JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — A North Fulton native is looking to shake up the digital advertisement game.
Michael He, founder of Lovol Media, grew up in Alpharetta and studied economics and computer science at Harvard University. He worked with startup investing firms in Silicon Valley, before he decided to leave California and create a startup of his own, based in Technology Park in Johns Creek.
“There’s a lot of technical talent here, and business talent as well,” He said. “In places like Silicon Valley and New York, it’s very crowded and expensive to launch a pilot of this scale.”
His device is an LED screen than can be mounted in the rearview window of a car. Drivers may already be familiar with advertisement on the top of taxis, but He says Lovol is a totally new technology.
While top-of-car ads may work in pedestrian-friendly New York City, the rear window placement is better for traffic-congested cities like Atlanta, he said. The digital screen also allows advertisers to geo-target their desired customers.
“If you have a restaurant, we could say every car within five miles who has their device will show your ad,” He said. “As soon as you enter the five-mile radius, you can see, say, Wendy’s is nearby. ‘Turn right. There’s a McDonald’s.’ It gives people a hyperlocal way of targeting.”
He said Lovol offers an inventive and relatively inexpensive advertising solution.
“It really helps the advertisers because they can reach a lot more people a lot more effectively,” He said. “With billboards and online advertisement, people have mentally trained themselves to block out the ads. This is a new ad space that people haven’t expected before.”
For drivers, Lovol is targeting people who already drive professionally, like through Uber, Lyft or Doordash.
“This is a way for them to keep driving the routes they already take while earning a supplemental income without doing anything but putting it on their car,” He said.
There is often a bust and boom cycle for tech startups. With companies like Uber, Airbnb and Bird scooters excitement and promise turned into criticism and regulation.
He said that’s why Lovol is taking things slowly, working with law enforcement to ensure safety features are in place and starting with advertisements for local businesses before they pick up any big names.
Longterm, He and his small team say they want to see Lovol Media go national and maybe even international.
“A lot of people ask us ‘Why Johns Creek?’” He said. “We want to put Johns Creek on the map.”
To follow updates for Lovol Media, visit lovolmedia.com.