ATA gives “information highway” new meaning

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Feb. 6, 2004) — It doesn’t have millions of dollars to run ads during the Super Bowl, but the American Trucking Associations has found another venue to get its pro-trucking message across: its own trailers.

This weekend the ATA and Louisville, Ken.-based marketing firm PriceWeber will unveil a new truck-side advertising image campaign, intended to build respect for the trucking industry by focusing on its core qualities of safety, security and essentiality.

“We don’t have five million dollars like other major campaigns but we do have five million trailers,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “We want people to know more about how we contribute to their quality of life and about our commitment to their safety and security.”

The ATA campaign will look to some of its 37,000 members as well as shippers to deliver messages to North American highways with truck-side advertising and roadside billboards. Fleets will provide and display bold graphics and messages on the sides of trailers and tractors with themes such as: “Good Stuff–Trucks Bring It.”

Industry research has shown that “rolling billboard” messages can generate up to ten million impressions per year. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, truck-side advertising is an $88 million US a year business in North America — still a fraction of the $5.5 billion spent on stationary billboards, bus shelters, and other outdoor venues.

Until recently truck-side advertising as a business strategy carried little appeal. Graphics took days to apply and even longer to remove. The alternative, mounting billboards using frame rails, damaged the equipment and would rarely hold up to the rigors of the road. But with new vinyl and adhesive technology introduced in the last few years, the trend to plaster ads on trucks has been gaining momentum.

In 2002 Today’s Trucking published the story of LTL specialist Canada Cartage’s partnership with marketing firms that pay the company to advertise motion pictures and other products on the sides of trailers. The financial benefit isn’t going to make the company any richer, said Canada Cartage traffic manager Barry Garside at the time, but described the ROI as “good pocket money” and a new creative way “to offset rising costs.”

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.