Advertising with Billboards

Creating an Effective Billboard

Billboards are a great medium to use when you really want to get your message to your customers.  Some people think they’re outdated in an increasingly digital world, but there’s a reason they’re still going strong everywhere from Times Square to Puerto Rico, they work!

Advertising with Billboards

Define a Target

The first important aspect of creating an effective billboard is making sure that it’s targeting a specific group of viewers.  Since such a wide variety of people will be exposed to it, it’s very tempting to try to advertise to everyone.  Studies have shown that targeting a specific demographic using your billboard can often get the message across far more clearly than going after a broader group.  Instead of a lot of people getting your message, it generally turns into no one hearing it.

When you decide on a target group, you’ll know who you’re talking to.  Once you know exactly who’s going to be listening, you know how to craft your message in a way that they’ll hear it.

Keep It Simple

Too many words end up being too much information to remember. Don’t forget that people often see billboards when they’re driving or busy doing something else, so they don’t always have the chance to stop and read – even if they want to. Make sure you get your point across as quickly as possible.

A good general rule is to use a maximum of six words on your billboard, as this is about the most that people can quickly take in. But, just because you can use six doesn’t mean that you have to. Using only one word can be great. Zero words can be amazing.

Billboard Outdoor Media

Make Sure People Understand You

The next step is to keep your billboard understandable.  When you’re trying to sell something, you don’t want to show off in a way that strains the brain of your customer.  If someone really has to stretch to understand what you’re saying, they might start feeling stupid.  Once they associate your brand with that feeling, people aren’t really going to have a lot of motivation to give you their money.

But, if you make your billboard easy to understand, your customers will start to feel good about themselves.  Suddenly, you’re the brand that they relate to, and that’s who they want to have in their life.

Make Sure People Can Read It

We’ve already covered why your billboard should only have a few words and why it should be easy to understand, but it’s also extremely important to make sure people can read it.  By this, we mean to make sure the actual design can be taken in by the eyes of your customers.

Don’t use elaborate fonts that are difficult to make out.  Don’t use colors that are so similar that they’re hard to tell apart.  Make sure the billboard has lots of contrast between the different elements, but also make sure they’re colors that go well together.

Set a Goal

This is near the bottom of the list, but it’s still one of the most necessary parts of creating an effective billboard.  It really should be done at the same time that you define your target. Make sure that you have a specific result that you hope for the sign to accomplish, or you’re just going to be creating a colorful banner.

It doesn’t need to be a complicated or difficult goal.  Do you want to get more people in your store?  That’s a great goal.  Do you want to make sure potential customers learn about a promotion?  That’s another.  What about just making people interested in of your brand?  That’s one of the most common reasons for creating a billboard.

Billboard Advertising

Go With Brand Building

Now that we’re talking about your brand, that brings up a really good piece of advice.  Think about using the billboard mostly to keep your brand in the eyes of your consumers.  They’ll see your message every day on their way to work, but they don’t always have the chance to stop and read it.  Or, they may not even have a need for your products or services at the moment – but the sign will still be there.

If your name has been melted into their brains during a morning commute every single day, they’ll take that into consideration when they encounter you in a shop.  You’ll feel like a trusted friend who has always been there for them.

Let’s Get Building

Now that you have all this new knowledge about billboards, why not put it to the test?  Give us a call, we are the largest provider of outdoor media in Puerto Rico and can help you get started creating an effective billboard advertisement.

Billboard Reads Emotions

A Billboard that Reads your Emotions

You’re being watched…

We all know that the day would come that robots would invade our world, but it looks like science fiction was being overly dramatic in a lot of the horror stories.  They never mentioned how profitable the robots would be.

That’s right, we live in a world where billboards are thinking.  They can read you, decide what you’re thinking, and give you the best possible ad.  From there, all you can do is grab your credit card.

Did you know this was an option for your business?

Billboard Reads Emotions

So, What is This Intelligent Billboard?

Billboards were installed in London last year as a test of the technology to see if it was possible for a computer to successfully design the perfect ad – on its own.  They had a digital display, and they had a camera inside to read the people looking at them.  The first step was to decide what sort of mood the person was in.  Then, depending on whether the viewer was happy, sad, or neutral, it would display a different version of the ad.  Afterward, it analyzed the responses to measure how successful the ad was.  Finally, it repeated the good ads and trashed the bad ones.

The Technology Inside

You might imagine that they developed some sort of incredibly advanced technology to make this happen, but that actually wasn’t the case.  This was put together by the M&C Saatchi Advertising Agency, and they were working with Clear Channel and Posterscope to make it happen.  The billboards just had a Microsoft Kinect camera inside, so they were really just using technology that had already been developed for playing video games.  Kinect is able to read people’s reactions, so it gets the job done.

