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The Other Mobile Market | Media Post Magazine by Marc Vigliotti

Daniel Sage thinks he has found advertising's new frontier.

As president of Mobile Ad Marketing in Las Vegas, he has enlisted a fleet of 300,000 commercial trucks and buses eager to earn advertising dollars by becoming mobile billboards. Mobile Ad Marketing launched in June, intent on reaching the 150 million daily commuters on America's roads.

The business will focus on smaller trucks - 20 to 40 feet long - that deliver to 300 markets across the country. Sage hopes to catch the overflow of advertisers who don't want to wait for a good billboard location.

Sage is convinced that his company is at the forefront of something big. Traditional media has seen its reach diminished by today's infinite media options, but Americans still drive as much as ever. The best time to capture an audience may no longer be when they're in the love seat but in the driver's seat.

"We're changing the face of advertising on the street level," Sage says.

"TruckSide Advertising Spawns New Industry"

(Transport Topics / May 28, 2001)

“With outdoor advertising space at a premium, TruckSides serve as readily available, highly affordable mobile billboard.” Fleet trucks are no longer simply delivering products- they’re delivering advertising messages as well. And the popularity of the medium appears to be spawning a cottage industry dedicated to its success. Top

For Fleet owners, TruckSide advertising offers a new revenue stream to help offset rising fuel and operating costs. For a minimal investment, both private fleet trucks and common-carrier fleets can tap into this emerging marketing tool. A carrier may engage in either a fixed fee or profit-sharing arrangement with the advertiser, typically with a media company brokering the deal. Either way, the carrier is able to generate additional income, as long as the advertising message is not a conflict of interest with its mission or that of its clients.

So what is the catalyst fueling this mobile advertising revolution? It is a combination of advances in graphics technology and a new generation of media brokers. The state-of-the art large format digital graphics capabilities that have emerged in recent years are leading the way for media companies that recognize the possibilities that TruckSide advertising represents. These third-party brokers specialize in TruckSide advertising, handling a full slate of duties from market analysis and message development, to graphic design and print production, to installation and removal. Top

One broker assists clients with everything from planning their advertising campaign to producing the graphics. Vaughn Anderson, Roadmark’s operations manager, describes his company’s mission: "We act as liaison between client and fleet operators, managing every detail from start to finish".

With carriers and advertisers busy running their day-to-day business, these companies serve as the go between that keep TruckSide advertising rolling.

In some cases, additional players are involved in the process, providing further separation between the advertiser and the carrier. For example, a company may engage its advertising agency for concept and graphic design. The media broker may also choose to rely on outside printers or output bureaus to help generate the printed graphics. Even outside media analysts can be tapped by the advertiser in order to obtain independent statistics. Top

Whether a third party has all the necessary in -house resources to execute the campaign or elects to involve other vendors, one thing is clear, they are sure to capitalize on advances in printing technology that have made it possible to put clean, crisp, durable graphics onto vehicles within reasonable time frames and budgets.

Currently, there are two techniques being used to create TruckSide advertising - self-adhesive graphics and vinyl graphics combined with a framing system.

Traditionally, the most common technology for fleet graphics has been an adhesive technology typically used for longer commitments. This self adhesive vinyl "wrap" is a single-graphic image that can remain on the vehicle for up to 5 years, the king of longevity sought by business partners agreeing upon a long-term relationship. It is the preferred solution for messages that are likely to remain static over time.

The main source of these advanced adhesive technologies is 3M CORP., which has developed top quality products that cover trucks with wear resistant, high resolution graphics. 3M’s Scotchprint Matched Component System utilizes the company’s exclusive, specially formulation materials to deliver vibrant colors with high durability. Top

The Graphics Division of Avery Dennison Corp. is another technology provider for self-adhesive graphics products, offering pressure-sensitive cast-vinyl films that are designed specifically for vehicle applications.

Also known as "mural graphics," these wraps can be produced both digitally and via screen printing, depending upon the quantities required. Printers simply take the clients’ artwork and output a full sheet reproduction on vehicle vinyls and apply the graphics to the entire surface of the vehicle -sides, rear, windows and moldings.

