trends in outdoor advertising

Outdoor Advertising Trends

Today, billboards are one of the most popular and effective advertising mediums. While the rise of new advertising technologies has transformed the advertising market, billboards remain both popular and incredibly effective, due to the fact that they can adapt to new advertising trends with ease.

In Puerto Rico, there’s an average of six-hundred-and-fourteen automobiles for every one-thousand people. That’s a lot of traffic! Moving across highways and roads, drivers are usually looking to pass the time. For this reason, advertisers strategically place billboards where drivers can easily see and take note of them, even if subconsciously.

Each billboard, if designed properly, conveys an engaging and unique message. Each message has the potential to turn the driver, who may not have even heard about that particular company or product, into a customer. Or, at the very least, into someone who is interested in considering what the billboard is offering.

Outdoor Advertising Trends 2019

As an advertising medium, billboards are quite old. In fact, they’ve been around since the late 19th century. As years progress, billboards continue to grow and transform. This allows them to remain both relevant and effective, especially as a source of true guerilla marketing.

In order to make a truly excellent billboard advertisement, it’s important to understand the history of outdoor advertising trends, as well as where outdoor advertising stands today.

advantages of billboard advertising

How Did Billboards Begin?

In 1867, the first billboard advertisement was leased. As time passed, billboards became more popular, and the advertisements became far more elaborate and unique. With the rise of the automobile, roads and highways were created. On these roads and highways, billboards could be placed on the sides. It was this development that lead to billboard advertising becoming one of the primary advertising mediums of the 20th Century.

If you go back to the year 1867, that was when the first billboard advertisement was leased. Just twenty-four-years after that, in 1891, the Associated Bill Posters’ Association was formed. This association was designed to expand people’s understanding of the billboard medium and to organize and coordinate efforts that had to do with designing and setting up billboards.

With the rise of the Associated Bill Posters’ Association, billboards became far more popular. People began to understand the medium and the advertising potential that lay within it.

digital outdoor advertising

When the first mass-market automobile was released – the Ford Model T – everything changed. The Model T became one of the first affordable automobiles. Instead of relying on more archaic forms of transport, people drove automobiles.

As automobiles became more popular, cities realized a need for efficient networks of roads and highways. This led to the creation of what we know today as roadways.

Advertisers quickly flocked to empty spaces along these roads and found a true potential for different forms of advertising. Since then, billboards have become an important aspect of the advertising landscape. In fact, they’re one of the more evolving forms of marketing that continues to adapt to newer forms of technology.

Quick Facts

  • In the mid-to-late nineteenth century, billboards became an advertising medium
  • When the Associated Bill Posters’ Association was formed, people became aware of the medium and its potential for advertising
  • The Ford Model T led to roads and highways, which changed the advertising industry
  • Billboard were placed across roadway networks and became one of the most popular advertising mediums

effective outdoor advertising trends

 

What Is The Current Billboard Advertisement Design Philosophy?

In today’s outdoor advertising trends, there are several design choices that almost every billboard makes, in one way or another. Each one of these design choices began as trends before morphing into a set standard.

Billboard advertisements are, first and foremost, a visual medium. Words are often used, but sparingly, because the images are designed to speak for themselves. Effectively, outdoor advertisements should be clear and succinct, primarily because viewers don’t have longer than a few seconds to digest it. If there are too many words, there’s a good chance the billboard won’t be read or understood.

In the earlier days of billboard advertisements, visuals were often used alongside words. Billboards were still a visual medium, but words were given more weight. An example of this was advertisements for circus shows and theater acts.

Today, that is no longer the case. Billboards now use striking visuals as an incentive that immediately captivates the essence of what is being sold. While words are still important, they are used sparingly.

billboard advertising effectiveness

To go along with the striking visuals, viewers may find the use of strong colors that are both engaging and visually appealing. Today, many billboards use colors like blue, yellow, black, white, and red. These colors are complementary. Their contrast also makes it easier to read and to emphasize certain aspects of the advertisement.

The most important aspect of designing a billboard advertisement is simplicity.

Today, people are bombarded with the flow of information. The internet is responsible for most of this. In fact, online advertisers are hard-pressed to truly identify and convert the right customers. Billboards often follow a different goal. Billboards, first and foremost, are seen by a wider public audience. This gives advertisers the chance to get in front of larger crowds. However, it means, also, that outdoor advertisements must be as simple, engaging, and captivating. For this reason, it’s important to work with outdoor advertisers that are as experienced in design as they are in formatting language for marketing purposes.

What Are The Current Outdoor Advertising Trends?

Today, there is one billboard advertising trend that carries the potential of reshaping the advertising industry, and the medium itself. The trend in question? Digital billboards.

2019 outdoor advertising trends

A digital billboard is a canvas that boasts endless advertising potential. For one, using a digital billboard, allows you to use animation, distinct (and dynamic) color choices, unique typography, among other creative choices.

