I often wonder whether or not advertising on work cars is a good idea. Especially given it is in many ways one of the negative sides of business – distribution, busy road, pullution. It might remind consumers that the brand is part of a large corporate monolith. You get the picture. But I’m starting to think this is different for startups.

Firstly, we’re only likely to have one or two vehicles out on the road. Secondly, it’s a good way to create brand awareness cheaply. A colleague of mine who has started a beverage company Jarritos Mexican soda has done just this. At a cost of $2000, he’s invented $50,000 worth of advertising. Which is what branded cars cost via media agencies. See below.

The key element to doing this successfully is making sure the vehicle and advertising matches the brand. For example, an environmentally friendly business should really only partake in such branding if it’s prepared to invest in hybrid / electric vehicles.

Would you advertise your startup on your car? In addition is there an opportunity to start a business branding civilian cars and in doing so helping the general population pay for their transport?



  1. Hi Steve,

    good question, I think it really depends on your product whether vehicle advertising is appropriate or not. There needs to be some kind of call to action that is pretty direct and relevant to the other road users. It probably makes sense if you have heaps of physical locations where people can find you, or a customer service number where you can enquire about or order the product super quickly. But if you’re selling, say, web design services, I am not too sure if there’s a natural connection between the vehicle and your service.

    Vehicle advertising can also work against you. I recently saw a taped up 10-year old small car with faded paint, some dings, and in need of a good wash parked on Brunswick St. Guess what it was advertising? Car detailing.

    Cheers, Jussi

  2. In answer to your latter question I know of someone working on that concept and has been developing it slowly for the last few years. Getting lots of interest too.

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