Vendors abound for the production of self-adhesive fleet graphics.California fleet graphics provider Y3K Decal Graphix, which specializes in digitally produces high-resolution large-format printing, is a prototypical example. With clients ranging from small business to Fortune 500 companies around the country, Y3K can ship these vehicle wraps to a nationwide network of certified installers to expedite installation. Y3K uses a 300-600 dots-per-inch HP INK JET for short-term projects and a SOLVENT INK JET for long-term graphics expected to last five years or more. Both printers produce up to a 54-inces-wide, large format output.

Adhesive graphics are now being challenged by a newer solution consisting of a lightweight vinyl tarpaulin combined with a framing system. This system allows full-color graphics to be printed and inserted into the frame, rather than adhered directly to the truck. Also known as flex-face vinyl, this slide-in slide-out system is generally used for short-term engagements - one main distinction from self-adhesive graphics.

"By drastically reducing printing production costs, and requiring an installation or removal time of only 30 minutes, Side Track allows simple graphic change-outs for seasonal or time-sensitive messages." MediaVehicles CEO Keith Rinzler says "it was designed to be the lightest weight, lowest cost system available".

Transport Bulletins also offers a banner framing system that allows the installation of changeable signs. These hardware kits are designed to fit nearly every straight truck and semi-trailer manufactured. The company works with brokers, imaging companies and directly with advertisers to outfit trucks with this durable framing system. With a proliferation of large format printers operating in markets around the country, advertisers can obtain printing independently and utilize the Transport Bulletins system to frame the vinyl output. Top

Framing has become a viable option because it requires less fleet downtime than do adhesive technologies and allows the graphics to be reused. Transport Bulletins points out several other advantages afforded by the framing system. Installation is quick, requiring approximately two labor hours to complete. In addition to reduced downtime, framing systems offer easy installation in any weather, and the ability to make changeovers while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded. Furthermore, the framing system protects the vehicle body as well as the underlying decals of institutional fleet graphics. The image covers the entire vehicle from side to top, creating more surface area for advertising.

NUR AMERICA offers a solution know as Nurfleet, which combines large format digital inkjet imaging with specially developed pigment inks, vinyl and two-component clear coating to create aesthetically pleasing, long lasting fleet graphics. Recently NUR began partnering with Sign Now to produce its national media program, which makes available a nation wide inventory of 10,000 trucks and buses to advertisers. Geva Barash, vice president of sales for NUR America, calls the arrangement an opportunity to capitalize on the "large and untapped market for fleet graphics." NUR also offers a self-adhesive version of Nurfleet.

Whether the output media are a vinyl banner for use in a framing system or a self-adhesive product applied directly to the vehicle, there is more than one printing option available. The traditional screen printing method provides up to 300 dpi full-color graphics. But the long setup time and lack of flexibility have opened the door for other technologies that have made fleet graphics more time-and-cost-effective. Top

As mentioned earlier, the most important advance in recent years is large format digital printing, which is essentially the use of a giant ink jet printer. Achieving high resolution at expanded sizes was a breakthrough that has had enormous impact on the fleet graphics industry. Consequently, it is the dominant printing technology in use.

Another emerging option for generating fleet graphics is thermal transfer printing, a process that delivers affordable, durable outdoor graphics without the need for lamination. This technology - a process of transferring ink from a coated ribbon to a substrate using thermal print head - is used in lieu of screen printing for short run applications because of its quickness, flexibility and ease of use. Thermal transfer offers minimal setup time, speed of output (up to 900 sq. ft. per hour), exceptional durability, low cost per image and media flexibility.

No matter the technique, no matter the technology, advertisers and carriers engaging in TruckSide advertising relationships are clearly on the road to mutual pr9fits.

The advantages of this alternative marketing medium are many, for both advertisers and carriers. With outdoor advertising space at a premium, TruckSides serve as readily available, highly affordable mobile billboard. Companies of all shapes and sizes benefit from the high number of consumer impressions this medium creates. Flexible time commitments, high visual impact, and precise repeatability are among the many benefits that have drawn advertisers to TruckSides. On top of all this, companies can pinpoint their target audiences by aligning their demographics with the carrier’s modes of operation - whether local, regional or national.