Bahia:  The Coffee of the Future

Unfortunately, this whole campaign probably created a lot of angry customers.  For the experiment, the advertising agency decided against using a real brand, so they simply made one up.  The product was an instant coffee called Bahia, and it’s not the type of thing that usually draws a lot of attention.

The Evolution of the Ad

The billboard was only advertising the one brand, so it was fairly limited in what it showed.  It didn’t promote sports cars to one person, laundry detergent to the next, and allergy medicine to a third.  Instead, it was programmed to use a series of different fonts, colors, and styles to see how different people reacted to the plea to buy coffee.

Why Spying on Your Customers Works

While the first instinct of many is that this whole idea is kind of creepy, it can actually work to improve everyone’s life.  If you remember that the main goal of advertising is to let people know about products or services they want, then this just helps eliminate all the noise on the street.  Instead of wasting your time, these smart billboards were able to show people what they wanted to see.  Also, since it measured reactions to see what people liked and didn’t like, and it can help make higher quality advertising in the future.  It’s basically like having a focus group that’s composed of, well, everyone.

Why the Internet Isn’t As Important as We Think

The internet has become a great place for businesses because it makes it possible to measure things in a way that has never even been remotely possible.  A lot of companies have been using it as an excuse to steer away from more traditional forms of advertising media, but this could put a stop to that pattern.  Internet browsing history is a great way to build a profile of your customer, but nothing beats walking around town with them and asking them their opinions.  If this technology can be in a few bus stops in London, it might not be long before it’s all over the globe.

This Campaign Doesn’t Invade Your Privacy

One nice feature about this little experiment is that it was designed in a way that wouldn’t let it cause any invasion of privacy.  It didn’t follow the standard internet strategy of storing all your information.  Even if it did, it wouldn’t make a huge difference because it never actually knew who it was looking at.

Time for You to Do the Same

Do you use similar techniques in your business?  Even if you don’t want to go to such extreme measures as this campaign did, are you taking advantage of modern advertising strategies? The marriage of technology and traditional advertising is a key relationship in influencing consumers.

Outdoor Media

The Relationship Between Traditional and Digital Marketing

Shift in Marketing Techniques

Social Media
Over the last 50 years, the marketing game has changed drastically. It has closely followed developments in technology starting with print, then moving to radio, television, and now the Internet. With the unwavering popularity of the Internet, this form of marketing has infiltrated our daily lives to an extent that no one could have ever predicted. Beginning on a single household computer, now every member of most families has multiple devices that connect them to the online world. From phones, to tablets, to laptops, the average person connects to the Internet multiple days per hour! This has presented advertisers with an opportunity to reach their audience like never before, but it also presents significant challenges. In the industry we call it ‘too much noise’ – and the basic concept is that people are being so over-marketed (especially online) that it’s hard to cut through all the noise to get your message across.

For example, Facebook advertising is slowly becoming a very lucrative and effective way to reach a wide audience. However, the average Facebook user scrolls through an abundance of ads every single time they log in, so it’s tough to make in impact.

Traditional Still Reigns Supreme in Some Markets

Outdoor Media
While many companies have moved online for their advertising efforts, traditional efforts still reign supreme in some markets. One good example, which is also the one we work in every single day, is billboard marketing in Puerto Rico. As anyone who has lived on or visited our wonderful island knows, traffic can be a major problem. Nobody likes traffic, it adds to a lengthy work day, and can be overwhelmingly frustrating just sitting in your car not being able to move for long periods of time. While most would agree that there’s nothing really good about the traffic in Puerto Rico, the one major benefit comes in the exposure of billboards. The driver of a car should never be looking at their phone while operating a vehicle, so their only choice is to look out the windshield at what’s in front of them. Strategic billboard placement in high traffic areas can be a very successful method of getting marketing messages across as drivers really have no choice, but to look at them.

Effective traditional marketing efforts are not limited just to billboards though, believe it or not there is still a large sector of the population that reads the newspaper every morning and orders magazines for their interests! While online has inevitably engulfed a large portion of these types of marketing mediums, for specific products usually targeting an older demographic, traditional print and other forms of marketing are still used often.

