The key to putting graphics on a vehicle is having the right people, according to Voegele. "There are installers, and there are great installers. You have to have the best on your team to grow your business," he says, adding that great vehicle wraps start with a designer that understands the installation process. "Our designers work hand in hand with our installers to make it easy for them," explains Voegele. "Almost every time we receive graphics from someone that is not in the industry full time, we spend more time fixing the files than if we would have created them ourselves."
Voegele also notices a change in the business. "It used to be more about business in the construction trade that used their vehicle for marketing," he notes. "Now we wrap everything from hair salons, restaurants, and construction to start up companies trying to brand their business." One of his favorite projects was when a woman asked if they could wrap a VW bug to look like a baseball if she bought one for her husband. "Two weeks later she surprised him with the Baseball Bug," he laughs. "The guy is a huge baseball fan and was really excited."
The future in this market is endless, according to Voegele. "There's new talent entering the industry everyday and they're bringing great new ideas to take [this market] to the next level," he says. "A lot of sign shops are getting into vehicle wraps, which is helping raise awareness for the industry and create more excitement."
One of the advantages to using vehicle wraps is that it is much faster than paint. "We can have a whole car wrapped in a day," says Eddie Paul, founder and president of EPI. "If it were paint, it would take a week or more...and the detail is photo perfect." While Paul adds that his company can do touch-ups of damaged areas in a manner of minutes, doing "damage" to cars that may be his future.
Paul says EPI is constantly looking for new applications for vehicle wraps. "We are more into the studio end of things and are finding more areas to use graphics than just making a car look good," he says. "A car can be aged or made to look scratched or shot up without actually doing the real damage." The motion picture industry would surely be interested in this concept as a way to save money rather than destroying actual cars while filming. "While this has not yet happened, it is being considered as a new way to damage a car without really damaging it," observes Paul.
Working in motion pictures is nothing new for EPI. "The best example of our work is probably the Pixar cars that we built," says Paul. "We also are using wraps more in the film area to add more detail to props. We found it to be much faster than any other way of adding detail."
The graphic vehicle market is very hot right now, according to Andy Salcido, account executive, Blue Media, as more people have to come to realize how effective this form of advertising is. "When compared to other traditional forms of advertising, it's hard to beat the price [of vehicle wraps] for the amount of impressions a vehicle gets," he says. "More business owners have seen the value of wraps. Especially the types of businesses that would not traditionally advertise on a vehicle, such as funeral homes, dentists, chiropractors, and real estate agents.
Blue Media's clients range from companies that have large fleets all the way down to the business owner who has one vehicle. But it is its most recent client that has everyone buzzing. "The Metro Light Rail project we just completed for the NBA All-Star Game is definitely unique in the fact the this Mass Transit System is brand new for Phoenix," states Salcido. The City Transit Organization has been undecided about whether or not to sell ad space on the new rail cars, but with the All-Star Game being held in Phoenix this year, it was determined that Blue Media could wrap four complete cars to promote the event. "This is being used as a trial and will hopefully help the members of the transit organization decide if they will pursue selling ad space in the future," reports Salcido.
This is not Blue Media's first foray into the sports world. "We were hired to wrap several race cars for NASCAR that were used for the filming of a commercial and was also used heavily as the intro to the Sunday afternoon races [on TV]," says Salcido. And, while it is hard to say what is next, Salcido is confident business will keep growing. "The printers are getting faster and have better resolution," he says. "Developments in vinyl are ongoing and some of the new versions of the 3M products we are using are easier to install. The economy is definitely affecting all forms of advertising, but the smart businesses are taking advantage of this great way to get your name out there."