April 25, 2014

Truckside Advertising Means Traffic = Your Friend!

LA Traffic with Effect

That’s a real picture of L.A. traffic (trust me, from personal experience, that’s a very accurate portrayal). Now say the first thing that comes to your mind when you look at that photo… and I bet it was “Pepsi.” That’s because like all the other drivers behind that truck, that’s the only branding they can see. This is the view on many SoCal and Los Angeles freeways on a daily basis, and if you’re a driver, traffic is your mortal enemy… an enemy that is growing stronger.

But if you’re an advertiser, traffic is your best friend! Your BFF, even! Why? Because all of the people in those cars have nothing to do. They spend an average of 64 hours in traffic per year (and that doesn’t even count the rest of the drive time!) and they can’t text or email (or they’ll get a ticket or crash), they can’t watch Netflix on iPads (or they’ll get a ticket or crash), they can’t even watch Youtube on their smartphones (or they’ll get a… well, you get it).

For that commute time when they’re stuck on the road, YOU could have their undivided attention… if you could just get in front of them. But HOW? Like the picture above shows, so many of America’s highways are devoid of billboards, devoid of busses, and devoid of  benches where your traditional outdoor ad dollars have been going. How can you afford to miss ALL THOSE PEOPLE? Well, you don’t have to. Just like Pepsi, you could be right in front of them for second, minutes, maybe parts of an hour by simply re-branding all those empty trucks. Just like Pepsi, you could be the only thing their eyes find when they’re looking around, staring at nothing… except your ad, their one colorful oasis in the optic desert.

And is this just LA? Heck, no! Traffic is INCREASING all over the country,

from Chicago

Chicago Traffic

to Phoenix

Phoenix Traffic

to Houston:

Houston Traffic

The fact is, when your customers are ON THE ROAD, they’re NOT ONLINE, they’re NOT WATCHING TV, and they’re nowhere near a bus or billboard. So is it time to rebalance your ad dollar media spend? The numbers sure say it is.


February 24, 2014

3-D Advertising? It’s Real (and inexpensive!) with Truck Ads.

One of the most impactful and exciting benefits of truckside advertising are the limitless creative possibilities afforded by the three dimensional shape of the trucks, a benefit you don’t get from any other type of advertising, even digital billboards (especially now that they’re getting turned off, anyway).

For example, in Germany they host a competition called the Rhino Rolling Advertising Awards which invites graphic designers and advertising companies to mock-up their best, most creative ads for trucks. Check out this amazing mock-up for Kit Kat (see all the winners from 2006-2008 here):

Kit Kat mock up

I’m not really sure what this was meant to advertise, but it certainly would catch my attention:

Nuclear waste mock up

This one’s probably my favorite. It’s an ad for “Pepsi Light” (which is what they call Diet Pepsi in Europe), the idea being the Pepsi is so “light” it floats to the top of the truck:

Pepsi light mock up

And it works on smaller local trucks, too. Check out an example for a hardwood flooring provider which accurately simulates placing a furnished room “inside” the truck:

Hardwood Floors


Keep in mind all that’s being done here is using simple 2-D posts on the side AND the back of the truck to give the appearance of looking inside the truck. Remember: there’s no 3-D glasses, no digital signage, and no special effects, just plain old sleight of hand… well “sleight of truck.” Trying doing that with a billboard or a bus ad! Just imagine what a little “sleight of truck” could do for your brand.


January 7, 2014

Why Font Size Really Matters (Really? REALLY)

You’re designing your next truck or bus ad and everything looks great on your computer. Colors are great, graphics are sharp, all the information that’s got to be there is there (even a clever slogan). But what you’re probably not taking into account may cost you any effectiveness you ad may have had: how big is your text in the real world? Let’s examine why so many outdoor ads miss the mark on mathematics.

A big thing we forget is that customers aren’t going to be 1.5 feet from a screen looking at 12-point font when they interact with your ad. They’re going to be anywhere from 10-200 feet from an ad anywhere from 100-800 square feet in size, and the proportions aren’t the same, especially when it comes to text. You have very limited space, and, depending on traffic, limited exposure time. You have to get eyeballs on, but they actually have to be able to read the writing, a point that seems to be lost on a majority of advertisers.

A brief internet search shows the following basic rule of thumb when it comes to text sizing:

As you can see, it’s not really that onerous. So, for example, on rear truck ads, you want to be in the 3”-5” letter height. That way, you’re certainly getting visibility on the cars close by, but you’re not losing the cars that are up to 175 feet away. Whereas with the side truck ads, you want to be in the 4”-7” letter height. Your close viewers will likely be over the divider or median, so factor in the distance of two shoulder lanes, and you’re probably looking at least 40’. To get the people in the further lanes, you want to ensure your letters are big enough to get out at least 275’. That way, everyone in between can get your message quickly, effectively, and memorably.

Finally, we have answered the age old question: YES, SIZE DOES MATTER.


November 2, 2012

LA Shuts Down Freeway Facing Signage – But We Got Your Back

In another blow to advertisers, cities, states, and counties are continuing to successfully defend laws that severely restrict, if not wholly ban, certain forms of outdoor advertising, especially those focused on attracting the attention of motorists on freeways and busy highways.

The landmark case of World Wide Rush, LLC, et al. v. City of Los Angeles (9th Cir. 2010) 606 F.3d 676 highlights the government’s continuing push to snuff out billboard advertising. In World Wide Rush, the City of Los Angeles was successful in defending their Freeway Facing Sign Ban (which prohibits/limits billboards within 2,000 feet of freeways and “viewed primarily from the freeway”) and Supergraphic and Off-Site Sign Ban against World Wide Rush, who sought to stop the City from enforcing the bans on constitutional grounds. World Wide Rush was successful in getting the trial court to stop the City’s unfair law, but the Ninth Circuit overruled, siding with the City’s argument that the bans were within the police power of the state and constitutional, as were the limited exceptions the City chose to provide (i.e., charge outrageous amounts for).

What’s worse, if you don’t follow these strict regulations, be assured the government will come after you. In an unpublished decision decided just recently, City of Oakland v. Paul Jurich (2012) 2012 WL 5358962 (Cal. Ct. Appeal Case No. A134506), the City of Oakland came after a property owner who had erected and continued to use a billboard structure which was used primarily for “offsite” advertising in violation of Oakland Municipal Code section 14.04.270 (essentially the same as LA’s Freeway Facing Sign Ban). After refusing to comply with court orders to remove the sign, the City filed its own affirmative action against Jurich for fraud, public nuisance, and unlawful business practices. Of course, the City of Oakland won the case, and the appeals court sided with the City.

What does this mean? Simple – it means that the cost of getting the City to let you put up a supergraphic or freeway-visible billboard – if they let you – is and will continue be insanely expensive. It means that the billboard structures already in place, being in high demand and low supply, will be insanely expensive. It means that if the government just wants to do away with the billboards completely one day, they’ll be able to and the federal courts have shown no interest in protecting advertisers or the outdoor advertising community.

That’s why working with Travertise is a different approach. The City won’t let you put a billboard near the freeway? Let’s put the billboard ON the freeway, right on the trucks that are towering over and within plain sight of all the same drivers (i.e., impressions) your nearly illegal and prohibitively costly billboard was trying to reach, anyway. For a fraction of the price of billboard advertising, you get to reach your customers and beat the system. You don’t have to lose impressions to Big Brother – let Travertise take you beyond the billboard.