Today, billboards are one of the most popular and effective advertising mediums. While the rise of new advertising technologies has transformed the advertising market, billboards remain both popular and incredibly effective, due to the fact that they can adapt to new advertising trends with ease.
In Puerto Rico, there’s an average of six-hundred-and-fourteen automobiles for every one-thousand people. That’s a lot of traffic! Moving across highways and roads, drivers are usually looking to pass the time. For this reason, advertisers strategically place billboards where drivers can easily see and take note of them, even if subconsciously.
Each billboard, if designed properly, conveys an engaging and unique message. Each message has the potential to turn the driver, who may not have even heard about that particular company or product, into a customer. Or, at the very least, into someone who is interested in considering what the billboard is offering.
Outdoor Advertising Trends 2022: How Did We Get Here?
If you want to fully understand the outdoor advertising trends 2022 marketers are focusing on, it’s best to take a step back and think about our history with outdoor advertising.
As an advertising medium, billboards are quite old. In fact, they’ve been around since the late 19th century. As years progress, billboards continue to grow and transform. This allows them to remain both relevant and effective, especially as a source of true guerilla marketing.
In order to make a truly excellent billboard advertisement, it’s important to understand the history of outdoor advertising trends, as well as where outdoor advertising stands today.
How Did Billboards Begin?
In 1867, the first billboard advertisement was leased. As time passed, billboards became more popular, and the advertisements became far more elaborate and unique. With the rise of the automobile, roads and highways were created. On these roads and highways, billboards could be placed on the sides. It was this development that lead to billboard advertising becoming one of the primary advertising mediums of the 20th Century.
If you go back to the year 1867, that was when the first billboard advertisement was leased. Just twenty-four-years after that, in 1891, the Associated Bill Posters’ Association was formed. This association was designed to expand people’s understanding of the billboard medium and to organize and coordinate efforts that had to do with designing and setting up billboards.
With the rise of the Associated Bill Posters’ Association, billboards became far more popular. People began to understand the medium and the advertising potential that lay within it.
When the first mass-market automobile was released – the Ford Model T – everything changed. The Model T became one of the first affordable automobiles. Instead of relying on more archaic forms of transport, people drove automobiles.
As automobiles became more popular, cities realized a need for efficient networks of roads and highways. This led to the creation of what we know today as roadways.
Advertisers quickly flocked to empty spaces along these roads and found a true potential for different forms of advertising. Since then, billboards have become an important aspect of the advertising landscape. In fact, they’re one of the more evolving forms of marketing that continues to adapt to newer forms of technology.
Quick Facts of Historical Outdoor Advertising Trends
- In the mid-to-late nineteenth century, billboards became an advertising medium
- When the Associated Bill Posters’ Association was formed, people became aware of the medium and its potential for advertising
- The Ford Model T led to roads and highways, which changed the advertising industry
- Billboard were placed across roadway networks and became one of the most popular advertising mediums
What Is The Current Billboard Advertisement Design Philosophy?
In today’s outdoor advertising trends, there are several design choices that almost every billboard makes, in one way or another. Each one of these design choices began as trends before morphing into a set standard.
Billboard advertisements are, first and foremost, a visual medium. Words are often used, but sparingly, because the images are designed to speak for themselves. Effectively, outdoor advertisements should be clear and succinct, primarily because viewers don’t have longer than a few seconds to digest it. If there are too many words, there’s a good chance the billboard won’t be read or understood.
In the earlier days of billboard advertisements, visuals were often used alongside words. Billboards were still a visual medium, but words were given more weight. An example of this was advertisements for circus shows and theater acts.
Today, that is no longer the case. Billboards now use striking visuals as an incentive that immediately captivates the essence of what is being sold. While words are still important, they are used sparingly.
To go along with the striking visuals, viewers may find the use of strong colors that are both engaging and visually appealing. Today, many billboards use colors like blue, yellow, black, white, and red. These colors are complementary. Their contrast also makes it easier to read and to emphasize certain aspects of the advertisement.
