“Truckside Mobile Billboard Council Formed”

by Sheila Harwood, Special to Transport Topics

This is part of a larger article that appeared in the December 25, 2000, edition of Transport Topics, the newspaper of the trucking industry.

A truckside mobile billboard council has formed in response to the rapidly growing popularity of truckside and mobile billboard advertising. The 14-member Truckside Advertising Council of America is composed of truckside and mobile-advertising providers, their suppliers, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Traffic Audit Bureau.

The group aims to promote truckside and mobile-billboard advertising by striving for excellence in operating standards and promoting education, awareness and the research needed to drive accuracy and innovation.

The council, which started in March, 2000 as a 10-member steering committee, has since kicked off a comprehensive marketing campaign, which is working with TAB to deploy a new media measurement methodology and educated advertising media buyers on the virtues of the truckside-mobile media.

Strategic goals developed by TACA include:

    Establishing a clear marketing program for the industry thus “reinventing” truck advertising as a new medium.
  • Providing industry legislative representation and protection.
  • Offering communications support and timely research.
  • Supplying educational materials.
  • Keeping an online presence through the OAAA Web site.
  • Recognizing new TAB measurement technology

Intertwined with the TACA’s undertakings is the unveiling of the Traffic Audit Bureau’s updated technology that confirms the amount of people exposed to a truck-advertiser’s message. The media measurement methodology sets standards and provides real numbers to gauge actual exposure to the ads.

This high-tech methodology requires the use of a global positioning system tracking device and is based on data model from the Federal Highway Administration’s highway performance and monitoring systems. As the truck travels, GPS data is entered into the model using custom software, which then estimates the number of impressions visible to the occupants of cars passing the truck in both directions.

Using this estimate, a truck advertising operator can provide clients with a project statement detailing the total gross impressions during a completed campaign and the average daily effective circulation, per truck, for the advertiser’s program. TAB also will perform annual on-site audits with participating fleet- and truck- advertising operators to substantiate use of the methodology and software.