Aug 1

Mural Arts & KG3 Mobile Advertising

by: Chad Eric Smith

August is National Black Business Month, a moment to acknowledge and appreciate Black-owned businesses nationwide. Historically, Black entrepreneurs have not had the same access to capital and opportunities to build wealth as their White counterparts. However, their contribution to the nation’s economy is undeniable. 

A plethora of noteworthy companies stimulate the local economy in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, such as the 21 Black-Owned Businesses That Do Good, as listed by The Philadelphia Citizen. This month, we chose to feature the up-and-coming, Philly-based, and Black-owned billboard truck agency KG3 Mobile Advertising. Recently, Mural Arts Philadelphia established a professional services agreement with KG3 to help build greater visibility, engagement, and value for the Mural Arts brand through dynamic and strategic out-of-home advertising (OOH) and hyperlocal, experiential marketing of Mural Arts public programs, events, projects, and initiatives.

KG3 was first seen at a Mural Arts event in June during the dedication for The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything, a mural by Roberto Lugo inspired by Roots leading member and Mural Arts board member Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter. The billboard truck featured a dynamic promo video and QR code for tickets to Wall Ball 2022, Mural Arts’ annual fundraiser gala.

Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter in front of a KG3 Mobile Advertising truck at The Talented Mr. Trotter: You Can Be Anything dedicaiton, June 2, 2022. Photo by Steve Weinik.

In July, KG3 helped unveil the design for a new, forthcoming mural by artist Shawn Theodore that will pay tribute to the life and legacy of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a Philadelphia civil rights pioneer. The project, a partnership between Mural Arts Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Citizen, and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, gained a boost of excitement thanks to the dramatic reveal provided by KG3’s digital billboard truck. It’s hard, now, to imagine returning to the days in which design unveils involved a large printout propped up on an easel. 

Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Design Unveil and press conference, July 15, 2022. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Watch the entire Judge Leon Higginbotham Mural Tribute Kickoff video below:

Unity: The Origin Story 

Founded in November 2019, Theo Gifford and Robert Badgett joined forces to help small business owners with their advertising strategies. Gifford is a self-described “serial entrepreneur” with marketing and advertising experience within the real estate industry. Badgett received a Business Administration degree from Morgan State University. Both understood that one of the biggest challenges for business owners is getting people to know their business exists. They believed that data-driven OOH advertising was an incredibly impactful way for any company to raise awareness. A study from Nielsen found that OOH is the most effective offline medium in driving online activity – delivering four times more online activity per dollar spent than TV, radio, and print.

“Seeing billboards on I-95 highway and using billboards myself, they are a great way to reach people who may be interested in your services,” said Gifford. “Then I thought to myself, ‘what if I knew where most of those people were?’ I said, ‘I wish I could take a billboard, put it on a truck and take my message right to that location.'” And that’s how the concept to start KG3 Mobile Advertising was born.

It’s also worth noting that, in a city where Black men made up about three-quarters of shooting victims and fatalities in 2021, Gifford and Badgett are positive counter-narratives. They understand that their presence as Black businessmen gives younger generations something positive to look up to. 

We felt there was a need to show our community that two Black men can work together and be successful.

- Robert Badgett

The son of Theo Gifford sits on the back of the KG3 Mobile Advertising truck at the Higginbotham Mural Tribute Kickoff, July 15, 2022. Photo by Brad Nau.

Experiential Marketing: Innovation Begets Joy 

Perhaps the most significant motivating factor for Gifford and Badgett, and thus the impetus for their past and continued success, is the delight their work brings their clients and community members. “After each and every job, the response we get from customers is priceless,” said Badgett. “It really lights up their day, and they’re forever grateful.”

Helping organizations like Mural Arts create memorable and innovative experiences for their target audiences creates a deep emotional connection between those audiences and the brand. 

So, this August and beyond, be on the lookout for KG3 Mobile Advertising at a Mural Arts event near you. You may see them at a mural dedication, press conference, or community paint day. You may even see them traveling around the city at night, amplifying Mural Arts’ new slogan, “Beautify. Inspire. Empower.” And now that you know one more Black-owned business in the City of Philadelphia that goes the extra mile to help other businesses thrive, spread the word. After all, some argue that even a vibrant billboard on wheels can’t beat the impact of word of mouth. 

To learn more about KG3 Mobile Advertising, visit https://www.kg3ads.com

Last updated: Aug 1, 2022

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