Car wraps are only effective if the design is assembled properly. In order to expect the design formula to work properly you must include the elements the formula requires. Failure to do so will lower response rates. Anything added to the required formula simply clouds the message and makes it more difficult to convey the marketing message. Driving the point home, less can be more in the case of car wraps. Ironically, people willing to spend thousands of dollars for vehicle graphics tend to want to design themselves out of competition. The “brochure effect” is the affliction we’re talking about.
Car Wraps and The Brochure Effect
The brochure effect is the same urge some people get when designing a simple business card. Start simple with the basics, their logo and company name. Looks good so let’s add our address, contact information and the Gettysburg Address. Getting a bit crowded but there’s still some white space under the logo. The realization that the card has a second side fuels an uncontrollable desire to eliminate all white space everywhere with material that is normally only found in the back pages of large corporate annual reports. The simple marketing message is choked into submission and lost at a cost that includes all future sales. Doesn’t work well at all for car wraps.
Unfortunately, the urge to exercise the brochure effect in vehicle graphics is common. The affliction will lose its sting if your graphic designer leads you down a path of formulaic success and moderation producing better business cards and profitable car wraps. Not everything you print to market your business is, or needs to be, a brochure.
Car Wraps Are BillBoards On Wheels
This simple philosophy has been well-known in the billboard industry for quite some time. The billboard is stationary, guy in car is not. Both billboards and car wraps have less than 2 seconds to get their messages across and spur the reader to action. Tall order for 2 seconds. Underscores the need to keep it short and keep it simple. Who reads those things, anyway? Designing car wraps needs to be addressed in the same manner. Keep it simple.
Your vehicle is a moving billboard. Your prospect is probably in another moving vehicle. If you make him put down his cheeseburger that only leaves him one hand to text with and trying to write down your mailing address and phone number, the probability of killing your prospects instead of selling them something rises dramatically. Test yourself. If you have 2 seconds to read something before it’s gone, what bit of information do you want to take away from the experience? Phone number? Your name? What you do? Given the small increment of time it’s doubtful he’s going to recall your email address, web address, or even your address correctly. Give them something short and memorable to grab on to.
And for those of you who simply can’t resist the brochure effect, buy an old cash car (van, truck, or something larger with more white space to fill), fill every square inch of it with your products, services, their 16-digit product numbers, your entire list of locations, addresses, your business philosophy and that of your founder. Then park it near an old folks retirement community. They don’t move too fast and have a lot of time on their hands.