With a digital billboard, the set-up process is much easier and much shorter. This usually reflects longevity, as well. Setting up a digital billboard consists of making the advertisement, and renting the digital space for a specific period of time. That’s it. The advertisement is displayed until another takes its place.

As digital billboards continue to become more and more popular, a variety of unique and creative advertising choices and trends directly related to the medium will catch on. Right now, interactivity is very popular, and many advertisers are experimenting with it.

outdoor advertising trends

Digital Outdoor Advertising Effectiveness

Using an interactive digital billboard, you are able to directly have the user directly engage with the advertisement. This leads to a far more memorable and enjoyable experience, while also serving as a wonderful way of highlighting what you are offering.

Soon enough, there will be other trends related to the medium. These trends will transform digital billboards, and digital billboards will continue to transform the billboard advertising medium.

Interested in learning more about outdoor advertising? Contact bMedia, a leading provider of billboard advertisements in Puerto Rico.

what to expect when purchasing a billboard

What to Expect from Billboard Advertising

In 1867, the first billboard was leased. This billboard was used to hold a large advertisement. Since then, billboards have become one of the most popular forms of advertising. They are unique with visual designs, large size, guaranteed audience, and the ease in which they can be set up on roads and highways.

Billboard advertising industry began in the late 19th century. It started off slowly. But by 1870, there were around three-hundred bill-posting and sign painting companies. Then, in 1891 the Associated Bill Posters’ Association was founded. This expanded the concept of poster advertising, allowing advertisers to see the potential that the medium offered. Today, billboards have risen to one of the most popular forms of advertising. Below we’re discussing what to expect from billboard advertising.

what is the process of advertising on billboards

What Is Billboard Advertising?

When the 20th century began, billboards were a popular form of advertising, but nowhere near as popular as they soon became. With the rise of the automobile, billboards rose to one of the dominant forms of advertising.

Roads and highways were built to accommodate the automobiles that everyone was buying. Billboards were advertising a variety of different products and services on these roads and highways. Everyone saw these billboards as they drove.

Today, billboard advertising is one of the most popular advertising mediums. A billboard is a giant poster that is visible to hundreds of people. Unlike other forms of advertising, billboards always have a sizeable audience. By making the right choices, you might be able to reach the right people at any given time.

  • The billboard advertising industry began in the second half of the 19th century
  • In the 20th century, billboard advertising became a dominant form of advertising, due to the automobile
  • Billboard advertising is one of the most popular forms of advertising in today’s world
  • Every billboard is guaranteed to have an audience

What Do You Do Before Purchasing Your Billboard?

Billboards can be costly upfront. You should know what to expect from billboard advertising. For one, you should consider a consultation with a billboard advertising agency. During your consultation, you should finetune the needs of the billboard. You should also investigate your target audience, the proper location, and what your billboard advertisement conveys and expresses.

effective billboard ads

Purchasing a billboard is a process, and it begins by being aware of your audience, and the exact message that you would like to convey. If those two elements of the process are uncertain, then your billboard will be hard-pressed to succeed.

When you understand those two elements, you can set up a consultation with a billboard advertising agency. Throughout your consultation, you will be able to finetune the individual components of your billboard. These are components include:

  • specific audiences that you would like to reach
  • the message you are expressing
  • placement of your billboard
  • what the billboard says and what it looks like.

Once all of that information has been organized, you’ll be able to look at billboards that the consultant feels are right for your business. Make sure to visit each billboard in person, so that you can see what it really looks like, and whether or not people can actually see it as they drive by.

  • Make sure you understand the message you need to convey and your target audience
  • Setup a consultation and fine-tune the individual components of the billboard, including the design, placement, and specific audience you need to reach
  • Visit the billboards your consultant has suggested for you and find one that looks and feels right to you

What Happens Once You Purchase Your Billboard?

When you purchase your billboard, the next step is for you to work with your consultant on designing the billboard advertisement. All of the preparatory work you did earlier is incredibly valuable in this stage of the process.

what to expect when purchasing a billboard ad

Earlier, before and during your meeting with the consultant, you finetuned the different aspects of your billboard. Aspects that include your target audience, the message you want the billboard to convey, and the overall design of the billboard.

When you work with your consultant on designing your billboard, all of that information will be put to good use. For the words, you’ll need to keep it short and sweet – six-words or less is ideal – while making sure that you’re saying something that speaks to your target audience, and conveys your intended message.

Words are only a small portion of a billboard, though. Billboards are visual mediums, and you’ll be spending a lot of time working with your consultant on the visual design of your billboard. Every visual element must align with what your audience needs, what you are selling, and the message that you intend to convey.

For example, if you are advertising a motorbike that goes very fast, then you should integrate visual motifs that are related to speed and momentum. That way, the words are a supplement to the visuals, rather than the other way around.

  • When you purchase your billboard, it’s time for you to design it
  • Make sure your design is in alignment with your audience, what they want, and the message you want to convey
  • Focus on making the words a supplement to the visuals; billboard advertising is a visual medium

What Makes A Billboard Effective?