"TruckSide Advertising Has Research on its Side"

OAAA and Media Life / April, 2000 Top

TruckSide advertising, is pointing to the results of a new independent study as evidence of the effectiveness of the medium.

The benchmark study, conducted by National Family Opinion for the market research firm known as The Singer Group, reveals that TruckSide advertising campaign implemented for computer marketer PeoplePC created a 30% increase in awareness within the test market.

The research study, involving more than 50 adults, compared the opinions of people in Minneapolis who were exposed to the PeoplePC campaign via print, broadcast, traditional outdoor and TruckSide advertising vs. those of people from Detroit who received all of the same messages except for the TruckSide ads.

TruckSide Advertising Homepage
Perhaps the most significant statistic yielded by the study is that 52% of people in the target demographic reported increased awareness of the campaign as a result of seeing the TruckSide ads. The research also showed a 54% increase in the number of people who considered PeoplePC when buying their next computer-precisely the type of response advertisers seek.

Because of the unique venue in which TruckSide ads reach consumers, in shopping centers, on streets and in their neighborhoods, TruckSide ads are able to heighten awareness for advertisers in ways that TV, radio, newspaper and magazine, and even billboard ads can't. Top

That widely held belief has now evolved from common sense optimism into measurable fact with the results of the PeoplePC study. Mark Barden, president of marketing for PeoplePC, cited this distinction as the impetus for conducting the study: "we had anecdotal evidence of the campaign's success, but wanted to quantify the impact of TruckSide advertising in very measurable terms."

This new study provides not only quantifiable results, buy key qualitative information as well. According to the numbers, 56% of respondents said that when they see an ad on the side of a truck, they perceive the company to be a successful one. Another 67% said they believe the advertised product is bought and used by their neighbors.

"For the past few years, TruckSide advertising has been promoted based on cost effectiveness and ability to enter markets where conventional out -of-home advertising methods are limited or unavailable, "Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) said, "Now there's conclusive proof of TruckSide's value as a powerful marketing tool that impacts awareness, attitudes and opinions."

With this type of had data validating the gut feeling that TruckSide advertising is a viable method of making impressions on sought-after consumers, the medium stands to become an even hotter commodity than it already is. And carriers are seeing their bottom lines expand with every number that is crunched. Top

( Source: OAAA and Media Life "Delivering Brand by the Truck Loads" )

"Truckside Companies Keep on Rollin"

Early last year (see Truck Advertisers Drive into the Future), the OAAA announced its formation of the Truckside Advertising Council of America (TACA) to serve the needs of mobile advertisers. Transit messages -- typically affixed to moving vehicles or positioned in key transit areas -- are becoming increasingly popular among outdoor advertisers. As reported in Signs of the Time's October 2000 issue, transit ads, along with street furniture, are the outdoor industry's second most popular form of out-of-home advertising. Top

The dazzling graphics and high-tech imagery used on trucks today are garnering local and national media attention. Many brands, including McDonald's, Saab, the Texas Lottery and Sprint PCS, have successfully implemented truckside-advertising and mobile-billboard campaigns in the past 18 months to reach their target audiences where they work, play and congregate.

Offering unprecedented cost efficiency, truckside advertising incorporates new tracking systems that measure impressions/performance and enable advertisers to assess campaign effectiveness.

Truckside advertising uniquely matches advertisers with third-party urban delivery trucks and over-the-road conveyance or freight trucks. Also known as "pure advertising," mobile billboards serve short-term, promotional purposes. They are typically found on flat-panel, advertising-dedicated trucks. Top

Due to the increasing popularity of truckside and mobile-billboard advertising, several new outdoor media companies offer national coverage, as well as an array of service and production options. While some firms provide adhesive-vinyl applications, others offer framing systems that use a welded-beading/aluminum-frame track process and allow the use of non-adhesive vinyl substrates. Both processes boast appealing benefits with photorealistic output of more than 150 dpi. Top

In a December 2000 milestone, the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement (TAB) launched its new truckside media measurement methodology.

According to OAAA chief marketing officer Stephen Freitas, "Outdoor advertising is experiencing unprecedented growth in resources and revenue, and truckside advertising plays a key role in fueling this growth by providing advertisers an important new planning option."

