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Wide Format Wraps Up An Ugly ‘Kiss’ —Cagle

October 2009
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Bits and Pieces

HOW DO you turn a rusty, 20-year-old delivery truck into the talk of the town? If you have wide-format printing equipment on hand, you wrap it in colorful promotional images and send it back onto the streets.

That's what the staff at The Hershey Co.'s in-plant did to an old Isuzu box truck. They used their 54˝ Roland Soljet Pro III XJ solvent ink-jet printer to transform the truck from an embarrassment into a gem.

"Usually we hid this truck away because it was pretty old and not nice looking," says Bob Wamsher, manager of printing services at the Hershey, PA-based in-plant. "But now it's got a new life."

The in-plant staff undertook the box truck makeover project to launch its new vehicle wrapping service. It went so well that the shop is already bidding on jobs for outside companies interested in revamping their own vehicles, Wamsher adds.

The in-plant installed a Roland Soljet Pro about six months ago, primarily to print vinyl banners for outdoor use. When Wamsher decided to give vehicle wrapping a try, he enlisted the help of Avery Dennison, which supplied the shop with its cast vinyl film that's manufactured to conform to curves, rivets and corrugation.

"It took about six hours to get all that printed," says Wamsher—plus another hour to laminate everything with a seal laminator.

Avery Dennison employees trained Hershey staff to apply the material to the truck and worked side-by-side with them during the project. Blow torches were used to soften the material that would cover the truck's rivets.

"I was surprised just how easy it was to apply," adds the in-plant manager. "The training is really key to this application."

He completed the truck's makeover by getting chrome covers for its rusty wheels.

Wamsher gives Avery Dennison high marks for helping his shop get started. He estimates that, with all the jobs the in-plant has run on the Roland Soljet, it paid for itself in just six months.

And as for that old truck, ever since getting its new lease on life, it's been paying the in-plant back every day. "It's nice advertising as it makes its rounds throughout Hershey," Wamsher concludes.

PRINTPAL: Video may have killed the radio star, but apparently it doesn't have any problem buddying up next to print.

CBS inserted a paper-thin, interactive video player into the September 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly—which previewed the 2009-10 television season—mailed to Los Angeles and New York subscribers. CBS teamed with PepsiCo to tout both the Pepsi Max diet cola for men and the network's Monday night comedies.

Borrowing from the musical greeting card concept, a 2˝ screen on the ad starts playing automatically as the page flips open. A speaker is embedded below the screen.

Actors from the show "Big Bang Theory" provide a tutorial for readers to access clips from other CBS programs, including "Two and a Half Men" and the new "Accidentally on Purpose."

From a printing perspective, the move was nothing short of brilliant and should hopefully spur ideas that build upon the concept.

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Finch Paper so graciously invited a small group of industry press to its Glens Falls, NY, home for a forestry tour in August that included an afternoon stop at historic Saratoga Race Course. This reporter's horse naturally won—twice, no less—but unfortunately Carly Simon was unavailable for comment.

During a stroll through the clubhouse, a man looking exactly like actor Sidney Poitier was seen dining quietly. Another journalist argued that the actor was no longer alive, though Poitier was quite among the vertical/breathing crowd when he received the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom in August. Still, I left the gentleman to his sea bass and moved on.

There was little doubt, however, that our group spotted a member of horse racing's elite. Renowned horse trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has a baker's dozen of Triple Crown victories to his credit, made his way through the sweaty masses after his Tidal Pool topped out in the fourth race (and paid $23 for a $2 bet...or so I heard).

Attending the races was a unique experience. The "sport of kings" still has its faithful followers—women in wide-brimmed hats and dresses that seem more apropos for the high school prom than a day at the races. Wearing a shirt and tie, I looked more like a narc than a high roller.

All in all, it was a great time to tour breathtaking upstate New York, where the greens can't get much greener. PI

—Erik Cagle


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