types of billboards

Types of Billboard Structures

Advertising, fundamentally, has remained mostly the same over the years. However, as we move through a more encompassing digital world, one type of advertisement is quickly changing face and shape: billboard displays. In fact, there are now a variety of different types of billboard structures to select, making it a more versatile form of advertisement for companies worldwide.

Businesses often look to advertising to help reach a wider audience and bring more people in. Small businesses, usually have smaller budgets and therefore require a more systematic and strategic approach. Still, all businesses should look for an effective advertising strategy in order to receive the most value and return on investment. Luckily, outdoor media advertisements are still largely effective for a variety of industries. In fact, many businesses would be surprised to see the various types of billboard structures.

Having options for any type of advertisement is always a positive. We’re breaking down the basic structure of billboards here and how some may or may not be more effective than others. If you’re looking for an outdoor media company in Puerto Rico, contact us directly to chat about next steps.

billboard construction design

Standard Bulletin Billboard

There are definitely a variety of different types of billboard structures. Be sure to check out our article on how billboards are made – it’s an interesting read. A standard bulletin billboard is one of the most common billboard structures. Most standard bulletin billboards are located along major roads and highways, which makes it easy for people driving on those roads/highways to see what is being advertised.  Just about every standard bulletin billboard is quite large, which allows each structure to hold large billboard advertisements.

While driving along a major road, it’s guaranteed that you will see at least one standard bulletin billboard. It isn’t hard to figure out why this is the case, since standard billboards have been around for a very long time, and are consistently effective at grabbing people’s attention.

Every standard bulletin billboard holds a printed billboard advertisement. Two of the most common materials for these printed billboards are PE plastic and PVC vinyl. Both of these materials are quite durable and long-lasting, which ensures that they won’t be damaged by intense weather.

Even though a standard bulletin billboard is one of the most basic billboard structures, it still offers plenty of unique creative possibilities. Many of these possibilities come from a variety of different colors and designs that can be displayed on a billboard advertisement. Plus, there’s the large size of most standard bulletin billboards, which allows for larger, and more creative, billboard advertisements.

Painted Billboard

painted billboards

Most billboards are made with the aid of graphic design software and then printed out. Painted billboards, on the other hand, are painted entirely by hand. Painted billboards often take a very long time to make, since they’re painted by hand, but each one has a unique and compelling visual style that differentiates it from other billboards.

Today, most billboard advertisements are made using graphic design software. Once the billboard advertisement has been designed, using graphic design software, it is then printed and posted onto a billboard.

Painted billboards are hand-painted and made without using any kind of computer software. It is, more often than not, a long and difficult process that can take up to more than one-hundred hours, depending on the size of the billboard and the colors and designs that it consists of.

What sets painted billboards apart from other billboards though, apart from the fact that they are hand-painted, is there strong aesthetic qualities. Painted billboards have their own, very distinct, artistic qualities that can be more grabbing and interactive for passersby.

Mobile Billboard

Mobile billboards are, as the name implies, completely mobile. Most mobile billboard advertisements can be found on bikes, trucks, and buses; modes of transportation that can hold a billboard advertisement. Since mobile billboards are constantly moving, oftentimes in areas where there are few traditional billboards, this gives many people the opportunity to engage with the billboard advertisement that the mobile billboard is displaying.

Mobile billboards are, unlike traditional billboards, unbound by a particular billboard structure or platform. Rather than taking the form of a traditional billboard structure, mobile billboards are often various modes of transportation, such as bikes, buses, and trucks. Since mobile billboards are in constant motion, many people have the opportunity to see and engage with what the billboard is advertising.

Billboard Trucks

The majority of mobile billboards are big trucks that consist of a large body that is designed for displaying advertisements. On the body of a mobile billboard, there is the billboard advertisement, which often varies in size depending on the size of the truck – or any other vehicle – that comprises the mobile billboard.

While the mobile billboard medium isn’t that different from a traditional billboard medium, it does offer some fascinating creative possibilities. Possibilities such as integrating elaborate light systems, a sound system, turning the interior of a mobile billboard into a three-dimensional display case; among various others. Each one of these creative possibilities serves as a way of making a billboard advertisement more unique and memorable.

