Say it with LED screens
The German company Mr Wash has seen the future and it’s called LED. About 13 of their 35 locations have already shifted to LED screens and more will follow. The Dutch company ViaVisual is sure that more car wash companies will follow. “For us, this is a target group for which LED is extremely suitable”, says Maarten Hettinga of ViaVisual.
Together with their German partner Munsteiner, ViaVisual placed LED screens at the entrance of several Mr. Wash car washes last year. The locations -which often have two or three lanes for cars- are all equipped with LED screens. The screens hang both inside and outside. Bigger LED billboards are always custom built for the specific location, according to ViaVisual.
Mr. Wash mainly uses the screens to communicate their own information. This can be messages related to the corona virus and safety. But the screens can also give useful info about various washing programs, loyalty campaigns or even traffic info. “It can be really busy at the car washes, so sometimes they use the signs to communicate waiting times. All those images then alternate. It’s a carousel where one piece of information comes after another.”
The company from the center of Holland also has locations in Germany and China. It was founded in 2004. Although their focus was not initially on gas stations and car washes, Hettinga increasingly realized that the LED screens could have an impact precisely there. “That’s because there you often have the combination of an indoor and outdoor environment. Hanging a TV in the shop is often cheaper than an LED video screen, but outside you also have to deal with the sizes. Televisions are just too small for the distance you are standing. Both at the carwash and the gas station you have an ideal intersection of outdoor and advertising.”
Above that, LED screens can be interesting in the petrol station sector because they can generate an additional revenue stream, according to Hettinga. Pump owners can choose to display advertisements from a third-party and receive a fee for that. “If you have a petrol station with a shop, it’s worth displaying all the offers you have. But you can boost this with third-party ads.”
Don’t go cheap
The installation of a LED screen can be done in a day. ViaVisual also offers the construction and maintenance. Service is especially important to Hettinga. According to the owner it is what proves what you can do as a company. Some of the cheaper screens of the competitors start to fail only after a few years outside. “The image then looks like a chess board. As a professional, something like that bothers me tremendously.”
The rather expensive LED screens may not always be the best choice for an individual pump owner, admits Hettinga. “It might be overkill at a small shop. A good alternative would be to temporarily rent LED screens when there is a discount campaign. But for larger companies it makes perfect sense to invest in LED.”