Monday, July 03, 2006

Clutter, Clutter, and More Clutter

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Whenever I read a statistic about how many promotional messages we encounter every day, the number seems impossible. Further consideration of just how much clutter I see usually renders the count plausible, however.

During my recent cross-country trek, I must have been exposed to thousands of promotional messages: signs, billboards, the Doritos truck, etc.

In addition to the aforementioned truck (only of interest because I pointed it out to my kids), I remember solely two other promotional messages. First, I recall that Drury Hotels had several semi-clever billboards around the St. Louis area, where they are headquartered. I cannot recall that content now, however.

The other thing I remember is the back of an 18-wheeler full of Maxwell House coffee. The back was their familiar logo with a cup turned sideways and a single drop coming out. It was cool. (Note this image also has the name. The truck had just the cup).

The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why this valuable promotional surface was not being used more often. Sure, the occasional Doritos truck comes along. But far more often than not, I am stuck watching the back of semi trucks promoting their own trucking company.

Here is a bit of advice to the trucking industry: almost nobody cares about shipping companies. When I was a teen-ager working in the printing division of my parents' advertising agency, I cared about trucking companies. People who commercially ship stuff for a living care about trucking companies. No one else does, and "no one" is about 98% of the Interstate driving public.

So quit tooting your own horn (sorry, I could not resist the pun), and sell ads on the back of your trucks. Think about all the Americans pounding the pavement this summer, and you are missing out on a captive market! We know that most restaurant choices are made within a few moments before turning into the parking lot. So why not get those Golden Arches out there? Subway, anyone?

It's just an idea. But I think it's a good one. And I don't even want commission.


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