The Marriage Between Traditional & Digital Marketing

Digital Traditional Advertising
In a world where people are exposed to nearly 5,000 advertisements every single day, cutting through the noise can be a very difficult endeavor. This is where strategy and creativity come into play which when combined produce some of the most beautiful and effective advertising. Appealing to people’s sense of humor or humility are common methods of getting a message across, but even being different and creative is no longer original enough to make an impact. What marketers are seeing these days is that volume and frequency of advertisements is one of the most effective ways to cut through the noise. Content marketing is a common tactic for companies to get their brand in front of people on a regular basis.

This is where the marriage between traditional and digital marketing comes into play. Advertisers must constantly remind their audience of their products and services, so the best way to do so is to get in front of them as often and in as many different ways as possible. Let’s revisit the example of outdoor media in Puerto Rico. If a driver is on their way to work and gets stuck in some traffic trying to get across San Juan, they will see a number of billboards along their way. At one particularly slow point, they notice a billboard for a beautiful new watch. They’ve been in the market for a watch for a few months now and this advertisement managed to catch their attention. While they are at work they decide to take a break during lunch and investigate some more information about the watch they noticed on the billboard during their drive. An effective web strategy would be able to capture this web visitor’s information, drop a cookie in their browser, and then show personalized ads to them on the web and social media for the watch they were looking at. While the billboard may have sparked the initial interest in the product and caused the person to gather more information, it will be the persistent reminder of targeted Google advertisements in their web browser or ads showing up in their Facebook news feed that eventually lead to making a purchase decision.

British Airways Lookup

A Billboard That Tracks Airplanes

In the case of a recent British Airways advertising campaign, the sky was literally the limit.  Through a mixture of old and new, they pushed the limits of billboard advertising to give the world something that had never quite been seen before.

The Magical Billboard Concept

When measuring by size of fleet, number of routes, and revenue, British Airways is the largest airline in the United Kingdom.  However, the industry is incredibly competitive, and the company still has the desire to soar to new heights with their ad campaigns.

This led to them creating two digital billboards in London.  These specific signs were located between the view of people on the street and the flight paths of planes coming and going from Heathrow Airport.  Advanced technology was integrated into the display that could track planes as they flew overhead, and that’s when the magic would start.

A video would start to play that showed a child point at the airplane and run off after it. The sign would also give the flight number and location that the plane took off from, and then it would go back to a very simple display about British Airways.

Why Did They Take This Route?

British Airways entered into the campaign with a few main goals, and one was wanting to remind customers of how many global destinations the airline operates out of. Next to that, they wanted to point out some newer destinations, and they hoped that it would inspire consumers to log on to the British Airways website and book a trip.

On the other hand, this wasn’t a campaign that simply advertised a hashtag. It was all planned around a strategy that would help consumers connect with the brand on an emotional level. It’s a common practice for people to look up to planes in the sky and dream that they’re on their way to an exotic location, and this billboard found a way to bring back early memories of everyone who saw it. Using a child allowed viewers to connect with the feelings of being amazed by flight when little, and it avoided all the thoughts of disillusionment brought on by lost luggage and long delays.

The Technology Behind the Billboard

British Airways Lookup
The sign used a surveillance system that was custom built specifically for this campaign to make sure it tracked actual planes, and it made sure that the video was synchronized with the planes as they zoomed by. In order to identify which plane it was, it used a special antenna that could register the transponder of all aircraft within a certain radius.  The programming also took many other factors into consideration.  For example, it thought about the altitude of the plane, the cloud cover in the sky, and the light (or lack thereof) to ensure that people could accurately see what they were intended to

Reaction from the Internet

A dedicated webpage, ba.com/lookup, was created specifically for the campaign.  It was designed to help customers easily convert their longings into bookings, and it enabled them to spend more time packing their bags.  It seemed to work because it received more than 43,300 unique visits.

Also, the video of the sign was viewed more than 1.3 million times online, and the campaign earned more than 45 million social media impressions. #Lookup was displayed under the video, and it was used more than 3,400 times on Twitter.

The Advertising World Also Approved

The whole campaign was developed by the Ogilvy 12th Floor agency, and it was a success overall. At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the campaign won the Direct Grand Prix.  Similar concepts had been tried in other parts of the world, but this was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Mix of Digital and Traditional Marketing

One of the biggest takeaways from this campaign is that advances in technology don’t necessarily have to mean the death of more traditional forms of advertising.  Print ads may seem far less relevant than online media that keep customers one click away from a purchase, but these digital innovations can take certain platforms in a full circle.  In a world full of clickable computer code, a giant video might be just what it takes to stand out from the crowd.

