The history of vehicle wraps follows a linear path that can most easily be explained by understanding the history of outdoor advertising. By understanding how humans have been marketing to the public throughout the centuries, we can see that mobile advertisements on vehicles was a natural progression. The history of vinyl and more specifically the vinyl wrap is unique, but tied so closely to that of all ancient and modern advertising that we thought it only made sense to walk you through the full history of marketing, leading up to modern vehicle graphics.
In the beginning, there was the papyrus. Egyptians used the papyrus for wall posters and sales messages. Commercial entities used painted stones or walls. Painting on the walls was something that originated during 4000 BCE with Indians and their stone-art paintings; this is just an example of evolution of outdoor media marketing. The Egyptians used large stone obelisks to publicize their treaties and laws. Nevertheless, outdoor marketing is a relevant form of media communications today.History of Ancient Advertising
The definition of outdoor marketing is any marketing that is done outdoors to promote or publicize a business product or service. There are many types of marketing that includes billboards, interiors and exteriors of buses, business, and taxi vehicles, signage on the exterior of brick-and-mortar buildings, billboards, and signs on bus benches. Other marketing methods may include door-to-door knocking where a person tries to connect on a personal level within the community. Some people will walk around the downtown area of the city where there is an abundance of individuals out and about and directly confront potential consumers.History of Outdoor Marketing
The earliest date where a billboard was used date back to 1835. Before the invention of lithography, signboard copy was a small scale of advertisement and did not have as much effect as it does today. During the 1860's, billboard space became increasingly available for purchase from outdoor marketing agencies. The IBPANA (International Billboards Poster Association of North America) was formed on 1872. They shortened and changed their name to OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Association of America) and they are still quite active today. The association made significant improvements and changes to how they utilize their marketing mediums as well as the technology involved.History of Billboards
Vehicle graphics was utilized back in the late 19th century, where services and products were painted on horse carts and rail cars. During the 1880's, a locomotive was used as rolling billboard and brought recognition to some of the biggest brands such as Sears & Roebuck, Ford, Kellogg, etc. It is not uncommon for metro buses, taxis, vehicles, boats, and trains to utilize a graphic advertisement. Not much changed when gasoline powered cars came out and trains started using diesel fuel, and that still holds true now that many vehicles are becoming electrically powered. The technology used to create graphics, and the graphics themselves are more advanced than before. Some vehicles are dedicated marketing mediums and are generally deployed in areas where the population is dense and compact; it would generate a lot of views and attention. Clients may preselect routes where employees or contractors will drive the vehicle for the sole purpose of marketing. Some common places where vehicle graphics are used for marketing are motocross racing, NASCAR, and other motorsports.History of Vehicle Graphics
On August 28, 1922, people heard their first radio commercial. It was a Queens, New York radio sponsorship for condominiums in Jackson Heights. By the 1930's, radio sponsorships overtook the public by storm and advertisements fueled the future of radio. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) was established under the Communications Act of 1934, which regulates broadcasting for commercial entities. The laws are relatively unchanged since the Radio Act of 1927.History of Radio Advertising
The first record of TV ADs is on July 1, 1941. It was on a local New York channel during a baseball game. The advertisement lasted approximately 10 seconds, and it cost $4; this was the revolution of the television. Because of the success of the Bulova TV advertisement, everyone else decided to follow suit with their marketing efforts as well. During the 1950's, television advertisements went through significant changes. There were more opportunities to sponsor entire programs that showcased services and products. Big name brand companies such as General Electric, Colgate, and Kraft began taking advantage of the opportunities to sponsor their shows. Networks started renting the advertisement spots as a way to gain revenue. During the 1990's, television marketing underwent significant changes. A typical hour-long program would have up to 19 minutes of space for advertisers. As time goes on, the TV ADs space becomes more expensive and shorter in duration.History of TV Advertising
When the Internet was created, its purpose was for emails and exchanging information between infrastructures such as the Department of Defense and other military affiliations. On 1979, CompuServe began offering technical and email support to personal computer users. It wasn't until 1990 that the first web browser was created; it was called the WorldWideWeb, not to be confused with the World Wide Web. On 1993, the first GUI (Graphical User Interface) web browser, Mosaic, was created and thus began the Internet boom. During 1991, B2B (Business-2-Business) became popular, and over the next few years, the Internet began hosting consumer online shopping centers. On 1995, Amazon was first introduced to the world.
While the search engine was technically created in 1990, it was not until 1994 that a contemporary search engine was invented. WebCrawler, a search engine company, released the search engine that indexed headers, titles, and the content of a web page. Lycos, another search engine, was released, and it added to the features by ranking results based on user relevancy. During the late 2000's, Apple made the development of mobile phone apps popular. Because of their third-party software with its 'i' operating system, mobile phone users were able to select how they wanted to view and consume their internet content. In order to take advantage of the search engines and all they have to offer, companies generally employ the use of Search Engine Optimization engineers and copywriters to get the marketing results that they want.History of Online Marketing
Vinyl wraps became popular over two decades ago in the UK. The first known car to use a complete vehicle wrap is a taxi. During the 1990's, German taxis starting using wraps and thus began a new marketing industry. A modern car wrap is just another way of describing a vinyl sticker that wraps the body of the car, but it is nevertheless an effective way to advertize for commercial entities. Car wraps are an effective way to reach the masses by simply doing what many consumers today do, and that is driving. The most common place to see a car wrapped in vinyl graphics are on racing cars or race tracks involving vehicles. Nowadays, musicians such as hip-hop artists and rappers use vinyl signs on their vehicles to promote their music. Quality vehicle wraps can be printed out and will last around five years without the need to re-spray or repaint the vehicle's original color.Modern Vehicle Wraps