Evolution of Outdoor Advertising Industry

Evolution of Outdoor Advertising

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.

Outdoor Ads Evolution

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 Billboards

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.

Evolution of Outdoor Advertising

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.

Outdoor Media Evolution

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.

How Outdoor Advertising Has Evolved

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.

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.

Worlds Largest Billboard

Largest Billboard in the World

It’s been a big year for Ford, in more ways than one! In February, the vehicle company unveiled a record-breaking billboard in Madrid, Spain. The installation featured an advertisement for the new Ford EcoSport SUV, but that wasn’t what made it such a huge deal.

The billboard measured approximately 56,672 square feet square feet, making it the worlds largest billboard.

For one month, the advertisement proudly inspired Madrid with the bold statement, “Life is out there. Are you?”

It was awarded the official Guinness World Record for Worlds Largest Billboard soon after installation. The previous record had been set four years prior, in 2014.

Largest Billboard in the World

Ford Sweeps Worlds Largest Billboard Record

An official Guinness Records judge confirmed the measurements in February and certified the EcoSport installation as the record-holder for worlds largest billboard.

Engineers mounted the billboard on the front of the magnificent Edificio España in Madrid. The building is the eighth tallest in all of Madrid. It accommodated the huge billboard — which was the size equivalent of 20 tennis courts– for most of February. Engineers removed the 4,409-pound billboard at the end of the month. However, all that effort wasn’t wasted. Ford then donated all materials used on the billboard to the Apascovi Foundation.  The foundation is renowned as an employment center for people with disabilities. The center will repurpose all donated materials used in the construction of the worlds largest billboard, giving the achievement a second life.

The decision to design the largest billboard in the world which was enough to sweep the Guinness World Record was inspired by Ford’s famous tagline, “Go Further.” In tandem with the unveiling of their new EcoSport SUV in the European market, Ford decided to take their famed motto literally. The company aimed to “go further” figuratively and literally. In fact, Ford went further than the previous record holder by over 2,000 feet.

Choosing the Building

The Edificio España is one of the most iconic buildings in Madrid. It was finished in 1953 and is a stunning neo-baroque building.

It also was a record-holder in its own right, reigning as Madrid’s tallest building until 1957 when it was overtaken by the Torre de Madrid.The Ford billboard wrapped around the impressive facade of the building.

It has stood empty for several years, with plans for the enormous structure to be refurbished into a luxury hotel with 650 rooms in 2019.

Breaking the Previous Record

Although Ford wanted to advertise its brand new EcoSport SUV, it also wanted to beat the previous record holder. Surprisingly, however, the record wasn’t held by an automotive competitor. Instead, Ford found itself competing against popular electronics maker LG.

The LG cell phone company partnered with King Khaled International Airport in Saudi Arabia to build the previous record-holding billboard.

It was unveiled at the airport in Dhahran in 2014. An official Guinness World Record judge then certified the amazing feat.

LG’s billboard took an incredibly long time to commission and build. Engineers constructed the previous worlds largest billboard over three months. Construction took nearly 12,000 labor hours. When the billboard was finally erected, its official measurement was 32,291 square feet. The Ford billboard towers over the Dhahran installation by over 2,604 square feet.

Who Will Be Next?

Competition in the auto industry is particularly fierce.

Advertising experts agree that the next record seeker looking for bragging rights on the worlds largest billboard will most likely come from one of Ford’s competitors.

Billboard wars in the auto industry are particularly fierce and common. Several have made headlines, such as the decade-long billboard war between automakers BMW and Audi. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if either of the two auto titans decided to try for the record next.

However, the American auto manufacturer can be proud to hold the largest billboard in the world record for at least a few years. Particularly in a time of reorganization for the company, the achievement is incredibly important.

Which State Has the Most Billboards

Which State Has the Most Billboards?

Number Billboards USA

Have you ever wondered which state has the most billboards? A recent statistics report counts 341.61 thousand billboards in the United States between local, state roads and highways.

The federal government tracks the number of billboards through each state. This is part of the Highway Beautification Act (HBA) of 1965. Each state reports their outdoor advertising statistics differently. Oftentimes different legislation at a state level impacts the number and concentration of billboards.

One thing is for sure- there are four states that will never make it onto this list! That’s because Hawaii, Alaska, Maine, and Vermont have banned billboards. This is because of their fame as a scenic landscape, where billboards might interrupt the natural beauty and affect tourism.

