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From Advertising To Branding: Are Vehicle Graphics Worth The Cost?


From Advertising To Branding: Are Vehicle Graphics Worth The Cost?

When it comes to installing vehicle graphics, wraps, and decals, your bottom line matters the most. Whether you've already obtained a few car wrap installation quotes or are just considering one, it's natural to wonder whether vehicle wraps are worth the cost.

The primary appeal of a vehicle wrap is that it is a one-time investment that can generate tens of thousands of impressions per day. As such, car wraps provide an excellent return on investment, especially in the long term. Continue reading to get the facts you need to know on vehicle wraps and their ROI to your business.

How much are car wraps in the first place?

Simply put, it depends on what you’re looking for. Below, we discuss the different factors that influence a car wrap's cost.

  • Full Wrap or Partial Wrap: The less vinyl material used, the less you can expect to pay upfront. Cost-conscious business owners may want to consider a partial wrap, which can grab the attention of passersby equally well, depending on the cleverness of your design.
  • Graphic Design: Eye-catching design is the key to a successful advertising campaign. Graphic designers and print shops often bill by the hour and schedule time to make sure the wrap fits properly. We recommend not skimping out on the budget for the creative process, as bad graphics defeat the whole purpose of vehicle advertising.
  • Materials Used: Believe it or not, there is a difference between simple vinyl and high-performance material from industry leaders, such as 3M, Avery-Dennison, and Arlon. Many of these manufacturers will honor warranties up to seven years from the purchase date, assuming they’re driven under normal conditions. That’s a lot of time to have a rolling billboard in your lot.
  • Size of the Vehicle: . The amount of material that needs to be professionally installed directly correlates with the amount of money you’ll spend. For example, wrapping a multi-ton van with eight passenger seats costs significantly more than wrapping a small car.

With all of that said, pricing can fall anywhere between $1,500 dollars to $6,000. In 2016, the national average for cost was between $10-$15 per square foot.

A few reasons why car wraps are worth it in the long run:

1. Vehicle wraps will bring you more impressions than you can count.

Vibrant car wrap for ice cream business

The OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Agency of America) states that mobile advertising can be the most effective and efficient form of out-of-home advertising. One wrapped vehicle can receive between 30,000 to 70,000 impressions per day!

With all that exposure, you might expect a high price tag, but on average, vehicle graphics cost around four cents per thousand impressions. Compare that to newspaper ads, which average out to a $19.70 CPM (Cost per Mille). Because of its superior return on investment, the demand for vehicle graphics is growing very quickly. projects that $10.8 billion will be spent on car wraps by 2025, up from just $1.62 billion in 2015.

Advertising Medium Cost per Thousand (CPM)* Cost of Equivalent DEC
Television $23.70 $1,445,700
Magazine $21.46 $1,309,060
Newspaper $19.70 $1,201,700
Prime-Time Television $18.15 $1,107,150
Radio $7.75 $472,750
Outdoor $3.56 $217,160
Fleet Graphics (average, annualized)** $0.48 $30,000

* Based on 61 million Prime DEC annually; average of top 40 media market from Media Buyers Guide

** Based on cost of test trucks

(Source: 3M)

2. Remember, you can recoup costs with a higher resale value.

Think of a vinyl wrap as a screen protector for your car or van. A full car wrap can protect the finish underneath from scratches, dings, sun damage, and other minor damage, giving you an extra sense of assurance while you’re out on the road.

Plan to update your fleet in future with more fuel-efficient vehicles? Take your team of automobiles to a professional, and they can remove fleet graphics on the spot using a heat gun (along with a little bit of patience). The fit and finish will be as pristine as it was when the vehicles left the factory, leaving you with top-tier resale value and more cash in your wallet.

3. Painting your car is much more expensive.

An alternative to vehicle wrapping, a high-quality paint job can range from $3000- $10000+ depending on the color used, quality of paints, and whether you’ll need a custom design. Paint lasts longer than a vinyl wrap, but the question remains: Do you really need the longevity? A vinyl wrap lasts four to ten years, and they can be replaced at a professional shop with relative ease.

Both produce the same effect on passersby, so you’re not missing out. Even brands with colossal marketing budgets, like Red Bull and Monster, stay with fleet vehicle graphics. More money saved means more money that can be spent on additional advertising.

Car with custom vehicle graphics

For more professional tips involving custom vehicle graphics, you can rely on the experts at Signs Now®.

“How else can I get car wraps to work for me?” Find out with an expert site assessment courtesy of Signs Now®. We have an array of Vehicle Graphics, Wraps, & Decals for all applications and budgets.

If you’re looking for a low-cost solution to mobile advertising, we offer Partial Vehicle Wraps. We invite you to learn more about what Signs Now can do for you. To get started, contact us today.