Digital Billboard

billboard construction design

In today’s advertising market, digital billboards have become increasingly popular. By using a digital billboard, a billboard advertisement can be set up in a nearly instantaneous manner, can be set to run for specific blocks of time, and can make use of things like animated text, sound, and videos.

While standard billboards are still very popular, digital billboards have risen greatly in popularity. It isn’t difficult to see why this is the case, either, since digital billboards offer a variety of benefits and advantages that standard billboards simply don’t.

Perhaps, the most notable benefit that a digital billboard offers is that of creativity. By using a digital billboard, you are able to display things like animated text and brief videos – among various other things – all of which make a billboard advertisement more compelling and memorable.

Beyond that, though, digital billboards aren’t bound to the same physical requirements that other billboards are. There is no need to spend any money on printing the billboard, for example, and renting a digital billboard for a few hours every day – or some other period of time – is a valid option that digital billboards allow for.

The Anatomy Of A Billboard

types of billboard structures

While there are many different types of billboard structures. Most standard billboards consist of three basic components. The first of these three basic components is the steel structure that supports the billboard; then there’s the lighting system that the billboard uses; and, finally, the billboard advertisement.

Every standard billboard consists of three basic components. Each of these three components serves an integral part in the strength, durability, and general effectiveness of the billboard structure.

A standard billboard consists of a large steel structure that consists of a tall pole and a frame. The pole is rooted into the ground, and it is used to hold up the frame. On top of the pole, there is the frame, which is often made of steel I-beams.

Within the steel frame, there is often lighting equipment that has been routed through. Each piece of lighting equipment is used to illuminate the billboard advertisement that is being held on the frame. That way, if people drive by the billboard at night, they will be able to see the billboard advertisement.

On the frame itself, there is a billboard advertisement. Usually, the frame is covered with a backing material before the billboard advertisement is placed onto the frame. Right after the backing material is placed, large sheets of PE plastic or PVC vinyl are laid onto the frame.

led digital billboard advertising

Advantages of Digital Billboard Advertising

Billboard advertising is rapidly changing. The use of computer screens as advertisements has been around for a while but in recent years billboard-size digital displays and LED billboard advertising is bringing a new level of affordability. Digital billboards aren’t just for high-end brands with big pockets; it’s time for everyone to consider whether or not digital billboards are right for their marketing campaign. After all, the advantage of digital billboard advertising are evident.

Billboards offer a range of benefits over their traditional counterparts and in this article, we’ll look at all of the advantages of digital billboard advertising with some examples that show the power of this cutting-edge advertising tool. In specific, let’s dive into LED billboard advertising and a new age of technical outdoor media.

Target Pollen Billboard

LED Digital Billboard Advertising

Thanks to the internet people have different expectations about how advertising works. They spend hours staring at screens that display advertisements tailored to them. Ads today know our names, our locations, and what we’ve been looking for. In fact, most digital ads found online are constantly evolving and highly dependent on the actions we choose to take, meaning they’re customized for us. Digital billboards might not be able to reach this level of customization, but they can still utilize the latest technology to deliver a timely message. This is one of the major advantages of digital billboard advertising.

Look at this digital billboard advertisement from Target. It’s a powerful reminder of allergy season that utilizes the latest pollen count. It’s a brilliant combination of useful information and powerful marketing that is sure to stand out in a world flooded with advertisements. LED digital billboard advertising makes this possible. With bright color and amplified graphics, outdoor media like this can really grab the attention of many. And if it doesn’t? No problem, just change it up.

Fox Time Sensitive Billboard

Digital billboards can display time-sensitive messages

Have you ever gotten excited by an ad for an event only to realize that its time had already come and passed? Many companies waste money paying for advertisements that will outlive the events they are advertising. Digital ads can cut down on waste by automatically switching over at certain times.

Take this advertisement for the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen” as an example. Traditionally advertisements for a weekly TV show would have to run all week long, even though the show wouldn’t be on six out of the seven days. But with digital billboards, a TV channel advertising on a billboard can make sure that it always advertises the shows that viewers can watch immediately after they see the ad. It’s a great way to increase the ad’s return on investment.

