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Dallas Morning News Interveiws AdverDisplayCube inventor, Rod Collins

Dallas entrepreneur creates a mobile advertising display cube

By SHERYL JEAN

Staff Writer

sjean@dallasnews.com

Published 04 May 2011 09:04 PM

A big box along the Katy Trail in Dallas is attracting attention.

That’s the point of the Advertising Display Cube, said Rod Collins, who invented the new 3-D mobile marketing idea.

The Cube is a trailer with four glass walls, power outlets, climate control, storage and a generator.

“This provides 360 degrees of transparency,” Collins said. “That fish-bowl effect is what people want. I envision this being used for trade show booths, pop-up stores, live demonstrations and tailgate parties.”

Collins spent 20 years in operations, sales and marketing for Marriott, Hyatt and Hotels.com. He started Dallas Bulldog Marketing after he was laid off by Hotels.com in 2006, using his severance check as a down payment on his first mobile billboard truck.

Since then, he has run 285 mobile advertising campaigns with three trucks and a fleet of bicycle carts. Revenue is trending about 50 percent higher than last year, and the five-employee business is profitable, Collins said.

Collins dreamed up the Cube last year after strong demand for 3-D truck displays, such as video recordings of love stories for Brides.com, live makeovers for the reality TV show Say Yes to the Dress, and giveaways of Method home and personal products. The trucks have three glass walls and none of the Cube’s extra features.

Collins picked up the first Cube last month from TriVan Truck Body in Waco, which built it for about $50,000, he said. He plans to charge just below $2,000 a day for customers to lease the Cube.

For now, Collins is exhibiting the Cube along the Katy Trail for a 5K race on May 12. It’s parked in a lot near Weir’s Furniture Outlet just south of Knox Street, with a display of mannequins on a treadmill and a stationary bike.

The Cube caught Katy Trail walker Nick Alexander’s eye one morning last week.

“It’s a real attention-getter,” said Alexander, president of the Dallas-based Clicks Billiards chain. “It struck me as something you could use for a grand opening.”

After the 5K is finished, Collins plans to take the Cube on tour to Dallas-Fort Worth advertising executives.