Outdoor advertising is something almost everyone is subjected to seeing on a daily basis. There’s advertising on billboards, bus stop benches, etc. – it’s hard to miss.

There’s a reason so many companies choose out-of-home advertising – it works. It’s been reported that about 29 billion dollars are spent on outdoor advertising each year.

Everyone has seen an outdoor advertisement, whether they recognize it or not. Think about some particular ones that stuck with you. Is it the McDonald’s billboards with the slogan, “I’m lovin’ it” on them? Or maybe the local law firm ad you’ve caught on the back of a bus?

Whatever the product or service is, the content of the advertisement becomes more memorable when you use creative ideas to grab the consumers’ attention. That’s why we feel it’s important to discuss creative outdoor advertising ideas.

Everything you present in an outdoor advertisement, from font to background to color, all affect the consumers’ reaction to your ad. Make the most out of your outdoor advertising campaign by using innovative ideas to maximize consumer engagement.

creative outdoor advertising ideas

How to Be Creative With Outdoor Advertising

So you’ve recently purchased some time to showcase your product on a billboard. There are millions of ways to go about advertising your product/service, but you want to get through to the largest audience possible.

A multitude of things need to be taken into consideration when deciding what exactly to put on your billboard, including:

  •         Font
  •         Background
  •         Content
  •         Color

By considering all these factors, you can create the optimal billboard to engage the consumer.

Using the Right Font

Font, or typography, is the style, appearance, or arrangement of typeset matter. There are key factors examined when studying typography, some being:

  •         Size
  •         Spacing
  •         Construction of individual letters

There have been numerous studies on people’s reactions to the font. Some, like Comic Sans, are often completely ignored by consumers. Others, like Baskerville or Georgia, are known to be more aesthetically pleasing to people, and therefore lead to a more positive reaction.

The consensus is that Baskerville, Times New Roman, or Georgia are some of the best fonts to use in an advertisement. The reason these are used heavily is that they are easy to read and pleasing to the eye.  But that doesn’t mean your ad has to use these fonts.

Grabbing the consumers’ attention is the driving idea behind a billboard. Consider using other, more bodacious fonts that capture the consumer’s eye. Be mindful of the readability and overall pleasantness of your font, but don’t be afraid to switch it up. Perfecting your font can help convey a powerful message. 

designing outdoor advertising

Picking a Background

As stated above, you ultimately want your billboard to be noticed. Several words on a white background can work, but they won’t be as noticeable or memorable as other advertisements.

Contemplate using things like a picture of your product or staff to form a bond with the consumer. If advertising for a restaurant, display a picture of the food. When advertising for a hospital, consider using a picture of the staff.

 You could also try using an aesthetically pleasing image that relates to your product. Consumers will then associate that pleasantness with your company. Examples could be:

  •         An image of an open road for a motorcycle manufacturer.
  •         A picture of a snow-capped mountaintop for a ski resort.

The background of your billboard should be able to capture the audience’s attention while also maintaining a friendly look. Make it too visceral, and people will look away; make it too boring, and people will never look in the first place. Consumers are more likely to notice a billboard with a captivating image.

Choosing the Right Color

Color plays an enormous part in advertising. Some colors are associated with harshness; others are soothing. Picking the right color for your font and background is instrumental in coordinating a successful ad campaign.

Colors can convey emotion without people realizing it. The science of color, or color psychology, is the study of how color affects the human brain. Marketing companies across the globe use color psychology to create the most effective advertisements.

It’s been reported that 93 percent of consumers center their attention on visual appearance when considering buying a product. The same goes for outdoor advertisements. Making a billboard visually appealing leads to higher consumer engagement.

Each color imparts a different emotional response from people.

  •         Red: Elicits strong emotions and reactions. Associated with love, but also with danger.
  •         Orange: Energetic and lively color. Good for bringing attention to an advertisement.
  •         Yellow: Evokes feelings of happiness and energy.
  •         Green: Associated with health and nature. Can have a calming, honest effect on an ad.
  •         Blue: Promotes seriousness and trustworthiness.
  •         Purple: The color of royalty. Consumers often associate with luxury and elegance.

Notice how almost all McDonald’s billboards use the color red. Yes, it is one of the company colors, but red captures eyes better than other colors.

outdoor advertising billboard

Curating the Content

Using the techniques above to perfect color, font, and the background will help you to get and keep your audience’s attention. But if the content underneath isn’t up to par, people will forget it. 

In order to craft the right message, you have to consider what your product or service is. If you have a serious message you want to get out, don’t use jokes. Adversely, if your product is not too serious, think about keeping it light-hearted and playful.

Many companies use jokes or puns to convey a feeling of friendliness with the consumer. This can lead to brand loyalty. Other companies will try to tug at the heartstrings and elicit an emotional connection. Ads like these can often increase response from consumers. 

The amount of content needs to be treated with the same veracity as the quality. A billboard should be a quick read. Too long and you run the risk of consumers simply not having the time to read it. Keep your message to about seven words or lower, and don’t use lengthy, hard-to-read terms.

Other Factors to Consider

Though the factors mentioned above are crucial in creating a successful outdoor advertisement, there are many other factors that contribute. This can include size, shape, location, and many others.

The most successful outdoor advertisements use all of these tools in an innovative manner to stand out from the crowd.