In contrast, the southeast corner of America has a high concentration of billboards. This encompasses Florida, Georgia, Mississipi and Alabama to name a few. One of these states holds the most– read on to find out which state has the most billboards in 2018.

1) Florida

Florida leads the pack with a whopping 11,109 active permits on file for billboards throughout the entire state.

Orange County, Florida comes in first with 801 billboards in the county alone. Outfront Media leads the pack on 3,532 billboards in the state, with Clear Channel Outdoor coming in second -946. The state has several lobby groups and organizations to promote the interests of the outdoor advertising world in Florida, including the FOAA, or the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association.

2) Georgia

Peaches aren’t the only thing that plentiful in Georgia! Georgia is just behind Florida with 9,871 billboards throughout the state.

Bartow County, which is just northwest of Atlanta holds a few hundred of these billboards alone. Generally, Georgia city centers and long stretches of interstate highways make up for a bulk of the nearly 10,000 outdoor advertising elements in the state. Travelers going west to Alabama, east to South Carolina, north to Tennessee or south to Georgia are sure to see a few hundred on their way.

3) California

Surprisingly, California only holds just over 8,700 billboards. This may seem like a lot until you consider how much land mass California has as it takes up a huge percentage of the West Coast!

This number means the billboards are more evenly distributed throughout the state, with respect to the natural beauty of the coast, national parks, mountains, and valleys. This is in contrast to several other states on this list that are packed full of billboards!

4) New Jersey

For being such as small state, New Jersey has an impressive amount of billboard permits on file. In fact, New Jersey is just behind California with over 8500 between all its counties.

Clear Channel holds the bulk of billboards in the area. If you consider the long and winding byways of California condensed into smaller New Jersey, it’s hard to imagine moving more than a few feet without seeing a billboard.

5) Missouri

Largely considered a travel-through state, it only makes sense that Missouri had nearly 2,100 billboards.

These billboard permits on file on controlled routes are as of January 2018. St. Joseph has one of the highest concentrations of billboards in the northwest corner. The same goes for Kansas City to the west, St. Louis area to the est, and around Springfield and Columbia city centers. This catches the attention of motorists crossing state lines on road trips and alerts them about what Missouri has to offer.

6) Utah

Utah has recently passed billboard-friendly legislation that makes this is a prime location for billboards all over the state. As a result, billboards have begun flooding the main routes through the state.

The highest concentration is along the I-15N that runs from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, with a large majority just inside the “corner” of Utah from Nevada and another thick concentration by SLC. The I-70W also sees a bulk of the over 1,660 billboards that hold a permit with UDOT. This number is forecasted to climb, and by this time next year it’s entirely possible that Utah will climb higher on this list.

Restaurant Billboard Ideas

Restaurant Billboard Ideas

The most effective and successful restaurant billboards contain striking images, plays on words and humor, or details that make onlookers do a double-take. With a clever and out-of-the-box billboard design, people are sure to take notice and flock to your restaurant. Here are some of our favorite designs to help generate some restaurant billboard ideas.

Compare and Contrast

As part of an intricate advertising campaign from Outfront Studios, Baskin Robbins structured billboards, posters and even web landing pages themed after “some things go better together.” The agency created a fictitious company called Bobo’s Fish Juice that featured some eyebrow-raising flavor combinations. These faux-healthy advertisements were then placed side by side with delicious images of Baskin Robbins shakes.

Though Baskin Robbins is in no way healthy, the advertising campaign managed to make healthy ingredients look less desirable using an artful compare and contrast. Color schemes, images and even tone are a subtle way to compare and contrast products to highlight your Restaurant.

Highlight a Product

McDonald’s created an ambitious campaign to promote the quality and freshness of its salads. The hamburger chain planted thousands of heads of lettuce on a billboard made of soil. Over three weeks, the bare billboard sprouted full blooms of fresh green lettuce spelling out “FRESH SALADS.” The innovative advertisement boosted sales by 30%, and 500,000 salads sold during the campaign period.

McDonalds also ran similar campaigns with a carrot bus stop advertisement, and a giant hatching egg outside another store location. This was a great example of creating hype around a specific dish or ingredient by highlighting it.

Play with Perspectives

This restaurant billboard idea for a seafood restaurant caught a lot of eyes. The actual advertisement is comprised of two parts: The billboard in the background, and the plastic fish emerging from the top of the actual restaurant building. From this angle, both elements of the advertisement look like they are all one piece. However, the billboard is a few yards away behind the building that the fish rests on.

