10 unique experiential marketing trailer uses for agencies and brands
March 28, 2019
Experiential marketing budgets continueto rise, which means the opportunity to create epic brandexperiences has never been better. As agencies get more creative with theirtactics and the availability of technological advances they can incorporateincreases, the uses for trailers in experiential remain as trustworthy and versatileas ever.
The first thought many account managers have when they hear theterm ‘marketing trailer' is mobile tour. If I don’t have a client with a bigmobile tour on the horizon, they think, why would I need a marketing trailer?
But any good marketer should consider all options at his orher disposal. There are many ways a trailer can be put to use for your client to drive engagement and brand awareness.
In fact, here are 10 great uses for a mobile event marketing trailer.
1. Product Sampling
I’ll get the most obvious one out of the way right off thebat. If you have a mobile sampling tour – especially one that is national orregional – a trailer is the perfect vessel. Step vans are popular for consumerpackaged goods (CPG) brands, but should really only be used locally becausethey aren’t built to travel long distances.
At Mosaic, I managed a program that utilized a step van fora 15-market national tour and the logistics of that scenario were a disaster.On the initial drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, the truck has to be takendirectly to the repair shop to have the brakes replaced. It also could barelytop 50 miles per hour, which caused us to increase our travel time from marketto market, resulting in fewer activation days and a longer tour than budgeted.
A trailer makes far more sense because your tour managerscan drop it at their event location and use their tow vehicle to get around. Ontheir days off, they can leave the trailer in the hotel parking lot and cruisearound the city.
Advantage Trailer has done sampling trailers for brands suchas Curate, which utilized a 24-foot stage trailer to sample their granola barsthroughout the Midwest, and Popeye’s, which took a 53-foot full mobile kitchentrailer across the country, among others.
2. Product Demo
For the same reasons described above, a trailer makes sensefor product demo as well. Chaco Footwear turned a 16-foot stage trailer into amobile fitting room for their Traveling Taqueria Tour, allowing music festivaland college event attendees to try on their new line of Chaco sandals.
Similarly, we created a mobilefitting room out of a 10-foot pop-up trailer for the French-inspiredfemale clothing line, Basiques. The trailer allows businesswomen on their lunchbreak to try on clothing, get a full body scan to determine what fits thembest, and have those items custom-tailored to order.
AT&T and Verizon have both utilized custom trailers fromAdvantage to demo their products and services to customers at events andoutdoor malls, while James Hardie takes their custom pop-up trailer to fairsand festivals to demonstrate their home siding and panels.
3. Product Display
Perhaps you have a brand that just needs to display productor an item. That’s what Ardbeg did on their The PEAT Hopper Tour. Advantagecustom-built a glass-sided trailer to haul Ardbeg’s one-of-a-kind chopper,allowing customers to see it as it traveled from activation to activation.
A glass-sided trailer is ideal for showcasing something onthe move, but it can also be useful on-site. Let’s say you want to wow eventattendees but you don’t necessarily want them to touch it. Instead of usingtacky ropes and stanchions, a branded trailer can communicate your brand messageand create a higher sense of awe.
Another idea would be to use a trailer as a visual focalpiece to run a contest at a large music festival. Take one of my formerclients, Kettle Brand, for example. They could wrap a clearview product display trailer like a bag of chips with one side open,fill it with chips, and have attendees guess how many are inside for a chanceto win.
The possibilities are endless.
4. Product Sales
Many experiential programs are starting to incorporateon-site selling into their activations and a trailer makes that easy.
Jeanette DesJardins, founder of Car Chix, utilized a 7-footby 12-foot concession trailer tomake her life easier and expand her business. She travels to raceand motorsports events across the country promoting women’s interests in theindustry and the trailer significantly reduced her setup and breakdown time,while increasing her organization and product sales.
Spiderz Batting Gloves recently launched a tour with a custom-built24-foot stage trailer that they use to sell batting gloves and other apparel atMajor League Baseball stadiums and other baseball and softball events. At theirkickoff event in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. they used the rear fold-down stage as aDJ booth.
Whether product sales are the sole purpose of your campaignor just one component of a larger experience, a trailer legitimizes your salesefforts by giving your product a defined and branded space with the look andfeel of the brick-and-mortar that consumers are used to.
5. Trade Shows
The four uses outlined above are the most straightforwarduses of a trailer for marketing purposes, but now let’s take a look at some youmay not have thought of.
Instead of a pop-up tent, a step-and-repeat, or a difficult-to-set-upmodular display, why not customize a trailer to serve as your trade showfootprint? Yes, you have the towing costs to get it to and from the show, butyou don’t have the labor costs of setting up, and while other trade showvendors are spending hours putting together their booths, you can pull it in,drop it, and hit the town.
Last fall, the 3D design, engineering, and constructionsoftware company, Autodesk, used a 24-foot stage trailer asthe centerpiece of the construction quad at their annual AutodeskUniversity show in Las Vegas. The defined footprint made it easy for attendeesto register for sessions, network with others, and receive their swag.
Advantage also custom-built a trailer for SP Gadgets, whoused it as their trade show booth to showcase their products. Attendees couldenter the trailer and browse the products hanging on the wall, just as if theywere in a physical store.
A detachable tongue saves space so there is no wasted space in the booth size you paid for, meaning your consumer experience can be customized exactly to the size you need .
Does your brand want to educate consumers on an issue,topic, or even your brand history? An educational trailer is a great way to dothis.