When a billboard is in the right spot, has the right visual design and the right words, and successfully introduces people to your product, that billboard is effective. If a billboard is in the wrong spot, has a clunky visual design and a strange choice of words, that billboard is unable to properly introduce potential customers to what you are selling.

unique billboard ads

In order for your billboard to be effective, it must be in the right spot, have the right visual design, and the right words. Those elements lead to a billboard that conveys what it is that you are selling, in a manner that ensures that the right people see what you are offering.

If you are advertising designer clothing, you probably wouldn’t want your billboard to be located on a road somewhere deep in rural Puerto Rico. Instead, you would want to place that billboard in a place where people with lots of disposable income will see it.

Examples of Effective Advertising

When advertising that designer clothing, you need your billboard to convey the status and prestige that comes with wearing your clothing. Instead of using a visual design that appears clunky and lacking in polish, use a visual design that comes across as sophisticated and classy.

To make your billboard extra special, you need to use the right words. For designer clothing, you wouldn’t use words such as “affordable” or “inexpensive”, you would use words such as “elegant” and “luxury”.

No matter what you are advertising, make sure that all three of those elements come together. What you should expect from billboard advertising:

  • Your billboard must be in the right spot, have the right visual design, and the right words
  • Make sure that your billboard is somewhere people can see it, and where the people who will buy your product are likely to see it
  • Ensure that the visual design is in alignment with what you are advertising
  • Make sure that you use as few words as possible, and that every word has an impact

Funny Parking Billboard

bMedia Can Assist

For Puerto Rico billboard advertising, bMedia Group has you covered. We have years of backed experience and can help you craft the right message and the winning graphic to help boost your business. Our form of advertising isn’t just effective, it is proven. Contact us today for a consultation and clarification on what to expect from billboard advertising.

amazing billboard ads

Amazing Billboard Ads

We are constantly bombarded by messages enticing us to buy something. Look at a website and the next thing that pops up is an array of ads for that item from competing companies. Open your e-mail and there are full-color, animated sales flyers whether you asked for them or not. Ads come in many forms including posters, window displays, newspaper and magazine ads, t-shirts, web, and social media, but the most effective type is still in the form of amazing billboard ads

Advertising is big business. This year it topped $100 billion dollars in the USA alone. Outdoor or billboard advertising accounted for 7% of that. 

Some billboard ads appeal to certain potential clients. Others garner more attention from a different niche market. But what, exactly, makes an outdoor effective? The most amazing billboard ads follow certain designs and creative elements, and we’re giving you some intriguing information on them below. 

best types of billboards

Why are Outdoor Ads so Effective?

Billboard ads have been proven to be highly effective. Who can resist reading a big, bold billboard or a colorful ad the full length of a city bus? It’s difficult to miss an ad that covers an entire wall. 

Outdoor ads are limited only by the imagination of advertisers. Have you noticed ads in cab windows, on bus shelters, affixed to park benches?  You will find them on kiosks in shopping malls, plus trains, in airports, and even front lawns. Most commonly, however, outdoor ads occupy space nearest to roads in the form of billboards and with good reason. Every day, people commute t0 work, home, stores and more, and within that drive time, they either knowingly or unknowingly pass by a captivating billboard. 

We spend more time away from home than we do inside so it follows that outdoor signs catch our eye and lure us to buy. Still, what makes amazing billboard ads effective?

Outdoor Signs Have High Impact

Where magazine or newspaper ads have to capture a viewer to the medium, outdoor advertising requires no such invitation. It’s right there. It’s in your face. It’s part of your environment. You can’t close it like the newspaper, shut it off like the TV, or shut it down by clicking your mouse. 

You have no control over whether you view it. The longer and the more often you see it, the greater the impact.

types of outdoor ads

Outdoor Ads Grab Your Attention

Outdoor ads stand alone. They aren’t competing with other ads the way TV, internet, and newspaper ads do.

Outdoor ads are often visible from afar. They stay in your visual range for several minutes. Outdoor advertisers strive for color, movement, and creativity that make them attention-grabbing and memorable even long after you’ve seen them.

Outdoor Advertising is Surprisingly  Cost-Effective

Studies on return on investment (ROI) for outdoor billboard ads found that outdoor advertising is very cost-effective when compared with other types of advertising. The reason, again, is that they’re hard to ignore and they even subconsciously entice buying decisions. 

creative billboard ideas

Outdoor Advertising Reaches A Wide Audience

If you’re trying to reach a wide niche market, outdoor advertising is an excellent marketing platform for your brand, company, organization, or enterprise. Outdoor advertising has a broad audience. Being outdoors, businesses have the eyes of thousands of potential consumers. Many of them are hard to reach in other advertising media forms. 

Where Do People Shop? 

The short answer is: Not where they used to shop. Surveys discovered that over seventy percent of things purchased are not bought in retail centers and shopping malls. When it comes to advertising, location is crucial. Outdoor advertising is the most effective medium when it comes to making an impact on shoppers before they purchase.

