When Truckside Advertising Becomes Ambient Advertising

Posted by Nadia Coulibaly on September 24, 2019
Nadia Coulibaly
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At this point, you should know that nothing is impossible in advertising. As long as creativity is involved, there is no limit. For example, an advertising campaign can include more than one medium, but have you seen one medium that can do both? By that, I mean truckside ads and ambient ads in one advertisement. I know what you're thinking. How is that possible? Well, let me remind you what ambient advertising is first.

Ambient advertising is about placing ads in unusual places or on unusual objects where you wouldn't usually see an advertisement. Also, it's already been established that ambient is part of OOH or out-of-home advertising just like truckside advertising. In case you still don't know, let me remind you what truckside advertising is. Truckside advertising is a billboard that is affixed to a truck that is for the purpose of advertising to the general public. So, how does one become the other? How do both mesh to create one, unified campaign? 

They Can Both Be Billboards

Have you ever heard the term, "moving billboard?" Most people would call it a mobile billboard, but really, it's a billboard that moves. It comes in many categories: car wraps, truck wraps, bus wraps, and so on. But our focus today is truck side advertising. Since it's a moving billboard, it has all the characteristics of a billboard as well. It can be digital, it comes in many sizes, it's very creative and definitely grabs people's attention.

As for ambients being billboards, it's a bit tricky and obvious at the same time. Let me explain. A typical billboard would be one with a picture and some words on print. Or a digital with different clips playing every x amount of seconds. However, once that normality is broken, we enter the ambient world, and there are many examples to back this up. Again, ambient is unexpected, surprising, bold, but creative. So how do you include all that in a billboard? You'd be surprised.

Some creatives use time and the elements to prove their point. To show off Tyrolit's Iceline knife range's USP, the ad agency Heimat put up a billboard that had only a metal sheet with the brand's logo. People passing by were first intrigued and didn't know what it meant. As days passed, the billboard's surface got covered in rust, leaving only the shape of the knife untarnished. The tagline said: "Flawless. Forever". 

 

This billboard broke down over time to reveal the advertised message; the USP

 

Sometimes, it's not the billboard itself, but how you complement it. Take a look at this billboard, for example. Wieden+Kennedy worked with Corona to put it up as a celebration of World Oceans Day. They hired artist Andy Billett to create a 3D wave using plastic waste collected in the UK and combined it with a picture of Chris Hemsworth surfing. It was easy to understand for anyone: The amount of waste in our oceans is alarming, and we need to do something about it. The billboard seemingly sprang to life and used real waste graphics below it.

 

This ambient relied on real waste to hit the message home

 

Simple, yet clever. And, of course, very creative. Leo Burnett came up with this impressive billboard/ambient advert that combined their design with the sun to enhance the main feature of the hair colorant Koleston Naturals. Yes, the sun. The billboard features a woman's die-cut hair throughout the day. As the day passes and becomes night, the woman's hair color changes as well due to the sunrise and sunset. This is just brilliant.

 

This ambient changes when the sun does

 

They Are Both Targeted

As a moving billboard, truckside advertising is very targeted. It's mostly targeted to locals and commuters. Most of the time, when a company does truckside advertising, it's for people around town to see and look it up. Whether as a driver or a passerby, a successful truck ad would have made some impression on you. It makes more sense for a local business to use truckside ads because it's only moving around a specific area anyway. Would you pay for a truck to ride around Vancouver when your business is located in Quebec? It can advertise an international business as well, as long as it has a location in the area where the target is. Also, truckside ads are more appropriate for targeting drivers because it's when they're on the road when they have the time to look at it. When driving through slow traffic, it's easier for people to look at the cars around them than to watch billboards. I mean, what if your lane isn't on the side of the road? You'd most likely miss any billboard.

Ambient advertising is as targeted as truckside advertising because it reaches people that pass by the actual ad. With the rise off social media, millions of people will see it, but not all of them will interact with it. And we all know that ambient is more about interacting with the ad. In the case of sampling or product demonstration, for example, who do you think is likely to be reached? The target market, of course. Seems too vague? Let me give you an example.

 

Avon's lipstick encourages interaction people on social wouldn't be able to experience

I know I've overused this one, but it fils so well that I can't help it. The giant lipstick that samples lipstick was a great idea; no one can deny that. What's more interesting about it though is that it reached exactly who it was supposed to reach: people interested in makeup, lipstick users, and people who like free stuff. My point is, these two advertising mediums are targeted and, in using them, you are sure to make plenty of impressions where it counts.

They Are Both Affordable

I wasn't planning on breaking down costs for both mediums, but I'll still give you some insight about what it can cost. The first thing to consider is the size. For truck advertising, the bigger the truck, the higher the price since the amount of vinyl that will be used will be plentiful. Second, the truck rental fees. Depending on who you're working with, you could spend up to $2,000 or more on a 4 week period. Finally, the creative and design services. For that, you'd have to dig deeper, but you can be confident that you won't spend over $1,000 on the design for one ad. But of course, the rates go higher when you want many trucks on the road with your ad at the same time.

You can go through the whole process yourself, or you can just hire a truckside advertising company to do everything for you. In that case, you'd save both money and time. They will do all the work, and you'll also be able to track your trucks and their impressions. How cool is that? As for ambient advertising, I can't give you an exact rate because it depends on too many elements: the location, the medium, the creatives, and so on. A simple ambient including painting a bike, for example, would be way cheaper than installing a beer dispenser on your billboard.

Building a giant cereal box in the middle of the street will undoubtedly cost a fortune compared to transforming a street light into a real lamp by just adding the lamp cover to it. Ambient sometimes doesn't even have to include something crazy. Just a sticker can do the trick. 

 

This creative IKEA ambient simply put a lampshade over a streetlight

 

There are cases where a brand uses another brand's ad to make its own. Sometimes it's simple, but some other times, it's not. In both case though, it saves them money and time. The creative aspect, however, doesn't change. I mean, coming up with such ad ideas, no matter how simple they are, still requires a lot of creativity. The only problem with this method is that you may have to talk to the other advertiser about it first if you don't want to face any legal trouble. 

Truck Advertising as Ambient

The types of truckside advertising that could literally be considered ambient are those that seem very realistic. It's usually full wrapped trucks or 3D truck ads. It's really not complicated to make; you just need to hire a great designer. But the result is always impressive. They create an illusion of reality and have a real shopping power. It's guaranteed to make your audience look twice. Usually, ambient truckside relies on the power of digitalization to make magic experiences happen. 

 

This ambient mobile billboard uses 3D ocean whale footage to create a tank-like appearance and underwater vibe

 

As you have read, truckside advertising and ambient advertising aren't so different and can absolutely can together to create memorable branding experiences that are both interactive in person and shared over social media, garnering even more impressions. 

 

Topics: Out-of-Home Advertising, billboard ads, Ambient advertising, ambient billboards

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