Title:
WRAP-AROUND ADVERTISING DISPLAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus and methods useful for transforming exterior or interior walls, roofs, ceilings, and other surfaces of portable restrooms and other temporary, portable, or otherwise movable structures 10 into advertising billboards 26, 80.



Inventors:
Popowich, Terrance (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Miller, Jeremy (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Hessel, Ian (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Porter, Richard (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Wolanczyk, Walter (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Application Number:
11/557539
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
11/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G09F15/00; G06Q30/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIM, SHIN H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TUCKER ELLIS LLP (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable toilet unit comprising: a portable restroom comprising at least one enclosed toilet and a plurality of upright outer walls; and an advertisement attached to and covering substantially all of a plurality of the walls.

2. The portable toilet unit of claim 1, wherein the walls are molded and include multi-planar surfaces.

3. The portable toilet unit of claim 2, wherein the advertisement is attached to the outermost planar surfaces only.

4. The portable toilet unit of claim 2, wherein the advertisement is formed to conform to the multi-planar surfaces.

5. The portable toilet unit of claim 1, wherein the advertisement is disposed on a flexible film and the film is adhered to the walls.

6. The portable toilet unit of claim 1, wherein the advertisement is disposed on one or more rigid sheets and the sheets are adhered to the walls.

7. The portable toilet unit of claim 1, wherein at least one of the walls includes a door, and the advertisement is adapted to cover the door and a remainder of the wall.

8. An advertising structure comprising: a plurality of movable structures disposed side by side and comprising a plurality of substantially contiguous upright walls; a single advertisement attached to and covering substantially all of the plurality of upright walls.

9. The structure of claim 8, wherein the single advertisement is provided on a plurality of panels attached separately to each of the substantially contiguous walls.

10. The structure of claim 8, wherein the single advertisement is provided on a single panel attached to each of the substantially contiguous walls.

11. A method of providing an advertising structure using portable toilet unit, comprising attaching an advertisement to a plurality of upright outer walls of the portable toilet unit, the advertisement covering substantially of the plurality of walls.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the walls are molded and include multi-planar surfaces, and the advertisement is attached to the outermost planar surfaces only.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the walls are molded and include multi-planar surfaces, and the advertisement is conformed to the shape of the multi-planar surfaces.

14. The method of claim 11, comprising adapting the advertisement to allow a door included in at least one wall of the portable restroom to open and close after the advertisement is attached.

15. A method of providing an advertising structure using a plurality of portable toilet units, comprising disposing a plurality of movable structures comprising upright walls side by side, so that the plurality of walls are substantially contiguous; attaching to the plurality of substantially contiguous walls a single advertisement adapted to cover substantially all of the plurality of upright walls.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the single advertisement is provided on a plurality of panels and the method comprises attaching the plurality of panels separately to each of the substantially contiguous walls.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the single advertisement is provided on a single panel and the method comprises attaching the single panel to each of the substantially contiguous walls.

Description:

This application claims the priority of, and incorporates in full by this reference, each of co-pending provisional patent applications, including all appendices and other documents attached thereto:

    • 60/734,750, entitled ADVERTISING DISPLAY FOR PORTABLE STRUCTURE and filed 9 Nov. 2005;
    • 60/734,767, entitled WRAP-AROUND ADVERTISING DISPLAY and filed 9 Nov. 2005;
    • 60/734,766, entitled METHOD FOR DISPLAY OF ADVERTISING and filed 9 Nov. 2005;
    • 60/773,641, entitled ADVERTISING DISPLAY FOR PORTABLE STRUCTURE and filed 16 Feb. 2006;
    • 60/780,869, entitled METHOD FOR DISPLAY OF ADVERTISING and filed 10 Mar. 2006; and
    • 60/796,541, entitled ADVERTISING DISPLAY FOR PORTABLE STRUCTURE and filed 2 May 2006.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyrights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND

Portable or temporary structures, such as portable toilets, waste bins, trailers, and other moveable accommodations provide surfaces that advertisers can use with unique effectiveness to promote their products or services. Advertising in a portable toilet located at a construction site, for example, could reach male consumers in the 18 to 45 year demographic, which has proven to be a difficult group to target.

