WMU Student Sells Virtual Billboards to Replace Car

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An engineering student trying to replace his broken car decided to create a unique advertising website. The Virtual Roadside has sold two advertisements to date, worth $630. It features large animated advertisements in the form of billboards and airplanes moving along a highway.

An engineering student at Western Michigan University is using a non-traditional method to replace his broken car.

Dustin Spicuzza, 20, has launched virtualroadside.com in an effort to replace his car, which broke down in early July. The Virtual Roadside has already sold two advertisements to date, worth $630.

Customers can purchase one or more billboards for placement on the Web site, at $1 per virtual square foot. They remain on the site for at least five years.

Asked about a virtual square foot, he said, "I wanted to use a unique unit of measurement that people could readily relate to. It's much easier than saying 10x10 pixels."

After visiting a number of auto dealers, Spicuzza decided he needed to take a different approach to replacing his car. "I thought to myself, what would be entertaining and unique? Then it hit me -- billboards on the Internet."

The Web site took two weeks to complete. It features large animated advertisements in the form of billboards and airplanes moving along a highway. Visitors may also play a game that allows them to interact with the advertisements.

According to him, the traffic on the Web site has increased sharply in the last week. "It was getting a steady stream of 30 to 50 visitors per day, but now it's over 100 and rising."

He remains upbeat. "I've received a lot of positive feedback from everyone who has seen the Web site, and I expect traffic to continue increasing."

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Dustin Spicuzza

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