Vehicles by the Numbers
“The cost of advertising over the life of the vehicle is a miniscule amount,” says Peter Bearth, director of Spectrum Media Group in Dallas, a division of J Perez Associates.
How does he know? New non-public transportation campaigns are being measured and the results will help you gauge the number of vehicles your client needs to wrap or the number of hours the vehicle must be driven in order to reach the desired audience levels in their markets. According to the Transportation Advertising Council, a division of the OAAA, vehicle advertising generates between 30,000-70,000 daily vehicular impressions.
“The vehicles are often equipped with Global Positioning Satellite tracking systems, which can provide detailed vehicle tracking information and, in some cases, audited reports necessary for monitoring the effectiveness of an advertising campaign,” says Freitas.
Driving Revenues, a vehicle-advertising firm in Washington, broke those numbers down even further and compared vehicle wrapping head-on against other forms of advertising. Here is what they found a $20,000 investment buys:
Autowraps, Inc., a mobile sampling company in New York City, charges between $2,000 and $4,000 for a vehicle wrap that lasts for three years. In this scenario, the return on the investment could be even greater than the figures listed above. Autowraps owner Daniel Shifrin insists that there is no other form of advertising for which small businesses can opt that comes even close to the cost per impression of vehicle wrapping.
“An advertisement in the yellow pages costs up to $15,000 for one year for a display ad,” says Shifrin. “And your competitors are right there with you and you have to wait for someone to decide to pick up the yellow pages.”
Let’s look at some real-life examples that prove the point.
Autowraps initially wrapped 10 VW Bugs for Dreyer’s Ice Cream. The cars featured Dreyer’s Dreamery logo, an American flag and some landscaping. VW owners were selected from Autowraps’ database based on their demographic driving patterns and personal demographics. Owner/drivers were paid a monthly fee for two months to drive their wrapped vehicles around pre-determined routes. The selected routes were based on traffic and population flows during peak hours and weekend exposure in specific locations. Each vehicle accumulated at least 500,000 impressions per month.
“From the day we wrapped our first Bug we have been inundated by people who have seen the Bugs and want to wrap their cars,” says David Ritterbush, vice president of marketing for Dreyers Ice Cream.
By the second week of the launch, Dryers had received such an overwhelming response that they added another 11 vehicles to the campaign. The “Sweet Fleet” was also driven through grocery store and convenience store parking lots where the drivers would get out of their vehicles and hand out coupons. Other successful events included drivers going to baseball games and other venues where the Sweet Fleet cars would be seen by thousands of people at one time.
JetBlue Airways contracted Autowraps to wrap nine VW Bugs for a four-week program in which drivers drove the cars eight hour a day, six days a week to generate awareness for the airline’s new route from Long Beach to JFK. The cars featured the JetBlue logo and colors with information about the new route and were driven through targeted high traffic areas. The vehicles were driven in groups of two or three to attract even more attention. The result was more than 6.75 million impressions in the month-long period.
While these are examples of large companies, Shifrin says vehicle wrapping is just as effective for smaller businesses that wrap one vehicle and drive it along normal routes as they do every day business. “We are wrapping cars for real estate agents and bars and restaurants and sun tanning places every kind of business you can imagine,” he says. “It’s cost-effective and it works well.”
Indeed, as Shifrin notes, wrapped vehicles are one of the only mediums that people make an effort to view. Could vehicle advertisers like Nike, Reebok, Proctor & Gamble, Lycos Sports, Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola be wrong?