Consumers Like Outdoor Ads

Ads on TV are hated! DVR companies make a  fortune on providing the viewing public with a means of ignoring ads. On the other hand, outdoor ads are actually popular with consumers. An Australian study proved that locals and tourists preferred buses with ads than those without them. Over a third of American drivers said they welcomed the distraction of billboard ads.

unique billboard ads

Outdoor Ads Combine with Other Advertising 

Outdoor advertising need not stand alone. It has been shown to combine well with other types of advertising. The result is a heightened impact on both types of ads.

Outdoor Ads Offer a Fresh Message

Thanks to modern technology, outdoor advertising gives brands and enterprises a novel, creative, attention-grabbing approach. It’s a way to reach potential consumers in an open, fresh appealing way.

Why are Billboards one of the Best Types of Outdoor Ads?

On average, people spend more than twenty hours a week in their cars. Here are some interesting statistics on commuters by state. For billboards, these drivers and their passengers are a captive audience.

Amazing billboard ads are big, bright, visually appealing, easy-to-read as you pass without undue driver distraction. Moreover, studies have shown that these messages leave a lasting visual impression.

billboard advertising effectiveness

Best Copy for Outdoor Ads

When it comes to compelling copy for an amazing billboard, you have to remember that you are competing with the driver’s smartphone, GPS, radio, and morning coffee. So, your message needs to be big, bold and easy to read in passing. It also needs to be clever but not cutesy.

A good rule of thumb in copy is six words or less. Six seconds is the usual time spent passing a billboard. Also, consider the words and their length. 

You want to get noticed but not be a distraction whether you are a traditional roadside billboard or a mobile billboard on a bus or truck side.

You’re not trying to get a response. You want to entice a potential consumer, provide information, and get your brand out there. Billboards promote products and support brand campaigns.

Best Visuals

Good visuals are big, bright, bold. They elicit a feeling from the viewer and provide a lasting memory of what they have seen for only a few seconds. Thanks to computer-aided design and vinyl sign software packages these visuals can be created effectively for both stationary and mobile billboards.

eye catching billboard ads

Outdoor Ads Faux-Pas

Not all billboards are effective. Here are some things to avoid when designing a billboard:

Ineffective Use of Color

Thanks to computer-aided design the sky’s the limit when it comes to color. Your ad must be attractive to grab the viewer’s attention and provide a lasting visual.

eye catching billboard ads

Hard-to-Read Fonts

Choose fonts carefully. Stylized fonts, curly print, thin letters are a bad choice on billboards. Aim for easy and fast reading format.

Too Much Text

As cosmetics maven, MaryKay, said of women’s makeup, “Less is more!” Avoid large chunks of text. Six words is a good rule of thumb.

Poor Placement

As with real estate, in the world of billboards placement is a major decision. Not selecting the right location can be the demise of your add no matter how effective the design. 

Amateur Design

Hire a professional. Many companies hoping to save a dollar try to use a software package to create their own billboards. The results are often poor if not disastrous. The money spent on professional billboards more than pays for itself in return on investment.

Let us help. bMedia billboards have proven customer satisfaction and results.

how billboard advertising started

History of Billboard Advertising

The first billboards were invented in the 1830s. They became a popular form of advertising in the 1860s. Then, as the 19th century came to a close, the proper format of a billboard was defined and their popularity skyrocketed.

history of billboard advertisements

In the 1830s, a man named Jared Bell created some of the very first billboards. These billboards advertised circus acts like Barnum And Bailey. The billboards were often large posters, displaying colorful pictures. They emphasized unique features and promotional elements for each of their upcoming shows. 

The 1860s saw a major shift in billboard advertising. Businesses were able to purchase outdoor space to utilize for billboard display. Soon enough, advertisers began taking advantage of the new laws and regulations, setting up different billboards and experimenting with their own forms and creatives. They were often hand-drawn or hand-painted and labor-intensive. 

Two things happened in the last four decades of the 19th century:

  1. Billboards became more popular, which led to the founding of various billboard associations. Some of the most famous from this period was The International Bill Posters Association and the Associated Bill Posters’ Association. They helped launch billboard advertising, as a concept, nationwide.
  2. As these associations became more prominent, standards for billboard advertising began to subtly change. In 1889, the Paris Expo revealed the first-ever twenty-four sheet billboard. That twenty-four sheet format became the standard format for billboards everywhere.  
  • Jared Bell created some of the first billboards for famous circus acts in the 1830s
  • Nw legislation allowed advertisers to purchase outdoor space for advertising purposes in the 1860s
  • The International Bill Posters Association and Associated Bill Posters’ Association  introduced billboards to other advertisers
  • The first twenty-four sheet billboard was shown at the Paris Expo, and then the World’s Columbian Exposition.
  • This twenty-four sheet format became the standard billboard

When Billboards Took Over Advertising

a history of billboards and signs

The Model T was one of the first affordable cars. It changed the United States, and ushered in an era of cheap, low-cost manufacturing. As more people became reliant on cars, roads and highways were soon built to support them. Soon enough, advertisers realized that setting up billboards on roads and highways was an excellent advertising strategy.