Digital Billboard Strategy

The same digital billboard can display two entirely different advertisements just minutes apart from one another

A traditional billboard can only display one advertisement at a time, and it can take hours of work to transition from an old ad to a new message. This isn’t the case with digital billboards. A digital billboard can be loaded up with multiple messages that it cycles between on a set schedule. Companies that advertise on digital billboards can buy the perfect amount of advertising for their needs and budgets. This means that there’s no reason to pay extra to monopolize an entire billboard if you think you can do just as well sharing the space. Say goodbye to one-size-fits-all ad buys!

Dogers Digital Billboard

Digital billboards can convey a sense of urgency

Most people are procrastinators by nature. If they can put something off, they will. Companies lose sales all the time because of this. Customers might plan on making a purchase, but they decide to wait until later and end up never spending a dime. To overcome this tendency it’s important to create a sense of urgency, and digital billboards are uniquely equipped for this task.

Just look at this advertisement for Dodgers Baseball. It has a timer ticking down, which can have a big psychological impact on those who pass. It reminds them that time isn’t unlimited, that they need to act quickly if they don’t want to miss their chance to see a game. A traditional billboard might be updated every day, but a digital billboard has the advantage of ratcheting up the urgency with updates by the hour, minute, or even second.

Digital Billboard Advantages

Digital billboards can engage with customers on a grand scale

One of the best ways to ensure repeat business is by building a deeper connection with your customers. In the past billboards used to be a highly impersonal type of advertising but digital billboards can facilitate interaction between you and your customers. Just check out this campaign by Pattison Onestop and Spacing Magazine. They asked for people to tweet out love letters to Canadian cities and then broadcast those letters across the cities. Traditional billboards might have been able to display a single message, but the digital billboards could display hundreds of messages a day.

People got to see their own words on billboards across the country, news outlets got a patriotic story to tell, and Pattison’s shopping centers gained plenty of fantastic PR. It’s the sort of marketing-win that digital billboards enable.

bMedia Digital Billboard

The world is moving quickly and billboards need to keep up with the change of pace

Information travels faster than ever in the age of smartphones. Traditional static billboards were invented in a world where news traveled at the speed of the newspaper. Today even 24/7 cable news channels are too slow for media consumers who are hooked into a constant stream of social media messaging. If you want to keep up in this environment, then you need the sort of flexibility that digital billboards can offer, especially in conjunction with a sound billboard marketing strategy.

how billboards are made

How Are Billboards Made

How are billboards made and what does the process look like? The process of making a billboard requires different components and decisions. Some components cover what materials the billboard is made from, which is usually fixed. Those hiring for a new billboard build can select from design options and creativity that coincides with their billboard marketing strategy and campaign. Decisions such as choosing what the billboard will be made out of, what it will convey, what it will look like, how big it will be, how long the billboard contract will last can be decided at the initial start of the campaign.

Edits and updates to a billboard campaign will likely vary for each business, but overall the components to building a new billboard are uniform. We’re reviewing how billboards are made and how they can be enhanced to produce the most effective billboard marketing campaign.

process of billboard creation

What Are Billboards Made Of?

Every billboard consists of three major facets. The frame that holds the billboard, the billboard itself, and the electrical mechanisms that illuminate the billboard. If one of these facets was missing from a billboard, then the billboard medium would be very different.

How are billboards made and what is the process during the physical build? Most billboards are supported by tall steel poles that hold up a large frame. To support the large frame, the steel poles are designed for durability and longevity, relying on stainless steel to support both the frame and the billboard that it holds.

Right at the top of the steel poles, there’s the frame itself. Within this frame, a billboard can be held, as well as various pieces of lighting and electrical equipment. These components are particularly vital as they allow the billboard to display an ad for longer periods rather than just in daylight.

All across the surface of the frame, there’s a material known as “facing”. Facing allows the art that comprises the billboard to be attached to the frame. Large sheets of paper or vinyl artwork are spread across the frame’s surface.

Most billboards rely on using printed sheets of paper and vinyl, rather than hand-painting the frame of a billboard because it’s much cheaper. But, there are still a variety of hand-painted billboards around, and many of them are quite popular due to the fact that they are hand-painted.

