When I mention NASCAR, what comes to mind? I bet one of the first images that you pictured, well before any stereotypes, was a brightly colored car covered in sponsorships. Even if you don’t love NASCAR, you’ve probably seen and remembered vehicles like the Target car, which is bright red with a big target on the hood or the orange GoDaddy.com car.
Now here’s something you might not know: Those brands pay up to $500,000 per race to advertise on those cars. Why? Well for one, NASCAR's fans number 50 million. But more important, these companies know the effectiveness of placing their brand on those cars because they have a captive audience.
You might not have millions of dollars to throw at NASCAR advertising, but you do probably have a car and maybe even some company vehicles. Each day, thousands of people see these vehicles. Adcarrentals.com estimates that most vehicle advertising is seen by 30,000 to 70,000 people per day. If you’re not branding your vehicles, you’re missing out.
Here’s a couple easy ways to put your vehicles to work in marketing your business.
The Rolling Billboard
Ever find yourself in traffic mindlessly reading the messaging on trucks and cars with branding on them? Most people have. In most cities, rush hour is about as captive of an audience as you can find. In mind-numbing traffic, even the most basic advertising message can be a welcome distraction for drivers and a great way to market your company easily, cheaply and effectively.
My dad used to have his company logos and lists of the products he sold painted onto our family station wagon. It served as a rolling billboard, and he always parked it strategically. No matter where we went, he found the spot that would garner the most views from passing pedestrians and other drivers.
I can’t recall who came up with the term “parketing,” but the practice of parking branded vehicles at high-traffic locations has been around forever. It’s a great alternative to parking your vehicles in a garage hidden away from potential customers.
At College Pro Painters, many of us painted our old, used vehicles bright yellow and decorated them with our red and white company logo. These “Big Bird” vans, as they were called, attracted attention and got us clients. Some franchisees even bartered with gas station owners. In exchange for parking their vans at the stations overnight, College Pro Painters would buy gas from the proprietor all summer long. The arrangement benefited all those involved and put College Pro Painters front and center at all times of the day.
This method can be used in any company where corporate vehicles are used. We implemented the parketing method at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and met with the same success, and we also made sure that our logo-laden trucks were parked some place highly visible at night. Even potential repair costs due to vandalism are far outweighed by the free marketing exposure you’ll get.
It’s a Wrap
The best part of parketing is that technological advances have made it easier than ever to have awesome-looking graphics wrapped around your vehicle for cheap, often only for a few thousand dollars.
And you know what? These wraps get noticed.
The American Trucking Association’s study, The Visual Impact of Trucks in Traffic, showed:
- 96 percent noticed truck-side ads
- 98 percent said fleet graphics created a positive image for the company
- 96 percent said fleet graphics had more impact than billboards
- 75 percent of people developed an impression about a company and its products
- 29 percent would base a buying decision on the impression
At one of the lowest costs per customer impression and one of the highest retention rates, vehicle advertising is the one marketing tactic you might be missing in your goal to drive your brand to the head of the pack.