This billboard uses perspective and optical illusion to make the fisherman on the billboard look like he’s reeling in an extremely large fish. This is an interesting way to capture and keep attention of viewers, as the fish and fisherman will appear to move depending on where the viewer approaches from.

Partner with Local Events

This upscale restaurant in downtown Toronto participated in the annual Winterlicious event by offering a special prix fixe meal. Though many restaurants in the area participate in the event, Far Niente took it one step further. The concept art is simple, depicting salt, flour and cheese being sprinkled against a black space. However, the simple images use restaurant ingredients to invoke the image of snow falling on a winters night. This ties directly into the event it is participating in.

This ad run shows us a creative way to incorporate local events in restaurant advertisements, and how seasonal advertisement can be impactful.

An Excellent Use of Cutouts

MidiCi pizza used a three-dimensional cutout to make the shape of an otherwise typical billboard irregular and eye catching. The plate seems to hang off of the billboard. Furthermore, the bold green and red tones of the pizza advertised pops against the otherwise pristine white plate and background.

The use of three-dimensional cutouts and color is an easy way to showcase specific products or dishes in your restaurant billboards.

Contrast Text From Chipotle

Chipotle ran this billboard advertisement that also invites another look. Onlookers immediately see the target message in bold black text : our ingredients are better. However, a second look reveals another message about locally sourced natural ingredients, and even includes a dose of humor.

This artful use of contrast text and a message-within-a-message is deceptively simple, but Chipotle has accomplished not one but two important marketing messages about its ingredients in just a few seconds. Consider playing with bold contrast to deliver two messages for the price of one in your own restaurant billboard.

 

 

 

Successful Billboards Around the World

Successful Billboards Around The World

Not all billboards are created equal.

The market and the audience of certain billboards must be taken into careful consideration in order to maximize their effectiveness. Because of this, billboards around the world are designed in different ways and seek to capture different audiences. We’ve compiled some examples of different successful billboards across the world and how they attempt to reach out to their respective audiences.

Asia

Successful Billboard Japan

Location: Japan

Billboard: Mt. Fuji’s Litter

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this billboard is that it technically isn’t a billboard. Sure, it has the frame and structure of a successful billboard- but it’s missing the actual content of a billboard. Of course, the position and intended viewing angle of the board attempts to turn Mt. Fuji- as in the actual Mt. Fuji itself, not a drawing or a recreation of it, into the content. Given the cultural significance and sheer recognition of Mt. Fuji to its target audience, the effect is substantial.

Qik Billboard

Location: Philippines

Billboard: Skype Qik Live

Mobile devices and social media are huge in Asia. Whether it be a mobile game, the hottest new trending app, or just chatting with friends- the smartphone is a gateway into a world of almost endless entertainment. This company created a billboard which allows mall goers to record themselves on a nearby mobile phone installation and have their clip appear on the ad. This manages to make physical advertising media relevant to the many enthusiastic smartphone users in Manila.


Europe

England Broken Billboard

Location: England

Billboard: Broken Screen

How many times have you interacted with a person, only to see that have them pull out their phone and noticed that it was broken or that the glass was “spidered”? Usually this is pretty noticeable and just as disconcerting. By replicating this effect on the billboard, it catches the viewer’s attention and reminds them of their broken phone screen if they have one.

Denmark Ocean Levels Billboard

Location: Denmark

Billboard: Rising Ocean Levels

This one is interesting as the viewer has to see this billboard multiple times at different points in the day to get the full effect. Basically the awning on top of this billboard is supposed to cast a shadow- the shadow that is cast will change depending on the sun’s relation to the billboard. As the sun moves throughout the day the shadow will change in accordance, making it seem as if the water line on the board is moving upwards. Given that Denmark exists next to the Atlantic, rising ocean levels actually do affect them as they change the shoreline of the country.


North America

Adam Ruins Everything Billboard

Location: USA

Billboard: Adam Ruins Everything

Anyone who has spent long enough time on Facebook has probably seen a video snippet of Adam Ruins Everything, a new series dedicated towards dispelling half-truths and common misconceptions. While one can imagine that such an “in your face” ad might not be incredibly popular with all Americans, there’s no doubt that it’s effective in attracting the attention of its home audience.

Silberman's Fitness Billboard

Location: USA

Billboards: Silberman’s Fitness Center

Obesity is currently an issue which many Americans are confronted with. The US has some of the highest obesity rates across all countries. This ad is very relevant for its home market and does its best to grab the attention of obese Americans who are looking to slim down.


