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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
A DEC calculator can be used to calculate the daily effective circulation or potential billboard exposure for an outdoor media installation in a given location. Please use our DEC Calculator below.
Daily Effective Circulation Calculator
According to the OAAA the DEC is calculated by assuming that each vehicle contains 1.38 people (18 years and older). That variable is divided into two (to measure only one direction of the road). This data was provided from the Ministry of Transport and Public works of Puerto Rico which was published in January 2005 with data pertaining to 2003. These statistics assume outdoor media is featured with 24 hours of illumination.
Advertising has evolved much over the ages. Before the advent of cheap, high-quality photo printing, painted illustrations were required to cover the large area of billboards. This meant that vintage billboards were works of art in and of themselves. Due to the limitations imposed by the use of illustrations, even the design of such ads was different.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective, beautiful, and well-crafted vintage billboards to analyze and deconstruct.
Vintage Pepsi Billboard
For anyone who has seen the classic 1985 popcorn science fiction film, “Back to the Future”, this billboard might bring back a bit of nostalgia. There’s a scene in which the main character travels from an empty lot in 1955 to the same space in 1985, except the area is now occupied by a newly built suburban neighborhood. While this ad is clearly about Pepsi, it still manages to be highly representative of its era- a time when suburban development was on the rise as the American middle class prospered.
Perhaps the most interesting and striking aspect of this billboard is that it uses the scale in order to defy the expectations of the viewer and catch their attention.
Small objects such as the Pepsi bottle cap are drawn to dwarf traditionally larger objects such as the house being constructed. The technique is quite subtle, yet still manages to disarm and interest viewers.
Vintage Coca-Cola Billboard
Of course, if we are to look at old Pepsi ads, it is inevitable that vintage Coca-Cola ads be brought up as a contrasting point. The evolution of the marketing behind Coca-Cola is an always fascinating subject. Here is a rare snapshot of the brand’s humble beginnings. Simple, yet ever present, this ad was found in Puerto Rico and was among the first of the brand’s international marketing efforts.
Coca-Cola’s presence has been felt around the world for decades, this image highlights just how long Coca-Cola has been at the forefront of popular culture.
1920’s Spanish Tile Billboard
The ad pictured above is from a relatively recent photograph, meaning that this advertisement has remained intact for almost 100 years at this point, all thanks to the quality of craftsmanship and the materials used.
This billboard found in Sevilla, Spain dates back to the 1920s and is a beautiful and quite rare find. Comprised of painted tiles, it has more in common with traditional Spanish art than advertising materials. The amount of detail, care, and raw artistry that has gone into this piece come off as incredibly uncharacteristic with what audiences have come to expect out of ads. Thrilling and interesting they may be- modern ads are ultimately understood to be disposable and fleeting.
Motorcar Silhouettes Retro Billboard
Flat design is highly distinguished by shape and color instead of perspective, lighting, and detail. These two elements are commonly found being manipulated in vintage ads. This ad is a prime example of how shape can be used and taken advantage of in an ad.
This ad for some motorcars is focusing specifically on the shapes of the front of each car, relying upon the highly distinctive and iconic silhouettes of the vehicles to add impact to the billboard’s message.
1967 Chevrolet Camaro Vintage Billboard
This famous ad for the then brand-new Chevrolet Camaro is worth highlighting thanks to its striking use of bold colors.
As previously mentioned, color is the other side of the coin when it comes to flat design. While the last advertisement made great use of shapes and silhouettes, this Camaro ad chooses to shift the focus mainly to its usage of color, though the shape here is still very distinctive and clear.
The high contrast between the yellow, red, white, and black, makes it stand out and leaves an impression in the mind of the viewer. Such imagery has had a drastic impact on popular culture, inspiring visual effects in movies such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” and in video games such as “The House of the Dead”.
2.5D Oldsmobile Retro Billboard
In this example, the vintage billboard is comprised of multiple 2D elements layered in such a way to give the impression of depth, guiding the eye from the front left to the back right.
