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Jennie-O Turkey Store, Quick Signs of Willmar have ties to 'The Biggest Loser'

Gary Laughlin, owner of Quick Signs in Willmar, stands Wednesday alongside a newly designed Jennie-O Turkey Store trailer that boasts Quick Signs' work. Jennie-O is providing the trailers for an upcoming edition of TV's "Biggest Loser." Tribune photo by Ron Adams

WILLMAR -- Two Willmar businesses will be making their presence known in Hollywood this coming May.

Jennie-O Turkey Store of Willmar, a sponsor of the NBC television series "The Biggest Loser,'' will be providing two mobile kitchen trailers for an upcoming filming of the show. The final four contestants will be serving Jennie-O Turkey Store burgers out of the trailers, promoting the company's "Make the Switch'' campaign.

Jennie-O contracted with Quick Signs of Willmar to print and apply the green and white vinyl graphics that are wrapped around the trailers in the Jennie-O Turkey Store brand.

Quick Signs owner Gary Laughlin said he and his employees are excited to be part of the project.

"I think it says something for our local businesses and the fact that we can do this type of project,'' said Laughlin. "I don't expect the telephone calls to be coming in from California or anything on this but it's just kind of nice to see it.''

Laughlin said his company does a lot of graphics.

"We do most of the major companies' graphics on their trucks and trailers and different service vehicles. We've done a couple of partial wraps. This is probably one of the first big wraps that we've done and certainly the first time they're going to be on national TV,'' he said.

The project was to have been completed at the end of last week and the trailers were to be shipped to Hollywood this week. The episode will air May 17, one week before the season finale.

Vinyl wraps on buses, cars, trucks, trailers, boats and buildings are nothing new in larger metropolitan areas, but are fairly new around this area, according to Laughlin.

"Anyplace that people want to put their advertising,'' he said. "I've even read some of the trade magazines where they've wrapped airplanes. You can wrap just about anything.''

The trailers had been stored for about four years at Nelson International of Willmar. RV's Plus/Pleasureland of Willmar prepared the trailers for travel. Each of the 14-foot trailers has a generator and complete kitchen with freezer, refrigerator, sink and barbecue.

Laughlin said the old vinyl was removed and the exteriors were thoroughly cleaned before the new vinyl was applied.

"You want to make sure it is super clean before you put it on,'' Laughlin said. "You don't want any dust or dirt underneath.''

The two-tone green lettering was printed on white vinyl using a large format ink jet printer. The vinyl has an adhesive backing and heat is applied to stretch the vinyl over rivets and around fenders and curves.

The work was done inside an insulated and brightly lit shop that Laughlin recently built. The space is large enough to accommodate a semi tractor truck.

"The Biggest Loser" is in its 11th season. Jennie-O Turkey Store has been involved with the show for seven seasons. The reality show invites people with extreme weight issues to compete for a grand prize of $250,000.

However, the real goal of the program is to provide training for the contestants to change their lives forever through healthy eating and exercise.

Steve Lykken, senior vice president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, said "Our partnership with The Biggest Loser is rooted in the shared belief that a healthy lifestyle is easier to achieve when people are educated about good choices.

"The Biggest Loser and Jennie-O are showing America that there are a variety of lean turkey recipes to satisfy desires for both solid nutrition and great taste,'' he said.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150