After the introduction of the Model T, cars quickly became the main form of transportation. Older methods of transportation railroads and horses, mainly became a secondary option. 

Due to this influx of cars, cities were forced to adapt their infrastructure to accommodate the growing automobile market. This lead to the creation of better roads and highways. Shortly after, advertisers realized that this would become prime advertising real estate.

While billboards were always a popular form of advertising throughout the 20th century, it wasn’t until the creation of the Interstate Highway System that billboards became extraordinarily successful. The Interstate Highway System — a system that connects the different states together through safe and efficient roads, spanning 49,000 miles — was a goldmine of display opportunities. 

history of billboard advertising

Hundreds of businesses used this method of advertising to their advantage. Most of these businesses set up conventional billboards. But, there were other businesses for example, Burma Shave, Coca-Cola, and Palmolive that realized that by designing humorous and captivating signs, you could entertain bored drivers.

  • The popularity of the first cars, Model T, lead to the development of better roads and highways
  • Advertisers realized that these roads and highways could be used to set up billboards
  • The Interstate Highway System lead to billboards becoming one of the most popular forms of advertising
  • Businesses started using billboards to create advertisements that entertained drivers

The Highway Beautification Act

history of billboard advertising

The placement of billboards on the Interstate Highway System was largely unregulated. There were very few restrictions regarding the size, spacing, placement, and design. This lack of regulation changed in 1965.

The Interstate Highway System brought a great deal of prosperity to the billboard industry. Billboards were extremely popular, and the businesses and products they were advertising even more.

In 1965, the Highway Beautification Act was passed. The Highway Beautification Act set limitations on the number of billboards that could be placed along highways, as well as regulations on factors such as size, spacing, and lighting.

While some in the industry thought that this would put an end to billboards, it didn’t. Instead, billboard designs complied with the newly formed regulations. 

  • The Interstate Highway System and the placement of billboards was largely unregulated
  • This changed in 1965 when the Highway Beautification Act was passed
  • Advertisers were forced to comply with various regulations regarding spacing, size, and lighting
  • Billboards remained popular, but they had to change and develop in order to comply with these new regulations

The Future of Billboard Advertising

Today, billboards still comprise a large percentage of the advertising market. Instead of going with traditional billboards, though, advertisers are using digital methods. Digital billboards bring less work and fewer overhead costs while delivering a more vivid and engaging form of advertising.

digital billboard advertising

To some, billboards are seen as a “relic of the past”. For advertisers, though, this is far from the truth. As of today, billboards comprise 66% of the “out of home” advertising market. Many of these billboards are digital.

Digital billboards require less work than traditional billboards. They also offer more possibilities for creativity and experimentation.

Instead of shipping an advertisement to a billboard company weeks in advance, all that’s needed is a file. If you want to experiment with different creatives and ideas including, colors, fonts, styles and sound effects for your advertisement, you can do so easily. If something doesn’t work out, simply press a few buttons to make desired changes.

Along with that, digital billboards and other outdoor media are starting to integrate sensors and cameras. These allow for more dynamic and engaging advertisements that directly interface with whoever is viewing the ad.

While the billboard advertising form will continue to shift and change, one thing is certain: billboards are here to stay. 

  • Billboards still comprise a significant portion of the advertising market
  • The traditional billboard was replaced with their digital counterparts
  • Digital billboards require less maintenance than traditional billboards
  • Sensors and cameras are being used to create interactive ads

Billboard Advertising in Puerto Rico

history of billboard advertising

bMedia is a Puerto Rico local outdoor media company specializing in billboard advertising. While we’ve come a long way since hand-painted signage and extremely labor-intensive displays, we are happy to continue servicing one of the oldest forms of advertising. This advertising strategy has been proven and methodically implemented for companies across the nation. We offer our support and creativity for businesses exclusive to Puerto Rico. Contact us for pricing and additional information.

Funny Advertising Fails

Funny Advertising Fails

Advertising is all about creating associations. People who see a clear message alongside your brand will connect the two in their mind even if they don’t consciously realize it. But this effect is a double-edged sword; if someone attaches their brand to a poorly made advertisement, it can really hurt their image. Of course, if an advertisement is so bad that it’s funny when people share it online. So these advertisements are either fails or successes depending on whether or not you believe that all publicity is good publicity.

Yahoo 404 Error?

For any website, serving a user up a 404 error is an embarrassment. For one of the world’s largest search engines, producing a 404 should probably never happen, so the unfortunate number placement in this baseball stadium next to the Yahoo banner makes for funny advertising fail. Location always matters!