Moveable structures such as portable toilets provide particularly effective devices for the display of advertisements, due to their moveable and reuseable nature. As is commonly known, such structures can be and commonly are placed temporarily at sporting events, construction sites, and other sites and venues in which people needing the services provided by such structures may be expected to gather.

Affixing advertisements to a portable structure presents challenges, however, whether the advertisement is affixed inside or outside the structure. For example, the portable structures are often made of thick and heavy duty plastic molded into multi-planar surfaces, which makes it difficult find a mono-planar surface to secure advertisements. The advertising material has to be durable to withstand cleaning of the structure, such as by power washing, and has to be capable of remaining affixed in all weather conditions, such in very hot, stormy, or very cold conditions. Furthermore, since the advertising material will generally be outside in an unsupervised location, the advertising material must be tamper-proof and graffiti-proof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to advertising, and particularly to methods and apparatus useful for the display of advertising in or on portable or temporary structures, such as portable toilets, waste bins, trailers, and other portable accommodations.

Apparatus and methods according to the invention can be used to transform exterior or interior walls, roofs, ceilings, and other surfaces of portable restrooms and other temporary or portable structures into advertising billboards. The invention has, in fact, a very wide applicability to a variety of advertising settings. For example, temporary or portable (i.e., moveable) storage buildings or containers, and waste bins, all provide exterior surfaces suitable for use in displaying advertising materials. Moreover, such structures are well adapted for being placed in locations likely to be visited by audiences that provide desirable targets for advertisers. In as much as the structures provide necessities required by members of such audiences, and are therefore of necessity used or visited by such members, they provide guaranteed audiences for advertising and can make highly desirable advertising tools.

As will be understood by those skilled in the relevant arts, particular advantages in targeted advertising are available through the provision of such structures, bearing suitable advertising, at sport, concert, and other public venues and events.

In one aspect, the invention provides apparatus for the display of advertising material on one or more surfaces of one or more temporary or portable structures such as portable toilets and/or waste bins. Such an apparatus comprises one or more panels adapted for supporting an advertisement in a display configuration, and for being affixed, permanently or temporarily, to one or more interior or exterior surfaces of the portable building. Such panels may be provided in a number of forms, including for example either as flat panels adapted for affixation to one or more suitably flat exterior surfaces of the building, or as formed panels fitted to conform to the contour of irregular exterior surfaces such as are commonly found, for example, on walls of portable toilets. In both cases the panels may be affixed using a suitable adhesive, such as glue or a double-sided adhesive tape.

Suitable advertising images may be provided on such panels by, for example, fabricating the panel(s) from one or more plastics, such as styrene, or from other materials, and printing the image(s) directly on the panel prior to affixation to the building or other structure, as for example by printing.

In another aspect, the invention provides apparatus for the display of advertising material on one or more exterior surfaces of one or more temporary or portable structures such as toilets and/or waste bins, wherein the apparatus comprises a flexible wrap, such as a vinyl wrap, having one or more advertising images printed or otherwise provided on one side, and the wrap affixed to the one or more exterior surfaces using an adhesive provided on the structure or on a side of the wrap opposite the printed advertising image(s). Such wraps may be applied, for example, using cold or hot adhesion processes, and may be adapted for flat attachment to one or more raised portions of the exterior surface, or may be fitted to conform to the contours of the surface, as for example by the use of heat shrinking processes.

In further aspects, the invention provides methods of attaching such advertising materials to the temporary or portable structures, and methods of producing or otherwise providing such advertising materials.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The invention is illustrated in the figures of the accompanying drawings, which are meant to be exemplary and not limiting, and in which like references are intended to refer to like or corresponding parts.

FIGS. 1-3 are perspective views showing installation of advertising panels on a portable structure according to the invention.

FIGS. 4-6 are perspective views of a portable structure bearing advertising panels according to the invention.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are perspective views of a plurality of portable structures bearing an advertisement in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Preferred embodiments of methods, systems, and apparatus according to the invention are described through reference to the Figures.

FIGS. 1-3 are perspective views showing installation of advertising panels on a portable or moveable structure according to the invention.

