Indian Motorcycle shop, semi-truck with reflective fleet graphics, and illuminated outdoor signage against a dramatic sky.

How effective are fleet graphics in the modern world?

The growing digital age has left many companies wondering if fleet graphics are still an effective method to promote their brands. While it’s easy to quantify the effectiveness of digital ads, how do you measure the return on your investment in fleet graphics?

Fortunately, technology and market research continue to evolve with confidence-building results. The numbers reveal that out-of-home (OOH) advertising, which includes fleet advertising, is still one of the most effective and efficient methods to drive brand awareness and grow business. Marketing with vehicle graphics has the following key benefits.

Maximum cost-effectiveness with excellent Return on Investment (ROI)

  • a plumbing company's fleet van wrapped in 3M graphic film with their company logo to increase brand awareness on the road as they travel to jobs.

    Fleet graphics have a very low cost per thousand impressions (CPM) when compared to other types of advertising media⁽¹⁾. Online ads can cost up to $21 per thousand impressions while fleet graphics can cost as little as $0.15 per thousand impressions.⁽²⁾

    Adding to their substantial cost effectiveness is their considerable ROI. One study revealed that OOH advertising generates nearly 4 times more online activations per ad dollar than TV, radio and print.⁽³⁾ Additional research found that one dollar spent on outdoor media resulted in almost $3 in sales, which is a higher rate of return than other forms of advertising.⁽⁴⁾

    If that’s not enough, OOH ads can actually improve the ROI of your other media campaigns, reinforcing awareness and messaging. One study revealed that including OOH in a larger media campaign increased the ROI for search by 40% and the ROI for print by 14%.⁽⁵⁾

The power to target specific markets

  • Fleet graphics offer a great deal of targeting flexibility. You can combine short-term, medium-term and long-term graphics to change your graphic wraps at any time. Fleet vehicles also allow you to select routes and messages to target specific demographic groups. GPS technology can help optimize your routes and provide information for measurement.

Attention-grabbing

  • attention grabbing 3M fleet graphics on a commercial van driving through a city street

    Research shows that vehicle advertising stands apart from other forms of media because of its size, location and continued presence.⁽⁶⁾ Brightly colored vehicle wraps with big logos and messages are disruptive and can’t be ignored by commuters. In fact, in one survey, 64% of respondents said they noticed vehicle graphics.⁽⁷⁾ Another study revealed that vehicle advertising generates 30,000-70,000 daily vehicular impressions.⁽⁸⁾ If we just consider the lower end of these results, that would translate into millions of impressions per year. And unlike other marketing mediums, vehicle graphics aren’t subject to ad blockers, commercial-free streaming or other barriers that prevent brands from communicating with potential customers.

Reach on-the-go consumers where they are

  • Consumers spend significant time on their commute and away from home. On average, Americans spend 20 hours per week on the road.9 Often, consumers will encounter trucks, vans and cars with fleet graphics while they are on the physical path to purchase, such as driving to the store or mall; this creates an ideal opportunity to place brands top of mind.

    The numbers don’t lie. Fleet graphics remain a highly effective advertising tool and a great way to reinforce other marketing tactics. Their bright colors and large logos refuse to be ignored—garnering millions of visual impressions annually. After looking at the research, perhaps the question you should be asking isn’t whether you should be using fleet graphics; it’s why you haven’t started using them sooner.

Great graphics start with great graphic film

  • Five rolls of graphic film, with a shiny blue roll partly unfurled.

    Now that you understand the power of fleet graphics, it’s important to know what to consider when choosing them. Invest in high quality, premium graphic films to offer the best portrayal of your brand and for better end results and long-term cost savings. Choose durable graphic films that incorporate the latest technology to provide the added benefit of protection from damage, UV rays, scratches and peeling.

    While various companies manufacture and sell graphic films, 3M offers complete solutions backed by 3M science and support. 3M graphic films are engineered, tested and manufactured to help protect your brand. 3M has also earned a reputation for durability, uncomplicated and precise installation, simple maintenance, easy removability and comprehensive warranty coverage.

    See the statistics on brand recognition (PDF, 98 KB) >

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Related Content on 3M Fleet Solutions


  • 1,2,4 Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc.
    3 Nielsen Out-of-Home Online Activation Survey, March 2017
    5 Out-of-Home ROI &Media Mix Optimization Summary Report – Outdoor Advertising Association of America, 2018
    6,8 “Measuring the Value of Vehicle Wraps” by ARD Ventures, 2003
    7 Nielsen Out-of-Home Advertising Study, 2019
    9 Arbitron Out-of-Home Advertising Study, 2013 edition

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