Two years ago we built a custom educational trailer for theNavarre Beach Marine Science Station in Pensacola, Fla. The trailer is equippedwith several fish tanks that allow kids to interact with marine animals and vegetationat local festivals. Branding around the trailer provide educational messagingabout the marine ecosystem and the impact humans have on it, providing thestaff great visuals to teach from.
Similarly, the Atlantic City (NJ) Aquarium invested in atrailer that now serves as their TravelingTouch Tank. They bring it to schools, festivals, community events,and corporate gatherings, allowing kids and adults alike a hands-on experiencewith stingrays, crabs, bamboo sharks, and more.
The National Museum of the Pacific War recently commissionedAdvantage Trailer to custom build a trailer, which now serves as their MobileEducation Center in Fredericksburg, Texas.
All three of these examples are outside the box ideas by anindustry that is typically thought of as stuffy and stuck in its ways. Insteadof sitting back and waiting for customers to come to them, these museums are usingcustom trailers to take the education directly to where people work, shop, andplay.
7. Disaster Response
In today’s political climate many brands are wading intosupport of issues on both sides of the aisle, looking for causes to align withtheir brand, or simply using their influence to help those in need.
Take Budweiser, for example. The beer industry giant regularlyresponds to natural disasters by converting some of its production plants tocanning water for those in affected areas.
Or Tide’s Loads of Hope program, which takes clothingdonations and donates them to those who lost everything in a natural disaster.
A trailer allows brands to serve those in need. In 2017, weput together a mobilelaundromat full of LG washing machines and dryers. In this case, itwas bare bones but LG had us build it strictly to serve a purpose: to givethose affected by the flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey a place to washtheir clothes.
We have also done several disaster response trailers forchurches and other groups across the country, allowing them to quickly respondwhen natural disasters strike.
Incorporating a corporate social responsibility piece intoyour next marketing program is just a smart thing to do because it allows yourclient’s brand to help others and gain some positive publicity in the process.
8. Food & Concession
Food trailers can range anywhere from a small 6-foot by10-foot concession trailer to a 53-foot full mobile kitchen. Likewise, they canhave a number of uses for experiential marketing programs.
The most obvious would be to serve your brand’s food ordrinks. We’ve done mobile bars, which would be perfect for Bud Light, MillerLite, or other beer brands to serve drinks at festivals and events. We’ve alsodone several mobile barbecue trailers like Bub City’s The Rigand the Lillie’s Q competition trailer,which allow them to cater and serve their food at private and public events orcompete against the best in the world.
Last fall, one of our clients launched a 48-foot foodtrailer in Austin, Texas that features a full rotisserie-focused restaurant onthe front and a saucetasting bar on the back. His business model is to feature up to 14different sauces from independent sauce makers across the country, allowingconsumers to try free samples, and if they like, purchase bottles on-site.
But what if your brand isn’t a food or beverage brand? Howcould you utilize a food trailer?
The best answer is another question: How creative are you?
How about incorporating a concession-style coffee trailer orice cream trailer into your event? Or a taco trailer like Chaco’s TravelingTaqueria, which had nothing to do with footwear, but offered festival attendeessomething everyone loves – tacos!
Really, you’re only limited by your imagination when itcomes to utilizing trailers as part of your activation. Even if you aren’t analcohol brand, a custom mobile bar trailer can enhance your owned event in away that your run of the mill portable catering bar can’t.
If you’re not a food or beverage brand, a CPG brand, or anapparel brand, there are still ways to employ a trailer for marketing purposes.
We are currently fabricating a custom trailer that willserve as a mobile lash bar, allowing a stylist to perform hair, eyelash, andother cosmetic services, including tattoos, for customers without being tied toa physical location.
The same could be done for, say, Procter & Gamble’s healthand beauty products. A custom trailer in which customers at a festival can gettheir hair washed with Vidal Sassoon, or a free dental checkup and cleaningwith Crest, or a mobile barber that provides free shaves with Gillette productswould be a great way to allow consumers to experience the product in anengaging way on their terms.
Finally, a trailer can be a perfect solution forperformances. One of the three main types of marketing trailers we offer is astage trailer, which ranges from 16 to 48 feet depending on your needs.
Liven up your next event with a DJ booth inside a brandedstage trailer. Or if you are hiring a band, a larger stage trailer canaccommodate a full band. One of our customers did just that for his travelingroad show.
We also recently completed a mobile magic trailer for amagician in Virginia Beach, Va. that he can take to schools, parks, andcorporate events to entertain.
If you are overseeing an owned event, lease a stage trailerto serve as the attention-grabbing performance space for your DJ or live band. Or,if your live band requires a traditional stage, deck out a trailer withcomfortable furniture to serve as the artist’s green room.
As you have seen throughout this post, there is no shortageof ways a trailer can be used for experiential marketing purposes. The biggestbenefit of all is that a trailer is mobile, allowing your brand to move fromevent to event or market to market and replicate the same experience for adifferent consumer group. Even if you don’t have a national tour, a trailer simply provides flexibility and options.
If you don’t want to purchase a trailer, Advantage Traileroffers leasable marketing trailers, giving you the benefits of a trailerwithout the storage and maintenance costs associated with owning one.
By working with Advantage Trailer, you not only get afamily-owned and operated small business that has been selling and customizingtrailers for 30 years, you also get a marketingagency veteran to help guide you through the process. Thatcombination is something no other trailer dealer/fabricator can offer.
We take great pride in helping our clients build theirdream, whether for personal use or to bring their client’s brand to life. Ifyou have any question about whether or not a trailer would work for yoursituation, we can talk you through it.
Call 630-524-2029 to speak with one of our trailer experts oremail firstname.lastname@example.org a quote today.
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