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What is Vehicle Wrap Advertising?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated: May 17, 2024

Vehicle wrap advertising is a type of marketing that is achieved by plastering an entire vehicle with one particular advertisement. When a vehicle has been covered in advertisements, the vehicle then becomes a form of mobile advertising. Not only is this type of advertising simple to accomplish, it has also proven to be highly effective.

Advertising can be applied to a vehicle by painting the vehicle in question, though most companies choose to use vinyl decals in order to achieve vehicle wrap advertising. The reason for this is relatively simple: decals can be removed from a vehicle's surface easily, while paint is difficult to remove. Thus, more and more companies are paying to have large decals made that advertise a particular product or service.

Since the invention of vehicle wrap advertising, printing companies have come up with various types of decals that are used solely for this purpose. Vinyl decals that include air channels prevent any decal from bubbling. Further, some decals contain microscopic glass beads that prevent a decal from sticking to any surface until pressure has been applied to the decal. These things were not possible when vehicle wrap advertising first developed.

Decals used to create vehicle wrap advertising can be applied to back and side windows, though covering a front window is not advised. The portion of a decal that is placed over a window area usually contains perforations, so that passengers and drivers can see through the decal. Vehicle wrap advertising can be found in most large cities all over the globe, though some cities have banned this type of advertising for various reasons.

Mobile advertising is no longer permitted in New York City, since authorities have found that this type of advertising contributes to traffic congestion. Since advertisers seek highly populated areas within any given city, a vehicle that is used solely for advertising purposes may add to traffic jams. However, advertisers have found away around bans, such as the one in New York City, by using public transportation vehicles as mobile advertisements. While a city bus may be covered in an advertisement, a bus will not add to traffic congestion, since it has a particular purpose for being on the road during peak hours.

In Norway, any kind of vehicle wrap advertising, including public transportation advertising, is prohibited. Norwegian officials believe that, in the case of an accident, passengers would have a hard time breaking a window that is covered with a thick decal. Even though advertisers attempted to dispute this claim, the law against wrap advertising still exists within Norway.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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