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Dressing up the fleet
By Denise Nathan

Overseas trends have proven fleet graphics to be a highly effective branding and promotional tool, yet in the Australasian market the potential has not been fully realised by many companies.

Numerous trucks, vans and company vehicles spend substantial time on the road each day yet remain unbranded and are missing the opportunity to capture valuable consumer attention that could benefit their business or market profile.

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Fleet graphics make good business sense. They are highly visible and can be viewed by thousands of people every day. Unlike stationary billboards that rely on traffic on a predetermined route, vehicle advertising can attract a mass diverse audience capturing the attention of commuters and pedestrian traffic.

The way we live our lives is changing. People are spending a greater majority of time outside the home and our lives are becoming increasingly busy. As such we are not as available as we used to be to receive advertising messages through more traditional mediums (TV, Radio, magazines). Advertisers need to change the way they pursue their audience and consider targeting people more during everyday activities when they are more likely to be available and receptive to advertising messages. People in vehicles, stuck in traffic, day after day are an obvious target.

Historically vehicle signage was limited to branding with a company’s name and contact details in computer cut film and maybe a simplistic graphic. Today, due to the advancements in technology whole vehicles can be wrapped with stunning results. It is essential for our industry to make potential advertisers aware of the new creative possibilities digital printing can offer and to demonstrate the advantages of today’s self adhesive fleet films. While it may seem obvious to us it is amazing how many people are not aware of these developments or have an understanding of what is involved in a vehicle wrap.

We are bombarded by thousands of messages each day as advertisers compete for consumer mind share. To stand out in today’s market, messages need to be communicated with impact in an innovative way. With a creative design there is no doubt that a fully or partially wrapped vehicle will make an impact  As self adhesive films can be conformed over any vehicle shape , any design can be realized and need not be limited by the type of vehicle.

Customers need to be convinced of the cost effectiveness of vehicle wraps. While the initial cost may seem high, considering the durability of a wrap and the fact that the message is effective the minute the vehicle is on the road or parked in public, the true cost is far less. A full /partial wrap can work out to be just a few dollars a day over a 3 year time period. There is not much other advertising a company can do for this low investment. A wrap is a similar price to a one month full page magazine ad and a whole fleet can be wrapped before the customer is in the same budget range as TV advertising.

Vehicle wraps can be used for corporate branding or as mobile billboard. For the latter the advantage is that the advertiser can target market and capture the attention of consumers in a certain area or at a certain time, simply by driving the message to their audience. Rather than a hit and miss approach, advertising can be more selective which again makes the spend per view much more cost effective.

Advertisers can also position themselves closer to the point where a consumer is about to make a purchasing decision- A Smart Car Nescafe wrap parked outside the supermarket, a bottled water brand at a sporting event  - this positioning allows the advertiser  the  opportunity to be more influential on buyer behavior. Not many other forms of advertising give you this much exposure or flexibility. Extensive research has been conducted on the impact of vehicle advertising and the conclusions are the same….it works! There are countless examples and case studies of well known brands utilizing fleet graphics or fleet billboards to promote themselves.

Customers also need to be reassured by the technical benefits of the film. The fact that quality vinyl brands can be easily removed without damaging paintwork. This is of benefit to all fleet owners as they will not need to re-spray their vehicle when they change their image or vehicle. As a bonus the vinyl also helps protect the paintwork from UV and minor stone chips keeping paint in top condition for resale.

Overseas, fleet graphics are the fastest growing segment in the outdoor advertising market. The technology, media and creative skills are now readily available. It is up to our industry to promote the benefits to potential advertisers and increase sales of this effective advertising medium.

Denise Nathan is Marketing Manager - MACtac in Oceania
denise@mactac.co.nz
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