By Marcia E. Gawecki
“Paint Your Wagon,” is more than just a musical or a Clint Eastwood western, it’s good business advice.
In 1920, the founders of Snap-on, a tool company which has grown into a $2.9 billion Fortune 500 enterprise, advised its franchisees to “paint their wagons.” Paint your truck, van or any moving vehicle to help market your products, they said. And if you live in a big city with skyscrapers, paint the top of your vehicle too.
What Snap-on innovators Joseph Johnson and and William Seidemann preached nine decades ago still holds true today. Besides advertisements, social media outlets, and the like, it’s still smart to “paint your wagon.”
To get the word out locally, Idyllwild Arts Academy recently wrapped one of its GMC vans with its marketing message. They got professional help from Monster Media of Riverside.
“We print big!” claims Monster Media’s web site, which is an expert on large format printing. Monster Media received the artwork from a design company working with the academy, and wrapped the van.
“We can’t take credit for the design,” said Mark from Monster Media. “But we definitely did the wrap.”
Monster Media changed the all-white GMC van into a moving billboard for Idyllwild Arts. Most of it is covered in the school’s signature green showcasing five Idyllwild Arts students.
The images are larger than life, but tell the story of Idyllwild Arts in an instant. There’s Angelo, from Moving Pictures, behind his video camera; Paulina, from Theatre, singing in a red sequinned dress and a plastic wig; Alex from the Music Department, playing his viola; Paul, a fashion designer, building a dress on a mannequin, and visual artist Dean painting at his easel.
Next to Paulina’s image, there’s a message to parents: “Your child deserves the best art education in the world!”
When one of the drivers brought the van back from Monster Media, several students cheered and walked around the van, looking at the images.
“Dean doesn’t go to school here anymore,” noted Kevin, another visual artist. “Why did they pick him?”
The wrapped van is a prototype, and images on future vans (if they decide to do more) may change.
A special phone number and web site is listed on the van to help the Marketing Department track the progress.
Although it is certainly colorful on the outside, the inside looks like the other school vans with tinted windows.
Chuck Streeter, who normally drives No. 4, the wrapped van, said it’s no different than from before. The only difference is the attention he gets on the road.
“Chuck said that he gets a lot of looks,” said Tucker McIntyre, head of Transportation at Idyllwild Arts.
I even drove it around town the other day, and he’s right. It really attracts attention,” Tucker added. “I like the way it looks.”
Tucker even encourages his drivers to park the wrapped van where the public can see it.
During a field trip to Mulligan’s Fun Park in Temecula on Saturday, June 16, driver Wayne Parker, noticed that a family was gathering around the school van, admiring it. The mother was putting the contact information into her cell phone.
“That’s what we like to see,” Wayne said.
Raj, a worker at the Shell Station in Valle Vista, where Idyllwild Arts fills up, smiled broadly at the new wrap.
“That is really something,” he said, as he grabbed his squeegee to wash the front window.
“Is it OK to wash it?” Raj asked.
Mark from Monster Media said that the wrap should last five years or longer. He advised to wash the van as normal, even adding wax.
“Just watch the seams,” said one of the Monster Media workers, as he sat eating his lunch. He and the others had put the wrap on the Idyllwild Arts van in one day.
The only thing that may wear out first is the words on the hood, Mark said.
“You see, the sun is beating down on the hood, and there’s also heat coming up from the engine,” Mark said.
“Idyllwild Arts” is printed on the hood in reverse letters.
“We put it in reverse, so that drivers can see it clearly in their rear view mirrors,” Mark explained. “That’s how ambulances do it.”
Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.