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Marketing in a Mobile Age: Trucks Add New Fuel to Advertising by Daniel Sage
Let’s face it, as far as advertising goes, sometimes bigger is better. And in the ad space business, a semi-trailer is about as big as it gets.
For the past few years the U.S. trucking industry has involved in a movement to make advertising more effective and affordable for the businesses whose products they carry. Now, after much study and testing, many are starting to realize, this marketing-in-motion tool is not only cheaper but also more powerful than most other traditional advertising media.
Fleet trucks are no longer simply delivering products - they’re delivering advertising messages as well. Some of the biggest names in the transportation industry have signed on to offer ad space including Roadway, Swift, Yellow, Supervalue, Trailways and Greyhound.
Some see it as the 9th form of advertising - fluid and mobile to capture the attention of a consumer constantly in motion. It’s common sense advertising that’s not yet very common. - the ultimate form of Guerilla Marketing. And mobile ad companies are springing up across the country and banking on the visual impact, constant motion and sheer size of this medium to put American businesses and brands back into the ad game.
The question for advertisers is, what would it do for your business if you could reach over half of American on any given business day and get your advertising noticed over 90% of the time? Wherein out door media now reaches 96% of Americans, mobile media is rapidly becoming one of the best tools for advertisers to communicate their messages.
Right now, mobile (truckside) advertising may be the most direct way to reach the nearly 150 million people that commute every business day. With outdoor advertising space at a premium, Truckside Ads serve as readily available, highly affordable advertising space and studies show that the impact ratings of mobile media trucks scored higher than all other outdoor media – combined. (Thibodeaux Research Inc.)
Studies and campaigns conducted over the past 5 years show truckside advertising can deliver between 30,000 and 70,000 impressions per day, depending if it is a regional or national operator. Depending in the market, metro trucks ads are seen by 10 -14 million pares of eyes a year. An astounding 18 million Number of annual impressions can be generated by a truck in a DMA market of more than 5,000,000 people. Some mobile billboard campaigns have produced over 150,000 impressions in a single hour in Las Vegas, NV.
This form of mobile marketing can saturate any size U.S. market, where you routinely have trucks and trailers that travel hundreds of miles a day or around a city block. A mobile campaign can run as many weeks or months as you wish, exposing an audience to a graphic ad showcase with many repeat viewings for up to 10 hours a day.
Our Mobile Society
We Americans are very much a mobile society. Some 150 million of us commute every business day, travel some 300 miles on average a week and over 15,000 miles per year. (Collectively, over 3 trillion miles a year) We spend on average 15 hours a week in our cars driving on some 4 million miles of U.S. roads. For many people, possibly most, the time spent in the car when they could see advertising is several times the amount of time they have to devote to traditional in-home media. (Arbitron Study)
People are commuting greater distances, and as congestion grows worse, the traffic is moving more slowly and as Airlines become more crowded with security concerns and longer delays people are returning to their cars for cross-country travel. Many people would not even consider air travel for trips less than 500 miles. Heavy vehicle mileage and long commutes are becoming the norm. An estimated 90% of the population uses the highways regularly (PUH: People Using Highways). Highway travelers are probably the very best audience and the mobile-billboard ad is welcome entertainment, and there is little competition for this audience's attention as there is so little ad clutter.
The increase in travel is making it harder for advertisers to reach their target with conventional advertising methods. With more Americans commuting, more vehicles on the road and longer commute times/distances, reaching them effectively between 7 am and 7 pm has become a challenge for traditional media. There is clearly tremendous growth potential for out-of-home, in-car advertising, as this is where the audience has gone. The findings of a recent Arbitron Outdoor Media Study seem to suggest truckside advertising is the perfect answer to reaching today’s consumer:
According to the recent Arbitron Outdoor Media Study “media that targets vehicle drivers/passengers reach 96% of Americans weekly and outdoor media that targets pedestrian traffic reach 79 percent weekly.” 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."