"Marrying basic advertising with technology to drive truckside and mobile-billboard mapping and measurement is a complete value-added benefit," says Mark Freeman, a truckside advertiser and president of the Chicago Downtown Owner/Operator Committee. "The photo quality and food-focus of our Chicago trucks is ideal for driving impulse purchases -- the core of our downtown business," Mark continues. Top

The images showcased here are examples of this outdoor-advertising media format.(Source - Signweb.com)

"Outdoor Media Plays Critical Role in Media Mix - Arbitron Study Reveals"

Courtesy Arbitron / September 09, 2001 Top

“According to the study, media that target vehicle drivers/passengers reach 96 percent of Americans weekly and outdoor media that target pedestrian traffic reach 79 percent weekly.” Whether targeted to pedestrians or vehicle drivers/passengers, outdoor media have the power to reach today's mobile consumers, according to a new outdoor media consumer study conducted by Arbitron Inc. Particularly, outdoor media can play a critical role in a media plan by reaching consumers who are not exposed to either newspaper or local television news. The study also underscored outdoor media's compatibility with radio, which also has the ability to reach people out-of-home, close to the point of purchase. Indeed, these two media classes move in lockstep with each other; the greater the time spent with outdoor media, the greater the time spent with radio.

The Arbitron Outdoor Study was designed to examine the media habits of America's pedestrians, vehicle drivers and passengers, and commuters. To conduct the study, Arbitron surveyed 2003 consumers aged 18 and older by phone.

Among the study's findings are that Americans are more mobile than ever. For instance, Americans reported traveling an average of 302 miles in a vehicle in the past seven days. Not surprisingly, much of this travel is devoted to going to and from work, with the average daily, round-trip commute clocking in at 54 minutes. Pedestrian traffic has also stepped up across the country with eight out of ten Americans reporting that they have walked in any town, city or downtown in the past seven days.

With so much motion in the marketplace, the study quickly revealed the power of out-of-home media to reach America's increasingly elusive consumers. According to the study, media that targets vehicle drivers/passengers reach 96 percent of Americans weekly and outdoor media that target pedestrian traffic reach 79 percent weekly. These findings are especially important because of the inverse correlation between time spent traveling and exposure to other local media. According to the study, heavy commuters spend 19 percent less time reading newspapers and are less likely to be reached by local TV newscasts, especially the local evening news.

In addition, three new consumer groups emerged from the study: Mega-Milers (29 percent of consumers who represent 77 percent of all miles traveled by vehicle), Power- Pedestrians (the 21 percent of Americans who generate 83 percent of all miles walked) and Super-Commuters (the 24 percent of Americans who spend nearly two hours a day getting to and from work). Mega-Milers and Super-Commuters tend to be upscale, educated and more likely to be married with children than the national average. Power-Pedestrians, on the other hand, tend to be younger, single and from each end of the income spectrum. Top

"The emergence of these groups confirms that outdoor media not only have significant reach, but they also can generate extremely significant frequency of exposure among heavy commuters and vehicle drivers/passengers," notes Nancy Fletcher, president, Outdoor Advertising Association of America. "We're delighted that Arbitron has developed this insightful and valuable study, which will help marketers to better understand the full capabilities of the outdoor medium."

Another important finding of the study is that over one-third of Americans shop near work. Among those who work full-time, 62 percent say they shop closer to home and 35 percent indicate they shop equally near home/work or shop most at work. "This indicates that advertisers cannot just target consumers who live near their retail locations; they must also consider the sizable group of consumers who shop near work when constructing their media plans," says Jacqueline Noel, director, sales and marketing, Arbitron Outdoor. "By examining the results of the study, marketers can identify out-of-home media that have the ability reach the working crowd, as well as gain important insight into outdoor advertising's role in the overall media mix." Top

Nielsen Delivers Chicago Outdoor Data to GOAC

Katy Bachman / OCTOBER 12, 2005 Top

Nielsen Outdoor announced Wednesday it had delivered its first outdoor ratings for the Chicago market to its Global Outdoor Advisory Committee, a group of advertisers, agencies, and media owners who helped design and evaluate Nielsen’s GPS-based outdoor ratings service.