To illuminate the billboard, there are lighting and electrical systems embedded within the frame and right outside of it. Most of these lighting and electrical systems rely on automatic timers because it’s far more convenient than manual activation.


How Are Billboards Made?

Making a billboard is a process that consists of several key steps and a variety of different choices. Each one of the steps and choices that comprise the process of making a billboard is incredibly important and allows for a successful billboard marketing campaign.

Every billboard is designed to convey a very particular message that leads to a very particular result. Results such as “more website viewers” and “more people calling in”. But, as mentioned, in order for this result to be obtained a billboard must convey a message that entices people to engage with the offer in a way that leads to the desired results.

Once the intended results are known, a message must be formulated, for the billboard, so that those results can be created. Ideally, this message is clear, concise, and easily conveyable using visuals and as few words as possible.

making billboards

Designing a billboard

Marketing messaging usually determines the mood and setting that the billboard can prove to be most effective. If humor is an underlying theme within the billboard messaging, bright colors might enhance the imagery and, thus, make it stand out a little more. Similarly, if the attempted theme is serious or professional, colors may correlate with these emotions. Hiring an expert graphics team that is experienced in billboard creativity is especially crucial because visual aids are one of the highest priorities. A good billboard makes use of the medium’s visual nature to entice and engage the viewer — who is most likely driving their car — so that they will then engage with what is being offered.

After the billboard has been designed, it must be set-up. Setting up the billboard involves several key choices. Choices such as choosing the material that the billboard will be made of, choosing where your billboard will be displayed, and choosing how long your billboard will be displayed.

Most billboards rely either on paper or vinyl, due to the strength and affordability of those materials. Of course, there are digital billboards and, as mentioned earlier, hand-painted billboards. Both options are also valid, but billboards made of paper or vinyl are far more conventional.

More often than not, a billboard made of those materials will need to measure 48-feet in width, and 14-feet in height. The reason for this is because most billboard frames possess those measurements, due to it being an industry standard. But, there are plenty of billboard frames that have different measurements, which is why it’s important to know where the billboard will be located before printing.

A standard billboard contract lasts for at least one month. If the billboard is doing well, then the contract should be extended, but if it isn’t, then the billboard should be revised or moved somewhere else.


how are billboards made

What Does Billboard Maintenance Consist Of?

In answering the question, how are billboards made, you must also account for their continued maintenance.

Print Billboard

Maintaining a print billboard is quite easy, due to the fact that print billboards rely on very few individual components and facets. Most print billboards are made of strong and durable materials that last for a considerable amount of time. Unless a billboard has been displayed for a very long time, it’s unlikely that fresh sheets of paper or vinyl will be needed.

Digital Billboard

Maintaining a digital billboard is far more complex, due to the variety of systems and components that comprise a digital billboard.

How Are Billboards Made: Common Issues

What can be problematic, though, is the lighting systems that billboards rely on. If a bulb goes out, then that bulb must be replaced. If the lighting system is damaged, then it must be repaired. Without the proper lighting, drivers will be unable to see the billboard at night.

Maintaining a digital billboard is quite different from maintaining a print billboard. Digital billboards rely on complex hardware and software, all of which must be maintained on a regular basis. Most of the time, digital billboard maintenance consists of things like making sure the software is up-to-date, that the display is set-up properly, that each cord and cable is connected, and that the billboards are being displayed in the manner intended.



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.

Billboard Technology Puerto Rico

Billboard Technology

It is a common misconception held by many people that billboards are an “outdated” and “old school” form of advertisement. Oftentimes television ads, websites, or even social media platforms are pushed as the most current and relevant forms of advertising. Despite this, billboards have not gone away and have not become any less useful for spreading a message. Instead, the medium of physical billboards has advanced from new technology becoming available. We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of billboard technology examples which show some of the options which are possible and how they can be used effectively.

New Billboard Technology

Digital Screens And The Power Of Movement

Screen technology has changed the world. From televisions, to phones, to computers- screens are everywhere. High quality digital screens allow for moving, non-static video to be displayed virtually anywhere, and billboards are no exception.

The ability to have a short video play on a billboard gives advertisers so much more power when it comes to both grabbing an audience’s attention and sending a message.

