Vehicle Graphics: Your Moving Sales Magnets
Here’s something fun for you to chew on.
A single truck with a wrap or other form of graphics can, and almost inevitably will generate in the ballpark of 16 million visual impressions in a year.*
Here’s a few stats from possibly the best study on the subject:*
► 97% of survey participants remembered the ad on the truck.
► 96% said fleet graphics made more of an impact than billboards.
► 98% said the ads build a positive image of the advertiser.
Let’s Start With Brand Exposure
Peacocks are nature’s best moving ads. Like you, they want to spread their brand to every corner of the earth.
By attracting attention. They’re big. Bold. Colorful and brilliant.
They stand out.
Like a good ad should.
If you want to be successful, give your vehicles the same strategy.
Those shiny big-birds don’t beg for attention. They just get it. Because of their design.
Not the Better Business Bureau.
Make your graphic Big, Bold and Bright. And if you’re feeling froggy, throw in a Beautiful for a 4-B vehicle graphic.
Outside-the-box in a peacocky, purple cow sort of way. That’s what we’re going for.
The cars surrounding you should be gritty little clumps of mud next to your shiny gold nugget of a moving graphic.
Here’s how to create a winning vehicle graphic.
You’re Designing for Your Customer Not Yourself
Design your wrap for your target customer. It doesn’t matter how cool you think it looks if it doesn’t work for your target customer.
Solidify Your Brand, Then Design
Your brand message should be completely fleshed out before you spend money on any advertising. Vehicle wraps are no exception. If your brand’s focus is muddled, your wrap won’t work. Everything on your vehicle should communicate your brand — your colors, logo, font, and message. What are your colors? Are they bright and different? Do you have a logo you are proud of? Do you have a standard across all print mediums that looks the same?
Don’t Spend More Than You Need To
The best thing about vehicle graphics, is how cost effective it can be.
Here’s some solid advice from Trace George, CEO of VSP Graphics. He says, “3M, MACtac, Arlon, Avery, and Oracal are the best-known fleet graphic manufacturers available to contact through their websites,”* but keep this in mind.
You may have local shops near you who can do a great job despite their limited on-hand materials. Make sure to shop around to keep your costs down. Calendared vinyls, for example, are less expensive than cast vinyls, so you can save some decent cash there. But be warned – there’s trade offs.
Same goes for laminating. You can opt for NOT laminating the vehicle before wrapping, and that’ll help save you some cash, but make sure you’re using specialty materials like matte colors, chrome, or carbon fiber, and you understand both sides of the coin.
More than anything, your wrap company needs to work with you to find the best value while respecting your budget.
Call around. Ask for a free quote. You’ll learn a lot.
If they try to push you into high-cost solutions without keeping your budget in mind, drop them like a hat.
Choose the Most Effective Colors
Do people associate certain colors with love, aggression, trust, greed? Sure. But there’s one thing that matters much more than all of that: Does it stand out? Yep. That’s first and foremost.
If your design stands out, you’re halfway there.
Those should be your top priorities, and then the poorly understood element of color psychology.
Realistically, almost any color is going to have some kind of positive connotation attached to it. So as long as you’re not boring people to death with gray or something, you’re probably good. Again, bright and bold is what we’re shooting for. Like a peacock.
Take Bob Hamilton for example. See how easy that van is to see from a distance? The font is simple and clear. The most important pieces of information are big, front and center. Wherever the eye most naturally tracks to first, that’s where the most important info should be.
Cut the Fluff
Reduce your text down to the bare minimum. Just enough to get your message across.
Too much text dilutes your message and it’s visually unappealing to boot. The last generation or two has record-breaking attention spans, and not in your favor.
Try reading your vehicle’s message out loud while timing yourself. If it takes more than 3-4 seconds, consider chopping some text.
Fit Your Wrap Style – Or Don’t
Matching your wrap style with your vehicle is usually a good idea. Matching it with your brand? ALWAYS a good idea. If you’re dressing up a small vehicle, consider a fun, cute style of wrap. A bold, rugged wrap goes good with a big truck or SUV. And then there’s the other option.
Don’t. If you pull it off right, styling your wrap to the opposite of what people expect can attract the most attention. It’s called juxtaposition, if you’re into fancy words.
The Ultimate List of Vehicle Wrap Do’s and Don’ts
DON’T – Design your graphic before you know what the vehicle looks like, and have a template.
DO – Take good pictures of the vehicle to be wrapped, and check it against your template.
DON’T – Clutter your vehicle with too much stuff. If creativity trumps clarity, you’ve lost the battle.
Do – Go with your gut for the first draft(s). Let your creative side go nuts, then whip out some good old-fashioned logic and reason to edit away the crazy. Believe me, it’ll make a huge difference.
Don’t – Ignore the roof. When you’re wrapping a vehicle don’t forget the roof. Placing graphics and text on the roof may not produce as many views as the rest of the vehicle but it can still be worth doing. This is particularly effective if you work in areas with a lot of tall buildings where people will be looking down at the vehicle.
DO – Communicate well with your design team to make sure your design will play well with the vehicle.
DON’T – Expect people to see only one or two sides or perspectives of your vehicle.
DO – Plan on people viewing your vehicle from all sides – even consider the top of your vehicle.
DON’T – Put little words or graphics on top of ridges on the vehicle.
DO – Leave plenty of room between text and your logo, and avoid awkward spacing.
DON’T – Choose graphics, text, or font styles just because you like how it looks.
DO – Keep it super simple. Again, clarity should always take the first priority. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention, hold it, and get your message across. Loading your design with too much info is like forcing people to drink from a fire hydrant. Not effective.
DON’T – Ignore the importance of whitespace.
DO – Be okay with being different. Even very different. Think about it this way. It’s not just peacocks — just about any bird you can think of has a boldly colored mate, and a more camouflaged mate. Blood-red Cardinals, sky-blue Bluebirds, pumpkin-Orange Orioles – the male stands out the most and gets all of the attention.
Sounds kind of unfair doesn’t it? Of course, he’s also the first to get eaten by the neighborhood cat too. So there’s that.
There are two major instincts at war with each other here — standing out to get more attention vs blending in to hide from predators.
Standing out wins every time for the male birds, and it should for your vehicle too.
Considering the thousands of eyes that follow your vehicle ad every year, it’s really one of the cheapest and most effective forms of advertisement you can get.
And that’s it for today.
I’ll see you in the next one!