courtesy Newmyer Distinctive Remodeling

Newmyer Distinctive Remodeling was not just hit by the recession in late 2008 and 2009. It also lost a fight with a new ordinance director who said the sign that the Walled Lake, Mich., company used to advertise in front of its location on a bustling road violated local road signage laws.

Owner John Newmyer knew he needed to get the name of his company out to prospective clients, and he didn’t believe Internet exposure would be enough.

Determined to make use of his office’s position on a road that he estimates 20,000 to 50,000 vehicles traverse daily, Newmyer took the signs he had been barred from erecting and used Velcro to attach them to a 1995 Chevrolet cube van. He then parked it in front of the building.

Using a 20-foot-long vehicle as roadside advertising space may not please local officials, Newmyer admits, but it is legal.

“Our sales are right back to where they were before all the problems … back in the fall of 2008,” Newmyer says. He feels his unorthodox strategy is paying off and plans to buy a second van this summer.

The advertisements recently graduated from Velcro-adhered signs to plastic wrap showcasing a remodeled kitchen on the side of the van, and Newmyer wants the second van to display his range of windows and doors. He plans to press his current van into double-duty as a delivery vehicle for additional exposure.“I’m anxious to see how much it will bring [in revenue],” Newmyer says.

—Mark Miller, REMODELING intern.