South America

Clean Air Billboard

Location: Peru

Billboard: Clean Air

The city of Lima located in Peru was estimated to have the highest pollution levels in all of South America back in 2012. This billboard was created in response- a billboard which actually takes the surrounding polluted air and purifies it, spitting back out fresh air. Since this billboard has gone up, the city has experienced a 50% reduction in pollution. As one can imagine, it was incredibly well received by it’s target audience due to the fact that it actively improved their lives.

Amphibious Billboard

Location: Argentina

Billboard: Amphibious

Who said billboards needed to be roadside? These billboards can be found either on the beachside, or out in the water themselves. Given that South America is known for its fair share of beautiful beaches, it only makes sense to play up to the region’s natural strengths and advertise in popular beach spots.


Australia

Porsche Billboard Advertisement

Location: Melbourne

Billboard: Porsche Ads

If you have enough money and the inclination to buy a Porsche, you probably feel good about the purchase and enjoy it when other people notice your car. The Porsche company itself understands this and put up an ad in Melbourne that can tell when a Porsche is approaching. The ad calls out Porsche drivers and compliments them on their car, making them feel good and adding a little bit of additional value to their purchase.

Cannon Safety Inspector Billboard

Location: Perth

Billboard: Cannon Safety Inspector

Finding the right person for the job can be tough, especially when the person you need has to have an incredibly specific and obscure skillset. This billboard put up in Perth might not be the fanciest, but is still entertaining and effective. The imagery gives off sentiment that would feel at home in a “Monty Python” skit, appealing to the sensibilities and humor of Australians.

Grammar Mistakes in Advertising

Grammar Mistakes in Advertising

It’s true, grammar mistakes can happen anytime. Unfortunately, that includes when creating billboards and advertisements, too! Here are our favorite examples of marketing messages with mistakes that made it past the editors. Next time you’re thinking of skipping the proofreading process, remember these hilarious examples of grammar mistakes in advertising. It might pay to take a look at your work just one more time!

A Tasty What?

Oops. We love an ice-cold Miller as much as the next person, but we can’t get behind this confusing billboard. We’re just curious how this simple phrase made it through the editing process all the way to a billboard without anyone noticing the misspelling of contradiction.

Don’t Write Copy In a New York Minute

This Reebok ad on the subway is a great reminder of why it pays to take your time. The copywriter missed an E in “everything”. It certainly highlights everything that’s wrong with rushing! This isn’t the worst typo we’ve ever seen, but it’s embarrassing for the company. Not to mention the cost of replacing these ads when they catch wind of the mistake!

Servers Are Unsung Heroes

One of the biggest problems with roadside business billboards like this is the lack of space… and spacing. It’s clear that this Days Inn board meant to commemorate Veterans. However, without a space in between the two lines, it seems like they’re commemorating hot breakfast servers. Hey, hot breakfast is pretty important, so maybe they have a point.

Stay In School, Kids

Perhaps even more embarrassing than a big company letting a typo slip through in their signage is a college! Cincinnati State College put up this billboard not realizing that an extra N had snuck into “technician.” Being a place of higher education, we’re sure they didn’t hear the end of it for quite a while.

I Don’t Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

While not a billboard, this car decal certainly gave us pause. We’re not sure who would print such an error-filled message or if the driver came up with it themselves. The incorrect form of but is in use here. Plus, the sentence should read “you’re abusing that privilege.” The irony speaks for itself.

No, This Is Not the Krusty Krab

Another case of no punctuation gave drivers a laugh on this roadside billboard. The signage of a popular food chain probably meant that Spongebob toys were finally at the location, and they were hiring managers. Unfortunately, these two different messages got combined. While amusing, this tends to look poorly on the business and would probably make quality manager candidates think twice. Plus, is Spongebob even qualified to hire managers?

Punctuation Saves Lives

This cautionary sign is designed to warn hunters that pedestrians use nearby trails. However, without the necessary grammar and punctuation, it seems to reference hunting the pedestrians themselves! While the sign may give you a good giggle, consider what a costly and dangerous mistake this could turn out to be. Please note that it is illegal to hunt pedestrians.

What’s In a Name?

This is a fairly harmless grammatical error compared to some of the others on this list. The problem with this sign is that we’re pretty sure this is a sports bar, not a bar belonging to Sport. There’s no need for the apostrophe. We wonder if anyone came in asking to talk to Sport recently?

