No matter where you live, work or travel, you’re likely no stranger to elevator rides. Elevators are everywhere — in hotels, hospitals, office buildings, apartment complexes, malls and more. There are about 900,000 elevators in the U.S. today. They’re a convenience to some and a necessity to others. Kids often enjoy the ride and the opportunity to see buttons light up. However, when most adults think of elevators, they’re likely to think of waiting for the door to open, awkward rides with strangers and cramped quarters.
The good news is that businesses have the opportunity to improve the experience for elevator riders and effectively market themselves to these consumers. This opportunity is found in elevator wraps. Let’s take a look at what an elevator wrap is and how it can benefit you as well as consumers. We’ll even go over how to properly apply an elevator wrap so that you can get the perfect results.
WHAT ARE ELEVATOR WRAPS?
Elevator wraps are graphic prints that adhere to either the outside or the inside of elevator doors or the inside walls of an elevator. They’re also sometimes applied to the floor and ceiling of the space to create a fully immersive experience. Elevator wraps that are applied to doors are sometimes also called elevator door skins. These wraps are a unique and effective advertising tool for a few reasons.
In a nutshell, here are the unique advertising advantages that elevator wraps offer:
- Exclusivity: Elevators covered in a wrap typically won’t have multiple advertisements competing with one another — elevator wraps are able to monopolize this prime advertising real estate.
- Captive audiences: You can be sure your ad will have a captive audience since there isn’t much else to demand a person’s attention when they’re waiting for an elevator or riding the elevator to their destination.
- Microtargeting: Since elevator ads are tied to a specific physical location, you can target your intended audience geographically, either generally by region or by the specific building.
- Creativity: Elevator wraps also give your business the opportunity to design especially creative ads that catch elevator riders’ attention and make a lasting impact.
YOUR BUSINESS’S ELEVATOR PITCH
One of the neat things about an elevator ride is that you never know who you might find yourself standing next to. It could be an executive in your own company or in the company you’ve always dreamed of working for. This ride is your chance to pitch your innovative idea, which could be your in for your dream position. Or you could find yourself standing next to a famous publicist. Now is your chance to pitch your unpublished novel.
This hypothetical scenario is where the term “elevator pitch” comes from. An elevator pitch is essentially a sales pitch that’s succinct and persuasive. No matter what it is you’re pitching, you don’t have much time, so you have to pack a lot in quickly. Traditionally, salespeople have been taught to fit their elevator pitch into the span of 118 seconds, the average length of an elevator ride in New York City. Today, some sources recommend developing a pitch that’s even shorter — somewhere in the range of 30 to 60 seconds.
According to Harvard Business Review, an elevator pitch must:
- Grab the audience’s attention
- Tell them who you are
- Describe what your business offers
- Promise specific results
So what does an elevator pitch have to do with elevator wraps? An elevator wrap is essentially a visual elevator pitch for your business. Your ad can accomplish all four of the goals above. Colorful, eye-catching graphics are sure to grab your audience’s attention right away, which is the first major hurdle for an elevator pitch. You can also use this ad to tell your audience who you are, what your company offers and what they can expect to gain from using your business.
The big difference is that whereas elevator pitches are typically aimed at single individuals, elevator wraps engage a much wider audience. And you won’t have to wait for a chance encounter to give your elevator pitch — your wrap will reach a multitude of people on a regular basis.
ARE YOU HEARING ELEVATOR MUSIC?
What do you think of when you hear the term “elevator music”? Most people think of music that’s about as exciting as an elevator ride itself. Not just the music, but everything about an elevator ride, is typically perceived as boring. In a world where we’re used to our eyes and minds being constantly engaged, an elevator ride is a bland departure from the norm.
Not only are elevator rides boring, but they also tend to be a bit awkward. You stand alongside other people you don’t know and wait impatiently for the elevator doors to open. Then, you step into the elevator with your fellow passengers and either try to make small talk or simply stare at any focal point you can find.
Elevator historian Lee Gray points out that even if two people are in the middle of a conversation, once they step into an elevator with other passengers, etiquette dictates that they immediately cease their discussion for the duration of the ride and simply stare silently at the floor, the door or the indicator above the door. Overall, it’s an experience most people are eager to have over with.
Now, imagine the advertising opportunity you have here. When else do you have a captive audience of people who are desperately seeking anything to look at? In some cases, people see advertisements as an unwelcome interruption of their daily lives, but in this case, they’re just the opposite — an eye-catching advertisement that combines visuals and text is a welcome focal point inside that somewhat unpleasant enclosure.
An elevator ride may be short, but it’s long enough for elevator riders to read your ad several times over. What’s more, since they aren’t distracted, they’ll be more likely to retain what they read. No one has to listen to the elevator music and look down at their shoes. Instead, their eyes and minds will be engaged by your business’s elevator wrap. Especially if your ad is interesting, elevator riders will be happy to see it, and your business will get its name out there. It’s a win-win.
