Today I want to discuss the appropriate use of domains when considering a vehicle wrap.
Quite often I see a number of vehicles as I travel to and from work, and really throughout the Central Texas area.
One thing I notice quite often is the number of vehicle wraps used by companies to advertise and increase the general awareness of their company.
In my opinion, vehicle wraps are a great way to draw attention and awareness to your company.
If you’re a good and courteous driver, then the people around you will likely remember your service should a need arise within a short period of time.
However, if your driving is bad, then know that you’re also attracting the wrong type of attention for your company, which is likely to result in no business for you and a bad word of mouth referral company.
Yes, I know I could have chosen a better domain name (now!). If I only knew then what I know now. I think we all can identify and agree… 😉
Before Twitter and Facebook were the tool of choice of reaching out to family members in an emergency such as Hurricane Katrina, Orlando Massacre or any other disaster displacement act, I launched a general public emergency and communications disaster service via WeAreSafeAndSound.com (now defunct).
As a way to advertise the service, I opted for a simple domain and description on the back and on each side of my truck, effectively advertising the following:
Free Emergency & Disaster Communications Service
On the back of my tailgate, I listed the top disasters of nature such as Wildfire, Flood, Hurricane and Tornado and invited people to sign up.
The only regret I had about this wrap was using www. and not capitalizing the W and A.
I drove across the gulf coast just before hurricane season and to north Texas during tornado season to spread the word.
Long story short, the service garnered more than 11K in account signups, but technologies such as Facebook and Twitter took over.
The making of an effective vehicle wrap
Nevertheless, it’s a great idea to use vehicle wraps to promote and advertise your company when used effectively.
I stress the word effectively because recently I encountered a few local Austin companies that doesn’t quite get it.
So allow me to share practical guidelines to consider when using vehicle wraps to advertise your business.
I’m of the opinion that the phone number and domain should be placed in prominent areas of the vehicle.
These areas tend to include the sides and back of the vehicle. Text should be visible and legible.
For example, consider the text used by Austin-based Arbor Eye Center’s Mobile Eyes trailer.
I commend the company for using all sides of the trailer, but where they fall short is the use of small cursive print.
When this trailer is moving, it’s going to be quite difficult for a driver to read the phone number and make out the domain name. Both are too small and not prominently placed on trailer.
My recommendation would be to go with a more prominent positioning of the domain on all sides and a stronger or more bold san serif font. The same applies to the social media handles and profiles too.
And although the Arbor Eye Center uses ArborEyeCenter.com as their primary digital presence, it may be advantageous for them to register the following domains that are available:
I don’t recommend replaced ArborEyeCenter.com with any of the domains above only because there is a company actively using AustinEye.com.
It wouldn’t be in the best interest of Arbor Eye Center to use such one of the domains listed above due to similarity in regards to AustinEye.com.
However, I recommend purchasing the domains as a defensive register to keep them out of the hands of local competition.
Too, Arbor Eye Center could simply redirect and track the number of domain redirects for each domain using Google Analytics.
Didn’t have to go too far for the next company…
Prior to the Arbor Eye Center’s Mobile Eyes trailer example, take notice that I didn’t mention the front.
Personally, I don’t like advertising domains on the front because you have to account for the “ambulance effect”.
The “ambulance effect” means displaying text, whether phone number, company or domain, backwards when on the front of a vehicle.
So, the text reads backwards in oncoming traffic, and reads forwards to drivers viewing the text via their side or review mirrors.
Not only that, but the fronts of vehicles tend to be parked in such a way that most traffic won’t see the advertisement anyway.
And for this reason, I encourage customers and potential customers to only focus on the sides and backs of vehicles when using vehicle wraps to advertise one’s business.
No sooner than I make notes about the Arbor Eye Center’s Mobile Eyes trailer that I turn and find the Anthony Sylvan pickup truck.
If you’re wondering what Anthony Sylvan is, then you’re not a long. That’s what I thought the truck said until further inspection of the logo.
It’s actually Anthony & Sylvan Pools to be exact and they’ve been around since 1946, believe it or not.
The only reason I knew it was a swimming pool company was because of the poorly advertised service truck.
It’s really not a vehicle wrap, but we’ll say it is for this post… close enough. 🙂
At least the Arbor Eye Center’s Mobile Eyes trailer had some design flare to it. Ok, I’ll stop.
Nevertheless, look at how small the text is for the domain name as well as the logo.
I recommend a redesign that stretches the name of the company horizontally and places the domain underneath like the following:
Anthony & Sylvan Pools
The only thing about this advertising approach that I don’t like is the double use of the name, but keep reading to discover the idea I have to remedy this challenge.
The one thing I can commend Anthony & Sylvan Pools on is the size and boldness of the text for the phone number.
Speaking of the phone number, I’m not a fan of the vanity numbers although smartphones make it easy now than the old flip cellphones.
Remember those old puppies, the Motorola StarTac and Razor? Okay, I dated myself there twice. But I digress.
Another advertising approach Anthony & Sylvan Pools could take could be to use matching vanity phone and domain name.
I make mention of this because one of the biggest challenges of using matching vanity phone numbers and domain names is securing the phone number. Well, Anthony & Sylvan Pools already has the vanity number.
So, I know you’re dying to know whether or not the matching domains are available, right? The following domains are available:
Using matching vanity numbers and domain names could work on a service truck such as the Anthony & Sylvan Pool’s truck and eliminate the need for double use of the company name.
In my opinion, this actually simplifies the vehicle wrap advertisement and lowers the cost as well.
I’m no designer, but with the right design and layout, both can companies can turn their vehicle wrap advertising investment into a profitable lead machine.
Less is more when vehicle wrap advertising
Always remember that less is more when considering your vehicle wrap ad design.
It’s better to use a highly descriptive domain name over a phone number. We remember descriptive words better than we can phone numbers.
Now it’s not to say don’t add your number, but I suggest making sure your domain is prominent to and for the eye to catch and retain the potential customer’s attention long enough to commit it to memory.
To do this, your domain name must be memorable. When your domain name says what you or your business does exactly, it takes less design and words to convey your message to potential customers.
Seriously, start looking around and trying to remember which vehicle wrap ads stand out as being easily remembered and why.
Then take those thoughts and apply them to your own vehicle wrap advert.
Well, that’s all I have for you today. Let me know if you have questions or comments below.