I’m Suddenly Not Hungry…

This is the worst example of careless spelling and advertising mistakes we’ve seen. By leaving off the letter G, this hamburger special turned into a hamburger horror! This image from a popular American fast-food chain went viral, although we’re sure they fixed it pretty quickly. That’s just another reminder that proofreading your work is incredibly important. In the age of viral images and video, a mistake like this could bring you an awful lot of publicity you would rather avoid.

Digital Billboards vs Traditional Billboards

Digital Billboards vs Traditional Billboards

With the changing technology behind billboard advertising options, potential advertisers have a tough choice ahead of them. Does it make more sense to invest in a prime spot on an LED digital billboard, or purchase a traditional static display? Are all the bells and whistles necessary to increase your customer base, or is the basic idea behind a billboard enough for a company to see a return on their investment?

The truth is, both types of billboards have great merits. It depends on the prospective clients of the company, the placement of the board and the budget for advertising. With these factors, a traditional static billboard may prove more effective, or vice versa.

Digital Billboard Advertising

Attracting Clientele With Digital Billboards vs. Traditional Billboards

Digital billboards open up a world of options for changing screens, special effects, stopwatches and other features. The options for these extra frills are pretty limited on a traditional billboard. Companies attempting to capture their target audience should definitely consider this. For example, a younger demographic will have a shorter attention span for advertising, as studies on commercials and ads have revealed.

The 8 second slots on a 64 second loop that digital billboards have may be the perfect way to keep the message short and sweet. It will catch the eye without giving the viewer the chance to be dismissed.

However, older travelers are used to looking at billboards as a way to break up the monotony of the road. You’re more likely to snag the attention of an older demographic, plus they will have a chance to see the billboard clearly as they approach it before the screen changes. Depending on the age of your prospective client, this may be an important factor in the decision process!

Digital Billboard Outdoor Media

Placement Decisions in Digital vs. Traditional Billboards

Just as prospective customers are important to consider when examining advertising options, placement is key. While it may seem like a great idea to invest in a fast- moving digital billboard with all the bells and whistles, take a moment to decide on whether the location will work best for this approach.

The prime spot for a billboard to be located in? Where there’s a captive audience.

High traffic areas, where bumper to bumper traffic or frequent stop lights creates captive audiences, as do long stretches of road through the country with little else to look at.

Consider both locations. A frustrated individual caught in bumper to bumper traffic might find irritation receding with visual interest and something else to focus on. An LED digital billboard can offer this. However, an advertisement that stays static as a driver approaches may be appropriate for a highway billboard. After all, a restaurant or retail location off a nondescript exit doesn’t want a driver to miss seeing their ad when the screen changes!

Using Digital Billboards

Budget Decisions for Digital vs. Traditional Billboards

For obvious reasons, LED and digital advertising with its various effects might cost more than a traditional billboard. Although placement and style will also affect the cost, it’s important for a company to ensure the addition of this expense makes sense for the company.

If the company draws in more clients through strategically placed advertisements, investing in the best of the best in this segment makes sense.

However, if word of mouth and repeat clientele brings in more income for your business, a traditional approach may make more sense!

Digital Billboards vs. Traditional Billboards

The truth is, both styles of advertisement have valuable merits for a company to consider. Slight nuances in company marketing goals reveal which style will make more sense on an individual basis. Bottom line, strategic advertisement will improve your bottom line no matter which style you wind up selecting!

Great Outdoor Advertising

Great Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising offers a wealth of opportunity for innovation, inspiration and the use of nature itself to create an effective promotion. Billboards in particular offer lots of space and options to promote companies, products, and services in eye-catching ways. From using witticisms, environmental initiatives and actual products, there are tons of options to convey your advertising message.

Here are five examples of great outdoor advertising and the stories behind each.

Sioo:x Wood ProtectionBoring Billboard Great Advertising

The text reads, “This is the world’s most boring billboard. We’re going to leave it here for 12 years, just to show how long our products last.”

Sioo:x Wood Protection and advertising agency Stendahls created this disarmingly simple yet effective example of outdoor advertising. Sioo:x creates a 100% environmentally friendly product that protects outdoor wood surfaces and provides a natural silvery-grey finish. The major claim to fame? The product lasts for twelve years. This inspired the design of the billboard, which is made from real Sioo:x-treated wood. The triple-sided billboard is booked for a whopping twelve years to prove the ability of the product to withstand the elements in Sweden!