The beauty of billboards as an advertising medium comes from the fact that they exist within three dimensions. Many modern billboards take advantage of this by making use of models and other 3D constructs. As previously mentioned, however, many vintage billboards favored flat designs and thus approached the use of the Z-axis in a different way, utilizing a method
Interested in more creative outdoor media? Check out our article on funny signs and billboards.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
For more humorous advertisements check out our article on: Funny Signs and 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
With the emergence of social media advertising and other digital techniques, some may consider that outdoor advertising is past its hay-day. But that misconception is largely unfounded.
In fact, with the rise of the digital age, billboard marketing may even be more relevant and effective today.
With ever-developing effects, such as digital screens, 3-D figures or different structures, the concept of the billboard and why it works remains the same. Companies should instead consider the billboard as a key method of advertising and a staple for across all industries.
Anyway you look at it, billboard advertising works, and its effectiveness has proven itself for decades. Here are some of the top reasons why billboards are an important marketing tool.
The World is On the Move
Over time, countries all over the world have become more mobile. People spend less time at home. Whether enjoying a road trip or travel, commuting to work or simply seeking a new experience, the citizens of the globe are on the move.
All that time in cars ads up, and advertisements placed roadside where travelers and commuters can see them are sure to be noticed.
Drivers are a Captive Audience
Drivers eyes on the road, their eyes are also on the large, visually appealing billboards by the roadside.
It has always been true that drivers are a captive audience, and is becoming even more true with harsh legislation banning texting and driving and driving while distracted rolling out every year.
While drivers can turn down the radio or subscribe to a completely ad-free channel, they jeopardize their very safety by taking their eyes off the road. With little else to safely distract them, chances are they will spend a few moments peering at that billboard.
And, unlike other advertising mediums, outdoor ads cannot be turned off, hidden or thrown away.
Billboards Inspire New Ideas
An effective billboard for a restaurant, attraction or even unique shop can generate instant sales for travelers who are looking to explore a new area.
With a growing culture of exploring off-the-beaten-path and seeking unique experiences, a well-placed billboard that provides directions to an unusual spot can generate instant sales.
This makes a billboard a surprisingly cost-effect method of advertising, as well. Although the original billboard itself can be pretty costly to design and erect, if placed effectively it will more than make back its’ cost in sales.
Advancements in billboard technology have also added a new dimension to billboard advertising effectiveness, with the ability to display multiple ads throughout the day.
Brand Repetition & Exposure
High brand awareness lies in repetition and exposure. While a tried-and-true marketing strategy, doing so is only expensive but also increasingly difficult to get noticed.
Billboard advertising is the only marketing media where the advertiser has full control of the ad space. The ad has constant exposure – no other media allows your message to be displayed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s is a powerful marketing tool.
If what audiences see in your billboard makes them laugh, inspires them, reminds them of a positive memory or any other avenue of emotional connection…you’ve probably secured a loyal customer.
Let’s face it, today’s consumers are constantly barraged with advertisements in print, online, over the radio, commercials on television and even on social media.
With a constant stream of sellers courting each consumer, a very particular method of selection based on emotional connection has emerged. Think about it: if an advertisement can charm you or make you laugh in the few seconds it takes to view it, don’t you think more positively about that company?
The same concept applies to billboards, and works here better than many other advertising avenues. You have a captive audience guaranteed to glance over your billboard for at least a few seconds.
Impact & Creativity
Billboard marketing is big, bold, colorful and creative.
With all the technological advancements and swirls of advertisers globally, companies are encouraged to top one another in creativity and thinking outside the box. Consumers have come to expect this and celebrate it.
For example, Chick-Fil-A is just another fast-food sandwich stop, isn’t it? Wrong.
Chick-Fil-A is a globally recognized brand for a myriad of reasons, including their top-notch customer service, good works and their famous billboards.
The second you glimpse a familiar black and white billboard in the distance with hand-painted splashes of red, you know what you’re looking at. That’s even before you see the 3D cows posed in a variety of amusing positions, or the humble red Chick-Fil-A logo. The cows “vandalizing” the billboard have become an expected and creative part of their advertising strategy, and to look at their earnings, we think its’ working.
