Why Bumper Pull Trailers are Perfect for Mobile Marketing
March 17, 2023
I was flipping through the pages of the latest issue of Exhibitor Magazine when I came across an article titled Alternate Routes. What caught my eye was a photo of a trailer that we had built several years ago for Ardbeg’s The Peat Hopper Tour.
It’s no surprise that one of our trailers was used as the example for the Bumper Pull Trailers section of the feature. They are our specialty, after all!
However, as an experiential marketing agency veteran, I can offer more insight than the short paragraph in the magazine.
Daniel Caron, vice president of business development for Turtle Transit, Inc., is quoted in the piece. “Bumper pull trailers are great for mobile marketers who want to host product demonstrations but are also limited by modest budgets,” he said. “These trailers also require a smaller — and therefore less expensive — staff to run. Moreover, the monetary savings often translate to marketers being able to afford more stops on their tours, allowing them to see more customers and prospects.”
While I agree with everything he said, there’s much more to it. In fact, nearly all of the “pros” that the article lists for each common vehicle and trailer option can also apply to bumper pull trailers.
Pros of bumper pull trailers
1. For budgets of all sizes
Bumper pull trailers are certainly a good option for experiential activations on a modest budget. But that’s not their limit. No matter your budget, a trailer is a great option for many of the other reasons, most notably because…
2. They are fully customizable
Bumper pull trailers are fully customizable. The Exhibitor article attributes customizability as a pro of pods, but it’s absolutely true of bumper pull trailers as well. Take this mobile healthcare consultation trailer that we did for Florida Blue, for example.
We took a standard 24-foot stage trailer and added clear acrylic walls with sliding doors to create multiple consultation rooms. We also built a custom wood slat wall photo op.
Another great example was the Timberland Stoop trailer that we did last fall. It started with a 16-foot cargo trailer. We added a vending window, graphic wrap, and custom peg board to the interior. We also installed a custom hex wall to the exterior and other design elements.
We’ve done hundreds of custom trailers for brands with all types of budgets.
3. Quick to set up
Quick setup is the main pro for sprinter vans according to the Exhibitor article, but it’s also a major advantage of bumper pull trailers.
Consider what Hudson Shark sales manager Matt Muffleman said about the impact their trailer made.
“For years upon years we just used a 10×10 pop-up tent – throw everything in the back of the truck, unload it, set it up, and keep going back and forth, doing that over and over,” Muffelman explained. “Throughout the years, when storms or bad weather comes through, it ends up either destroying things or getting us wet. We were at the mercy of the elements.
“We’ve been able to make sure that people have better racing, have their shells prepared better,” Muffelman continued. “At the same time, it allows us to work harder for longer in the same elements because we have essentially almost a mobile home as opposed to a pop-up tent. It not only represents a better image and a better job, but as the main employee who works out of it, it has allowed me to do my job better for longer and stay happier.”
Car Chix founder Jeanette DesJardins shared a similar experience about her trailer.
“It has been a life saver. Instead of spending hours setting up pop-up tents and all the product display items, carrying bins full oft-shirts from my car to the tent, and trying to keep everything organized while selling products – all while potentially standing in the mud or trying to stay dry – I can just pull up my trailer, pop open the window, and be ready to sell.”
4. Available to lease
The article in Exhibitor lists “lease availability” as a pro of semitrailers. Clearly the writer hasn’t seen our trailer leasing program. We currently have a 24-foot stage trailer, a 8.5-foot by 16-foot vending trailer, and a 26-foot BBQ/concession trailer available to lease. We have a tailgate trailer on order and we can also lease out smaller cargo trailers.
Sometimes purchasing a large asset just doesn’t make sense, either financially or due to post-tour storage space. That’s why we offer mobile marketing trailers for lease. We know that many experiential agencies don’t want to own a trailer because when the tour ends they have to store, maintain, and either convert it for another program or sell it. Leasing eliminates that hassle.
5. Easy to maneuver
Exhibitor claims that the cons of a bumper pull trailer are ‘long turn radius’ and ‘reduced maneuverability’ but that doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, a large trailer can be hard to maneuver, but functional trailers can still be nimble.
A local experiential marketing agency came to us in the fall of 2021 looking for a sampling trailer for Baylor University’s Dr. Pepper Hour tour. That was in the height of the pandemic when lead times were long and availability was in short supply.
We converted a 7-foot by 12-foot fiber optic splicing trailer into a sampling trailer for them. It was small enough to be easily pulled around high school campuses throughout Texas serving up frosted Dr. Pepper drinks to prospective students.
When your activation involves a mobile tour or multiple stops, a bumper pull trailer is the ideal vehicle. Pods will eat your budget alive with shipping fees. Motorcoaches are huge gas guzzlers. Semitrailers are impractical. Sprinter vans are ok for getting from place to place, but when your staff has days off they’re stuck driving the sprinter van around.
With a bumper pull trailer, it’s easy to get from place to place, especially if you have a lightweight aluminum trailer. Most common trucks, including new electric trucks, can pull a standard sized trailer. Plus, when your staff is off (and when the trailer is in place at a festival) they can easily get around in the truck.
7. Friendlier on insurance & maintenance
If your brand or agency has put a vehicle on the road, you know the importance of having it insured. Bumper pull trailers are common enough that they’re simple and affordable to insure, as opposed to a container.
Additionally, should you ever need maintenance done to it, you can take your trailer to any trailer shop in the country to get it fixed. Motorcoaches and pods, on the other hand, will be harder (and likely take longer) to get back on the road.
As you can see, there are many reasons a bumper pull trailer makes sense for mobile marketing tours. I didn’t even mention storage, air conditioning, lighting, electricity, a defined footprint, and always-on branding, which you can read more about in a previous blog post.
At Advantage Trailer, we specialize in creating custom mobile marketing trailers for brands directly or through experiential agencies.
Want to learn more?
Read more about our custom trailer capabilities.
To borrow a phrase from Farmer’s Insurance, we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two. Not only do we have over 30 years in the trailer business, but we have more than a decade of in-agency experience on our team. I personally managed experiential activations for brands such as Kettle Brand, Welch’s, Evolution Fresh, Sea Cuisine, Verizon, and Grey Goose, to name a few. Most of these utilized trailers or other vehicles.
I’ve been on your side, which makes me uniquely qualified to be your partner from this side.
Give us a call at 630-580-5840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started.
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