Why aren’t there more cars and vehicles that serve as moving billboards?

At the Chicago Auto Show, I noticed two unique cars that advertised something: an art show and a suburb.

The first car is not unique in its context. Every Nascar vehicle is covered in sponsorships. This one is unusual in that a suburb, Elk Grove Village, is continuing a marketing campaign that included sponsoring college bowl games.

But, why not have cars and trucks driving around the Chicago region with the same branding? It probably does not cost much to put decals or magnets or paint jobs on vehicles and then have a bunch of vehicles advertising “Makers Wanted.” This might be particularly helpful in a region with hundreds of suburbs and where there is a perceived need among some suburbs that they need to stand out for particular reasons.

The second car is a more unusual advertisement: an art exhibit at a world-class art museum. The Art Institute does not advertise broadly in mass media. But, what if there were a lot of Van Gogh vehicles driving along local roads? (There would need to be allowances for the “Van Go” jokes.”) Van Gogh and his works are widely known and some people might even want a Van Gogh painting on their vehicle for aesthetic reasons.

Even with all the colorful paint jobs at the Auto Show this year (lots of bright blue and yellow), this could be an opportunity for someone or some place to exploit without having to pay too much.

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