Funny Advertising Fails

For any website, serving a user up a 404 error is an embarrassment. For one of the world’s largest search engines, producing a 404 should probably never happen, so the unfortunate number placement in this baseball stadium next to the Yahoo banner makes for funny advertising fail. Location always matters!

What Does That Say?

If you’re having trouble reading this on a screen that’s standing still imagine trying to read it while you drive past at more than sixty miles per hour. This sign seems like a real traffic hazard. Even if you can read it the slogan “see your teeth as we do” doesn’t feel worth the effort required.

Funny Advertising Fails

Hunters and Hygienists

So I’m confused, are they holding my dental hygienist hostage? Listen, it’s great if you have hobbies and sometimes you can even work your favorite pastime into your ad campaign. But your job and your hobby need to align in some way for it to work. All this sign makes me think of is my teeth mounted on the wall beside some antlers.

Hitchcock Dental Advertising Fail

Quality Control is Crucial

Even great designs can blow up in your face if the idea isn’t executed correctly. This ad must have looked great on the screen it was designed on but because the people putting the sign up didn’t put care into their work the whole impact was ruined. It just goes to show how important everyone, from the ad executive down to the person who actually has to physically put the ad up.

Coke Advertising Error

Diabetes, Straight Ahead

This sign placement is either incredibly unfortunate or ingenious. If the diabetes sign was there first, then McDonalds made a huge mistake. But if the McDonalds sign was the original sign then the people at the Ad Council found a great way to spread their message and make people question their unhealthy eating habits.

Diabetes Straight Ahead

Join the Fun!

Because of the way the picture was cropped we can’t tell what the full sign says. What we can say for sure is that this sign seems to be encouraging people to die, and that’s always going to be a bad advertising move.

Funny Advertising Error

Celebrating Remarkable Women

Mixing social issues and personal promotion always requires a tricky balancing act and the people behind this sign handled the challenge with the grace of a boozed-up bull in a china shop. Honoring women is a worthy goal, but when that’s your goal you probably don’t want to make it look like your company doesn’t have any female leadership.

Billboard Advertising Fails

Love Your Curves

On the topic of mixed messages, here we have another case of good intentions and poor execution. If you want to sell your product to women who identify as curvy, then you should probably hire some models who aren’t so skinny. This advertisement manages to feel pandering, tone deaf, and insulting all at once. In that way, it’s actually quite an accomplishment!

Love Your Curves Billboard Fail

This is Bland Flavor

Always triple check your font choice. Look at it yourself, show it to a friend, then show it to a stranger. If the designer behind this ad followed those steps, someone might have pointed out that the cursive I and S come together to look like a B, turning “island” into “bland.” It doesn’t help that the food in the picture ranges from black to brown to white. A little bit of garnish might wouldn’t have hurt.

Bland Flavor Advertising Fail

Technical Error

Just as technology has opened up new avenues for success, it has also created plenty of new chances for failure. In the old days, a billboard ad would never need to be rebooted. Then again, this might be a good advertisement if it was put up by one of Intel’s competitors as a way to paint their products as faulty.

Technical Error Billboard Advertising Fail

1-800-CALL

Last time I checked 1-800 numbers needs a few more numbers than this. What are the last three numbers? I know that CALL translates into 2255 but what three numbers do you get out of four generic looking lawyer types? Who thought this sign was complete? So many questions, so few answers.

Hilarious Billboard Fail

For more humorous advertisements check out our article on: Funny Signs and Billboards.

Facebook Billboard

How Does Facebook Spend its Advertising Budget? Billboards.

Have you ever seen a billboard ad for Facebook and stopped to wonder why one of the top online advertising powers in the world invests its marketing dollars into outdoor advertising?

Maybe not, but oh the irony. We personally think it’s pretty powerful that Facebook – an online marketing tool that stresses using its advertising tools to promote business  – spends it’s own marketing dollars on a traditional form of marketing in billboards. 

Facebook uses billboards for own ads

Live What You Love Campaign

One of the more noticeable Facebook billboard campaigns took place early last year across India. The campaign, entitled “Live What You Love” pushed groups, pages and events to Indian users in an effort to encourage them to join groups to find like-minded people.

The ads aired on prime time tv, and across prominent billboards in Mumbai, New Delhi, and several other cities.

Facebook Billboards

Spam Is Not Your Friends Campaign

Perhaps the better-known example of Facebook using TV, print ads and large billboards is the most recent campaign that began in March of last year around America. The sparse billboards and bus stop signs proclaimed “Spam is not your friends”, “false news is not your friends” and “clickbait is not your friends” along with a promise to change the way things appear in the newsfeed.

This campaign was in response to bombshell revelations about how Russian bots used Facebook to disseminate false information, spam, and clickbait to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook then went on to launch a summer campaign in the European Union to advise users of their rights under the General Data Protection Regulation Act.

