Wrap my ride

CanWest employees are gearing up to pimp their rides - literally. The company is in the midst of launching phase four of its Global & CH Car Advertising Wrap Program in the GTA, which pays select employees to wrap their vehicles in ads.

CanWest employees are gearing up to pimp their rides – literally. The company is in the midst of launching phase four of its Global & CH Car Advertising Wrap Program in the GTA, which pays select employees to wrap their vehicles in ads.

‘We want to augment what we do through traditional media, and get into areas where traditional ad space isn’t available,’ says Scott MacLeod, Global’s director of media planning and television. He’s primarily targeting the 400 and 401 highways to reach bored commuters stuck in traffic.

MacLeod decided to implement the program four years ago after hearing about California companies that gave employees free cars wrapped in ads. He knew many of the staff at Global’s Toronto office commuted from as far away as Kitchener, Whitby and Barrie, so he took the idea and adapted it to suit CanWest. Instead of giving away ad-mobiles, CanWest offers employees extra dough each month to have their own cars wrapped in ads promoting Global TV shows like The Simpsons and Survivor.

When MacLeod introduced the program, eight employees signed up. This year, he’s received 75 applications, but just 45 will make the cut. To maximize exposure, employees who drive the most and have the biggest cars will be given priority over those who drive compacts and live close to work. Compensation ranges from base rates of $200 to $300 per month, plus extra for high mileage.

CanWest has also implemented the program in Vancouver, and plans to target Ottawa next. Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton may follow, but MacLeod worries that commute times in the latter two cities may be too short to make the effort worthwhile.

Unfortunately, MacLeod has no immediate plans to introduce a bike-wrap program for CanWest’s

non-driving employees, but he is looking at wrapping an employee’s boat, and he has already wrapped

a motorcycle.

The wraps currently feature mostly Global shows, but there are also some plugging CanWest’s specialty networks like Xtreme Sports. MacLeod suspects specialty channels are where the most growth will be for the program.