Display vehicles not a new phenomena

early display van for Stork margarine

photo of scott walker showing head and shouldersDisplay vehicles aren’t a recent stroke of creative marketing genius, as some would like to make you believe, for their history can be traced back in time to the days of horse drawn carts and yonder. That said, once motor vehicles were introduced into the workplace this “marketing tool” has evolved at an ever increasing pace into the vital role it plays in promotional campaigns…………..Scott Walker



So much so that todays’ vehicles, of the kind we design and build at MVTech, look better, function better and have become more original in design than their predecessors. Just look in horror at the Stork Margarine display team vehicle shown in our headline photo which was operated by my grandfather in the 1940’s. Take heed that in those days the display was carried on the vehicle rather than inside! Gosh, it must have been a lot of work to set up at each location!

But here’s the interesting point, housewives were very suspicious of this product when it was launched thus necessitating the need for extensive advertising and the introduction of the novel idea of mobile display teams. Since Stork Margarine remains on supermarket shelves to this day some plaudits must go to those who were in the forefront of the revolutionary use of display vehicles.

display vehicle for motor cycle helmets outreach display vehicle

The benefits of a roadshow activity

So this leads nicely on to just why marketing teams, and especially Product Managers, allocate promotional budgets to this activity.

The KEY benefit of a display vehicle is that it drives sales by taking the product to the customers putting the product into the hands of the customer. Well planned roadshows can deliver product sampling and demonstration campaigns in shopping precincts, high streets, business premises, city centres, commuter and transport hubs, festivals, and events.

But hold on!  We cannot just limit our comments to physical product and demonstration.

Display vehicles are great for other activities and communication. Public information services often rely on roadshow activities to provide residents with everything from health information to housing developments to flood warnings, youth opportunities and so much more.

Those who offer services (from will writing to insurances) or charities seeking donations and support will often use a display vehicle to enable them to achieve their objectives.

And by facilitating face to face meetings it becomes very easy to assess the success of a campaign and to guide the marketing team to any necessary tweaks to improve activities.

exhibition vehicle to display new productWhat style and shape should display vehicles be?

The simple answer is that no one fix exists to suit all.  Clearly there have been some great strides forward since the days of the Stock campaigns where the display had to be carried on the roof and set up each time. Now we have a much wider range of vehicles available to us so that displays can be fixed on board or partially outside as a “come and get me” enticement.

The exterior appearance and graphics play a huge part in the process.  Hence we find that a range of display vehicles are used including:

Double deck buses

Single deck buses and coaches


Ex mobile libraries

Antique vehicles such as the Citroen “H” van

Chassis cabs of all sizes

Car conversions

interior of an exhibition vehicle showing product displayThe introduction of technology

It’s not that long ago that we were installing standard boxy TV sets or for larger screen effects huge back screen projection units (anyone remember those?).  Lighting was all pretty basic with basic fibre optics providing the exciting displays.

Now, of course, each display vehicle we produce invariably comes packed with LED lighting, IT equipment and flat screens, all controlled by lap tops and phones via Bluetooth.  Internet connection a must have. But more about the advances here in another blog which I have yet to write.

Creativity and quality is important

At Multi Vehicle Technology Ltd we specialise in the design and construction of new display vehicles and the conversion and fit out of existing ones for special purposes with display vans being a speciality of ours.  Whilst we have the wherewithal to work on fleet builds our team relishes the challenges of working on one off bespoke projects.

fire display in vehicle H van transformed for promotional use

If you’re planning a project and want some experienced advice and assistance please call us on 0116 326 0989 or write to us at sales@multivehicletechnology.co.uk

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