Why social media groups are buying billboards

Traditional Advertising is Still Key

Facebook’s efforts to reach its users not only on its own platform, but through traditional advertising methods like TV commercials, print ads and outdoor advertising on billboards, bus stops, subway signs and more underscore that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In fact, outdoor advertising and billboards are the only advertising industry that is seeing more forecasted growth. In 2018, outdoor marketing was expected to grow 2% to account for an $8 billion market.

On the other hand, other traditional advertising saw a decline last year:

  • National TV Advertising: -1.5%
  • Local TV Advertising: -3.5%
  • Newspaper Advertising: -19%
  • Magazines -15%
  • Radio: -4%

The fact that outdoor advertising is the only section of the market seeing profitability amongst a mix of other traditional advertising methods shows us that outdoor media, billboards and signage are still one of the most effective ways to reach consumers when not on a digital platform.

Digital is the Difference

However, there is a marked difference between the success of traditional billboards and of digital billboards. Digital options are proven to be more cost-effective, and the bright, eye-catching effects that allow for multiple ads to appear on a single billboard makes the display more profitable for agencies and billboard owners.

Industries are taking notice of this, too.

Across a span of 10 years (2013 forecasted to 2023) spending on traditional billboards remains flat at $6 billion total. However, digital billboard advertising climbs year over year. From $646 million spend in 2013, the market is expected to hit $2 billion in 2023.

Facebook Billboard Use

Billboards of the Future

In the world of digital advertising and smartphones, some of the biggest streaming and service providers spend a huge amount of their marketing budget on strategic outdoor displays. In fact, even the iPhone has poured marketing funds and innovation into billboard strategy, with its iPhone X selfie campaign. Netflix also invests in billboards everywhere.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America estimates that for every dollar spent on an outdoor advertising ad, it delivers $5.97 in return on investment. With new developments in location data and tracking, this is only forecasted to grow.

That’s because billboards are being fitted with tech and sensors to recognize when a person is nearby, or even analyze their smartphone data to specifically target passerby with curated content. Technology integration is revealing new advertising avenues every day, including computers analyzing data and statistics to decide when and where to place digital ads for the best impact.

In addition, new surfaces for advertising are being explored, including stationary car and taxi windows, as well as interactive and targeted directories, bus stop signs, retail windows and more. The outdoor advertising industry shows no signs of slowing, and the future of the digital billboard is bright!

Types of Digital Billboards

Digital Billboard Advertising

Digital billboards have revolutionized the billboard industry. Unlike the traditional billboards, digital billboards are able to display several ads in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, they create eye-catching visual effects that aren’t possible on traditional billboards.

The technology behind digital billboards wasn’t widespread until the turn of the 21st century. That’s because the expense of the electronics made it too expensive for most billboard advertisers to adopt. However, advancing technology and lower electricity costs eventually won the day.

Fun fact: Lamar Outdoor Advertising was the first to install a digital billboard in 2001. 

The entire billboard wasn’t entirely digital but was still groundbreaking for its time. Four years later, the market for digital billboards officially boomed.

Even though digital billboard technology is fairly new, the technology is relentlessly pushing on and even the first Lamar billboard looks archaic compared to today’s different types. Here are some of the different types of digital billboards that have evolved over the last decade.

Digital Signs

Digital Billboards

Digital signs are a good option for outdoor advertising for spaces that don’t require a standalone billboard. Digital signs can take the place of traditional store signs, mounted on the side of the building, at the entrance to a parking lot or underneath an existing sign.

Digital signs allow buildings to be seen from the roadway, increasing the flow of foot traffic. Digital signs are attractive for their versatility and relatively low cost. For shopping plazas and marketplaces, this makes economic sense as several digital signs can be mounted, each showing a different advertisement at regular intervals.

Mobile Trailers

Digital billboards mounted on mobile trailers are an excellent option for tailgates, conventions,  markets and more. This type of digital billboard is attractive because it can be moved to multiple locations with relative ease.

Current technologies allow these mobile options to be seen from 100 feet away, making a perfect eye-catcher for marketing at crowded outdoor locations. It’s important to note that these cannot be operated while in motion.

Digital Billboards

Digital billboards are a common sight along the freeways of the world. These brilliant displays can be seen for a mile away on lonely American roads at night, warning travelers of food, retail locations, and local sights along the way.  Furthermore, they are popular in metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and most famously, New York. Brightly colored digital billboards display posters, marquees, videos, and advertising campaigns over Times Square.

Digital billboards are a popular option for most businesses, with LED capabilities not only offering multiple vivid design options but also effects that are visually engaging. Digital capabilities also offer the opportunity for high-resolution images, video, and effects.

Smart Billboards

Smart billboards can be implemented anywhere, and are truly the future of digital advertising. From billboard advertisements that are activated when a car is a certain distance from the board via sensors, to a unique “coughing man” advertisement recently used in Sweden. Through the means of smoke detectors in the billboard, a man will appear and begin coughing as if from the secondhand smoke. Then an antismoking campaign begins to play, as well as ads for nicotine patches and other smoking cessation assistance.

