Let your vehicles drive your advertising


March 8, 2023

Photo: ABC Home & Commercial Services

ABC’s trucks are designed to be “rolling billboards” for the company. Photo: ABC Home & Commercial Services

In the pest control industry, one of the easiest and most common ways to get your company name out in your service areas is with your vehicles.

But have you ever been driving around and noticed a vehicle with really eye-catching graphics or signage, only to forget the name of the company or even what the company does? This is an all-too common issue not only in our industry, but in many others. What good is catching someone’s attention with visuals if they either can’t remember your company name, or what you can do for them?

Keep it simple

One example I see a lot is a company in the restoration business; they are the folks who help property owners after water or fire damage. Their trucks are wrapped and feature a superhero character, but there is so much going on that it is difficult to read who they are or what they do. Even the company name is hard to see, as it is lost in the wrap artwork. These trucks — and I assume the company’s office — are in the same area as my office, but I could not tell you their phone number or their website if you paid me to quote it. Their trucks are both eye-catching and confusing at the same time.

Our industry has lots of examples of effective vehicle signage — Orkin Pest Control, Terminix, Arrow Exterminators and Massey Services, just to name a few. You never see one of their vehicles without knowing who they are and what they do. Now, they have been putting their names out there for many decades, so I am not trying to be too simplistic about this, but you have to admit: When you see their vehicles, you recognize them immediately. While I totally respect these companies, I also feel they are missing a mascot, one with which people can connect.

At ABC, our dad — Bob Jenkins Sr., a PMP Hall of Famer (Class of 2005) — believed in this, and my brothers and I all follow in his footsteps. When Dad first bought the one-man operation called ABC Pest Control in 1965, it had a logo mascot of a rat wearing a Mexican sombrero and peasant clothing, and he was dodging bullets that were coming out of the “ABC.” In the late 1960s, there was an outcry against the “Frito Bandito” as being racist so at that same time, ABC’s Mexican-themed rat came under scrutiny. As a result, Mom and Dad sat at the kitchen table and came up with a new mascot: the Anteater.

Encourage contact

The graphics on your vehicles should be easy to read, and easy for people to understand what you do. Ideally, your graphics also would include a website or phone number that is easy to remember. Ours used to be ABCPest.com until we added many other lines of business, including lawn care; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC); plumbing; electrical and handyman services. Now, we have a couple of web addresses: GoAnteater.com and ABCHomeAndCommercial.com.

For your vehicle to be part of your marketing plan, the graphics on it must be simple, clear and clean enough so that when it passes by, you “see it” and “read it” without realizing that you did. Including your website and phone number makes it easier for prospective customers to note them when your vehicle is parked, and then contact you or look up your company.

To me, driving around in an unmarked vehicle is just a wasted opportunity to advertise and grow your business.

About the Author

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JENKINS, who rotates this column with his brothers Bobby and Raleigh, is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at djenkins@abcpest.com.

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