Video billboards effectively manage to combine all of the strengths of a television ad with the benefits of physical billboards.

bMedia Billboard Technology

Static vs Dynamic Content

What’s more is that digital billboards also make it easy to display and change content. Instead of having to worry about the costs associated with the manual labor of actually putting up a billboard, the content can instead be sent directly to the billboard. Digital billboards are also capable of changing between multiple messages, allowing advertisers to alternate between different ads. This has allowed for digital billboards to completely change their pricing format given that such billboards can now host many more advertisement slots at once.

Individual ads are also able to display content which may be time sensitive or reliant upon outside data. While in a traditional billboard the message must be static and hold true at any time during all conditions, the message on a digital billboard can change depending on the time of day, weather conditions, or some other factor.

When messages are able to be tailored around certain fluctuating factors, many opportunities for very convincing marketing strategies open up.

Billboard Technology Target

People Looking At Billboards, Billboards Looking At People

While billboards are things to be looked at, what if a billboard were to do some looking of its own? Technology these days does not stop when it comes to displaying dynamic information, as digital cameras and pattern recognition make it possible for billboards to identify trends within a crowd and change their information accordingly.

While this type of functionality might sound far fetched, one such example of it includes the Picadilly Lights display in London. On top of having a huge display space, with the ad’s 4K LED screen being the size of two professional basketball courts, the ad is able to detect ages, emotions, and vehicles in order to adjust the content it shows.

As digital ads online have taught us, the best advertisements are targeted. Being able to leverage ad targeting with billboard technology continues to escalate the strength of billboards as an advertising medium.

Digital Billboard Screens

Big Screens For Big Events

The huge size and quality of new digital screens allow them to be incredibly versatile and multi-purposed. In addition to displaying ads with dynamic content on them, it is also possible to leverage the space in order to display important or popular events, such as a baseball game or concert. Those wanting to draw people to a public space with their event will find their efforts greatly enhanced by making use of such digital billboard technology.

The Mosquito Killer Billboard

Humans have spent all of history protecting themselves from dangerous predators, but one specific animal brings fear into the hearts of people all over the globe. There are ways to fight back against this creature, but no one knows how to stop it completely. Because of a number of factors, it’s becoming a major hazard to the health of the public.

But, in the most unsuspected of places, a solution was found.

A billboard is saving the day in the global battle against mosquitos.

Mosquito Killer Billboard

Basics About the Mosquito Killer Billboard

The billboard itself looks normal enough at first sight, but it has a little more than your average sign. It is white with cut out letters, and it contains a message that says “This billboard kills hundreds of Zika mosquitos every day.”

There is some sophisticated machinery built inside of it, and that’s what gives it some teeth. First, it has internal containers that emit carbon dioxide and lactic acid into the air. These are attractive to mosquitos because they’re the same scents that come from humans, so the insects flock to the source. And, it’s so strong that mosquitos will come from distances of up to 4 kilometers (2.48 miles) away.

Once the little animals get closer, they notice the fluorescent lights inside the sign, and that makes them even more interested. Then, they have a little entrance that’s easy for them to find, so they fly right in. Unfortunately for the insects, it’s not so easy to get out. They remain trapped until they die of dehydration.

Why Mosquitos Are a Problem

Mosquitos are a big problem around the world since they act as mini carriers of disease, and they’re extremely hard to stop. This really came to light in 2015 when a major outbreak of the Zika virus began in Brazil, and the world took notice since so many people would be traveling there for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Since the virus can cause birth defects in babies born to mothers who have had it, it was significant enough to be called a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” by the World Health Organization.

Billboard that Kills Mosquitos

The Agencies Behind the Billboard

When creating outdoor advertising, it isn’t normal to make a trap for a dangerous animal. It’s common to try to promote causes related to public health, but they aren’t usually this direct and efficient. However, the creativity that comes out of advertising companies seems to be never ending. This whole project was created by Periscope and NBS, two agencies in Brazil. With the threat of the Zika virus causing so much trouble, they made this solution and taught others how to do the same.

Giving the Design for Free

One very noteworthy part of this billboard is how the agencies who created it gave away the instructions on how to make the mosquito killer billboard. They went so far as to build a website that contains detailed information on how it operates, as well as how to make one yourself.

