Ed Hollands is the 23-year- old entrepreneur behind DrivenMedia, the Derby-based advertising agency which creates mobile billboards on commercial trailers for brands, organisations and businesses.
Originally from Hertfordshire, Ed graduated from the University of Derby in 2016 with a first-class honours degree in Business Studies and was always ambitious to create his own company.
Today DrivenMedia offers companies, brands and organisations the opportunity to advertise on the sides and backs of lorries, trucks and vans as they travel the world delivering goods and services.
Ed got the idea of mobile billboards on an early morning walk when he saw traffic – including several large, plain lorries – queuing at a busy roundabout as rush hour traffic began to build. He realised the scope for offering companies a different type of marketing opportunity was huge.
Ed grew up in a village called Pitstone near Tring in Hertfordshire with his parents Angela & Graham and his younger brother Will. His mum works for local hospice charity and Graham works for HP. Will is currently studying music at university.
It was in primary school (Brookmead Primary School) that the seeds of entrepreneurship were sown when Ed declared he wanted to run a pub called The Happy Inn. He also saw his father being away from his family due to working overseas and felt that he wanted to have some choices around work when he got older. Later when at secondary school in Tring he earned money by carrying bags for small change to the form room.
His determination to run his own business became stronger just before selecting his GCSE choices as he already knew he wanted to be the master of his own fate financially. This dictated the subjects he chose at both GCSE and A level.
Ed chose to study for his degree at the University of Derby as he felt the campus and the teaching staff had the right ethos around business. Once there he also joined the Business and Entrepreneurship Society and began to be inspired by those who had already walked the walk in business.
It was during this time he met Graham Mulholland, chief executive officer of EPM Technology who became his mentor alongside lecturer and friend Bev Crighton Senior Lecturer/Programme Leader BA HRM
As part of his studies he did explore the idea of creating digital billboards on A38 right next to the university. He also set up his own business in the summer of his first year at university but the idea didn’t work mainly because he had not appreciated the important role played by marketing and advertising. It was an early lesson learned.
At home, Ed lives with his fiancé Tara and they are childhood sweethearts who met at Scout Camp more than five years ago. Tara is a teaching assistant at a school in Nottingham and also is also an Ofsted-registered nanny currently studying for her level 3 NVQ in childcare.
Ed is also a keen dodgeball player and qualified referee. While at university he played for the university team, The Derby Seahawks, and now plays for the Nottingham Sheriffs alongside being an referee. He plays twice a month during the season and referees weekly.
DrivenMedia Ltd's Story
DrivenMedia is an innovative advertising agency based in the Technology Centre, Belmore Way. The company was formerly called The Advert Man.DrivenMedia is an innovative advertising agency based in the Technology Centre, Belmore Way. The company was formerly called The Advert Man. The DrivenMedia team turn commercial trailers travelling the country or overseas into mobile billboards for brands, organisations and businesses. This provides highly visible, flexible and colourful marketing opportunities across the UK, Europe and overseas.
The idea came from managing director Edward Hollands – known as Ed – who is 23 years old and lives in Derby. He came up with the idea soon after finishing university where he achieved a first class honours degree in Business Studies. His eureka moment came while walking back from dropping his partner Tara at work.
He saw a major roundabout with traffic lights, many large lorries and many cars backed up waiting for the lights to change and thought it would be a perfect opportunity for brands, organisations and larger businesses to promote their activities. Previously, while at university in Derby, Ed had come up with the idea of digital advertising boards along the A38 – the main road running past the campus.
Ed began his research immediately by literally taking down the details of trucks and lorries as he stood on the roadside and then getting on the telephone to ask companies if they would consider renting out their ‘space’ to would-be advertisers. One finally agreed and others soon followed.
Inspired, Ed took to the telephone again to sell the space which was a very tough task as the concept was untried and untested. Six months later, Ed got his first deal closely followed by a campaign for the University of Derby. Since then he’s run advertising campaigns for names including The University of St Mark & St John and Hull Trains. He also works with a range of hauliers and marketing agencies who have become his strategic partners in business, TT Express, CWA.
Along the way Ed has learned with the help of his mentor Graham Mulholland, chief executive officer with the EPM Technology Group based in Derby. Graham helped Ed see that his original approach wasn’t structured, and he was calling the wrong companies, simply through ignorance of how haulage and advertising worked. Graham helped Ed form key strategic partnerships to allow his business to grow.
Coming up in late 2017, Ed will be launching the latest campaign for The University of Derby,
launching DrivenMedia’s largest campaign to date for a London based campaign and a campaign of its own.
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