Dave Horton, an award-winning illustrator who produces the popular Florida cartoon entitled “Hortoons,” has created a special piece of art for Sanibel Air Conditioning’s newest service vehicle, which is already gaining popularity of many passersby.
"We've been in business for the last 22, 23 years, and we've always done some fairly straight-laced, traditional advertising on our vehicles," said Bryan Hayes, co-owner of Sanibel Air Conditioning. "I've known Dave (Horton) for years, so when someone suggested we try something different, he was the first person I thought of."
About a month ago, Hayes asked Horton to come up with a design that would capture both the nature of their business as well as the essence of the islands.
“I was thrilled to be contacted by Sanibel Air Conditioning with the request to create a van wrap using my cartoon characters," said Horton. "I think most people enjoy cartoons in advertising and find it to be a great way to get attention.”
What Horton came up with was a cartoon depicting three critters — an alligator, raccoon and turtle — seated in front of an air conditioning vent.
Sanibel Air introduced their newly-wrapped Ford Transit Connect van, which sported Dave’s Hortoon, last Wednesday during Islands Night.
“We were really excited to have it make its debut in during Islands Night," added co-owner Todd Hayes. "It was a great opportunity to work with Dave and we’re happy that he was willing to do this for us."
Sanibel Air Conditioning purchased the Transit van in an effort to be more "green" and economical as a small business. This service vehicle goes on frequent calls without burning excess gasoline, and of course, will add a little more flair to the traffic scene on the islands.
"Our last vehicle got about 14 miles to the gallon," noted Bryan Hayes. "Now we're getting about 31 miles to the gallon. From an environmental standpoint, we've cut our fuel consumption in half. That's better for the islands and better on our wallets."
Horton graduated from Illinois State University, where he won the award for Best College Comic Strip. He was accepted into the National Cartoonists Society and has been an artist and writer for Hallmark. Dave lives in Fort Myers with his wife and three children. He owns Sanibel Graphics and can be found online at www.hortoon.com'>www.hortoon.com.
So from now on, if you’re expecting a repair service from Sanibel Air Conditioning, don’t be surprised to see the cartoon critters rolling up your driveway. And if you happen to see it zipping around the islands, take a picture and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org'>email@example.com. They will post images on their Facebook page.
Sanibel Air Conditioning, located at 1213 Periwinkle Way, Suite A, provides regular service hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Call 395-2665 for more information or visit www.sanibelair.com'>www.sanibelair.com.
Sanibel Air Conditioning's newly-wrapped service van, adorned with a Dave Horton cartoon, made its debut last Wednesday during Islands Night. Here it is driven by co-owner Todd Hayes.