Portable structure 10 shown in FIGS. 1-6 is a portable toilet of a type that is now commonly available commercially, fabricated of pluralities of formed plastic panels 16 joined by fasteners 18 which may for example include rivets, sealants, adhesives, etc. Raised portions 12 of panels 16 are provided during manufacture, as for example by molding or stamping, in order to provide sufficient structural stiffness in panels 16 and to accommodate mounting of related structures such as sinks, handles, urinals, and paper dispensers, and result in the creation of multi-planar surfaces including outermost surfaces 11. Vents 19 and other features are often provided for ventilation and other purposes.

Advertising panels 26 attached to structure 10 comprise images adapted for the presentation of desired advertising messages, e.g., “RENT ME FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT,” etc., which may for example be selected in order to target desired audiences such as consumers or other users of the portable structure 10, in view of a location in which the structure is to be placed and events anticipated to take place at that location during the time in which the structure is provided there. Panels 26 may be provided from any materials suitable for the purposes to which the advertising is to be put, including for example wood or plastics. Factors that may be considered in the selection of materials to be used in the fabrication of panels 26 include, for example, characteristics of the structure 10 to which the panels 26 are to be attached, the nature of the adhesives to be used in attaching the panels 26 to the structure 10, and weather and other conditions, including cleaning, to which the structure 10 and panels 26 will be exposed or subjected. For example, for fabricating panels to be used on waste bins and portable toilets, which are often subjected to extremes of weather and to highly vigorous cleaning processes, such as for example pressure washing using strong water currents, detergents and other solvents, it has been found that styrene sheets are suitable. For example, styrene sheets of 0.020-0.030 inches thickness have been found to serve satisfactorily.

In many applications, including for example those in which styrene sheets are used for providing panels 26, advertising messages may be satisfactorily provided on panels 26 through various printing and/or transfer processes. For example, a wide variety of suitable inks may be employed in printing, silk screening, etc., including, for example, inks cured by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The selection of suitable inks and methods for providing advertising messages on panels 26 will not trouble those skilled in the relevant arts, once they have been made familiar with this disclosure. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the relevant arts, a wide variety of other processes for providing advertising images on panels is now available and will doubtless hereafter be developed.

In installing panels 26, adhesives may be applied to one or more of raised portions 12 of panels 16, as shown in FIG. 1. For example, strips 22 of tape coated on both sides with adhesives may be applied to one or more of raised portions 12. Alternatively, as will be understood by those skilled in the relevant arts, glues or other adhesives may be applied by spraying, brushing, or in other ways. One or more of panels 26 may then be placed in a desired position and adhered to the tape or other adhesive, and thereby attached to panel(s) 16, as shown in FIG. 2.

A wide variety of tapes and other adhesives suitable for use in implementing the invention are available commercially, and others will doubtless hereafter be developed. It has been found that some tape/adhesive combinations provide superior performance in various conditions. For example, it has been found that 3M 4408 double-sided vinyl foam tape provides satisfactory performance in applications where warm temperatures are anticipated. It has been found, for example, that weather resistant double-sided mounting tape, such as Scotch 3M 4011, provide useful lives of approximately two years under typical service conditions in which the structure 10 and panel(s) 26 are exposed to weather and repeated high-pressure washing processes in northern continental climates such as are encountered, for example, in south central Canada.

As will be understood by those skilled in the relevant arts, the use of other tapes and/or adhesives may be advantageous in other conditions, as for example in hot, humid conditions such as are encountered in the tropics, in the southern United States, and in the Mediterranean regions.

Panels 26 may be provided in pre-cut or otherwise pre-sized form, and applied to adhesive 22 without further processing, or they may be trimmed to fit. It has been found, for example, that in attaching panels 26 to structures 10 built to relatively loose tolerances, such as is sometimes the case with portable toilets and other portable structures, it can be advantageous to provide panels 26 in a suitable approximate size and to trim the panels 26 at the installation site to fit the particular panels 16 to which they are to be attached, including for example doors, ventilators, and other openings. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the relevant arts, once they have been made familiar with this disclosure, walls and other surfaces of portable structures having doors or other opening and closing features can be used effectively by adhering suitably-trimmed advertisements to the outer surfaces of the door and any surrounding walls, so that the door or other opening can be opened and closed without hindering use of the structure. See, for example, FIGS. 6 and 6.