This was so important because it took it from a publicity stunt and turned it into a gift for humankind. Following a similar strategy can really serve as an inspiration for other organizations to do something similar. And, they can use this as an example if they need to justify investments they’re making in their own projects.

Mosquito Killing Billboard Construction

Not the First Helpful Billboard

A billboard was built in 2013 that helped a major problem in Peru. The area suffers from very low amounts of drinking water because there’s hardly any rainfall. What water the people are able to get is often polluted, but there is often a humidity level over 95%. Seeing a problem and a potential solution, an ad agency partnered with a local university to see what they could do. They ended up creating a billboard that collected water from the air, purified it, and stored it into tanks. Then, people were able to come with bottles and collect the drinking water for their families. It didn’t quite solve the entire issue, but it was a creative solution that helped a lot of people.

Are You Able to Solve a Health Problem?

Even if you don’t think that mosquitos are a major threat, do you have any problems you’ve thought about solving? If so, you don’t necessarily have to do it alone. Sometimes someone has already come up with a solution (like what has happened in this case), and other times you will be able to find help with it. Organizations that are fighting against diseases and other hazards on an everyday basis are usually more than happy to help you turn a dream into a reality.

Let’s try to save the world, one billboard at a time.

McDonalds Pick n Play

McDonalds Pick n Play Billboard Game

From a young age, McDonald’s does a great job of pushing its image of a playful wonderland right into your head. That works pretty well, but eventually you grow up, and Ronald McDonald becomes less and less interesting as the years pass.

But, it’s not only children who like to play. Adults may be too shy to order a Happy Meal, but they enjoy having some games in their life.

A few years ago, the fast food chain managed to get full grown adults to unleash their inner child. They even managed to make it happen in a crowded square.

But, how did they do it?

McDonalds Pick n Play

A Playground for All Ages

To set the scene, take yourself back to the year 2011, and imagine you’re walking through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden. Now, look up at the giant Golden Arches on a billboard, and pull out your smartphone.

Are you ready for a game? It’s not difficult. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty similar to the game of Pong. The digital display will bring up a video game in which a ball starts bouncing from one side to the other. Using your phone, you move a paddle up and down so the ball doesn’t escape.

Who wouldn’t want to give it a try?

The Details of the Game

This stunt was put together for McDonald’s by DDB Stockholm, and it was quite a hit. Many people participated because it was so easy to do, and if they played well enough, they could win a prize.

The game didn’t require an app download or any other complicated procedure. All people had to do was go to the website that the billboard advertised, and it used their location data to make sure they were actually there.

Consumers got to play, and they had to survive for 30 seconds. If they did, they were rewarded with a coupon for free food at one of the nearby restaurants.

McDonalds Billboard Game

Lack of App Was Key to Success

One of the major reasons this campaign was successful was because of how simple it was. When doing something like this today, many people will instinctively decide to ask consumers to download an app to play along. They even try to build that app in a way that the users can take it with them and play later, and it’s seen as a great reminder of the brand.

While that method can work, it causes a major entry barrier to anyone thinking about participating. That was the real beauty of this one. There weren’t any downloads necessary, and the players didn’t have to register. They just visited the website, played the game, and (hopefully) won.

Then, they popped into a McDonald’s to enjoy their delicious trophy.

Gave Unexpected Interaction to Customers

Another great feature of this campaign was the interactivity it offered. Billboards are often used to advertise a competition or communicate results of something happening, but they’re very rarely the actual game board. Good signs are passively seen and melted into the subconscious of the potential consumers, but it’s proof of a great idea when people want to stop and actively discuss it with each other.

Pick n Play Billboard Game

Free Prizes!

An additional clever aspect of this plan was the call to action that was disguised in the form of a prize. Instead of just suggesting that customers stop by for lunch, they gave them the incentive of free food. They may or may not buy lunch during that visit, but they’ll remember the location (and hopefully the good experience they had) next time they’re in the area.

Also, bragging to friends about winning something for free is always a great way to encourage word-of-mouth communication.

Do You Use Mobile in Your Campaigns?

