Who would have thought of decorating the wiper blade on a car’s back window? Who would have thought it was the perfect place to show your boosterism, your fandom, your sense of humor? Keith Bernauer, that’s who, and the result is WiperTags.
WiperTags are removable, fully customizable decorations for your rear wiper blade/blades. A lot of the designs are funny when the wipers are on: One is a bloody machete that comes with terrified stick figures for your window; another is a hand with a sponge so it looks like someone is washing the window. For obvious reasons, it wouldn’t be wise to use them on your front wipers.
In early 2014, Bernauer was laid off after 17 years in the payments industry. The idea of WiperTags had been in his head for a while, and he already was experimenting with the product in his garage, so in the spring of 2014, Bernauer started the company. He runs the business from his Fern Creek home office.
WiperTags are made here in Louisville with a manufacturing partner downtown. The manufacturer produces, packages and ships the products. Bernauer does most of the design work but sometimes works with other artists. Even large custom orders ship within seven days.
WiperTags are sold only online via WiperTags.com, Etsy, eBay and Amazon.
Bernauer is working on getting licensing for the NCAA, NFL, Disney/LucasFilm, NHL, MLB and other larger opportunities. In the meantime, though, he can customize WiperTags for your school, fundraiser or sports league. Other options include look-alike sabers, a green smash arm, and a choker death-grip arm that all look pretty familiar.
Last fall, in fact, a video clip WiperTags posted on Facebook featuring its green saber design on a Toyota with a license plate that read “TOYODA” (among other clever pop culture nods) went viral and reached more than 9.4 million people with over 15,000 likes and 8,800 comments. Why so many comments? Most were people tagging friends in the post. Talk about word of mouth (if you still call it that when it’s on the Internet).
According to Bernauer, WiperTags make good fundraisers for sports teams or schools, and the company will mock up designs for free.
WiperTags are not stickers or magnets; they are patented locking strips that enable them to be interchanged. You also can use Wipertags on your bumper or truck tailgate. The window decals you also can order from the company are removable and leave no residue.
This spring, Bernauer plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign and expand the company to include more products. The new LLC will be called Display Your Spirit.