The Impact on Other Companies

Even if you’re not an airline, there’s a way in which you can harness modern technology to advertise your business using outdoor media.  Get in touch with us if you’d like some assistance with a new concept, but first make sure that both your seat and tray table are in their full upright and locked positions!

bMedia Showtime Merger

bMedia Group Acquires Showtime Outdoor Media

On December 18th, 2015 we acquired Showtime Outdoor Media, a local outdoor media company serving the Puerto Rico market. This acquisition makes bMedia Group the #1 local billboard media company in the industry.

This announcement was made by our founding partner Juanchi Casillas, who said “through the consolidation of these companies, bMedia will offer the most comprehensive and valuable billboard circuit in Puerto Rico due its strategic and unique locations. This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to the market to continue to add value to our customers providing them with high impact top of the line quality billboards coupled with excellent service.”

bMedia Showtime Merger

“During the past years, we have been working on making contributions to the market through strategic consolidations that help the local economy and improve the dynamics between clients and billboard advertising. The acquisition of Showtime is another key step in achieving our objective”, said Héctor Horta, who is also a founding partner of bMedia.

As part of this consolidation agreement, bMedia Group will have the support of well-known producer, Jose “Pepe” Dueño, who was the founder of Showtime Outdoor Media. He will join the team to facilitate the continuity of “both Showtime and bMedia are distinguished for the passion and the personal attention we provide to our customers. We are proud to be Puerto Rican entrepreneurs whose goals and achievements continue to contribute to our country’s growth”, said Dueño.

Founded in 2009, bMedia Group provides first in class billboards in digital and static formats. The company offers strategic outdoor media advertising services, flexible solutions, and personalized services through a team of marketing professionals.

BMW vs Audi

The Billboard Battle of BMW vs Audi

Conflict always has been and always will be a part of this world. Ranging from brutal military conquests that determine the fate of millions of people, to a simple sports rivalry of opposing teams, humans always seem to find a way to fight against each other. While the Billboard Battle of BMW vs Audi, may not be on the same scale of importance as the decisive World War II battle of Stalingrad, for our industry it was groundbreaking. Never before had companies used outdoor media not just to communicate with the general public, but to purposefully create a conflict between brands. While this was clearly done for the amusement of the public, the exposure and success was monumental.

Let’s take a look at the two sides involved in the Billboard Battle of BMW vs Audi…

BMW

Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Founded: March 7, 1916
Product: Luxury Automobiles

Audi

Headquarters: Ingolstadt, Germany
Founded: July 16, 1909
Product: Luxury Automobiles

The Inception of the Battle

It all began in a wealthy neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Audi was the aggressor in the billboard battle and started with the simple billboard below.

Chess Audi Billboard

The First Attack

The drivers of Los Angeles who passed by this billboard on a daily basis had no clue what this innocent and simple outdoor advertisement was going to cause. After a short time, Audi switched out this billboard with the one below, provoking a response from BMW.

Your Move Audi Billboard

The Retaliation

While BMW could have chosen to ignore Audi’s attempt to get under their skin, they decided to strike back instead. This follow-up billboard was located on Santa Monica Blvd. in a very high traffic area of Los Angeles. It was also strategically placed across the street from Audi’s ‘Your Move’ billboard, where BMW took a bold approach with a powerful one-word response of ‘Checkmate.’ This was a very successful retaliation on their part which sparked a whirlwind of publicity in the news and on social media for both brands.

BMW Audi Billboard Battle

The Counter-Attack

In response to BMW’s retaliation and to take advantage of the new social media attention, Audi held a Facebook contest for users to create a photoshopped response to BWM’s claim to further fuel the war. While many people had some very creative idea’s about what should be Audi’s next move, eventually they responded with the billboard below. In this billboard with another very bold claim, Audi showcased their extremely powerful and expensive vehicle, the R8, on a nearby billboard with the phrase ‘Your pawn is no match for our king.’ Many people thought this would be the clever ending to the battle of creativity and advertising budgets between the two German luxury auto manufacturers.

The End of the Battle

BMW took matters into their own hands to put an end to this billboard battle. Featuring their Formula 1 car, BMW paid for a branded blimp to be tethered to the Audi billboard with the intention of both ending the battle and claiming themselves the victors.
BMW AUDI Billboards

The Conclusion

While some might say that BMW’s final attack meant victory for the Munich-based luxury car brand, the truth is both companies reaped the benefits of the war. As the objective of billboard advertising is to get as many eyes on your billboard and brand as possible, this conflict that sparked a wave of PR and social media attention was very valuable for both sides. To this day, both BMW and Audi have a very healthy rivalry and while there have been no battles of the same magnitude as this one, they are often taking shots at each other across various mediums of advertising.

BMW vs Audi