do it outdoors media will celebrate its 20th anniversary next fall. A lot has changed since those humble beginnings, when our debonair and fearless leaders went door to door promoting our mobile billboards – and even drove them, themselves!
But one partner has been by our side since the early days: Impressive Signs.
“We can depend on Impressive Signs for all of our vehicle wrap and signage needs,” says VP National Field Marketing Rick Pace. “They always do high quality work, even when we’re asking for quick turnarounds or the never-before-done. Their customer service and responsiveness is hard to beat.”
Much like Apple, Disney, Harley Davidson and Nike, Impressive Signs started in a garage. Today, they’re in a 6,000 square foot location with seven employees, most who have been there for 20 or more years. Mike Montgomery and his wife run the business, and enjoy that every day brings something different. The team now letters or wraps a vehicle almost every day of the year.
And based on some of the employee pictures Montgomery shared, it looks like the team would be fun at a party!
“Our partnership with do it outdoors started with truck lettering, then it’s grown from there,” explains Montgomery. “Your campaigns keep us on our toes, but we appreciate the steady flow of work.”
We are strong believers in the power of vehicle advertising. Based on USDOT national historic traffic counts and recent Geopath studies, most in the industry estimate daily impressions during an 8-hour drive time in top markets at 66,000 for full fleet wraps and 55,000 for dual-sided vehicle ads. Even in smaller markets, vehicle ads can earn 20 – 30,000 impressions daily.
“We also wrap your armored vehicles,” adds Montgomery. “They’re interesting. Customers really like seeing these at our shop.”
Sometimes, we bring unconventional projects to Montgomery’s team. Like the time we asked them to wrap a dump truck.
Much like mobile billboards, specialty vehicles offer a lot of great benefits. They grab attention and communicate a brand’s personality.
“If an advertising campaign demands a vehicle, we do recommend a wrap,” says Montgomery. “Vehicle wraps are more expensive than lettering, but my customers are surprised by how many more calls they get when their vehicle has at least a partial wrap.”
Vehicle wraps can be full wraps (entire vehicle) or partial wraps (where a half wrap or quarter wrap describe the percentage of the vehicle that gets covered).
We drive vehicles along highly targeted routes as an advertising medium, but oftentimes, they also serve a purpose on our multi-market promotional tours. Bringing the brand with us on the road adds impressions for the brand and raises awareness of the marketing campaign. And the vehicles provide transportation and storage for campaign assets.
“You want your tour vehicle to represent your brand and project the campaign’s image precisely,” explains Pace. “The roadshow vehicle is the main creative; it needs to convey your messaging and tie into the rest of your objectives.”
Designing the creative can be challenging.
“Every vehicle is different, so the design must flow with the body of that vehicle,” says Montgomery. “It is hard to make a design flow from one side – around the top and back – to the other side. The design gets weird around the corners. The computer screen is flat. The cars are not.”
A Segway shield is a big curved shape, making it a little tricky, as well.
“First, we have to work with the designer to get the artwork into a file we can work with. Then the graphic is printed on a large printing machine, then run through a laminator for extra protection,” Montgomery explains. “The printed graphic gets applied to the vehicle.”
For our Segways, the material used is one that can be removed easily, as we’re always changing out creative based on the campaign that is running. For vehicles, Impressive Signs uses a 3M material that conforms well to curves and indentations. The main ingredients are ink, vinyl and lamination. Wraps can be removed without damage to the vehicle, as well.
“Removing a vehicle wrap isn’t fun at all,” laughs Montgomery. “But we can completely peel off the vinyl. Sometimes we use heat or steam to aid in the removal. If there is adhesive left, we have a special chemical that removes it quite well.”
In addition to vehicles, the team at Impressive Signs has wrapped ice chests, book drops, golf carts, walls, old tractors, vintage gas pumps, etc. They also create all types of signs, including 3D logos for office walls and custom exterior signs. They recently completed a giant mural at a movie theater and have been involved in “off the wall projects,” too, such as a 12′ tall gear display.
Our specialty vehicles really do range from any type of vehicle you can imagine: buses, sprinter vans, food trucks, VW bugs, electric cars and even boats. When it comes to the future of advertising, Montgomery thinks that vans and cars will continue to be used for years to come.
“But someday,” he predicts, “we’ll see personal aircraft, drones…some day.”