Since we transitioned to our all-digital-video lineup of promotional vehicles, the number one question has been, “Can it show live video?” The answer is a resounding, “yes, but don’t do that.”

Then we stop and wait for a perplexed series of questions.

Let’s back up a little: it took over ten years to build high bright, live video at an affordable price into our mobile billboard trucks, so it might seem counter-intuitive that we quickly tell prospective truck owners not to use one of the best new features. Maybe a little clarification is needed — Don’t play live video while the truck is moving. When the trucks are driving through rush hour traffic, you should only show a playlist of ads queued up in a slideshow. Think PowerPoint, not Netflix.

One of the first concerns from municipalities nationwide when digital billboards first appeared was the ability of the digital billboards to show video. And the billboard companies were quick to assure the cities that the new digital displays would be an asset to communities, never a distraction, and never a blight on the landscape like some of the old mechanical tri-vision billboards which were prone to breakdown. Today, digital billboards almost universally display a series of still images in a slideshow. The great benefit to the billboard companies has been unlimited ad space, and the ability to sell the ads in a local or regional network of digital signs.

Spark equips all videotrucks with similar digital ad management technology as used by the largest outdoor media companies. It’s easy to upload new ads to one truck or a fleet of twenty since each truck has a networked media system as part of the standard equipment package. You can easily incorporate public service messaging into your mix of advertising, and even add local police alerts in an effort to be a good corporate citizen.

But if you show live video while your trucks are moving through traffic, we predict you’ve just bought yourself a lot of negative local publicity and some quick action by the city council to attempt to restrict your operations. So, like we said, Don’t Do That.

Try this, instead:

There are several very attractive revenue opportunities when it’s appropriate to show live video on Spark promotional video trucks.

1.) Corporate sponsored special events — rent your truck by the day or weekend for use outside sporting venues. Add a satellite TV receiver and display live college or pro football games on the giant 102” screens and attract a large crowd, while a corporate sponsor in an adjacent 20’ x 20’ event tent entertains their best customers or distributes product samples.

2.) Party rental — rent your truck by the half day for private parties. There is a booming market in the mobile game trailer business. No less than half a dozen companies are eager to sell you a franchise that will equip you with a special gaming trailer (search here: These trailers are designed to be the ultimate birthday party accessory. Here’s a newsflash: any Spark truck can do the same thing, with bigger video screens, and no franchise fee. Rent your truck to parents for $500 for half a day and let a dozen thirteen-year olds play Xbox on one side of the truck, while you entertain their little brothers and sisters with a movie on the other side. 

Mix these revenue opportunities into your business plan and you’ll be getting the most out of your Spark truck. Your friends on the city council will line up to rent the truck for their next campaign rally instead of conspiring to put you out of business.