As initial investors in the Chicago service, the GOAC members, including Starcom MediaVest Group, Universal McCann, Mindshare, Mediacom, Clear Channel, JCDecaux, Lamar, Viacom, Van Wagner, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Traffic Audit Bureau, will have exclusive access to the data for planning and marketing purposes before Nielsen will market the data to new subscribers after Nov. 21.

To measure outdoor exposure, Nielsen recruited 750 consumers to carry small, cell-phone-sized GPS devices called Npods while they travel on foot or in cars. That travel log data was then linked with the daily effective circulation figures from the Traffic Audit Bureau to give estimates for consumer exposure to about 13,000 outdoor faces in the Chicago market. Top

The outdoor industry has been working towards the development of a reliable ratings service since 2002, when Arbitron conducted the first outdoor ratings test in Atlanta, releasing data the from the test in Oct. 2003. While Arbitron tabled its service last year, Nielsen has since forged ahead with Chicago and hopes to work with the GOAC in rolling out additional markets in the U.S.

“It is now time for the outdoor industry to have a comparable currency with the other measured media to enable us to seriously consider outdoor in our media planning schedules and marketing mix models,” said Kate Sirkin, executive vp global research director for Starcom. “We encourage the industry to embrace outdoor ratings by actively pursuing not only the general Chicago data release in a couple of months, but a commitment to encourage the accelerated rollout of additional markets with Nielsen Outdoor.” Top

At the same time Nielsen, owned by Mediaweek parent VNU, pursues its survey-based outdoor ratings service, the Traffic Audit Bureau is working with its members to develop a census-based outdoor ratings currency building on the TAB’s DEC figures.

“To have valid outdoor research, you need the foundation of the DECs, the refinement of the visibility adjustment indice (“likely to see” measure), and travel surveys,” said Joe Philport, president for the TAB. “Travel surveys alone are limited because of instability. In order to produce reliable ratings in the U.S. to measure the large number of faces across a wide geography you need immense samples.”

The TAB recently issued a request for proposal to 20 companies, including Arbitron and Nielsen, for a methodology to add demographic and reach and frequency data to DEC estimates. Earlier this year, the TAB awarded a contract to GfKNOP to develop visibility adjustment indices, the “likely to see” measure that will applied to the TAB’s DEC figures by fall 2006. The TAB hopes to award a contract for this next phase by March 2006.

"Nielsen Outdoor will be responding to the [TAB’s] RFP request. Right now, we are continuing to negotiate with the US outdoor industry with the intention to deliver what is best solution for all stakeholders,” said a Nielsen statement.

The outdoor industry, one of the few media this year showing robust advertising growth, is keeping its ratings options open. “There are many global alternatives being explored and developed,” said Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer for the OAAA. “The outdoor industry isn’t committed yet to a single approach.” Top

"A Moving Experience" | Beverage World / June 15, 2003

Bev Solutions: In the FieldCase Study: “A Moving Experience” by Andrew Kaplan

Any marketer will tell you that it’s become harder than ever to reach a targeted demographic group with advertising campaigns. Audiences have simply become too fragmented as cable channels and the Web pull viewers away from the networks and print media.Aware of this, the marketers of SABMiller’s upscale flavored malt beverage Skyy Blue decided to take their brand directly to those consumers most likely to drink it – literally. The brand launched a mobile ad campaign that has its eye-catching, high quality creative appearing on 22 by 10 foot ads up and down the streets of six U.S. cities: Miami, San Diego, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

“They drive through the cities, but we also provide directions on certain areas that are appropriate to visit,” says Skyy Blue’s brand manager, Laura Emory. “We can suggest that certain nightlife areas would be a good fit for the mobile billboards, and that way we are able to reach the legal drinking age consumer in that nightlife environment.

”The mobile ad campaign has been organized by the New York City-based Mobile Ad Group. Sam Kaplan, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, says it takes two forms: one on the side of actual delivery trucks and the other on mobile billboards that, like they sound, are simply billboards on wheels. “What’s really interesting about this medium is that we can use third-party trucking companies to carry the message, turning them into a virtual fleet of delivery trucks for that product,” Kaplan says.That’s during the day. At night, a lighted billboard can be parked in front of a nightclub.The ads will be coming to a city near you this summer. “This showing is going to be amazing – the weather’s going to get warmer, people will be out on the street and here comes this beautiful European beach scene which is very upscale. It’s going to be unexpected, creating quite an impact for SABMiller’s Skyy Blue,” says Kaplan.

