A History Of Vehicle Wraps

October 4, 2013

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
ARD | Ventures
Copyright 2003 ARD Ventures 2 Measuring the Value of Vehicle Wraps
Fifty years of TV
dominance has had an
effect on measurements
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.

credit: Ryan Hubbard, ARD Ventures, a clip from

Investment Analysis:

Measuring the Value of Vehicle Wraps

A New Segment of the Outdoor Advertising Market

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