Public Awareness – Tailgate Wraps Share an Important Message

WE ARE ALL LOOKING for creative ways to share the message to our communities about 811. At NC811, our Education Team focuses on how we can promote the 811 message for the greatest return on investment. How many times does a message need to be heard? Many experts refer to the “Rule of 7,” which suggests consumers need to hear a message seven times before they will consider acting.

NC811 has seen great success over the years with our billboard campaigns. Teaming up with stakeholders each year, we place 40 billboards throughout the state, earning over 111 million impressions. When callers are surveyed on how they heard about 811, billboards are ranked right below “just knew to call” and “hearing the message from contractors and locators.” The data tells a story which led us to believe rolling billboards could be equally effective.

NC811 purchased and wrapped three fleet cars, allowing liaisons to share the 811 message while traveling to meetings and education opportunities. Industry research shows that on average, the message would have 50,000-70,000 impressions daily. Having three fleet vehicles, each on the road for at least 156 days a year, could potentially provide us 32.7 million impressions annually.

The great return on investment led us to apply for and receive a One Call Grant through PHMSA that promoted public awareness of 811 through truck tailgates. We did not want just any tailgate, we wanted tailgates with a 3–7-year lifespan that would prove to be a great return on investment at less than $225 for each tailgate wrap.

We created a grant campaign allowing for 10 wraps in four regions totaling 40 statewide. Our focus was around municipalities, rural water corporations, water & sewer authorities, and cable/telephone cooperatives. Those meeting the qualifications could apply for up to two tailgate wraps per entity. At the end of the campaign, we selected the winners and got to work finalizing the installation of the wraps. The winners chose their preferred vendor, and we covered the cost. A winwin for all of us. In fact, several entities covered their own cost to have additional truck tailgates wrapped.

In the wake of COVID-19 and the unknown, the tailgate wrap campaign has proven to be a huge success, estimating over 349.4 million impressions annually and up to 1.7 billion potential impressions over a span of five years. As you might guess, we will continue our campaign in 2021 looking for more tailgates to wrap as rolling billboards. If you are eager to share in our success, contact us to learn more about the campaign. We would love to impart our knowledge for the sake of protecting the ones we love.

Brian Morehouse is an Education Liaison with NC 811. He can be reached at

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin