With the economy still in decline and the rates of television advertising going through the roof, more ad agencies and large corporations are looking at more affordable options to get their messages out the public. Many are utilizing the cityscapes in major urban areas as backdrops to help define the brands they market, promote upcoming events and roll out new products.
For advertising you literally can't turn off, nothing compares to a building wrap. An effective building wrap with an effective design can generate millions of impressions per year.
"The out of home industry continues to grow at a rate faster than most other media," states Stephen Freitas, CMO for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. "This growth speaks to the continued increase in popularity of the outdoor medium such as building wraps. During a recession, advertisers are looking for value and out of home advertising provides outstanding 'bang for the buck' in the media industry."
Building wraps and wallscapes are not recommended for every wide-format output provider to offer. They require more time and effort. Producing and installing them can be a tricky business. There is only a small percentage of shops and professional installers across the country that have the expertise to know how printed grand-format materials need to be handled and what installation techniques work well in various codes and ordinances in various cities. In order to get a better handle on the building wrap business, WFI spoke with a number of experts in the field.
The Great Outdoors
"Building Wraps help increase brand awareness and are a great way to market products and events utilizing existing real-estate. They also have a dramatic effect that says WOW," says Gene Chambers, vice president of marketing and sales, Vision International in Salt Lake City, UT. "Advertising outdoors still remains one of the best ways to get a company's marketing message across. It has a much better cost per thousand than advertising on television."
As for trends, Chambers is still seeing a lot of the usual traditional stuff being done but he points to emerging new marketers entering the picture.
"We just did an interesting campaign for The United Way called Live United. We wrapped four buildings in downtown Salt Lake City. It was more in the line of a public service message and it this was the first one of this magnitude for a non-profit company that we had done. Usually the car and phone companies with the big ad budgets go to this route."
He is also seeing more adhesives graphics being applied to windows "They are easier on the building and easier to install. We are doing more windows with adhesive graphics. Clear Focus has been our media of choice for window graphics. We like their Super VU products for our window wraps. It installs and comes off good and doesn't tear," Chambers explains.
Chances are if you've had the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl over the past few years, you've seen Vision's handiwork. As we spoke with Chambers his company was busy working on the graphics for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa in February. Churning out that work will be the company's huge arsenal of printers the run the gamut from VUTEks, Rolands and Mimakis.
He says for Super Bowl 2009 they have about 600-700 art files to work with. From that they will produce more than 5,000-6,000 pieces overall, starting with the smallest pieces pressure-sensitive vinyl decals with the Super Bowl logo to grace doors and windows of the various Super Bowl sites, to grand format PVC-vinyl, mesh scoreboard trusses as well as all the other signage that will grace downtown Tampa and Raymond James Stadium.
In addition to the Super Bowl work, Chambers reports that his overall sports graphics business booming. "We are seeing more advertising opportunities in sports venues all across the country. Sports and big graphics go hand in hand. We just did a job for the University of Kentucky's football stadium as well some work for the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans and we are in the process of printing a number of big graphics for the Orange Bowl. Right now sports graphics are recession proof," he concludes.