Lifestyle » Vol. 48

Being a player in the brave new world of marketing

By Paul Collins

The fast-paced, technology-driven world of the 21st century has spawned a slew of new buzz words. One of these new, cutting-edge terms is “experiential” marketing. As the world changes, brand ambassadors from across multiple industry disciplines are discovering the need to connect with consumers in more creative ways. Local entrepreneur James Riseborough is a marketing and advertising professional who was quick to recognize this shift early on. His company, Turtle Transit, is a Hudson-based fabricator of mobile marketing vehicles and exhibits. However, if the term mobile marking vehicle has you scratching your head, just think of the famous Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. This was the absolute ultimate in mobile marketing vehicles.

Turtle TransitWhat is crystal clear is the fact that James Riseborough, a Massachusetts native, not only has the heart and spirit of an artist, but also a Godzilla-like work ethic. He is indeed a successful blend that is one part highly innovative dreamer and one part nose-to-the-grindstone business owner. It is a blend that seems to have worked quite well. In a few short years, Riseborough has managed to carve out a viable and growing presence for his company in the highly competitive advertising and marketing arena.

So, exactly how have Riseborough and Turtle Transit managed to succeed and flourish where so many of his competitors have been left by the side of the road? Simply put, he has formed a company that delivers a unique and customer-tailored form of brand promotion. He prides himself on being a full-service marketing partner to his clients.

The company is all about transforming the unique wishes of clients into eye-catching mobile marketing experiences, as he and his company have a knack for transforming a client’s idea into a tangible reality. Turtle Transit is able to do this through specializing the design and construction of award-winning vehicle programs and exhibits that are interactive and span across the display fields of kiosks, shopping mall programs, activation stations and “pop-up” retail for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Asked about the catalyst for his initial involvement in the work that he does, Riseborough said, “I am an artist-sculptor at heart, as well as a ‘gearhead,’ and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to morph five Land Rover Discoveries into ‘monsters’ for Jeff Taylor at” He added, “These vehicles very quickly became known nationwide and presented Turtle Transit as a real player in the experiential marketing world.”

Aside from working with heavyweights like, Riseborough actually earned his creative stripes very early in his career when, after doing design work for Mamakins, the nightclub once owned by the legendary Boston rock band Aerosmith, he built stage pieces for high-profile clients such as Steven Tyler and the band. Of this, he said, “I have worked for myself since I was 25. I started designing and building 3D focal points for nightclubs and bars. I worked with House of Blues, Mamakins. … as well as built stage pieces for Aerosmith and Steven Tyler.” He said that he also “built and designed custom bikes for the Harley Davidson Café in New York City and Las Vegas and many more clubs.”

The twists and turns that advertising and marketing have taken in recent years have resulted in altering the landscape of promotional working relationships in a rather dramatic way. The client-agency coupling is very different today, and the shift now requires a new breed of multidisciplinary thinkers. People like James Riseborough will be defined by their ability to create powerful and memorable brand experiences that will set the client apart from the rest of the pack.

Of his work, Riseborough said, “I love what I do – the design, the building, working with my team and meeting our client’s needs.” As for his advice for aspiring young business entrepreneurs, he said, “Go with what you love, work hard, and the rest will come. You don’t need all the answers today. Let them come. They will.”

Paul Collins is a freelance writer from Southborough.

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