Advertising on Your Car - Resident Evil on Wheels

Oh God! NOOOOOOO!! PLEASE NOOOOOOO! I knew the day would come when our highways and byways would be cluttered with advertising. Not in the billboard form (heinous enough) but on every automobile you passed. This article in the NY Times confirms that this hideous future is here and proliferating now. Is there no escape from the HELL of marketing? Is an asteroid our only hope? Vehicle Wrapping = Domestic Terrorism. We are doomed.

From the NY Times:

"Mr. Katz, 32, of Manhattan, is one of the tens of thousands of motorists who have signed up to have their cars and trucks wrapped in advertisements in exchange for a stipend up to $800 a month.

These offers are becoming so popular that car owners have been willing to limit where they shop and abide by a code of conduct while they are behind the wheel.

Even with the restrictions, a free car or a hefty subsidy is attractive to motorists like Mr. Katz. “One of my friends read something about someone giving away free cars for being a moving advertisement, which didn’t sound like anything that could actually happen,” Mr. Katz said, adding that it struck him as “a little shady.”

But he found the offer to be legitimate and has been paid handsomely to wrap his car for several companies, including Jamba Juice and Verizon Wireless.

"....A company like Procter & Gamble will come to us and say, ‘We have a new and improved Tide, and our target is stay-at-home moms with two-plus children who live in these 20 markets,’ ” Mr. Livingston said. His company then finds drivers in that demographic. “We feel that when you can wrap a mom’s car and get it to her P.T.A. meeting or Curves gym, you’re getting the acceptance from her social circle.”

The company either gives its brand ambassadors free cars or, more often, pays them as much as $800 a month. In the last seven years, FreeCar Media has hired about 7,000 motorists, who are instructed to park outside whenever possible, refrain from smoking, littering or swearing in their vehicle, and to attend a monthly influencer event where they hand out samples or coupons. They also have to send reports frequently with photographs to show where their cars have been.

People whose cars were wrapped with ads for two Coca-Cola products — Planet Java, a bottled coffee, and Vault, an energy drink — were cautioned against sipping Pepsi products behind the wheel. Nor could they park at restaurant chains like KFC or Pizza Hut that serve Pepsi exclusively, Mr. Livingston said.

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