More significant findings: Late night TV news is not seen by 56% of all consumers. 54% of all consumers do not watch morning TV. 25% do not watch evening news. In fact, today, 29% of consumers do not read a newspaper. (Source: OAAA 4/2001) Now we’re talking about Arbitron (radio ratings) and the guys at Nielson (TV ratings). These are the companies that provide the accepted price quotients for broadcast advertising. They have seen growth in truckside (advertising) while others mediums have stagnated, and they’re doing something about it.
The Big Out-of-Doors Audience
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." "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, "Now there's conclusive proof of TruckSide's value as a powerful marketing tool that impacts awareness, attitudes and opinions. “Over the past few years, the outdoor advertising industry has evolved into a rejuvenated media force… that’s poised to compete aggressively in the 21st century media fray.”
Out-of-door media is typically available even in towns that are too small to have a radio station or a local newspaper. The system of using vending truck billboards can provide advertising opportunities right down to the neighborhood level, which may be useful if your campaign is concentrating on inner city residents. Truckside advertising has the ability to target all segments of our society. The versatility and sheer impact of truckside advertising allows advertisers to capture the attention of business decision makers and consumers during part of their daily routines.
To quote a recent TIME Magazine article entitled “Getting on Board - An Old Advertising Medium is being Reinvented” TIME says “Thanks to the Web, cell phones and applications like Bluetooth and text messaging, one of the oldest ad media is suddenly one of the industry's most fashionable. U.S. marketers spent $6.3 billion last year on out-of-home campaigns, as billboard advertising is called--an 8% increase from the year before, making outdoor the second fastest-growing ad medium after the Internet. And at a time when consumers have become increasingly mobile and increasingly overloaded with information, the outdoor ad industry is touting the billboard, the updated version as well as the old standby, as the last powerful way to reach a mass audience efficiently"
Stationary billboards work well if you can secure a great location. The problem is, the best billboard space has a waiting list and low cost billboard space won't be visible to most of the population. Truckside Ads routinely cover an area filled with hundreds of billboards in a single day. This is really the last major untapped ad medium, there's nothing else left.
Mobile marketing campaigns offers better targeting and more frequency. For instance, a zip code analysis as the truck passes through a particular zip code, where you will pull up census data linked to those zip codes, such as the age of people in that area, their income, family structure, etc…It's a street level-in-your-face presence and it's recurring. People will believe that the products being delivered are your products. Truckside Ads deliver a major branding effect and that is a wonderful benefit.
In short. one truckside ad with a great graphic can generate millions of impressions per year. Imagine the results with a photographic image larger than life getting your company noticed, day in and day out - for 1/30th the rate of a prime time TV Ad. The monthly cost of an ad trailer is around the national average cost of a static billboard. Trucks have become so much like rolling billboards that they are rated the same way in terms of impressions made, wherein all advertising media is measured in terms of cost per thousand (CPM) - truckside advertising is around $1.50 - currently the lowest in the industry.
Does truckside and mobile billboard advertising really work? Many of Americas top Brands and Fortune 500 companies are already taking advantage of it. McDonald’s, Procter and Gamble, IBM, American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, GM, Delta Air Lines, Kraft Foods, Saab, NBC, Burger King, Toyota, Cadbury Shweppes, Bic Pens, XM Radio,…have all successfully implemented truckside-advertising and mobile-billboard campaigns to reach their target audiences where they work, play and congregate.
A surprising statistic shows that again, while outdoor media reaches over 96 percent of all U.S. consumers, most advertising media budgets only allocate it one-three percent. Wherein all advertising media is measured in terms of cost per thousand (CPM); truck-side advertising is around $1.50 - the lowest in the industry.
This is an interesting point considering the fact that it is the one medium that does not require the consumer to purchase anything or subscribe to something to view it. (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, Internet, Direct Mail & Yellow Pages all rely on ads to exist…)
Today’s’ marketing must engage the consumer or it will not register - at all. When the average American is exposed to over 600,000 media messages a year - any medium that actually breaks through the advertising clutter and white noise is indeed impressive - and most of the experts are in agreement - that’s just what this one does.
This Article supplied by: www.MobileAdMarketing.com (MAM offers the Largest Inventory of Mobile Advertising Media in America - Over 300,000 Ad Trucks and Trailers in 300 U.S. Markets)
Daniel Sage (Writer)
Mobile AD Marketing Inc.