Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good Car Wrap Advertising Design

It would be fair to say that there are all kinds of car wraps on the road today, running the graphics-gamut from tasteful to gaudy, subtle to obnoxious and all points in between. While it is true that a car wrap should be eye-popping and generate interest, unlike celebrity tabloid publicity, not all press is "good" if it doesn't generate sales. A successful vehicle wrap actually begins in the design development stage with collaborative thought and strategic planning.

Smart Car Wrap Design

The process is initiated by the Sales Representative who takes the time to interview the Client with a series of leading questions to determine what the objectives are for the marketing effort at hand. Determining the distinctive nature of each business is how a truly custom graphic is created. Asking questions like, "What makes your business different from your competition?" and "How are you unique in the marketplace?" helps to determine what message needs to be conveyed with the vehicle wrap. Narrowing down a list of products or services, locations and contact information is also part of this process.

After a clear picture of the purpose and intent of the graphics is garnered, attention needs to be given to the "canvas" for the art. The size and shape of the vehicle in question is considered for placement of the elements, with special thought to unusual shapes and complex curves. When working with a smaller vehicle, too many images can make a design crowded and illegible. Decisions need to be made about whether or not this is a complete wrap or partial, if windows are part of the overall concept or not, and what surfaces of the vehicle are appropriate for advertising exposure or just wasted space. For instance, unless you want to market to helicopters and small planes, the roof of a vehicle may not warrant much attention!

Truck Wrap Design

Good Design is actually a melding of the desired branding objectives with the practical issues that come with the application. Depending on the type of business to be promoted, the graphic design may focus heavily on visual images or more on text. The design should be informative without being wordy or too busy. An appropriate color scheme and typeface is selected for logo integrity and the type of industry. Working with the existing color of the vehicle and the natural breaks in the design (i.e., doors, hoods, etc.) can contribute to the continuity of the design, ease of installation and potential cost savings. Whether wrapping a single car or an entire fleet, the design must project the desired brand image.

Done well, the design process can take some time with "tweaks" and revisions, but the end result is worth the effort.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Ideas for Advertising

The media is a powerful thing — the average person spends an enormous amount of their life consuming it in one form or another, and will spend a significant percentage of that time looking at, listening to or watching advertisements. If you want to use the power of the media, though, you need to know what you’re doing.

Advertising in Newspapers and Magazines.

There are two kinds of advertising you can get in newspapers and magazines: classified and display. Classifieds are the small ads towards the back of the publication, while display ads can be almost any size, from a small corner of a page to a massive double-page spread.

If there’s a publication you’re interested in advertising in, either go to its website (the rate card section) or call its advertising department to find out the rates it charges. Now pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, advertising in the print media really is that expensive, and for most home businesses it probably just won’t be that economical.

There is, however, an exception: niche and trade magazines. If you’ve ever looked around in a newsagent, you will have seen just how many magazines there are out there, filling every conceivable gap in the market. You need to find the magazine that people who are interested in your services might read. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, look for a magazine called ‘Your Wedding’, ‘Bride’, or something similar. Advertising in these magazines will be far cheaper than placing an ad in a general-audience publication, and far more likely to actually get some responses.

Advertising on the Radio.

Wherever you are, the chances are that there’s a local radio station. Once your home business grows to a decent size, you might consider buying some time on it.

Really, though, the only kind of home business that can benefit enough from radio ads to justify the cost is one that does anything to do with cars. Since radio is almost entirely limited to use as in-car entertainment now, you know that almost everyone your ad reaches will be a car-owner, and so might be interested in what you’re offering. If you offer something that people need cheaply or even for free, you can get a big response.

Unfortunately, that response could be a little too big — thanks to the time-sensitivity of radio, you’ll get mobbed the next day, and then everyone will forget you again. Radio advertising offers the listener no opportunity to keep your ad and refer to it later, or to find it again in the future. You will find that any ads involving a phone number are spectacularly useless.

Advertising on the Television.

Unless your business is getting pretty big, this would be quite a bad idea. You’d have trouble producing and airing an ad even on local cable channels for less than $10,000. Of course, if there’s a market for your product and you’ve got the budget for this, you could take a gamble and make a mint. The home businesses that tend to do best out of TV ads are ones that have a ‘unique and useful invention’ product with easy-to-demonstrate benefits — think infomercial. Research shows that you can sell almost anything given a 60-second ad, a free phone number and a price point of $19.95.

Advertising on Billboards.

Here’s one that gets overlooked pretty often, but can be very effective if you do it right. Billboard ads are relatively expensive, but they do generally stay up for a long time, and they can be very specifically targeted to an area — the one where they’re physically located. You’ll have the best results with this if you can put one near enough to your business that it could say ‘turn left at the next junction’, or something like that. Phone numbers are, again, pretty useless, although you could have some luck putting a website address up there. Banners For Less offers a unique quote process were they provide your quote in minutes at a price that will beat the competition.

Advertising at the Movies.

Finally, here’s one that often gets overlooked. If you turn up to the cinema early, you might have seen that before the big-budget ads, ads for local businesses are run. This can be a great place to advertise relatively inexpensively in quite a high-profile way, and it works especially well for takeaway food businesses.

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