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You can easily get free advertising exposure with your vehicles, but being clever with it will get you even more attention.
Driving around town can be one of your best forms of advertising. Consider the experience of Jeff Whiting of Help! Wizards, a Columbus, Ohio, computer consulting firm that makes house calls. In 1999, the company bought its first vehicle. Instead of going with a white van as originally planned, it bought something that would attract more attention. A bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle. The “Help! Wizards” logo is boldly blazoned on both sides of the Bug and their trademark “!” is on the hood. They’ve since added three more Bugs to the fleet and have two more scheduled to hit the streets soon. The results? According to Whiting, he gets at least one call a week directly from the exposure to the “Wizard Bug.”
Speaking of bugs, an independent extermination company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, used an old hearse with a big bug on top as its vehicle. It got a lot of attention, but many customers felt uncomfortable with it in their driveways.
Related: Social Advertising: Like, Share, Retweet. . .Buy?
To make a point more subtly, consider vanity tags for your car. The right message can generate some interest. The plates that seem to make the most impact are those that take a few moments to figure out. They engage you, and then once you finally “decode” the plate’s meaning, you remember it forever. Here are some tags we’ve come across:
- “MR 2TH” we assume is a dentist.
- “I SUE 4 U” from a lawyer in California.
- “1099” or “W 2” is what we suggested to our CPA brother, Howard Slutsky.
- “401K” for an investment advisor specializing in retirement accounts.
- “BUYLOW” for a stockbroker.
- “P8NTR” we guess is a painter.
- “MNIPUL8” and “SPINE” are from chiropractors.
- “EIEIO” suggested a farm co-op manager.
- “U P 4 ME” is from an urologist in New Orleans.
One of the members of the audience of a keynote speech we gave told us about the man who had one delivery vehicle. A friend who had a large fleet made fun of his single truck. So he had some magnetic signs made with his company logo on it. He also put at the bottom under the logo “Delivery Vehicle #1,” which went on the left side. “Delivery Vehicle #2” was placed on the right side of the truck. On the back was “Delivery Vehicle #3.” His friend was amazed at how fast his fleet grew. This is a humorous, but important lesson: When considering signage for your vehicles, don’t forget to include all sides — left, right and