The most important aspect of designing a billboard advertisement is simplicity.
Today, people are bombarded with the flow of information. The internet is responsible for most of this. In fact, online advertisers are hard-pressed to truly identify and convert the right customers. Billboards often follow a different goal. Billboards, first and foremost, are seen by a wider public audience. This gives advertisers the chance to get in front of larger crowds. However, it means, also, that outdoor advertisements must be as simple, engaging, and captivating. For this reason, it’s important to work with outdoor advertisers that are as experienced in design as they are in formatting language for marketing purposes.
What Are The Current Outdoor Advertising Trends?
Digital billboards were undeniably a game-changer in the outdoor advertising industry. So much so, in fact, that there was a time that this list of current trends could focus on that alone. The exciting news is we’ve evolved past that, and here are the outdoor advertising future trends that we think you should keep your eyes on:
Digital Outdoor Advertising Trends
One of the primary outdoor advertising current trends is to make use of digital billboards. A digital billboard is a canvas that boasts endless advertising potential. For one, using a digital billboard, allows you to use animation, distinct (and dynamic) color choices, unique typography, among other creative choices.
With a digital billboard, the set-up process is much easier and much shorter. This usually reflects longevity, as well. Setting up a digital billboard consists of making the advertisement, and renting the digital space for a specific period of time. That’s it. The advertisement is displayed until another takes its place.
As digital billboards continue to become more and more popular, a variety of unique and creative advertising choices and trends directly related to the medium will catch on. Right now, interactivity is very popular, and many advertisers are experimenting with it.
Dynamic Messaging is Taking Over Innovative Out-of-Home Advertising
Carrying on with the theme of using digital billboards, they can be changed instantly and on-demand. That means that the days are finished in which you had to put up one sign for a certain amount of time.
It’s now possible to have your ad displayed at the most ideal time for your target market.
This is beneficial in two ways:
- You can get your ad in the eyes of your specific target market. If you’re targeting early birds, you don’t need to bother displaying your message late at night when they’re at home tucked in bed.
- The pricing rates can vary. If you’re looking for a high-traffic time (such as rush hour), then this won’t really impact you much. But if you have a lower budget and think that an off time is better for your strategy overall, you won’t necessarily have to pay peak prices.
Interactive Messaging is One of the Main Outdoor Advertising Future Trends
We touched on this earlier, but we are very confident that the future of innovative out-of-home advertising involves interactive messaging. As futuristic as this sounds, it can take many forms. As a matter of fact, using reflections or interactive physical elements have been successfully done in the past (especially in urban environments, such as at bus stops).
Many current forms of this strategy involve some kind of camera on the billboard itself to capture the viewer, but there are also increasingly easier ways involving smartphone integrations.
When thinking about mobile interaction and billboards, most people assume this involves the type of tracking methods used in online advertising, but that’s not necessarily the case. For a fun example of what’s possible, imagine creating a video game on a billboard. Viewers could scan a QR code and then use their phones as a game controller.
More Focused Ads Are a Major Strategy in Outdoor Advertising Current Trends
This is probably the most significant way to sum up current outdoor advertising trends. They can be updated easily because they’re digital. They can be displayed at specific times, and they can even be interactive and customized for individual viewers. Put all that together, and the game has changed significantly since the days when you put a generic headline up with a product photo to keep your brand in viewers’ minds.
In our world where print publications are going extinct and online browsers are loaded with ad blockers, outdoor advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. As always, it’s important to keep up to date on the trends, as well as focus on best practices.
Digital Outdoor Advertising Effectiveness
Using an interactive digital billboard, you are able to directly have the user directly engage with the advertisement. This leads to a far more memorable and enjoyable experience, while also serving as a wonderful way of highlighting what you are offering.
Soon enough, there will be other trends related to the medium. These trends will transform digital billboards, and digital billboards will continue to transform the billboard advertising medium.
Interested in learning more about outdoor advertising? Contact bMedia, a leading provider of billboard advertisements in Puerto Rico.