Engineering for LifeGreat Outdoor Media Advertising

Engineering and planning firm Ramboll is responsible for this clever outdoor billboard. At first glance, it looks like a fairly straightforward advertisement on the side of an office building, but is really an environmental feat! The cupped hands on the billboard from Garbergs advertising agency are cupped to hold birds, which frequently land here. In the winter, scarce resources for local birds in Sweden means the population dwindles — but not if Ramboll has something to say about it! The cupped hands conceal a clever birdseed dispenser, which means birds that land here are guaranteed a meal.

We can’t imagine a better way for Ramboll to demonstrate their commitment to the environment!

The DreamGreat Billboard Advertising Idea

This meaningful example of outdoor advertising in Atlanta is designed to pay homage to Martin Luther King, JR. Specifically, the messaging behind the simple but impactful billboard is a celebration of his life and the dream that inspired a nation.

The dream began with his birth in 1929, and lives on today, even past his death in 1968.

Handicap InternationalHandicapped Statue Great Advertising

Not all great outdoor advertising strategies need to be on a billboard, as Handicap International and the Herezie group in Paris, France realized. In order to bring awareness to the long waiting lists for prosthetics, Handicap International made the daring move of outfitting the broken statues in Paris’ parks with prosthetic parts, as well as small informational signs.

The clever advertising ploy encouraged a double look for the passerby and valuable education on the issue.

Summer With Ikea

Great IKEA Outdoor Media

IKEA made light of the brief summer months in Belgium with a series of outdoor advertisements encouraging viewers to enjoy the brief period of summer and sunshine! The majority of the billboards are dark, stormy skies with a sliver of sunny skies and summery furniture arrangements from the retailer.

IKEA uses a clever play on humor and making fun of Belgian weather to make an impact.

Postmates Outdoor AdvertisementsPostmates Billboard

This saucy advertisement created by 180LA agency in Los Angeles is a great example of using a stop-and-stare! the tactic in outdoor advertising. Postmates delivery service superimposes wry text over a faint picture of a Moscow Mule and ties it to having vodka delivered to you.

A nod to the political drama of Russian interference in the 2016 election may take a moment for readers to process, but the resulting giggle and shock value will make readers consider Postmates twice.

Interested in more creative outdoor media examples? Check out our other article on some of our favorite Outdoor Advertising Ideas.

Glad Advertisement Fresh Billboard

A Fresh & Creative Glad Advertisement Billboard

It can be difficult to come up with unique and creative ideas for outdoor media ads as over time many of the ideas have been used.  The key to setting yourself apart is to think out side of the box – literally!

You can see what I mean by taking a look at these 15 creative billboard ads. These savvy marketing professionals didn’t let the boxed-boundaries of a billboard canvas dictate their service or product’s message. However, just envisioning something different won’t always lead to success.  To create a truly successful and exceptional billboard you must first think of your product/service and what need it fills.

This understanding of the message will be the foundation  you need to build some very innovative ideas on. I have found no better example of a “fresh” take on billboard marketing that promotes the product’s message then in this Glad advertisement for their outdoor billboard campaign!

Glad Fresh Billboard Advertisement

Glad Oranges Billboard

In this Glad advertisement campaign, the company uses its own product to show how much fresher it can keep your fruit then it would be without using Glad. It quite literally spells it out for you! This merger of creativity aligning with the purpose of the product creates for a truly outstanding outdoor media campaign.

Actually showing the use of a product for all the public to see is a great way to demonstrate it’s value and this Glad advertisement does a great job of doing that. They also chose a product that’s common and can be used by almost anyone so their billboard appeals to a wide audience. The ad needs little or no explanation behind it which is another key to a successful billboard ad, simplicity. People who see a billboard only have a few seconds to take in the message you are trying to portray so it’s crucial to get he message across in a quick and memorable way.

While these types of ads are undoubtedly very successful, not all of us have the ingenuity, resources, space or  wherewithal to complete such a marketing feat as the ones mentioned above. However to be successful, you don’t always have to break the mold. Even some simple creative properties can get you started to move you down tracks to a very successful and engaging billboard campaign!

The Fresh vs Rotten Glad Billboard Ad

If you follow these “Rules of Engagement” based on the foundation of promoting your product/services core message and spice it with some outside of the box creative thinking you have yourself the perfect recipe for success!

If you’re interested in creative outdoor media check out our article on outside the box marketing ideas for more inspiration.