Billboards have stood the test of time. While they have evolved and adapted to an ever-changing ad climate, it is still considered one of the most traditional and classic ways of advertising. However, as technology, ad placement, and digital media continue to advance, what does the future hold for billboards? Here’s our prediction on the future of billboard advertising:
Why Choose Billboard Advertising?
Billboard advertising has always been an effective medium for building brand awareness. Located in busy areas, billboards get a lot of foot and vehicular traffic. They offer businesses opportunities to broadcast their products and services. They are a good means of launching new products and advertising special events.
Compared to other advertising techniques, return on investment in billboard advertising is by far the best marketing investment for your business’ advertising dollars. Billboards generate nearly six dollars for every dollar spent on them.
Americans spend almost nine hours a day engaged in outdoor activities. They are a ready market for outdoor advertising. For them, outdoor marketing is inevitable. They can’t turn it off. They see it consciously and subconsciously. Logos, slogans, and images stick with them.
Studies show that almost forty percent of drivers consciously look out their windows at billboards as they are driving. Nearly sixty percent say they learned about a brand, a new product, or an event from a billboard ad.
One in four people go to a restaurant, explore a new business, or purchase a product on the same day that they saw it advertised on a billboard.
The Evolution of the Billboard
Billboards are not a new form of advertising. The first American billboard is believed to have been erected in the 1830s. It was created by Jared Bell to advertise circus acts.
By the 1860s, businesses purchased outdoor space for billboard displays. These billboards were often huge colorful hand-drawn and hand-painted creations.
The first twenty-four sheet billboard appeared at the Paris Expo. After that, twenty-four sheet billboards became the usual size.
With the introduction of the Model T Ford, owning a car became affordable. Roads and highways to accommodate drivers’ cars quickly became the chief means of transportation in America. It naturally followed that billboards sprang up along these well-traveled thoroughfares.
During the twentieth century, 49,000 miles of The Interstate Highway System connected states on safe and efficient roads. This made billboard advertising even more appealing.
Characteristics of Successful Billboards
Less is more. Because the target market of billboards is drivers and walkers, billboards have ten seconds to get their message across. So, they have to keep their words to a minimum.
Catchy slogans and memorable graphics are vital. Using only a few words, billboard advertisers need to explain their product and how it is going to impact the potential customer. Further, they need to convince the viewer that their product is better than its competitors.
Like real estate, the location of billboards is crucial. Brands need to be where thousands will see them each day. Billboards should be visible from a distance. The message must be neat and legible font enough to be read from a long distance. Billboard should be where they can connect with their target market.
Color choice is also important. Catchy, bright, vivid colors get billboards noticed. Color also stimulates various viewer’s emotions. It carries with the subconscious association to various things and characteristics. Billboard colors should be eye-catching, bright, and vivid to grab the attention of its audience.
The Future of Billboard Advertising
Today, billboards cost only 7% of advertising dollars. Yet they have the highest return on investment of any advertising medium.
Even though times have changed, there is still a future for the billboard.
Ten years ago, billboards were seen as outdated. However, the online marketing boom has changed all that.
Billboards have become, once again, the hottest marketing medium. Look around you. You will see ads for Apple and Google on huge fourteen-foot-by-forty-eight-foot vinyl sheets. Companies like Netflix, Everlane, Airbnb, Asana, and Twilio occupy building walls, subway cars, bus shelters, and park benches.
Across America, there are over 370k billboards. There will be over fifteen thousand new ones added annually.
They are owned by over a thousand advertising businesses that rent them out on a weekly or a monthly basis.
More companies are focusing on feelings and emotions they want their brands to elicit. Today’s advertisers want an emotional reaction from their viewers.
Technology is changing rapidly. This will change the look of billboards.
Technological advances are also becoming cheaper. Ideas that were cost-prohibitive a year or two ago are now affordable.
Digital billboards are now being replaced by smart boards. These smaller digital screens are starting to appear in bus shelters, shopping centers, and other high-traffic areas. Smart billboards can be placed on any flat surface anywhere.
Where digital boards could be ignored, smart boards are reactive.
They change the content on the screen based on information about the viewers.
In the future, billboards and digital screens will make use of such technologies as cameras, radar, infrared, and antennae. These will provide the data to see and react to their environment.
How can bMedia Help?
There are a lot of reasons for choosing bMedia billboard advertising.
At least seven in ten Americans are aware of looking at and reading billboards as part of their daily commute.
Our company, stationed in Washington state, is an international provider of outdoor advertising.
The company provides traditional, digital, and trivision marketing alternatives.
Our outdoor marketing specialists use the latest technology to design a billboard that is unique to the needs and wants of each client. Our experienced professionals will help you create a billboard that will attract your target market. Together, you will decide on a format and location that will make your brand recognizable and desirable.
Using today’s technological advancement, our billboards are highly individual in both form and content. We’ll help you customize your billboard to deliver an appealing message to your niche market.
Give us an opportunity to demonstrate why the interest in outdoor ads increased by almost 5% last year.
We’re so sure you will be delighted by our compelling billboards that we’re offering a free trial.
For more information on how to make outdoor advertising an effective part of your brand recognition or to inquire about a free trial.