Investment Analysis: Measuring the Value of Vehicle Wraps (Part 1)
Measuring the Value of Vehicle Wraps A New Segment of the Outdoor Advertising Market
By Ryan Hubbard, ARD Ventures
Vehicle wraps, a growing trend in outdoor advertising, is a very rapidly growing sector of the advertising industry. The purpose of this white paper is to describe the market, clearly identify the value proposition for advertisers, and highlight three different companies that are approaching the market from different angles.
There are numerous questions to answer at a high level about the market. How can this new mobile media be measured? How does it compare to traditional outdoor advertising? What affect will it have on the brand? These and many other questions are common concerns that will need to be addressed prior to addition of Wrapped Vehicles to an advertising agency’s Media Plan.
This paper’s objective is to aid in understanding the measurement and effectiveness of passenger vehicles wrapped in advertising. We will provide background of the industry, beginning with the introduction of vinyl graphics in the early 90’s, which paved the way for the use of passenger vehicles as moving billboards. From there, an overview of how traditional advertising is bought and sold will help relate those concepts to this newest form of outdoor marketing. Next, we will discuss the positive impact this head turning medium has on the advertiser’s brand. Finally, we will conclude with a brief overview of three different companies that have three unique approaches to this exciting new market.
Wrapped Vehicles-A Brief History
The billboard has been around over 100 years and the poster dates back literally centuries. While locations have been limited by regulation, the creative applications have been endless.
Billboards really came of age in the 1950’s as the national highway system was developed and automobile travel became the American standard for transportation.
Until the 1990s, most billboards were hand-painted plywood with inconsistent quality. Worse, when paint faded and wood chipped, billboards became eyesores. Today, computer-painting technology has all but eliminated the old-fashioned sign painter; plywood has given way to durable vinyl that can be cut to any size, and then rolled into tubes for easy shipping.
In 1993, SuperGraphics, Inc., a Silicon Valley based pioneer company in digital imaging, did the previously unthinkable. An entire bus was wrapped with a new vinyl adhesive product introduced by 3M Company. The bus was immediately turned into a huge rolling Crystal Pepsi ad that people could not help but notice. In comparison to the appearance of the average city bus, most consumers considered it a nice distraction. This advertising
innovation gained popularity among many advertisers. Bus wraps and other creative outdoor advertising ideas are all in response to the lack of available outdoor advertising space. Soon, tractor-trailer owners began covering their fleets with full-color images selling the products and/or services of other companies.
In 2000, this mobile advertisement trend began spreading to privately owned vehicles. Numerous websites offer free cars or monthly payments for those willing to wrap their vehicles in an advertiser’s message and logo. Some of these services also offer dedicated driver programs. This not only places the message in front of target consumers, but also provides the opportunity for direct customer contact through coupon distribution, sampling, and other promotional tactics. The vehicles can be equipped with Global Positioning Satellite tracking systems (GPS). This provides detailed vehicle tracking information and in some cases, audited reports necessary for monitoring the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. Accordingly, there is still an extremely limited supply of available data on the efficiency or impression rates attained by mobile vehicle advertisements.