• Ads on Cars is a powerful marketing strategy that makes vehicles into mobile billboards. 
  • It’s a relatively unconventional advertisement aiming to grab attention.  

The “Ads on Cars” marketing strategy utilizes vehicles as mobile billboards, taking an unconventional approach towards advertising. The strategy flips the script of traditional advertising and deviates from channels like television, radio, social media or print media. 

Unlike traditional advertising, which exists in the digital space, Ads on Cars use physical vehicles as a prominent advertising medium. This makes them more attention-grabbing in a world already saturated with digital advertising. These ads become part of the physical environment, integrating the brand name and message into people’s daily commutes and errands. 

Incorporation of this strategy allows businesses to target specific locations or demographics by strategically choosing routes or parking locations. Achieving this level of targeting is often more challenging than completing it with traditional billboards and related campaigns. This strategy leverages cars’ mobility and novelty to create a unique and unconventional advertising experience. 

How did Snickers Incorporate the “Ads on Cars” marketing strategy? 

Snickers is a popular chocolate bar well known for its satisfying combination of sweet and salty flavors. The brand is also well known for its long-running advertising campaigns that humorously portray people turning into “hangry” monsters when hungry. This campaign intelligently capitalizes on the stereotypes that people get irritable and irrational when hungry and promotes Snickers bars as the solution.

In 2016, Snickers took this “hangry” monster concept to the streets by incorporating the “Ads on Cars” marketing campaign. To execute this campaign, they created eye-catching car wraps, placed these cars in targeted locations, and strategically integrated social media. 

Campaign Execution

Snickers intelligently transformed their fleet of vehicles into mobile billboards. These cars were wrapped in eye-catching designs featuring the now-famous “hangry” monsters. The wrap designs featured images of people with exaggerated facial expressions and body language depicting frustration and anger. 

The team strategically drove these wrapped cars around bustling streets, shopping centres, and places frequented by their target audience when they felt hungry and could potentially become “hangry.” The campaign likely encouraged social media interaction, including branded hashtags on cars, encouraging people to take pictures and share them online. This would have helped the brand spread the campaign’s organic reach. 

The Unconventional Aspects

Snickers’ “hangry” monsters started appearing on TV commercials, and by using them on car wraps, the chocolate brand brought its characters to life in the real world. This created more interactive and immersive experiences for consumers. The wraps transformed ordinary cars into moving billboards, getting people’s attention in a fun and unexpected way. 

The campaign played on the concept of relatable insights that hunger can sometimes make people grumpy. Seeing the “hangry” monsters on cars helped the brands resonate with the people who were feeling hungry themselves at the time. This made the campaign memorable while boosting the leads. 

Ultimately, Snickers’ “Ads on Cars” campaign has been a successful example of capitalizing on unconventional advertising. It emerged as a creative and eye-catching way to promote the brand’s message and memorably connect with consumers. Bringing the “hangry” characters to life in the real world allowed the brand to create buzz and make people talk about their brand.

What is the “Ads on Cars” Marketing Strategy? 

Ads on Cars is a powerful and unique marketing tool that utilizes vehicles as mobile billboards. This strategy falls under the umbrella of unconventional advertising aimed at grabbing the audience’s attention by breaking the cycle of traditional advertising. 

Mechanics of Ads on Cars

Marketers must provide full or partial car wraps based on the marketing requirements and turn the vehicles into giant billboards. They can use high-quality vinyl wraps, display eye-catching visuals, and promote brands, products, or services. Vinyl is a good idea because it sticks to cars like paint and can be changed easily whenever required.

Next, they can use magnetic signs, which offer flexibility. Businesses can place them on company vehicles or strategically partner with car owners who drive frequently in targeted areas. Eye-catching signs or displays can also be mounted on cars, trucks, or vans for extra visibility, especially in traffic jams or stop lights. 

Targeting & Benefits

For laser-precision targeting, companies can choose specific locations or areas to reach the desired audience. Cars with wraps or head mounts can be driven in neighborhoods with potential customers or parked near relevant businesses. Compared to traditional billboards or TV ads, Ads on Cars can be affordable, especially with magnetic signs. 

Mobile advertising has the potential to reach wider audiences throughout the day as cars can travel on various routes. People would see these advertisements repeatedly as the car goes about its daily route. This offers a novelty factor that can attract attention and make the brand more memorable. 

Marketers must ensure that the size, placement, and content of the advertisements adhere to local traffic laws. Plus, the visuals and messages need to be clear, concise, and visually appealing to be effective at a fleeting glance. Remember to include clear calls to action, such as the website address, phone number, and social media handles, to promote further engagement. 

The advertisements must be visually appealing and effectively represent the brand and its narrative. Leveraging technology advancements, marketers can incorporate QR codes, unique website URLs, or trackable phone numbers to measure effectiveness. 

Pros and Cons of “Ads on Cars” Marketing Strategy

Like every other marketing strategy, this “Ads on Cars” strategy has pros and cons, as discussed below. 


As cars travel throughout the day, they expose the ad to a wider audience in multiple locations. Businesses have the opportunity to choose specific routes or areas frequented by their target audience, enhancing the campaign’s effectiveness. Compared to traditional advertising methods, Ads on Cars can be more affordable, especially with magnetic signs and car partnerships.

This unconventional nature of advertising grabs attention and makes the brand more memorable. Magnetic signs facilitate easy removal and switching of advertisements for different campaigns. Plus, the strategy can be scaled up or down depending on the budget by using more or fewer cars. 


Unlike online advertising, targeting demographics through this campaign can be imprecise. There’s no way to guarantee who sees the ad. Large and flashy ads might distract drivers, a potential safety risk. Some people might find the car ads intrusive or an eyesore, potentially reflecting poorly on the brand.

Creating a clear and impactful message that can be interpreted and understood in a fleeting glance requires careful design. Tracking the campaign’s effectiveness can be more complex than digital advertising. Wraps or decals require proper care and maintenance as they look faded or unprofessional with time. In conclusion, the “Ads on Cars” marketing strategy can be a powerful marketing tool offering multiple benefits. It allows the brand message to reach a broader audience, and if implemented thoughtfully, businesses can gain valuable brand exposure and drive sales.