CAGE MATCH! Billboards Vs. Vehicle Wraps

In this corner . . . it’s big, it’s bad, it’s over 600 square feet of streamlined advertising muscle . . . the BILLBOARD!

Aaaaand in this corner, it’s smaller and faster, sleek and mobile . . . Vehicle Wraps!


Cage Match - Vehicles Wraps vs. Billboards


OK, so we have spent some time in the last few blogs and whitepapers going over the benefits of billboard advertising, so let’s review.


  • Visibility:  Let’s face it, billboards are huge.  In terms of sheer size, you won’t find another medium as large.  The most standard size is 14’x48’, which is 672 square feet of advertising space.  You can also pinpoint that visibility to a specific target market by obtaining a space where your buyers are most likely to be driving.
  • Cost Effective: As you already know from previous whitepapers, billboards are extremely cost effective.  In terms of CPM (Cost per Thousand) it beats all other traditional forms of advertising such as TV, radio and print hands down.
  • Continual Advertising: As long as you are paying for the space, your advertisement is always up!  You don’t pay for 30 seconds and then done.  If your billboard is in your target markets drive path, they WILL see your ad on the way to work . . .. every day.  And if they forgot their cell phone and have to drive back home to go get it, they will see it again . . . at no additional cost to you!


Vehicle Wraps

Well, let’s clarify.  By vehicle wraps we mean all types of fleet graphics, be it vehicle wraps, truck graphics, cut vinyl letters on your minivan . . . whatever.  It’s advertising on something with wheels.

Not unsurprisingly, there are a lot of similarities between the benefits of vehicle wraps and billboards.  They both fit under the umbrella of “Out of Home Advertising”.  Both have high visibility, both are extremely cost effective.  Let’s focus on what the differences are between the two.

Vehicle wraps are highly visible in a slightly different way than billboards.  Basically, your vehicle is going to be highly visible as long as it is on the road.  So that may not be 24/7 advertising like a billboard, BUT it also is going to give you even MORE targeted advertising than a billboard.  Why?  Because most company vehicles are delivery or service vehicles.  They are basically driving from your point of business (also potentially the point of sale!) directly to your clients’ residence or office.  Guess who is surrounding the destination point?  More potential clients!

Costs?  Well, it WILL cost more money to wrap your car, truck or van than it would to buy the vinyl for a billboard.  That said, the production cost on a billboard is actually almost incidental to the most expensive part of a billboard: the lease.  If you as a company or business owner have a vehicle, then you are already paying (or even better, you are DONE paying) a monthly lease/payment on your vehicle!  Basically, you are already paying for the most expensive part of billboard advertising.  That means that unless  you are buying a vehicle with the express purpose of doing nothing other than advertise with it, the lease is essentially “free” when compared to billboards (it won’t be anything additional than what you are paying already).

So, let’s make a final judgment:


Visibility:  TIE

Billboards are up 24/7, but vehicles are a little more targeted.


Impact: TIE

Both provide a large “canvas” to work with.  In terms of sheer size, billboards win, but vehicles are viewed more close up and can be more creative by using the shape of the vehicle as a design element.


This is where the rubber really meets the road.  Gotta give a slight advantage to Vehicle Wraps.  The upfront cost of the graphic is slightly higher, but there is no additional monthly lease payment.



Clear winner here is vehicle wraps, again for the lease reason.  Billboards cost you every month, while the only cost of the wrap is the upfront cost of putting on the graphics.  The advertisement will be there as long as you own the vehicle (most vehicle wraps are guaranteed to last for 3-7 years).


And the inner is . . . . Vehicle Wraps . . . with the caveat being that you actually own or lease a vehicle for work.  If you take the bus, or your spouse won’t let you use your personal car to advertise for work . . . then a lot of the cost advantages of vehicle graphics over billboards disappear.

We’ll see you next time . . . . in the CAGE MATCH!