Making a BIG Impact

Want to send a one-minute message that everyone on the Strip will see…..16 times a day for one month? The usual $20 per minute price has just been given summer pricing of $7.50 per minute.

Elite Media, Inc. recently announced this particular summer pricing via their newsletter. The electronic billboards in question surround the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. You supply the copy or the video; Elite Media, Inc. will make sure your message is seen.

Chad McCullough
Photo courtesy of Elite Media, Inc.

I’ve always been intrigued by the many ways advertisers get our attention in Las Vegas. Billboards hauled by trucks shout about “hot babes”. Building wraps near the convention centers promote specific exhibiting companies. Large video screens give snippets of the shows being seen inside casino/hotels, and electronic billboards and taxi signs make sure visitors know each and every show and nightclub available for their tourist dollar.

I receive regular mailings from Elite Media, Inc. because three years ago, I interviewed Elite’s co-founder and President, Chad McCullough, for another publication. The Miracle Mile “deal” sounded intriguing, though personally I’m not quite ready to shout to tourists that I love my husband 16 times a day. The newsletter mailing did make me curious, however, about McCullough and his company today.

When I originally talked with McCullough, building wraps – huge signs affixed to the exteriors of buildings — had became the next big thing, and MCCullough’s company was one of the pioneers.

Want to advertise to Las Vegas visitors?
A summer sale is available.
Photo courtesy of Elite Media, Inc.

Among other jobs, McCullough’s company had coordinated the placing of an eight-story 55,000-sq.-ft T-Mobile wrap featuring NBA player Dwayne Wade. The wrap, part of the NBA All-Star Weekend, was on the face of the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. McCullough said then that large building wraps can be great “ego” plays for companies that want to be noticed.

During that interview I learned also that building wraps may look solid from street level, but are typically printed on a mesh fabric. Folks staying in hotel rooms behind mesh wraps can actually see through them to the bright lights and people outside. Though not everyone likes buildings as billboards, the convention-corridor cat seems well out of the bag on that one. Even the elite CitiCenter, Las Vegas has a number of building wraps advertising its shopping center and Elvis show.

The building wraps above and below were by Elite Media, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Elite Media, Inc.
Displayed during 2011 CES show
Photo courtesy of Elite Media, Inc.
Unusual shape? No problem!
Photo courtesy of Elite Media, Inc.

McCullough has a small company. His wife, Katherine, is co-owner and CFO, and his mother is also part of the office crew. Building wraps are the company’s specialty and comprise some 90 percent of their business, though the company can provide a variety of “big” outdoor impressions including wallscapes, projections, billboards, etc. The company’s role is that of a project manager, coordinating all phases of preparing those big impressions.

McCullough tells me now that though his company was expanding rapidly around the time of the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend, the recession and the famous Obama quote about meetings in Las Vegas hit hard. “At one point, we were close to selling the company,” he says, “but a sale didn’t work out, so we tightened our belts and looked to expanding our services. Today we have sales offices in Las Vegas and Phoenix, but can offer our services to other areas of the country as well. We also now offer a host of indoor and outdoor advertising options. A customer can spend anywhere from $100 to $1 million advertising with us.”

Elite Media, Inc. currently has six full-time employees, and because convention customers are an important part of their business (and business has been picking up) the company is looking forward to the upcoming Fall convention season in Las Vegas.

As to the future, McCullough notes that building wraps are not only prized for their impact, but are looked upon by building owners as a great source of additional income. Legislation is under review by both the City of Las Vegas and by Clark County to clarify the kinds of advertising that are appropriate for building wraps. “Don’t worry,” says McCullough, “I’ve been following the legislation. You won’t ever be seeing ‘hot babes’ advertising on Las Vegas buildings.”


3 responses on “Making a BIG Impact

  1. Wraps on vehicles & buildings first started ~ 1997 and we were one of the first customers. Back then, there were only a handful of firms nationwide that has the equipment to print the product. It’s really interesting to me to see how the industry has evolved over the last 14+ years.

    After two complete large-scale vehicle wraps in two years, I became something of an expert on removing the material… It’s not a fun process… But makes for a great billboard. Here’s a photo of the second wrap we drove and lived in for a while…
    Phoenix One


  2. learning something new all the time! how interesting to know about the mesh fabric so people can actually see out!

  3. From inside the window, in most cases, all you see is what looks like a tint to block the sun. People in the hotels with the covered windows can see none of the design (when looking out their windows).

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