"Goin' Mobile" - Beverage World June, 2002

Any successful beverage marketer knows the value of optimum, effective exposure. One of the latest media being employed to that end is mobile advertising.
“The reason that mobile advertising in its many forms is so effective right now is because it's inexpensive, quantifiable, and very accessible,” says Sam Kaplan, vice president of Mobile Advertising Group (New York, NY).

One of Mobile Advertising Group's most effective programs is TruckSide advertising—using a third part delivery truck to optimize a brand's presence in a particular market. According to Kaplan, “the program is executed at a low cost to the marketer because it's cooperative in nature.

” The CPM (cost per thousand viewers) for TruckSide advertising is 90 cents, compared to a half-page black and white newspaper ad at $19.20 or a 30-second TV spot at $16.25.

Better yet, Mobile Ad Group has demonstrated success in giving beverage marketers what they want at the end of the day—an increase in sales. For example, Mistic saw a 29-percent boost in sales over a two- month period after adopting a TruckSide advertising campaign with Mobile Ad Group.

Dr Pepper/ Seven Up brands have also felt a positive impact since adopting the TruckSide campaign.“Year after year we continue to see results from our TruckSide advertising,” says Jennifer Welsh, manager of media for DPSU, “and hope to continue this success in years to come.

”The graphics themselves are high-resolution vinyl and certainly aren't limited to use solely on the sides of trucks. This summer Mad River Teas and Juices will be executing its “Wilderness Summer Tour '02” campaign. Along with a branded beverage sampling truck, the promotion features VinylWrapped Mad River-branded kayaks.

Delivering Brand by the Truck Loads
Mobile Ads Give Impression of Wide Acceptance
/ By Elizabeth White of Media Life

No matter what changes in life, few things remain as powerful as the desire to keep up with the Joneses.
If someone appears successful, people will be impressed and follow that person's lead. That’s at least what the findings of a new advertising study suggest. The study, which examined a truckside advertising campaign in Detroit, showed that some of the most effective ads aren’t ones that try to sell to a person directly, but rather ones that make someone think that his or her neighbor has already bought the product.

The ad campaign was for PeoplePC, a computer marketer that wanted to give the impression that its computers were being delivered all over town. To do so, PeoplePC used the truckside advertising firm MediaVehicles, which specializes in advertising on the sides of local delivery trucks that make eight to 12 stops per day. And although the trucks delivered a wide range of products, the ads were designed to make the trucks look like they belonged to a delivery fleet for PeoplePC. Top

“The objective was to make people feel that this company that had recently been launched was an instant success,” says Steve Singer of the Singer Group, the market research firm that ran the study through National Family Opinion.
“Seventeen percent of the people who were aware of PeoplePC said that their opinion was influenced by the large number of trucks in the market. That was one of the things that surprised me,” says Singer. Also according to the study, two-thirds of those surveyed thought the product advertised on the delivery truck was a product that their neighbors had bought.

Over one-half thought that the company was successful, and 41 percent thought that the product was important to the local economy. They thought so simply because they believed that the delivery truck and all of its contents belonged to the company advertised on the side of the truck. Top

“We have some very clear evidence that people think the advertised product is being delivered into the marketplace and that the company is successful,” says Singer. Overall, people in the test market with truckside advertising were 30 percent more aware of PeoplePC than those in the control market without truckside advertising.

“Truckside advertising is a little deceptive because people look to trucks as delivery vehicles, not as advertisements,” says Singer. “People don’t expect the advertisements on the trucks to be for products other than what is inside the truck.”

“It’s not that important for people to think about and make the distinction between the trucks and the product being delivered and the advertisement on the side,” says Singer. “It’s not important to them.” MediaVehicles says another company, UrbanFetch, used the truckside ads to give the impression that the new company was successful enough to have a large delivery fleet.

“They don’t have a delivery fleet, but we helped give the perception that they did,” says Anthony Polito, director of marketing for MediaVehicles. “We give them a presence in the market. It’s the perception that if I see the trucks, they must be a good company.” Top

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