Advertising is so much more than just the act of getting your product out in front of your customers’ eyes – it’s an art that balances psychology, sociology, and style. It’s not only about promoting a product or service on a surface level. Your advertising also communicates your values as a business to whoever sees it. The decisions you make with regards to your advertising speak to who you are as a company.

Endless attempts have been made to create effective outdoor advertising that stands out among the rest. These types of media are made specifically for the place and time they are produced in. But what about those advertisements that simply wow with size and spectacle? That’s right, we’re talking about the biggest and most expensive billboard ever — but which billboard, exactly, is the ‘most expensive?’ We’ll talk about a relatively new, massive Times Square billboard cost as compared to the cost of one in Dubai that will blow your mind. Read on to find out more!

Traditional Billboards vs. Digital Billboards

When deciding what kind of OOH advertising methods you will choose to spend your money on, it is important to compare different mediums. Traditional billboards and digital billboards may seem similar, but they differ greatly in terms of cost, as well as in their pros and cons.

digital billboard cost

Traditional Billboards

Billboards are probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of out-of-home advertising. Traditional billboards are placed virtually everywhere where people might see them and where they are allowed. Consider how many billboards you see any time you drive on a highway or busy road!

The cost of a traditional billboard will depend greatly on its location, with billboards in rural areas being far less expensive than those in urban areas. That said, it’s important to consider the type of audience you are trying to reach with your advertising when deciding on a location. Traditional billboards are cheaper compared to digital billboards and are effective in reaching a large audience using a very simple message. Because traditional billboards use static images and text, they may not be as effective as digital billboards in grabbing consumers’ attention.

Traditional billboards:

  • Cost less
  • Capture a large audience
  • Have a relatively low cost per impression

Digital Billboards

While traditional billboards have been around for ages, digital billboards are now becoming more popular as technology advances. Digital billboard space is now more accessible than ever. Obviously, digital billboards are going to be more expensive to advertise with than traditional, static-image billboards. Digital billboards can be astronomically expensive in urban and high-traffic areas.

There are some benefits to using digital billboards, though. You can use the space to display video ads or different versions of one ad. Also, you don’t have to pay for your ad to be showing 24/7. Oftentimes, digital billboards will display different ads from different companies throughout the day. You can work out what times you want your ad to be showing to create the most cost-effective strategy.

It’s also normally a quicker and easier process to get your ad up on a digital billboard. Plus, digital billboards timing features allow for more cost-effective targeting. The dynamic, changing nature of digital billboards can also make them more effective than traditional static billboards.

Digital billboards:

  • Are dynamic and may be more effective
  • Allow for more specific targeting
  • Have shorter campaign durations

The Most Expensive Billboard

When we talk about the most expensive billboard in the world, there is a little bit of confusion about whether or not the prize will be taken by North America, or by the increasingly eminent Dubai, long considered a bastion of wealth and opulence in the Middle East. Both locations are known for over-the-top, flashy advertising that is meant to grab the attention of everyone passing by. For as far as the plain facts are considered, though, the most expensive billboard is one that went up in Times Square in the late part of 2014.

times square billboard cost

This Times Square billboard, recently unveiled in the heart of one of the busiest areas of New York City, is longer than a football field. It boasts an unreal 24 million pixel display to embolden the next generation of high-definition advertising. You can see the display dwarfing the crowds below.

Times Square Billboard Cost

So, what does this expensive billboard cost the advertisers of the world to use? A whopping 625k/week. Or, in other words, roughly ~$100,000 a day. The billboard is rented in 4-week periods, meaning that companies will be dropping about $2.5 million for a 4-week advertisement. While this price is pretty much unprecedented, the area sees hundreds of thousands of people a day – people who are likely to notice the gargantuan display that illuminates the marquee above them. For many advertisers, this is a worthwhile investment to make.

While this billboard is one of the largest and definitely the most expensive, it is not the largest in the world. It’s not even the tallest! The distinction of tallest belongs to another Times Square billboard, the uber-iconic vertical one at One Times Square. Meanwhile, the largest billboard in the world is in Saudi Arabia which is the length of almost three football fields!

A Possible Competitor

This Times Square billboard cost may be the highest world with its weekly rate of $625,000, but there is one billboard that has a higher cost in terms of potential. This billboard is none other than the Skydive Dubai billboard that debuted in front of the Burj Khalifa back in 2012, in conjunction with Denver-based Go Fast Sports. Sure, it’s in a prime location… But how does it manage to risk a cost higher than $625k?

The answer lies in the peculiar and creative nature of its presentation. While the billboard is relatively standard, it debuted with a display from a Go Fast jetpack rider – no doubt due to the ties that Go Fast Sports has to the Jetpack International. Since the advertisement debuted with the jetpack rider as a key part of its presentation, it can be considered to be something of a part of the ad itself. See a demonstration in the video here.

cost of billboards

The Times Square billboard cost pales in comparison to this spectacle.

It is estimated that for this billboard to operate at full capacity (that is to say, with a jetpack rider circling it) it would cost a completely unreal $1.3 billion a month to operate. For clarity, that’s operating 24/7, for a whole month. Even still, you might be wondering, how is it so expensive? The answer is that jet-packing is still an incredibly expensive hobby, taking an estimated $500 a second. Until we see those costs drop, this will be without a doubt the most (potentially) expensive billboard in the world.

Reflections On the Two

So here we’ve looked at the two most expensive billboards in the world. One is a massive screen in a key center of the city. Meanwhile, one is in an even more opulent location but requiring an unsustainable display to make the most of itself. They are certainly two different ways to spend, but which one is ‘better?’

Without a doubt, the Times Square billboard is the safer investment. It has a hefty cost, but a great location with a fantastic display. The things that make the Dubai billboard so expensive mostly come down to novelty. While worthy of conversation, these tactics are not a sustainable way to invest in your business. So if you see billboards out in the wild that echo these two, take the option that is the most stable! After all, there is a reason that brands like Google have already sought to place multi-month displays on a display like the one in Times Square.

That being said, it’s important to determine what kind of billboard will be most effective for your advertising strategy. If cost is no issue, or you think your ROI will be worth the higher cost, then a digital billboard in a high-traffic area might be the right choice for your business. If you want to save money and target people in less-populated areas, then a traditional static billboard in a rural area will be well worth your money. The great thing about coming up with your most cost-effective strategy is that there are so many different options to choose from.

Money Better Spent in Puerto Rico

While Times Square is certainly a great spot to advertise if you’ve got the money, advertising elsewhere is probably going to be the better investment. Take somewhere like Puerto Rico, for example. You’re obviously going to have a lower cost and still get lots of eyes on your ad. Tourism is one of Puerto Rico’s leading industries. In 2019 alone, 2.27 million international tourists traveled to Puerto Rico. Additionally, the pedestrian and vehicle traffic is high in density all across Puerto Rico, making billboards a very effective advertising method.

How bMedia Can Help

bMedia specialists in Puerto Rico can help you make the most of your investment in billboard advertising. bMedia will help you find the best location, craft the most effective message, and get more business for your brand. bMedia has extensive experience advertising in Puerto Rico and will be sure to help your business make the most of its advertising budget.

Speak with an outside advertising specialist today to create the most effective billboard strategy. For more information, contact bMedia group: experts in advertising in Puerto Rico.

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