What’s with… that car coming out of the building?

Mark Page, who for 13 years has owned Chico Collision Center with his wife, Laura, has an eye for advertising as well as body work. He’s one of the only local business owners to utilize three-dimensional advertising, and he recently shared some tricks of the trade.

How’d he come up with the idea? “I just figured that having a car crashing out of the building would be a novelty that would draw attention to us,” he said. Besides, Chico drivers are strangely unaware that that strip of road is East Park Avenue. “I’m able to say, it’s the place where the car is coming out of the building.”

Where’d the car come from? “I just got it at a wrecking yard, cut it in half, took the guts out and got rid of the excess weight.” He added brackets for safety; no city permits were needed. The body is a Mitsubishi, if Page remembers correctly, with a few extra parts added to help “create the illusion” of the car coming out of the building.

Why take a different approach? “I’ve been in sales all my life,” Page said. “Everybody in business tries to say that they’re the best, that they’re the cheapest, that they’re the greatest. About five or six years ago, I decided spending money on advertising that way was a waste.” He figures if people remember his shop because of the gimmicks, they’ll come in and end up staying for the high-quality staff and body work.

He’s the wrinkled doggy guy, too. Another of Chico Collision Center’s campaigns features wrinkly, sharpei-type dogs to illustrate the fact that the business removes wrinkles from wrecked-up cars.

What’s new? Page recently installed a time-and-temperature sign, making his the third such feature in town. He wouldn’t say exactly how much that baby cost, but, “I was shocked at how expensive it was.” He figured the 28,000 cars going by each day carrying potential customers and knowledge-seekers made it worth it.

Any parting wisdom? "The difference between flat advertising and three-dimensional advertising is just huge."