Branded, Specialty and Promotional Marketing Vehicles

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Part 1

Putting your company logo and messaging on your fleet (even if your fleet comprises of just one vehicle), is one of the most cost effective opportunities to promote your products and/or services. You might say that branded vehicles run in my DNA. My great-grandfather William Theodore, born 101 years before me in 1865, was apprenticed as a spice blender. He grew into a traveling salesman in south central New York State for Newell & Truesdell, purveyors of wholesale groceries and “Yankee Notions” in the last century. His service vehicle, a Model T Ford panel truck, was emblazoned with the logo: “New & True.” Where a lot of earlier branding seems “quaint” and outmoded now, his Ford Model T retains its dash and presents an unforgettable sight even today. The photo here is circa 1916.

Wouldn’t you think that by now, almost a century later, everyone would have learned that this is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising based on ROI ever devised? They haven’t. Thousands and thousands of company vehicles traveling the highways are utterly blank or without a dash of branding of any kind. What a shame and what a wasted opportunity, especially when considering that mobile media advertising offers the lowest cost-per-impression of any major advertising medium.

Research by the American Trucking association, reveals that wrapped or branded vehicles get an average of 138 visual impressions per mile. That gives your brand, company or cause, first hand exposure to about 16 million potential customers a year—per vehicle. Additionally, a study by the ad agency, RYP & Becker Group, reveals some truly exciting data. 97% of survey respondents recalled the copy and creative of the wrapped vehicle. 98% thought the wrapped vehicles created a positive image for the advertiser. Finally, 96% thought vehicle graphics had far more impact than billboards. I hope you are convinced and are now planning on branding your fleet (even if it’s just one vehicle, or your personal car), and if your fleet is already branded, let’s take this opportunity as far as we can.

To stand out in this era of sensory overload, we must do something beyond the ordinary to survive and thrive in our modern business climate. Nowadays, no one is going to tell their friends about a truck with magnetic logos stuck on the doors. Logos on the side of your vehicles are a good start, but they’re not going to be enough. There are many other ways to take vehicle branding further. Following are some options you may want to consider. Harvey MacKay, in his timeless tome, “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” makes the wise suggestion of putting your company logo on the roof of your vehicle (in addition to the sides and back). He wrote that almost 25 years ago, yet today, countless side-branded-only vehicles roll down streets and roads all over the world, with mute, blank roofs staring back at all those executives in high rise offices (or any office above the 2nd or 3rd floor, for that matter). We can take a cue from some service vehicles like police cruisers and ambulances, as we’ll often see messaging on their roofs.

Ambulances also put their messaging on the leading edge of their hoods—with the copy in reverse—so that we can read the messaging in our rearview mirrors when they are behind us. This reverse messaging on the hood is a great place to put your website address (check with local restrictions on this tactic, as some municipalities have archaic laws against reverse copy on the hood of any vehicles except ambulances). Putting your messaging on the back of your fleet is also crucial. It’s worth noting, this is the best surface on your vehicles where you can have detailed information about your goods or services, as this is the only surface that can be viewed for a prolonged period of time by other motorists when vehicles are on the move. Anyone following your vehicles can potentially follow them as long as they’d like. They don’t have to pass you until they have read your messaging (so keep it really interesting).

To recap:

· Messaging on the doors (or anywhere on the side). Utilize logos and minimal copy here (7 words-max). Have your creative do most of the talking on these surfaces.

· Messaging on the roof or top surface of the hood/trunk. Make it big and bold here. Something that can be read from a high floor in a tall building. This means large fonts and few words (5 words max).

· Messaging on the leading edge of the hood in reverse (keep it simple; website only, for instance). Again, check your local ordinances.

· Messaging on the rear. Go into more detail here and keep it interesting, compelling and creative. Something akin to, “You’re following the leader in (insert your product or service and note features and benefits). Call us today and we’ll put you in front of your competition.” Make sure your phone number, website, social media links and QR codes are prominently displayed here.

Please comment and check back for Part 2 soon! Thanks!

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