In some instances, it can be advantageous to trim adjoining corners or other edge portions of panels 26 using tape or pre-manufactured or specially-made corner or trim pieces, as shown in FIG. 3. It has been observed that many portable structures 10, such as the structure shown in FIG. 3, comprise overlapping seams at mating edges of panels 16, and that in some circumstances it can be convenient and effective to tuck one or more edges of panel(s) 26 behind such overlapping seam portions.

As shown in FIGS. 4-6, individual panels 26 may be provided with single advertising images that extend over single or continuously over multiple panels, or groups of related or unrelated images. For example, each panel 16 of a structure 10, or various portions thereof, may be devoted to advertising related to different products or services, or one or more of panels 26 may be devoted to the presentation of a single, continuous, ‘wrapped-around’ image As will be understood by those familiar with the advertising arts, it may be advantageous for all of a structure 10 to be provided with advertising images, as shown in FIGS. 4-6, or for advertising to be provided on some smaller portion, as for example on a single panel or a portion thereof. It may further be advantageous for various features of the structure 10, such the roof and/or one or more vents 19, door handles 25, or other features to be left uncovered by panel(s) 26, so as to allow the vents or other features to function more effectively.

As will be further understood by those familiar with the advertising arts, advertising images and/or panels 26 may be provided on one or more interior or exterior surfaces of a structure 10.

In the example shown in FIGS. 1-6, panels 26 are substantially flat, and are adapted for attachment to multiple raised portions 12 of panels 16 of a structure 10. In other embodiments of the invention, panels 26 may be formed, as for example by suitable molding or forming, to conform to the surface contour(s) of one or more panels 16. Such formed panels 26 may be attached to panels 16 using tapes or other adhesives as described above.

For example, in one such process molds are made of the exterior surfaces of panels 16 of the structure 10. Advertising images are printed on styrene (0.020 or 0.030 inches thick) and the panels 16 are thermal/vacuum formed (stamped), creating an ad with contours that match those of the exterior walls of the portable restroom. The ad printing process involves the use of plastic-based UV cured inks.

Such panels 26 may be installed atop of the exterior walls of the portable restroom using the same kinds of adhesives used when adhering flat styrene panels 26 as described above. It has been found, for example, that panels fabricated and installed in such fashion can provide service lives of two or more years in northern continental climates.

As will be understood by those skilled in the relevant arts, one advantage offered by the use of adhesives, including for example double-sided tapes, glues, etc., as disclosed herein, as opposed to permanent fasteners such as rivets, is that advertising panels 26 may be changed easily, without damage to the supporting panels 16 of structure 10. In this way it is possible to renew advertising campaigns, as for example when panels 26 become damaged, worn, or weathered, and to change advertisements altogether, as for example when a first advertising campaign ends and is replaced by a second.

In other aspects, the invention provides apparatus for the display of advertising material on one or more exterior surfaces of a temporary or portable structure such as a portable toilet, waste bin, trailer, or other portable accommodation, wherein the apparatus comprises a flexible wrap, such as a vinyl wrap, having one or more advertising images printed or otherwise provided on one side, affixed to one or more exterior surfaces of the temporary or portable structure using an adhesive provided on the structure or on a side of the wrap opposite the printed advertising image(s). Such wraps may be applied using cold or hot adhesion processes, and may be adapted for flat attachment to one or more raised portions of the exterior surface, or may be fitted to fit the contours of the surface, as for example by the use of heat shrinking processes.

For example, advertising images according to the invention may be provided using calendar transit vinyl to physically wrap a portable restroom or other portable or temporary structure 10. Such processes bear some similarity to processes used to provide advertising on automobiles, trucks, and transit vehicles. Advertisements may be printed on vinyl material and adhered to the portable structure 10, the adhesives being provided on the wrap.

