal with Google. They could put a camera -- you know a minicam, like on your laptop -- on the back of the mail trucks.
The camera could read your license plate and compare it to its stored profile of your known characterisitcs (nose size, eyewear, hairstyle, etc.) and then deliver ads that reflect your mood of the moment -- ads for divorce lawyers, antacid tablets, mortgage rescue, high-paying jobs in sunny climes.
Google already knows everything about you, right? And the USPS knows next to ... well, never mind. Let's just say they're complementary.
Good ahead and laugh. It beats selling stamps.