PINPOINT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE GEOGRAPHICALLY
Another advantage that sets elevator wraps apart from many other types of advertisements is that they allow you to micro-target your ads. With many forms of advertising, you don’t have much control over who sees your ad. You pay for the general exposure and hope some people who see your design fall within your target audience. With elevator advertising, you know anyone seeing your ad is someone riding in that elevator. This idea may seem overly obvious, but consider what it really means.
Let’s look at a few examples to illustrate the point:
- Car dealership: Let’s say a car dealership in a city where many people use public transit instead of driving wants to promote an upcoming sale. By applying elevator wraps to a parking garage elevator, they can ensure that their audience is primarily made up of people who drive vehicles and, therefore, may be interested in purchasing a new car.
- Casino: A local casino wants to get their name out there to tourists. Where better than a local hotel to do just that? By using elevator wraps on hotel elevators, they can be sure they’re reaching many people who are currently staying in the city and possibly looking for local activities and entertainment.
- Restaurant: If a restaurant wants to pull in locals who are on the prowl for lunch or dinner, an ad that shows a delicious-looking meal displayed on an elevator door in an office building or shopping mall within close proximity to the restaurant is likely to make some stomachs rumble and pull in hungry workers and shoppers.
The key to this type of microtargeting is to think in terms of who your target audience is and what geographical locations those people are likely to frequent.
The fact that elevator wraps allow you to target people in a particular location not only makes elevator advertising effective — it makes it cost-effective too. You won’t have to cast a wide net to reach just a few interested people. One of the major advantages of custom elevator advertising is that it gives your company a voice right in the location where you know you’re bound to reach many members of your target audience.
Elevator wraps can also be an excellent way to communicate with clients and customers at your own place of business. For example, if your retail store has an elevator, why not cover it in an elevator wrap that tells customers about a new location opening up on the other side of town or about an upcoming sale or other event you’re hosting? You can even use elevator wraps to highlight particular products in your inventory.
These materials don’t have to be promotional either. For instance, a library might use an elevator wrap to remind patrons to be quiet when they’re on certain levels of the library.
Elevator wraps can also be used internally in your business to communicate with employees. If you have an elevator in your office building, why not use a wrap to raise awareness of your company’s core values, remind employees of important safety practices or share morale-boosting inspirational quotes or testimonials?
CREATIVE WAYS TO ADVERTISE ON AN ELEVATOR
A quick Google search of “elevator wraps,” “elevator advertising” or “elevator graphics” will quickly make you aware that the sky is the limit when it comes to your marketing or graphic design team’s creativity. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Dynamic design: One idea is to create a wrap that makes sense as a static image but gains additional meaning when the doors open to reveal the inside of the elevator. The idea is that, when the elevator doors open, the people waiting to ride — who are sure to be watching the door — will be amused to see the cleverness behind the image.
- Total immersion: Some companies go all out to create a wrap that covers the entire inside of an elevator, including floor and ceiling. This strategy can create an immersive experience where elevator riders engage with the whole graphic rather than simply viewing it in front of them. For example, an aquarium may cover the inside of an elevator with a graphic that appears to place riders inside an aquarium tank.
- Optical illusion: Along the same lines as the total immersion idea, some other creative elevator advertisements create an optical illusion. For example, you could make it look like there’s no back wall by covering the wall in a wrap of the city’s skyline, or you could make it appear as though there’s no floor by covering the floor in an image of an elevator shaft.
These ideas are just a few ways you can get especially creative in your elevator advertising. That said, don’t feel overwhelmed. You don’t need to come up with an extremely clever ad to get people’s attention. Just remember the principles of graphic design and advertising that you already know as you create an ad that captures people’s attention and helps them retain the message.
APPLYING YOUR ELEVATOR WRAP
Applying an elevator wrap isn’t impossible to do on your own, but it’s tricky. You want your elevator door skin to look perfect, so it can be nerve wracking as you try to adhere it so that it’s perfectly straight and free of any air bubbles. The best method is to score the backing so that you can remove the middle of it little by little to reveal the adhesive while leaving the edges until the end.
You want to work from the top down, slowly revealing more adhesive as you go and firmly adhering it to the surface. Use a wide, flat tool to push out any air bubbles that get trapped under the wrap as you go. Once the main part of the wrap is adhered to the elevator, you can peel away the backing from the edges and finish by firmly affixing these edges to the surface. In many cases, there may also be some cutting involved to get the wrap to fit.
The good news for Speedpro customers is that you won’t have to undertake this job on your own. Before your elevator wrap is printed, we’ll send an installation manager out to the site where it’s going to be installed. They’ll take precise measurements to make sure your finished print fits exactly. No matter the type or age of the elevator, we can make it work.
Depending on how temporary or permanent you’d like your wrap to be, we’ll recommend the appropriate materials. For example, we offer adhesives that will help ensure long-term durability — the perfect solution if you want your wrap to be a semi-permanent installation.
When your print is ready, we’ll go to work installing it for you. We’ll also work with you when it comes time to take your elevator door graphic down. If you want to replace it with a new wrap, of course, we can work with you on that as well.