Thursday, April 12, 2007

What does that car say??

Every day, I have to walk up a dozen or so stairs around one of the busiest places on campus. Yesterday, upon climbing those stairs, I noticed a van to my left. The van was not your typical mini-van though - it was a Coca-Cola van! It was just sitting there in the parking lot with no one in the driver's seat. It was very cool, I first thought, then realized I was a victim to some subtle product placement. Ironically, the van was located at one of the busiest spots on campus and was just sitting there. It was indeed red with the big Coca-Cola logo stamped on the side doors with little logos surrounding the rest of the van. I decided to look into vehicle wraps as a form of product placement and I found some interesting results...

Obviously, covering a vehicle in bright colors, unique shapes, or appealing messages will be seen by many people. According to this article, car advertising is a "new and noticeable" means of street marketing that "gets the brand to places where traditional media fail to reach—the residential street, the workplace, the school." Michael Lyons, founder of AdsOnCars service in the UK , states that "If [car advertising] is done correctly people, don't only see these cars, they actually stop and stare and talk about it later. On your trip to work you may pass a hundred posters. But if you see a wrapped car I'll wager that will be what you remember." Ithaca College can definitely be a difficult place to reach students, so I think Coke did a good job of bringing the van to campus. It is very important to stimulate brand awareness and recall in unexpected ways, and I think the van did the trick.

Most importantly, vehicle wrapping is very, very cost effective. Billboard advertising can cost anywhere from $600 to $2400 per month. On the other hand, a "fully-wrapped" company van costs only "$3500 - with a high-quality wrap that can last up to five years." An average wrap has about 8 million impressions in a year, so if you were to do the math, having that van or car for five years with your brand name vividly plastered on the side has a value that is huge!!! Sounds like a great product placement outlet for me!!!

I never was aware at how great vehicle advertising was. It is one of the cheapest and most effective means of marketing and I will keep it in mind once I enter the marketing world. Take a trip around these websites that specialize in vehicle wrapping. Some of the work they have done is really neat and definitely would get me talking!

No comments: