How to Get the Most Out of Billboards

TF-Free-Checking-board0001-215x106Your agency has put together a media buy, which includes outdoor advertising.  The buyer has negotiated a 50-showing of paper boards for a month for a fantastic price.  No brainer, right?  We say not so fast.  Perhaps it’s an effective use of dollars, or perhaps it’s not.  A sale is not a sale if what you’re purchasing isn’t what you want or need.  After all, billboards are not all alike.

Every day you are exposed to hundreds of as billboards.  How many do you remember?  If you’re like most, at best, it’s two or three.  When you’re spending precious dollars from your already-too-tight budget, don’t you want your billboard to be one of the two or three that people notice?

There are two main factors that contribute to the memorability of a billboard.  The first is location.  There are billboards that we call “wow” boards — those that hit you right in the face as you approach or come around the corner.  They are the boards that just can’t be missed, no matter how hard you try.  While many agencies simply buy billboards by traffic count and pictures, we personally drive and choose every location.  After all, we treat our client’s money as if it’s our own, getting the most out of each and every dollar.  For our clients who use outdoor on a long-term basis, we drive the areas and create a wish list of boards, and then put backup contracts on them until they become available.

But location is only part of the equation.  The second factor in creating memorable, effective outdoor advertising is just what you would think.  It comes down to the creative.  Even if you don’t have the sexiest a product or service, the idea is to make it pop.  Consider colors, for instance.  A board with a colorful background and white type will always pop more than a board with a white background.  And don’t forget to keep the copy simple.  No one driving 40mph is going to read or remember a cluttered board with 10 words in the headline.

Finally, the use of 3D or extensions can go a long way.  But this is not always possible, especially if you’re trying to cover a large area with boards.

Chick Fil A is one example of how outdoor can be an extremely effective medium for promotions or brand building.  Like everything else in life, it all comes down to how much effort you put into it.

The Burmeister Group is an Atlanta advertising agency known for intelligent marketing solutions and memorable creative.