Your client at the lunch truck
Reaching blue-collar workers, many of them Hispanic
September 27, 2009
Some outdoor advertising is seasonal, such as targeting football fans in the fall or college students on spring break. But some goes on in the fall and the spring and the summer and winter as well, and one example is targeting construction workers and other laborers with ad messages on lunch trucks.
Lunch trucks drive around cities and serve workers at factories and construction sites. Like any form of mobile advertising, the advantage of placing messages on lunch trucks is that the advertising goes where the people are.
But lunch truck advertising has gone well beyond simple signage. There’s everything from clings to wraps to sampling to street teams that accompany the truck on its rounds.
To find out how to get your client’s message in front of blue-collar, predominantly Hispanic workers, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising to workers on lunch trucks.
There are a handful of outdoor companies across the country that offer lunch truck advertising. Most have the capabilities to allow advertisers to target by market, region or nationally across multiple markets.
How it works
There are two types of lunch trucks: ones that serve cold items such as chips, candy and other snacks and others that serve hot food as well. In either case, the most common form of advertising is signage on the body of the truck.
Signage comes in a number of different forms. There are 57-by-27-inch units positioned on the truck’s side and tailgate, visible to workers on site but also to drivers and pedestrians en route from one site to the next. Advertisers can also place smaller 25-by-25 ads adjacent to the server window.Ad messages may also be placed in the interior of the truck behind the serving counter, where they are visible to waiting lines of customers.
For a greater impact marketers can also wrap the entire truck with their brand’s colors, logo and messages.
Another effective way to target workers using lunch trucks is through sampling. Drivers can hand out samples of snacks, beverages or other food products or packaged goods to workers. Product brochures can be handed out as well, or placed in plastic holders near the serving window.
Marketers also can employ street teams that travel around with lunch trucks and interact with workers during their lunch breaks. The teams can pass out samples and talk up a product.
MoneyGram ran a recent campaign that included promotional girls talking up the company’s services.
Lunch truck advertising is available in most markets but is most common in the top 60.
On an average daily route of 20 stops, lunch trucks will hit five construction sites, 10 light manufacturing industrial locations, such as factories and assembly plants, and five institutions, such as colleges and universities, according to Outdoor Advertising Systems.
In Los Angeles, one truck generates about 9,000 impressions per day.
How it is measured
Drivers track how many customers they serve, and brochures or samples distributed can be counted as well. Third-party audits can also be done to measure how many non-customers view truck signage, such as the people who see the signage as the truck is moving to a new location.
What product categories do well
Frequent lunch truck advertisers include retail, beverages, telecommunications, packaged goods, financial services, lottery and energy companies, as well as makers of products consumed by Hispanics.
Customers of lunch truck are largely Hispanic at 72 percent, with the other 28 percent a mix of white, black, Asian and other races, according to data collected by Outdoor Advertising Systems and overlaid with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Customers are 70 percent male and have an average annual household income of $52,500.
Making the buy
Pricing varies, but a three-month campaign across multiple markets in which 50 trucks are wrapped runs around $5,000 per month, plus production.
In the Los Angeles market, placing the small 25-by-25 inch signs by serving windows on 25 trucks cost $86.50 per month. To wrap five trucks the cost is $4,500 per month plus production, which is about $1,200.
Who’s already advertising on lunch trucks
Recent or current lunch truck advertisers include Boost Mobile, Tecate, Bacardi, National Grid, MoneyGram, Western Union, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Fanta and Coors.
What they’re saying
There are leased routes but drivers also have freedom to stop where they see people gathering. That allows advertisers to find out where the people are. “
Scot C. Taylor, CEO and founder of Outdoor Advertising Systems
Web site info
Outdoor Advertising Systems
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