Portland company hopes to find success on the campaign trail

Portland company hopes to find success on the campaign trail
Courtesy of Swypers

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Portland mayoral candidate is the first politician to try out a new form of campaign advertising that a local company hopes will play a part in the presidential election.

The company, called Swyper, landed a high-profile client with candidate Eileen Brady.

A Swyper is a sticker that attaches to a car or bicycle. Unlike other bumper stickers, Swypers attach to the rear windshield wiper blades, making for a, literally, moving campaign.

According to Swyper co-founder Mike Gold, they don’t ruin a vehicle’s finish and the face plates are easy to exchange for the next fad that catches your fancy.

“We see it as a way that you can show support for sports, politicians…,” Gold said. “You could have your Oregon Ducks Swyper on the night of a game then the next day you can go back to supporting your political candidate.”

After being approached by Gold and his business partner, Frank Rego, Brady’s campaign approved the use of the Swyper.

“We went to Eileen because she is a local politician and businesswoman, and we’re a local business,” Rego said. “It’s a good locally made, locally designed product.”

According to Gold, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign is also considering Swypers. President Barack Obama’s campaign turned down the local bumper sticker.

Gold had the idea for Swypers six years ago when he was having trouble switching lanes on the I-5 freeway. Another car slowed to let him in their lane, so Gold used his rear windshield wiper to signal the other driver.

“It was a way to signify gratitude,” he said.

He approached Rego, who is his brother-in-law, and they ran with the idea.

They started making Swypers, using other local businesses to manufacture the product, in March 2011. They now have a patent pending and have been shopping Swypers out to different entities, like university bookstores where, they said, they have received a lot of interest.

“(Several of the university buyers) told us this is the most unique product that they’ve seen come out in years,” Gold said.

Gold said they are in the process of being licensed to sell in dozens of university bookstores across the country, including Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Washington State University.

Swypers is also trying to get into the big leagues of sports. They are pitching the product to major league sports companies in the hopes of branching into that market.

“It gets people’s attention, and it’s not permanent,” Gold said. “Any person could express their opinion on any subject using our product.”