So if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, reach people faster and more effectively, consider billboard marketing in your arsenal.
Contact bMedia to learn more.
Outdoor advertising isn’t a new marketing method. In fact, it’s been around since ancient times. The earliest outdoor advertising methods were chiseled on monuments in ancient cultures- including in Ancient Egypt! Hieroglyphics have been found describing laws of the country. Travelers were meant to stop and learn the rules of the civilization before entering. In this way, it can be described as an early form of outdoor advertising.
However, actual billboards as we know them didn’t evolve for many more centuries. Let’s take a look at a brief history of the evolution of outdoor advertising and where the industry is headed today.
Early Forms of Advertising
Many people have heard of the famous Gutenberg press. Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing in 1450. He was most likely influenced by primitive examples from China, Japan, and Korea. These traveled by traders along the Silk Road to Europe cultures. His inspired invention, the Gutenberg Press, rang in modern forms of advertising as we recognize them today!
In particular, handbills became very popular. Handbills, which were exactly what they sound like, were leaflets with advertising information handed out. They can be likened to early versions of newsletters!
In 1796, the first major form of outdoor advertising emerged- the illustrated poster. Using lithography, companies could create large numbers of posters for advertisement to be hung in storefronts, store windows, and even street corners.
Primitive versions of billboards have been in use for centuries. The most common example would be posted by trails to notify travelers of an inn ahead. Travelers on foot, horseback or being pulled in a carriage would learn how far the inn was ahead, as well as what they had to offer in the way of amenities.
Posted signs along the roadside served the purpose to aid travelers to find food and shelter rather than advertising many types of goods that are found today. Widespread advertising using billboards didn’t become popular until the invention of the car.
Automobiles & Outdoor Advertising
As automobiles were created and boomed, pioneering marketers realized that there was a prime opportunity to use long stretches of road to advertise products. After all, automobiles encouraged travel and mobility. This, in turn, created a need to inform travelers of what they could expect from landmarks, attractions, and hospitality on the road ahead.
Advertisements lauding local sights, national parks, and curiosities sprang up just before towns in an attempt to encourage travelers to stop and spend their money in town. Restaurants and hotels quickly followed suit, creating a real demand for enticing designs that drew travelers into a town.
Bigger Becomes Better
Billboards and outdoor advertisements had to grow larger and larger over the years for an interesting reason. As motor vehicles evolved and gained speed, advertisers needed to make their billboards bigger in order to be seen from further away! If advertisers didn’t make their billboards big enough, the motorist would zoom past their sign without being able to read it!
However, bigger didn’t mean better to everyone – in particular, the United States Government. In the 1960’s, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the Highway Beautification Act, which prevented billboards from overtaking America’s roadways. This legislation was passed in an effort to check outdoor advertising companies from blocking America’s scenic landscape with various advertising.
Digital Technology Changes the Game
Prior to digital technology, meticulously handpainted billboards were the norm. However, beginning in the 1990s, computer-painted and printed materials became standard. More recently in the first decade of the 2000s, LED lighted and completely digital billboards have become popular. Technology has allowed smart sensor billboards or even billboards that scroll through several images in a minute.
As the industry continues to evolve, more unique effects can be expected in outdoor advertising. 3D elements and visually engaging details have emerged. For example, the famous cows on the Chik-Fil-A signs that “graffiti” billboards to plead consumers to “eat more chikin.” The sides of buildings and skyscrapers are cleverly used for enormous posters and advertisements (such as the now iconic Times Square!) Full vehicle wraps have placed outdoor advertising on the sides of buses, cars, and even planes.
Smart sensor technologies and facial recognition technologies have created bus stop advertisements that interact with viewers. From games to targeted advertisements with videos and audio, outdoor advertisements have evolved to capture consumer attention in a multitude of different types of digital billboards.
Outdoor Advertisement is Still Evolving
It seems that every day, new innovations and methods for advertising outdoors occur. Driven on by market competition, development of new capabilities and polishing of existing processes makes the sky the limit with outdoor advertising.