The Fast and the Venomous
Advertising Vehicles takes on a six-bus challenge.
When Cincinnati amusement park Kings Island created Diamondback, the largest rollercoaster in its history, it wanted a unique way to spread the word. Its marketing team partnered with Cincinnati Metro Bus System and Cincinnati-based print provider Advertising Vehicles to devise a wrap project that echoed not only the Diamondback name when it came to its graphics but also would be reflected in the vehicle itself.
The answer: a larger-than-life, sectioned snake graphic that spanned six individual 40-foot Metro buses. And even though it would end up having an extremely lifespan, the promotion would indeed serve to grab the attention of coaster aficionados.
Advertising Vehicles was no stranger to designing and installing large bus wraps, but creating a wrap that continued seamlessly across six buses was a first for the company. The end goal: to have a 240-foot image of a Diamondback snake with the head beginning on bus one and the tail ending on the sixth.
“To design the graphic, stock photos of several different snakes were used to create the focal image in the piece. We also used a stock photo of sand with an overlay filter along with a few colored layers to develop the background image. We supplied the client with two scaled hard-copy proofs, one was a small section of the wrap at actual size, and the other was a scaled version of the full project,” says Advertising Vehicle’s Blake Castetter.
Printing the nearly 6000 square feet of graphics was no simple undertaking. The shop went with its HP Scitex TurboJet (TJ) 8300, outputting onto Flexcon BusArt self-adhesive vinyl to get the job done. To finish the wrap, the shop used a GBC Orca 4064WF with LG Hausys gloss laminate. Printing and finishing took a combined 12 hours.
While wrapping one bus may pose challenges when it comes to ensuring wrinkle-free, proper graphic alignment, the difficulty of the six-bus installation made the print work seem easy by comparison. Six men worked 16 hours to wrap the busses, 96 man hours in all. “Ensuring that the graphics lined up to form a design that flowed flawlessly from one bus to the next was a challenge. But we pulled it off,” says Castetter.
With the project completed, Cincinnati Metro drivers took to the interstate and the six-bus Diamondback slithered down the busy highways. Although the snake wraps were installed on the individual vehicles for three months, the six buses were only driven together and in order a single time for the promotion.