Billboards have long been a staple of the marketing and advertising space. In fact, they are probably one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about traditional advertising. However, in today’s world, one is confronted with advertising at almost every turn. So the question becomes: how do you stand out? Here, we will discuss some tips on how to create successful billboards, as well as giving some examples from around the world.
Not all billboards are created equal.
The market and the audience of certain billboards must be taken into careful consideration in order to maximize their effectiveness. Because of this, billboards around the world are designed in different ways and seek to capture different audiences.
Tips for Successful Billboards
The process of creating successful billboards takes time, creativity, and ingenuity. However, when executed well, they can be remarkably effective and result in a high return on investment (ROI). Below are some tips for creating successful billboards.
Keep It Simple
You might feel the need to add as much information as possible onto your billboard. However, you must remember that most people are only glancing at a billboard in passing. Therefore, it’s important that you get straight to the point. Bold colors, readable text, and eye-catching images will help capture your audience’s attention. Additionally, remember to keep your message clear and concise. It can certainly be clever, but your audience does not have that much time to pause and figure out what you’re trying to convey.
Your Audience Is #1
When designing successful billboards, it’s crucial that you keep in mind who your audience is. Advertisers must meet the audience where they already are. So, if you’re advertising your tractors, why not place a billboard out in the country? If you’re promoting a new rideshare app, why not place the billboard in an urban center, where there is a need for the service? Keeping your audience at the forefront of your mind will help you optimize the success of your billboard and lead to the best ROI.
Digital billboards are popping up all over the place, even in places where you’d least expect them. While digital billboards may be a bit more expensive than traditional static billboards, they can actually result in a higher ROI. This is because digital billboards can be used on a rotating basis. One company can advertise on the digital billboard in the morning, while you can advertise on the same billboard in the evening, based on the audience you’re trying to reach. Because of this, you can optimize your investment and reach the people you want to reach, only when you know they’ll be there.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
A few other things that are important to keep in mind when designing your successful billboard include:
- Daily traffic
- Type of traffic (car vs. foot)
- Duration of campaign
Examples of Successful Billboards
Now that we’ve discussed some tips for creating successful billboards, we’ll share some examples from around the world.
Billboard: Mt. Fuji’s Litter
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this billboard is that it technically isn’t a billboard. Sure, it has the frame and structure of a successful billboard – but it’s missing the actual content of a billboard. Of course, the position and intended viewing angle of the board attempt to turn Mt. Fuji into the content. Given the cultural significance and sheer recognition of Mt. Fuji to its target audience, the effect is substantial. The litter framing the famed natural spectacle leaves a stunning impression about the impact that litter has on natural areas.
Billboard: Skype Qik Live
Mobile devices and social media are huge in Asia. Whether it be a mobile game, the hottest new trending app, or just chatting with friends, the smartphone is a gateway into a world of almost endless entertainment. This company created a billboard that allows mall-goers to record themselves on a nearby mobile phone installation. Then, their clip appears on the ad. This interactive billboard makes physical advertising media relevant to the many enthusiastic smartphone users in Manila.
Billboard: Free screen replacements
How many times have you or a friend lost hold of your smartphone, only to pick it up and discover that the screen has shattered? This universally disappointing image of a shattered phone is certainly eye-catching. By replicating this effect on this billboard, it catches the viewer’s attention and reminds them of their broken phone screen.
Billboard: WWF – Rising Ocean Levels
This one is interesting as the viewer has to see this billboard multiple times at different points in the day to get the full effect. Basically, the awning on top of this billboard is supposed to cast a shadow. The shadow will change depending on the sun’s relation to the billboard. As the sun moves throughout the day the shadow will change in accordance, making it seem as if the water line on the board is moving upwards. Given that Denmark exists next to the Atlantic, rising ocean levels actually do affect them as they change the shoreline of the country. This is an example of a successful billboard that uses repeated exposure to leave an impact.
Billboard: Adam Ruins Everything
Anyone who has spent long enough time on Facebook has probably seen a video snippet of Adam Ruins Everything, a series dedicated to dispelling half-truths and common misconceptions. While one can imagine that such an “in your face” ad might not be incredibly popular with all Americans, there’s no doubt that it’s effective in attracting the attention of its home audience. Not only does it call attention to a fact that Americans may not like to think about, but it also works as a form of passive activism. It forces passersby to reassess the value that they’ve placed on such a monument.
Billboards: Total Recovered campaign
During the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of ads sprung up reminding people to stay at home and wear masks. However, there was not that much positive advertising. An advertising agency called Orb decided to create a campaign highlighting the total number of people that had recovered from COVID-19. This campaign acted as a beacon of hope, while most other COVID-related advertising was rather bleak.
Billboard: Clean Air
The city of Lima located in Peru was estimated to have the highest pollution levels in all of South America back in 2012. This billboard was created in response. This billboard actually takes the surrounding polluted air and purifies it, emitting fresh air back out. As one can imagine, it was incredibly well-received by its target audience due to the fact that it actively improved their lives.
Billboard: Amphibious billboards
Who said billboards need to be roadside? These amphibious billboards can be found either on the beachside or out in the water themselves. Given that South America is known for its fair share of beautiful beaches, it only makes sense to play up to the region’s natural strengths and advertise in popular beach spots.
Billboard: Porsche Ads
If you have enough money and the inclination to buy a Porsche, you probably feel good about the purchase and enjoy it when other people notice your car. The Porsche company itself understands this and put up an ad in Melbourne that can tell when a Porsche is approaching. The ad calls out Porsche drivers and compliments them on their car, making them feel good and adding a little bit of additional value to their purchase.
Billboard: SEEK Job Site – Cannon Safety Inspector
Finding the right person for the job can be tough, especially when the person you need has to have an incredibly specific and obscure skillset. This billboard put up in Perth might not be the fanciest, but is still entertaining and effective. The imagery gives off sentiment that would feel at home in a “Monty Python” skit, appealing to the sensibilities and humor of Australians.
How bMedia Can Help
If you’re looking to design and execute a creative and successful billboard campaign, look no further than bMedia. bMedia is Puerto Rico’s leader in outdoor advertising, with over 300 high-impact advertising locations.
To learn more about how bMedia can help your brand reach new audiences, contact us today!