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Wrapping a parade float

Photos courtesy GBC.

Photos courtesy GBC

By Peter Saunders
For Montreal’s 2011 Pride Parade, Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank Financial Group turned to the Bob communications agency to design its float, combining the bank’s existing corporate branding with the parade’s new ‘3011: Odyssey of the Future’ theme. Groupe BO Concept (GBC), based in Anjou, Que., used a transit poster material to transform this unusual design into reality.

GBC provided the piece as a turnkey project to Bob by printing the design and then wrapping and decorating the aluminum exterior of the float vehicle, a TD Group-branded trailer.

Material decisions
The project began in June 2011. It was GBC’s first attempt at a parade float wrap, but with just four days to proceed to printing and installation, it had to be done correctly from the start.

“This trailer is used by TD Group year-round for street marketing,” explains Marc-André Léonard, account manager for GBC. “It is parked in public places and distributes ice cream cones, among other promotions. It was imperative during the installation and removal of the parade wrap there would be no scratches or other damage to the existing corporate wrap.”

Usually, for a vehicle-wrapping project, GBC would turn to an expensive fleet graphic film, specially designed to adhere to corrugations, rivets and contours for long-term applications, and would add a glossy overlaminate.

Given the need to avoid damaging the earlier wrap, however, along with the project’s relatively low budget and short intended lifetime (as the parade itself would only last one Sunday), Léonard’s team instead printed the graphics on a white, opaque, removable pressure-sensitive vinyl designed for bus posters, then applied it to the trailer without lamination.

The wrap also incorporated 404-g (13-oz) white polyvinyl chloride (PVC) banner material, 10-mm (0.4-in.) thick corrugated plastic sheeting and extruded polystyrene foam balls painted in the Pride Flag colours.

The project went on to win the Pride Parade’s Corporate Float of the Year award.

The project went on to win the Pride Parade’s Corporate Float of the Year award.

First time’s the charm
Jean Legros, production director for Bob, explains his team paraded along Montreal’s René-Lévesque Boulevard with the colourful float on August 14, 2011, and received praise for the wrap’s general appearance and quality. Indeed, it went on to win the parade’s Corporate Float of the Year award.

“Thanks to you and your whole team!” Legros told GBC’s Léonard.

“It was a chance to adapt a unique concept to a special vehicle,” says Léonard. “There is a possibility we will do another wrap for the same float this summer for the 2012 Pride Parade.”

With files from GBC. For more information, visit