If you don’t have graphics on your fleet vehicles, no advertising, call to actions, or branding — I’m certain you have a good reason. But if you need an answer when marketing people ask you why your cars and trucks are blank canvases, you can use one of these 10. Here are the top ten reasons not to wrap your commercial vehicle.

The Top Ten Reasons NOT To Wrap Your Commercial Vehicle

10 You carry gold and diamonds in your trucks and don’t want to advertise their location to would be thieves
9 You could pay for 3-4 ads in your local newspaper for what vehicle graphics would cost
8 It seems every vehicle on the road is sharing a message. You want to stand out by saying nothing
7 You’ve always done well using radio ads, why would you need to advertise on your fleet too?
6 Vehicle advertising is overrated; you use door-to-door canvassers and cold call telemarketers for lead generation
5 Your uncle’s brother-in-law in Wyoming had graphics on his plumbing truck, and he went out of business
4 You’ve never had graphics, why start now?
3 Your TV affiliate representative convinced you to spend the money advertising on local TV during wrestle mania
2 Who needs all this modern stuff anyway? Phooey to web sites, social media, vehicle graphics
1 You’ve thought about it, but don’t know where to begin

The Truth

“You’ve never wrapped your fleet. Your vehicles are an empty canvas. You’ve justified this by telling yourself you only have four trucks, or it cost too much, or you don’t have time to deal with it or… quit making excuses. So what if you only have four trucks, effective graphics can make it look like a fleet of 50. Suddenly it seems as if your vehicles are everywhere. And, it’s a fact that wraps pay for themselves. You say you don’t have time? Do you spend any time on marketing? If so vehicle graphics is where you should spend it, that is if you want the most cost effective use of your advertising dollar.” — Why Your Fleet Graphics Suck 

It’s Past Time to Begin

“Unless you live off the grid, never drive, and don’t visit the city. You know there is a lot of advertising on vehicles these days. Most company vehicles share graphics, from cut decals to full wraps. Vehicle graphics have been added to the brand unification checklist for most marketing initiatives and for good reason. Vehicle graphics reach ninety-five percent of Americans and have a lower cost per impression than most other forms of advertising including: Television, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, and Billboards.” -– No Excuse not to Advertise on your Vehicle.

Where to Begin

Support your brand

“Your graphics should help tell your brand’s story and reflect your brand’s identity. Keep your graphics on message with branding that is consistently applied across your fleet. Even if there are variations in design, it is important to stay on brand and communicate the same overarching story. When wrapping your fleet, use consistent themes, colors and/or images to create comparable appearances. This helps increase brand recognition and provides more impactful reinforcement to your audience.” — 3M – Tips to maximize your wrap’s impact

Know what message you want to deliver

“Time and money can be saved if you come to a designer knowing what you want. You don’t have to know the exact design you want, but you do need to understand what you want to accomplish. When you’re uncertain as to your priorities, it can be a process that drags on with the time clock ticking.” — 7 Ways to Save Money on Vehicle Graphics

“Do not sign and therefore approve a layout until every member of your team who has the authority to approve or disapprove the layout has reviewed it. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced producing an approved layout to learn a senior executive didn’t like it and wanted it changed.” — How to Proof Your Vehicle Graphics Layout so it Doesn’t Cost You Time and Money

Think about color, contrast, and your vehicle

“What color should I wrap my business vehicle is a good question. When choosing colors for your vehicle graphics, it may not be what color, but how colors of both the vehicle and your graphics contrast. Using poorly contrasted colors reduces the impact of vehicle advertising. Poorly chosen hues, designs that hide the message, and colors that don’t match your brand waste your marketing dollars. One should first consider the brand, logo, and vehicle colors.” — FAQ: What Color Should I Wrap My Business Vehicle?

Share the vehicle information 

“This includes the make, model, color, options, and add-on equipment of the car or truck. One of the best ways to help a graphic designer serve you and meet your needs, as well as your expectations, is to furnish the designer with accurate and complete specifications in a timely manner.

For example, to say you have a 2020 Ford F150 isn’t enough information. The F150 is available in at least a dozen packages from XL, XLT, and Lariat to the Platinum. They’re available in regular cab, extended cab, two-door, four-door, and with multiple options. One graphic design will not fit all the variations of the 2020 F150.

Other vehicles may vary by offering extended and high roof models, cars can be two or four doors, and trucks, delivery vans, and trailers come in myriad combinations.  So, where do you begin to give the designers the information they need? This simple checklist is a good place to start. It answers the question what does a vehicle graphic designer need to know.” — FAQ: What Does a Vehicle Graphic Designer Need to Know About My Vehicle?

Choose the best material for the job

Next comes choosing the best materials for your specific vehicle graphics process. There are different adhesive vinyl graphics material designed for varying uses. “Vinyl begins as Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), then additives create the vinyl film used to wrap vehicles. Plasticizers are added for flexibility, pigment is added for color. Then UV absorbers and heat stabilizers are added to create a vinyl that will conform to a vehicle’s shape and withstand the elements. Cast, or “premium vinyl,” is a process similar to making a cake. Ingredients are mixed and solvents are added, and then poured into a casting sheet, which is baked, allowing the solvents to evaporate.

This process makes a very flexible, thin, shrink-resistant material. Another manufacturing option is the calendar or economy process. In this method, ingredients are mixed, but solvents aren’t added. Like pizza dough, the vinyl is rolled and stretched into the desired shape. This material is thicker and having been stretched, it tends to shrink.” — Are There Different Adhesive Vinyl Graphics Materials

Hire professional installers

There are two primary vehicle graphics installation certification programs. Installation PDAA (Professional Decal Application Alliance) which is administered by SGIA (Specialty Graphics Imaging Association), and UASG (United Application Standards Group), through 3M. “The UASG stands for United Application Standards Group. It is the country’s leading group of professional graphic installers – proven and tested to be the best in the business. The UASG has distinguished itself by being the first organization of its kind to require every decal installer to meet high standards of professionalism and installation skill.” — How to Find the Best Vehicle Graphics Installers

Do Not Pass Go, Start Here.

If you’ve thought about vehicle graphics but have put it on the back burner because you don’t know where to start—then Contact Us. We’ll be happy to get you started. As the 60’s rock band, Steppenwolf, said, “Get your motor runnin’ head out on the highway, looking for adventure, with graphics on your ride” I’m pretty sure those are the words.