Printers are not the only businesses grabbing for shares of the wrap pie. This past spring, marketing tech firm SproutLoud unveiled the first online ordering platform for vehicle wraps in distributed marketing. The release expands its array of media options and services, which include email, social media, web pages and microsites, direct mail, outdoor, online store, commercial print and premium items, said the Sunrise, FL-based firm. The company’s platform helps brands manage and execute marketing activities with the local companies that sell their products and services.
“We constantly strive to stay on top of the latest media trends that meet our clients’ needs and marketing objectives,” said Gary Ritkes, managing partner in charge of sales at SproutLoud. “We’re very excited to increase their media choices with vehicle wraps as part of our corporate strategy of being the most comprehensive distributed marketing platform on the market.”
SproutLoud supports vehicle wraps through its vendor network that includes a state of the art 150,000-square-foot production facility and a North American network of 3,500 certified technicians for local installation.
Founder and CEO Jared Shusterman added, “Vehicle wraps are an attention-grabbing, high-impact medium, but it’s extremely important for us to be not only to provide the breadth of services that meet each client’s unique needs, but to ensure our software makes it easy for local marketers to order and use them. Our vehicle wraps module is designed to do just that.”
At the SGIA expo in mid-October, Seiko Infotech teamed up with Motorz, the popular automotive improvement series seen on satellite TV and the Internet. Performing the wrap was San Diego-based APE Wraps, a digital graphics and wraps firm known for its ability to simulate paint on high-performance vinyl. The Motorz crew was on site at the Las Vegas tradeshow to help transform a stock 2010 Ford Mustang GT by assisting APE with the application of full-body graphics using the latest materials and printing technology from Seiko. (In addition, installation of new Mickey Thompson Street Comp UHP street tires, new wheels, and an array of appearance products came courtesy of AmericanMuscle.com.)
“Our goal is to show the endlessly creative applications for the printing technology used for automotive wraps in a setting where people can see each stage in the process,” said Troy Downey, owner of APE Wraps.
“Just as we do on Motorz, we work with Troy’s team to show exactly how each stage in the vehicle modification process is completed,” added Chris Duke, host of the show, whose crew was filming for an upcoming episode as they transformed the Mustang “from ‘drab to fab’ in one afternoon.”
Design Tips for Car Wraps
In the truly mobile marketing space, good design is critical to clarity. We all have seen vehicle wraps that are a jumble of too much information and too many graphics to get their messages across. Wrap specialist Robby Burnett of Dallas-based Wrap Experts, a network with members in more than 120 countries worldwide, shared a handful of tips for designing an effective vehicle wrap with 3M Graphic Solutions:
- Work with your customer to capture the message
What is your customer's goal for their vehicle wrap? Do they want more visits to their website, or more foot traffic in their store? Talk to your customers about their key messages -- and the importance of narrowing it down to just one or two. Whatever the customer's goal, use that information to prioritize the design of the wrap and place the most important elements prominently.
- Don't overlook corporate guidelines
Many companies have strict brand standards or corporate guidelines regarding the colors, fonts, and imagery that can be used in their materials. Be sure to ask your customer if there are policies you should follow. These guidelines will often dictate the proper placement of logos and other design elements. It is also important to make sure that any messages and images you use do not infringe on anyone else's copyrights.
- Keep your design clean, and remember the five-second rule
Most people viewing your wrap will not give it more than a few seconds of attention. Additionally, a vehicle traveling on the highway may have even less time than that. The more information you put on a vehicle wrap, the longer it takes to get its message across, so keep the design clean and – as mentioned in Tip #1 – focus on one or two messages. For an edge in creating vehicle wrap designs that quickly deliver a message, check out the 3M Visual Attention Service (VAS). This online scanning tool analyzes the graphic and text elements of a design and identifies where the typical human is most likely to look in the first three to five seconds of viewing. VAS analysis can help you revise a design until it performs exactly the way you want it to.
- Use a template AND take measurements
Vehicle templates are readily available to help you begin your design, but it's also important to take your own measurements and evaluate the surface of the vehicle in 3D. It's not uncommon for angular distortion in a template to have an impact on the final result, so be sure to study the lines of the vehicle in person.
- Make overlays work for you
In many cases logos and other graphic elements can be printed as overlays, allowing you to move the logos or graphics to flat parts of the vehicle easily. This can help prevent installation hassles and the need to rewrap the entire vehicle if a logo doesn't look right. It also allows your customers the flexibility to change select parts of their wrap as needed if the correct product is chosen.