Other examples include facial recognition technology and interactive features that enable games to be played. Smart Billboards are a dynamic form of digital billboards that allow passerby to interact both with an advertisement and its parent brand. In addition, smart billboards can be erected anywhere, from bus stops to shopping centers and anywhere in between.

Car Windows?

A company on Shark Tank is working on introducing technology to play digital advertisements on parked car windows. A passerby walking the streets will see targeted advertisements projected onto stationary car windows  Though this type of digital advertisement is not available yet, test market runs in several prominent American cities indicate this could be the latest wave of the future.

This is an example of utilizing passive platforms to create targeted messages. Furthermore, it is part of the ingenious wave of high-tech advertising that pushes the digital billboard industry forward at breakneck speed.

Brand Wars in Marketing

Brand Wars in Marketing

If you ask about brand wars in polite conversation, you’re sure to get an interesting answer. Top brands going head to head with each other through public advertising is the stuff of marketing legend. From famous rivalries between Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to the all-out ad war between several car manufacturers. Indeed, brand wars in marketing is a sight to see. Some brand wars on the following list even saw involvement from social media followers, who tweeted, commented and voted on rebuttals.

Here are some of the legendary brand wars in marketing that have swept the world. In fact, most of the shots fired were printed in magazines or on billboards!

Coca-Cola vs. PepsiCo

Pepsi vs Coke Marketing Brand War

There has never been a more polarizing battle between beverages than that of Coke and PepsiCo. In fact, the famous rivalry between these two soda companies is referred to in marketing history as the Cola Wars. In order to understand how the ferocious rivalry came about, it’s important to understand the history of both mega brands.

  • Coca-Cola was started in 1886, while PepsiCo laid its foundations in 1893.
  • PepsiCo fired the first shot against Coke in 1975, by introducing a marketing campaign called the “Pepsi Challenge.” The Pepsi Challenge involved a blind taste test between people, who then favored the PepsiCo soda more.
  • It looked like PepsiCo had Coke beat for at least a decade, particularly after Coke changed their formula and launched “New Coke” in 1985 to terrible reception.

However, the tides began to turn when PepsiCo’s biggest stars began having headline troubles. Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi commercial. David Bowie had a sexual assault scandal while he was under PepsiCo’s contract. Furthermore, Pepsi used “Like a Prayer” in a commercial at the time it was being received as blasphemous. Finally, in 93, consumers of the blue can began finding syringes in their cans in at least 20 states.

The official end to the Cola Wars is widely thought to be 2011. This year was when Diet Coke bumped Pepsi out of the second most popular soft drink spot in the world. The first, of course, was Coke.

Burger King vs. McDonald’s

Burger King vs McDonalds Brand War

The burger behemoths have had a long-standing rivalry, similar to the soda giants above. In fact, the fight has been kept pretty clean for decades, with only a few jabs thrown directly here and there. For the most part, Burger King and McDonald’s are content to offer almost the exact same thing on their menus.

One notable departure was the disastrous “Whopper Virgins” ad campaign in 2009. This ad campaign appeared to steal a page from PepsiCo’s book, displaying blind taste test ads between the Big Mac and the Whopper. Nobody appeared to win that advertisement war, as the public found the ad campaign racist and exploitative.

Microsoft vs. Apple

Apple vs Microsoft Brand War

When most people think of brand wars, this popular tech one comes to mind. Apple founder Steve Jobs was famously no fan of Bill Gates. In fact, Apple has been taking aim at Microsoft for the four decades since it’s inception. You may recall the “Hi I’m a Mac, and Hi I’m a  PC” commercials.

In fact, Apple’s first advertisement hammered Microsoft- literally. The famous 1984 commercial featured a hammer-thrower running through the ranks of blank-faced grey followers staring at a propaganda screen and destroying the film with a hammer. The overlay text read, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will release the Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’” The advertisement referenced Microsoft as a dull conformist overlord, and Apple as the bright new disruptor. While we can’t say that Microsoft is dull and conformist, it is certainly true that Apple was a disruptor in the computer market.

BMW vs. Audi

BMW vs Audi Brand War

One of the more famous billboard advertising wars played out between BMW and Audi. Like other major brands on this list, BMW and Audi have been sniping at each other for decades. However, one billboard erected in Santa Monica fired off a savage shot heard around the world.

Here’s a breakdown of the famous billboard feud:

  • Audi erects a billboard on Santa Monica Blvd boasting a new A4 with the message, “Your move, BMW.”
  • Santa Monica BMW buys a billboard opposite to Audi with an M3 Coupe and the message, “Checkmate.”
  • Audi invites fans to photoshop responses onto their next billboard on their Facebook page.
  • Audi places a billboard on the same side as BMWs with an R8. The message read, “your pawn is no match for our king.”
  • BMW then tethered a blimp to the billboard featuring the F1 car and the message “Game Over.”

The feud didn’t end there, but continued in print. It even garnered ads from Subaru and Bentley in response.