If you haven’t ever tried integrating mobile experiences in your campaigns, this is a great example of why you should. Don’t forget that it can go far beyond mobile ads or having an app that makes it easier for your customers to interact with your company. Smartphones are a major part of life in the 21st century, so consider them just as strong of a medium as billboards, radio/TV, print, and online channels.

 Not The First McDonald’s Billboard Game

A year before this billboard happened, the same agency created a similar sign for the burger chain. It was less interactive because it only required customers to snap a photo of fast moving foods, and they could show that for a real version of the item for free in a local McDonald’s. As mobile technology improved, the fancier version was possible. Just imagine what we can do now!

Game On!

Have you ever had a similar idea for your business? At bMedia Group, we love to be a part of making these amazing concepts come to life, and we’d be happy to talk about how to turn your creative thoughts into a reality.

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

Do you notice billboards on the side of the road when you’re driving? Most people do, but they’re far more effective if they’re something you can relate to instead of a generic ad. However, this can be quite a challenge for advertisers because of the diverse backgrounds of drivers going past the signs. There’s no way that they can make a billboard that will speak specifically to each driver and blast the right message.

Or, is there?

Yes, there have been a few different times that billboards got a little bit personal with the drivers looking at them!

The Chevy Malibu Is Better Than Your Car

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

This campaign was one that advertised the Chevy Malibu automobile, but it didn’t simply stop at showing a nice message with an image. Instead, the digital billboard had special technology to register who was watching it, and then it responded in a way that would speak specifically to that audience. So in place of the generic ad, it would directly compare the Chevy to the type of car that the person was driving. For example, it would tell drivers who have a Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, or Hyundai Sonata what better gas mileage (or other benefits) they would have in a Malibu.

Billboards Recognize Vehicles

The campaign was put together as a joint effort between Posterscope USA (an out-of-home communications agency) and Lamar Advertising Company (an outdoor advertising company). It was placed in New Jersey, Dallas, and Chicago, and the timing of the display was key to the whole process. It would change the display with adequate time for the driver to see it as they passed, and then it would change back to the original image.

Also, it’s important to know that the system didn’t save any information about the drivers!

It’s Not Always about Cars

Billboard Vehicle Recognition

This type of technology can target drivers, but it doesn’t necessarily have to talk about cars. There’s another similar example that was used in London, but it dove more into the interests of the drivers. In this case, there were three digital billboards placed right next to each other, and the whole thing was positioned next to a roundabout. This allowed for more space to deliver a single message, and it was an easier opportunity to mix images with text and logos.

This sign was developed by Ocean, a British advertising agency, and it builds a profile of a driver based on the type of car they’re in. Then it can advertise luxury goods, clothing, newer models of the same car, and other products and services that the particular group might be interested in.

Again, they made a point of saying that it didn’t store any personal information.

These Signs Can Boost Egos

There was an electronic billboard outside of an airport in Melbourne, Australia that liked to help a certain type of customer brag more than usual. Whenever a Porsche was about to cruise by, they would be greeted with the message that “It’s so easy to pick you out in a crowd,” and the Porsche logo. This one was put together by oOH! Media, and it was a great way to make a luxury brand feel even more luxurious.

Education is Necessary to Prevent Fear

One problem with campaigns like these is that people will start to be concerned about their privacy. Because of the fact that the sign is reading them, they’ll be worried that it’s using their image or license plate to store and use data about them. Since having a Big Brother feeling associated with your brand isn’t very desirable, we advise you to educate the public about the workings of any similar projects you do.

However, that can be a great opportunity for a little extra publicity. It’s fairly likely that journalists will be interested in this type of campaign, and they can help spread the message that it isn’t storing data or invading privacy in any way.

Technology is Only Increasing

Billboards like this were technologically impossible just a few years ago, but all of these campaigns managed to do it in different ways. And as the technology improves, it also becomes more affordable. Don’t rule out any sort of advertising ideas as being too expensive until you actually check the prices.

Are Vehicle Recognition Billboards the Future?

These vehicle recognition billboards are pretty incredible, so it’s pretty easy to think that they could be the future of outdoor advertising. That could very well be true, but it’s also very difficult to tell. One of the biggest problems is that a busy road probably doesn’t allow time for every driver to get a customized message, but it still can be really noticeable for the others to see multiple signs in the same place while in their cars.