A mobile billboard truck is a type of advertising that uses a vehicle to drive around a city with a large advertisement in tow. This type of advertising is usually done in major cities or areas where a large number of people are likely to see the advertisement as it drives past. A mobile billboard truck can also be used in areas where restrictive zoning laws might prevent traditional billboards from being erected in certain areas. These advertisements can also be seen more easily by pedestrians and so the use of such a vehicle may be practical near an area such as a popular outdoor shopping district or scenic walkway.
Sometimes also referred to simply as an ad truck, a mobile billboard truck is a form of portable advertisement that may be more effective than traditional billboards in gaining exposure. Such a vehicle typically consists of a truck that pulls a long, flatbed on wheels upon which is placed the billboard with an advertisement on each side. While a traditional billboard often presents a clearly visible form of advertising for passing motorists, there are certain downsides to using billboards. They are stationary and difficult to reach, meaning that potential customers must come to the billboard itself, and changing, repairing, or otherwise altering one can be costly and difficult.
A mobile billboard truck, however, provides similar exposure in terms of image size and impact but allows the advertisement to come to where people already are. This means that these types of advertisements can be used to reach people who are not in an area where billboards are regularly used or visible. Some regions can have zoning laws that preclude the use of large visual obstructions, such as traditional billboards, in the area. A mobile billboard truck allows advertisers to get around such restrictions, and brings the advertisements down to street level while preserving the large size to easily grab viewers' attention.
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Since the billboard is down at the street level and attached to a truck, it makes maintaining and replacing the advertisements much easier as well. Traditional billboards usually require someone willing to climb up to the billboard and do maintenance in a difficult situation. The sign on a mobile billboard truck is easy to work on, and the image on the billboard itself can easily be switched to another one. A mobile billboard truck is featured prominently in the climactic sequence of the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin in which the main character is accidentally launched through such a billboard.