So, quit treating fleet graphics as identification they’re advertising! Too often fleet graphics are treated more like identification then as what they should be, which is advertising. Do you think I’m wrong? Have you been involved in fleet graphics? Were they approached from an advertising point of view? Was there a well thought out marketing plan? Was it treated as other forms of advertising are treated or was it more like—identification? I say again, quit treating fleet graphics as identification they’re advertising!

A long, long time ago on vehicles far away…

In the dark ages, before screen print, and certainly before digital printing, fleet graphics may have been more about identification than advertising. I don’t know I wasn’t there, but I’ve seen images from the 1920’s and 30’s of cars and trucks used as rolling billboards even in those days. Today, identification is required by the DOT on several classes of trucks, but that doesn’t mean the graphics can’t include advertising as well. If we looked at fleet graphics as we would other forms of advertising what would we consider?

How to begin your fleet advertising plan

Market Research – It doesn’t have to be expensive. Ask your clients why they’re your clients. What do they appreciate about your service and products? What’s important to them? Their answers will inform you what to advertise on your fleet.

Copy – It’s always good, in any form of advertising, to keep it succinct, short and sweet. Avoid clichés and have some fun with taglines. Be clear and concise, tell your story, and have fun.

Images – A picture is worth a thousand words especially on the side of a truck traveling 55 MPH. Use professional images, no clip art. Ever. Don’t overdo it. Keep it on target and not too busy with images, colors, and copy.

Logo – Do you have a logo? Is it current? If not read this, Six Steps to Creating the Perfect Logo

What would you consider if it was a radio, TV, or print ad?

To begin with, you wouldn’t take a “quick” look at a TV or radio spot, print ad, or billboard, you and your team would spend enough time reviewing the advertisement to verify it’s what you want, and it’s correct. The truth is, every day hundreds of customers of vehicle graphics providers, ask for changes after previously approving the work. The reason is simple; the customer didn’t take the time to properly review it. It wasn’t treated as if it was an advertisement. And when work has to be redone it can be costly.

What problems do you solve? If it were a commercial, you’d advertise how you help your target audience. For example, 24-hour emergency service, money back guarantee, or our technicians wear booties in your home.

Create urgency. Setting time limits on offers sets expediency, however, without frequently changing fleet graphics it’s difficult to do. By suggesting what consumers will avoid by using your product or what they will miss out on by not using your product creates an urgency.

Show credibility. Share your time in business, accreditations, awards, training, or associations to add credibility.

Use a call to action. Be sure all contact information is readily available and easy to read. Your address, phone, and web URL need to stand out. Regardless of how you can help a prospect if they can’t find your contact information in five seconds, you may never get the chance.

Use humor when appropriate. Sometimes the best humor is when you make a little fun of yourself. If it fits your image don’t be afraid of puns or rhymes in your taglines.

Quit treating Fleet Graphics as Identification they’re Advertising!

Lights, Cameras, Action! The next time you consider fleet graphics stop and think about the process as you would other forms of advertisement. Who is your target audience? What action do you want them to take? And how will you communicate the desired action? If you look at fleet graphics for what it is—fleet advertising, and treat it with the respect you show other forms of marketing, you may reap the rewards of a successful advertising campaign. So, again quit treating fleet graphics as identification they’re advertising! Would you like to know how to advertise with your fleet? Contact us; we’ll help your commercial fleet be a “commercial” success.