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Published: Friday, 11/29/2013 - Updated: 4 months ago

Rolling ads feature area’s fun, potential

Bureau to use trucks to promote Hancock County

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
As part of a partnership between the Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Garner Transportation Group, these two trailers will hit the streets to act as ‘mobile billboards’ for Findlay and Hancock County next week. As part of a partnership between the Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Garner Transportation Group, these two trailers will hit the streets to act as ‘mobile billboards’ for Findlay and Hancock County next week.
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FINDLAY — Advertisements aimed at enticing people to visit Hancock County will soon be rolling through several states with the help of a local trucking company.

The Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau has partnered with Garner Transportation Group to wrap two of Garner’s 53-foot trailers with graphics pitching the area’s tourism potential and advertising the bureau’s Web site. The trailers should hit the road as early as Monday.

“This is something that will provide a lot of exposure for us in a region that is our wheelhouse for people coming in and visiting,” said Rachael Rahrig, director of the convention and visitors bureau.

Based in Findlay, Garner operates about 110 trucks and 400 trailers as a regional, short-haul carrier. Company president Sherri Garner Brumbaugh said the company’s general footprint is about a 350-mile radius around northwest Ohio.

The convention and visitors bureau does regional advertising and distributes visitors guides to some areas, and it also has a strong Web and social media presence. But officials said the new take on a traditional advertising medium should help them reach new consumers, and be a first push to reach other areas.

Ms. Garner Brumbaugh expects its trucks will tug each trailer in excess of 100,000 miles a year, getting the ads in front of a whole lot of eyeballs, from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. The graphic decals can also last up to 10 years.

“This is something that has a lot more longevity than putting up a billboard beside the road, and it also covers a huge range,” Ms. Rahrig said.

One trailer has a photo of Findlay’s famous hot air balloon festival. The other has a rural scene of a barn on Hancock County’s quilt barn trail. The trail includes 60 barns in the county decorated with quilt-square-style patterns. The trailers include the bureau’s Web site, VisitFindlay.com.

Placing advertisements on trailers isn’t new, but most often it is advertising the company itself. Officials in Findlay believe they are one of the first tourism groups to do so. Earlier this year, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad announced a partnership between the Iowa Tourism Office and nine local convention and visitors bureaus to wrap nine of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division’s trucks with rolling billboards encouraging travel in Iowa.

In Findlay, Garner split the cost of the graphics with the convention and visitors bureau. Officials declined to say how much they spent, but Ms. Rahrig said it wasn’t a large investment.

Ms. Garner Brumbaugh said it was something the company, started by her parents in the 1960s, wanted to do to help the community.

“We have a very vibrant and active community and it’s nice to get your name out there,” she said. “Come visit Findlay, come visit northwest Ohio. There’s things going on there. It was our way of helping promote our community. You promote community, and in the long run you’re helping yourself too.”

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.



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