Billboards: The Large Medium

Billboards: The Large Medium

Love them or hate them, those giant advertising signs along the roadway are a powerful presence. But billboards, part of what we in the ad biz refer to as “out of home,” or “OOH” advertising, are some of the most misunderstood but effective of all advertising options.

Most advertisers have at least considered billboard advertising, but unless you know a few details, it’s tough to make a good decision. Here are a few tips to make billboard-advertising work:

  1. It’s not an ad. Don’t try to say too much in your message. The average readership on a large interstate billboard is about 4 seconds. Keep the graphics clear and simple. Avoid sentences. Make everything BIG.
  2. Billboards work because your message will be displayed to large numbers of people (the media term is “reach”) many times over the duration of the buy (“frequency”). It is very low cost per thousand people reached, but you are limited in the volume of your content (you can only say so much-see above!)
  3. Keep it fresh. Change your message every quarter or 6 months maximum. Although most contracts are written for annual buys, changing your design at least once during the year can increase your exposure and recognition significantly.
  4. Most markets now provide a digital billboard option, which includes your message in super bright LED digital format. The message is shared with up to six other advertisers, but you can change your message or run it for very short periods (even just hours if desired). These are perfect for sales, alerts, and updates. The motion of the changing message attracts attention, and there is no installation or printing fee.

If you would like to learn more about OOH and other advertising options, let us know. We’ll help you make wise decisions, show you how OOH compares to other media, and show you how to stretch your advertising dollar.

David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, consultant, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at dday@thedaygroup.com

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