Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

Vehicle graphics build a brand fast

Vehicle graphics are free roving billboards

And more organizations that own company vehicles are using this free medium now that graphics are easier to apply. Yet so many are not taking full advantage of the power of their brand and message.

Statistics show that car graphics and TV ads were the top two most memorable mediums, while 48% of those polled* viewed vehicle graphics as the most unique advertising medium available.  Yet the cost of vehicle graphics is much lower than television ads. So why aren’t more businesses making full use of this low-cost communication channel?
*Cox Communications/Eagle Research

Go beyond the logo and phone number

Think about a great billboard. Now consider how your message will build the brand and entice attention, on a vehicle. It’s standard procedure to add a logo, or even add the phone number and website.

But when the focus shifts from labeling the car, truck or van with the company information … to creating an eye-catching ad for the company, new audiences are reached. People notice and respond. Major companies such as McDonalds and Boise Cascade have made good use of their semi-trucks, showcasing appetite-teasing photos of hamburgers, or peeling up a corner to show paper products.

A few eye-popping statistics to confirm the power of vehicle graphics (from relidy.com)

  • Vehicle graphics reach more consumers at a lower CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) than ALL other forms of outdoor advertising. (billboards, signage, etc.)
  • Studies show an average vehicle wrap can deliver over 2,500 impressions per dollar spent on the graphics.
  • The average vehicle driven 15,000 miles per year will pass in front of 9,000,000 vehicles
  • A vehicle wrap can generate between 30,000 – 70,000 impressions daily
  • Vehicle graphics boost name recognition 15 times greater than other forms of outdoor advertising

Local companies–from telecommunications to HVAC to mobile shredding services have used the power of branded vehicle graphics. In fact, we have companies like these cut investments in yellow pages or other advertising mediums in favor of low-cost vehicle graphics. And they have each seen a big payoff.

Here are two examples:

Garten Services

When Garten Services upgraded their mobile shredding services with a new truck, we created truck graphics that told a story in a compelling way.

We illustrated the volume of shredding with a statistic to create a picture in the mind of the reader–enough paper shredded to “stack higher than five Mt. Hoods.” We wanted people to read it and think “wow!”

The result? 50 new shredding accounts in the first three months the truck was on the road. The drivers are constantly armed with business cards because there are so many requests for information. Years later, the service has expanded, there are more shred trucks, and the statistics are even larger.

Canby Telcom

Canby Telcom fleet graphicsWhen we rebranded Canby Telcom, we knew their trucks and vans were a vital point of choice in the community. Without changing the color of the current fleet (basic white) our job was to create graphics to bring attention to the new name and brand. By creating a bold, oversized version of the logo on one side, and adding information about their services on the other side, we grabbed attention, increased visibility, and communicated the scope of services provided.

Initial comments from the community … “wow, we’re seeing you everywhere, do you have a lot of new vans?”

No, no new trucks, just new graphics in a stand-out, can’t miss ’em, fully branded design. Canby Telcom has continued to use the power of their brand on all of the company vehicles. Their business has grown and the community now realizes they don’t have to get their broadband, telephone or television services from the corporate giants like Comcast or Sprint. Instead they can shop local and get just what they need.

Vehicle graphics are an outstanding way to build a brand. Producing and applying the decals or film is also less expensive than it used to be. Branding trucks isn’t just about the art, though, it’s also about the message, and the brand.

If your company has trucks or vans that deliver services, use them as an essential communication channel. Let them tell your story and draw attention to your brand. Turn them into roving, low-cost billboards. They can become one of your most important points of choice.

About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

Another blog post by Jennifer Larsen Morrow.

View Jennifer Larsen Morrow's profile on LinkedIn

Visit Author’s Website


  1. In some states, the presence of a car business advertisement will require you to re-register your car as a commercial vehicle. And depending on your insurance coverage, you may also need to purchase a separate business policy. Be sure to look into both of these before you hit the road 🙂

    • Good point, Barry! And … when your commercial vehicle is a roving billboard, you’re making good use of your marketing dollars and grabbing attention everywhere you go.

  2. Great post. We have seen a huge ROI for clients for the duration of the wrap.

    The one thing we tell clients is that they get to be in front of a massive amount of people without having to pay a monthly fee. One time fee and you have an advertisement that will last years.

    It is a great investment.

    • We couldn’t agree more Jamie! Of course we think the design and message of the graphics can make or break their impact but you’re spot on, it’s a one time fee (well, until you rebrand).

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Working with the right designing company is crucial for establishing your brand quickly. Wraps are very instrumental for creating certain ideas about your brand and will be useful in the future. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Sam! We’re big fans of vehicle graphics. Free billboards!

  4. Great article, really enjoyed the read.
    It’s true that vehicle graphics have a significantly lower cost than TV advertising, and it’s on the vehicle for a much longer time. Compare the cost of an ad spot for a couple of weeks to a vehicle graphic which can last years, and right away you can see the value.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.