IT’S AN AGE OLD DEBATE: Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? There are strong points to be made for both sides of this argument, but at Industrial Finishes, there is one case that’s easy to close.
Here’s the story…
We typically support several street cruises and car shows throughout the year. Often, these events include a show program or magazine, and our sponsorship includes advertising. We truly appreciate being part of the community of auto enthusiasts. To express this gratitude, we developed an advertising campaign that we referred to as the “Car Guys” campaign.
The advertising that was part of the campaign proved very popular. In fact, it was so popular that we decided to produce posters that mirrored the advertising.
The ads and poster included an image of a hot rod – a ’32 Ford 3-window coupe to be precise. Chopped and channeled, the car featured a blower, over-sized, old-school headlights and a forward-mounted fuel tank. It had the look of a true quarter-miler and was finished in “Industrial Finishes Green.”
But it wasn’t a real car.
That’s right, we built the car in Adobe Photoshop. In other words, it was a digital file created by our advertising agency for the sole purpose of the marketing campaign. It was very effective; the car quickly became a topic of conversation around the office and at our store locations.
Industrial Finishes founder, Stuart Barr, also liked the car. In a meeting, he posed the question, “Whose car is on the poster?” Our marketing department sheepishly explained that it wasn’t a real car and was simply an image created by a skilled graphic designer and a computer program.
That didn’t sit well with Stuart. “I think that’s false advertising,” he joked. “We’re an ethical company, and if someone wants to see the car, I think we have an obligation to show it to them,” Stuart mused.
That’s all it took to get the ball (or wheels) rolling.
Almost immediately, friends of Industrial Finishes started looking for a car to serve as the foundation of the project. Within two weeks, they located a ’32 Ford show car that was nearly complete and for sale. It had the basics needed to build a car reflecting the “poster car” and a small team of seasoned professionals went to work. In no time at all, the car (which was purple when it arrived) had been torn down and completely rebuilt to resemble the poster car.
Boy, does it resemble the poster car!
The team spared no detail to match the poster car. The real hot rod was finished in BASF “Green with Envy – Pearl” base coat and Diamont DC5300 clear coat. The big block 454 was fitted with a blower. An external fuel tank was mounted in front of the grill. Stuart had a set of original, over-sized ’32 Ford headlights in his shop gathering dust. The build came together so effortlessly that it seemed destined to happen.
The car made its official debut at Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada, and will be on the show and cruise circuit throughout the year. And while we can’t give you an actual car, we are very happy to send you a poster!
In this case, for sure, life imitated art. Rather than put a car on a poster, we put the poster on the road!