Such calendar transit vinyls may be applied to one or more flat outside surfaces, including for example raised portion(s) 12, of panels 16 of the portable structure 10. In such cases the wrap can adhere to the raised portion(s) 12 of the panels 16. Such wraps may be applied using cold application processes using adhesives already applied to the back side of the vinyl. It is also found that commonly-available 2 sided tapes such as those described above can be used to supplement the adhesives provided on the calendar transit vinyl material.

As in some circumstances advertisements provided using calendar transit vinyl in accordance with the invention have been observed to offer somewhat shorter useful lives than other some embodiments disclosed herein, while they may be very efficiently produced and installed, it has been determined that advertising materials according to such embodiments may be especially well suited to use in connection with festivals, sporting events, and other temporary or special events.

As another example, advertising images according to the invention may be provided using cast transit vinyl to physically wrap a portable restroom or other portable or temporary structure 10. Such processes bear some similarity to processes used to provide advertising on automobiles, trucks, and transit vehicles. Advertisements may be printed on vinyl material and adhered to the portable structure 10, the adhesives being provided on the wrap.

Such cast transit vinyls may be applied to one or more outside flat surfaces of a structure 10, using a heat gun or other source of heat to stretch the vinyl and adhere the cast transit vinyl to all contours of the panels 16 of the portable structure 10.

As in some circumstances advertisements provided using cast transit vinyl in accordance with the invention have been observed to offer somewhat shorter useful lives than other embodiments disclosed herein, while they may be very efficiently produced and installed, it has been determined that advertising materials according to these embodiments may be especially well suited to use in connection with festivals, sporting events, and other temporary or special events.

As described in connection with other embodiments of the invention, calendar and cast transit wraps according to the invention may be provided with one or more continuous, related, or unrelated advertising images. As will be understood by those familiar with the advertising arts, it may be advantageous for all or any portion of a structure 10 to be provided with advertising images, as shown in FIGS. 4-6. It may further be advantageous for various features of the structure 10, such as the roof and/or one or more vents 19, door handles 25, or other features to be left uncovered by panel(s) 26, so as to allow the vents or other features to function more effectively.

As will be understood by those skilled in the relevant arts, one advantage offered by the use of adhesive wraps, including for example calendar and cast transit vinyl wraps, as disclosed herein, as opposed to panels affixed using permanent fasteners such as rivets, is that advertising displays may be changed easily, without damage to the supporting panels 16 of structure 10. In this way it is possible to renew advertising campaigns, as for example when image-bearing wraps become damaged, worn, or weathered, and to change advertisements altogether, as for example when a first advertising campaign ends and is replaced by a second. To effect such changes the old wrap may, for example, be removed and replaced or a new wrap may be installed atop the previous wrap.

In both panel- and wrap-embodiments of the invention, the display of multiple-surface advertisements may also be enhanced by placing multiple moveable advertising units, such as for example portable toilets or waste bins, beside each other such that, for example, their back or side walls form substantially contiguous surfaces suitable for the attachment and support of advertising images larger than could be supported by a single unit or on a single wall of unit.

For example, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a row of portable structures may be placed side by side such that their front walls form a substantially continuous surface suitable for the attachment of a single advertisement. In FIG. 7, a row of several portable structures 10 have been placed side by side such that their front (and rear) faces 71 form a substantially continuous wall to which a single advertisement 80 can be attached, as shown in FIG. 8. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the relevant arts, once they have been made familiar with this disclosure, advertisement 80 may be formed from one or more panels or wraps covering a plurality of faces 71, or from a plurality of panels or wraps, each wrap or panel covering a single face 71.

In other aspects, the invention provides methods of attaching such advertising materials to the temporary or portable structures, and methods of producing or otherwise providing such advertising materials.

While the foregoing invention has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity and understanding, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the relevant arts, once they have been made familiar with this disclosure, that various changes in form and detail can be made without departing from the true scope of the invention in the appended claims. The invention is therefore not to be limited to the exact components or details of methodology or construction set forth above. Except to the extent necessary or inherent in the processes themselves, no particular order to steps or stages of methods or processes described in this disclosure, including the Figures, is intended or implied. In many cases the order of process steps may be varied without changing the purpose, effect, or import of the methods described.





 
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