In Motion: Advertising at 65mph

With advertising popping up in the most obscure places, it was just a matter of time before some creative mind realized that commercial trucks actually offered a previously untapped opportunity  mud flaps.

The idea sprang from the mind of Jeff Heilbrun, president of Wyoming-based FlapMedia, who, while passing a tractor trailer on Interstate 80 two years ago, thought the flaps might be prime ad real estate.

"This is not like reading a magazine when you can just turn a page," Heilbrun explains. "Drivers have no choice but to look ahead, which often means seeing the mud flaps on the truck you are following."

Utah-based Central Refrigerated Service, whose fleet of 2,100 tractor trailers travel 15 million miles each month, currently carries FlapMedia advertising on over 300 of its trucks.

"We have had other companies come to us looking to put advertising on the back of our trucks, but the logistics involved with doing this gets much more involved," remarks Rob Goates, Central's chief financial officer. "All of our trucks have to have mud flaps, and once they are on, there really is no reason to take them off, which means that the advertiser will probably get a much longer exposure time than they originally bought. It's a win-win for all involved."

Initial research results from Keenan and Associates, Chicago, demonstrated recall rates surpassing traditional outdoor advertising, prompting the state of Wyoming to sign on as FlapMedia's first client with a two-month deal on nearly 300 trucks.

FlapMedia is targeting the entertainment, travel, and beer industries. With a cost per thousand of less than a dollar, many advertisers are sure to find mud flaps a smart addition to their overall media plan. Tricia Despres

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