Marketing costs are no joke –business owners who have ever watched their hard-earned dollars swirling down the proverbial advertising toilet know how painful it can be. Sometimes, that investment pays for itself many times over; other times, that cash is gone forever without even paying for itself. Every dollar spent on marketing is precious, and businesses (especially small businesses) can’t afford costly marketing mistakes.

So, how do you spend judiciously on marketing and maximize the impact that your advertising dollars have? It helps to look at the numbers for some traditional marketing methods: vehicle wraps, billboards, radio, TV, and newspapers.

Comparing Costs

These methods are all similar in that they are distributed without partiality to type of viewer or listener. In other words, people from every demographic can view the ads through your chosen medium. The downside is that you can’t selectively advertise to your audience: it’s up to you to make the ad relevant for the people you want to attract to your business.

To compare these methods, you need to consider two metrics: CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and ROI (return on investment). Since CPM is independent of advertisement quality and can be readily estimated by networks, we’ll focus on that metric today.

The chart below contains data collected by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

Why Vehicle Wraps Lead the Pack

The winner for low cost advertising goes to car wraps, followed by billboards. Car wraps have been around since 1993, when Pepsi decided to try them out as a new form of advertising. They average $0.15 per thousand impressions, a mere 2% of the cost for equivalent radio advertising and only 0.7% of a primetime TV ad price.


So why are vehicle wraps so much less costly than traditional alternatives? There are two main reasons:

Vehicle wraps have a captive audience.

When you’re driving to work or running an errand, you have to keep your eyes on the road. If you’re driving behind a car plastered with the decal for a local cupcake bakery, you’ll definitely remember the bakery, and you might just develop a hankering for their cupcakes, too. Unlike TV or radio ads, which can be muted, drivers and their passengers have no choice but to notice your ad!


Vehicle wraps last for years.

Advertisements on short-term media such as TV and radio must constantly be renewed. Newspapers print once, and then you have to buy another space. Even billboards have monthly or yearly fees. Vehicle wraps, on the other hand, have one up-front cost that works for years to come. At Gatorwraps, for example, most customers squeeze 5-7 years of use out of their wraps. As long as you take care of your wrap, it can pay for itself many times over.

So, in terms of cost per impression, vehicle wraps beat out traditional media channels for advertising effectiveness. Considering how easy it is to buy and install the wrap, how long the wrap will last, and how many people you can reach, it’s worth considering how you can fit a vehicle wrap into your marketing budget.

To learn more about investing in a vehicle wrap, click here: we can help you get started by providing a quote for your vehicle(s). Alternatively, you can call 877-338-4848 to discuss the strategy that’s right for you.