Monthly Archives: July 2013

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When Digital Billboards Die

Category : Billboard News

-July 25th, 2013

One would think that digital billboards take a bite out of our environment and adding to the carbon footprint of the outdoor ad phenomenon. The truth is, wile digital billboards contain heavy metals, aluminum and a large amount of production materials in their deaths they retain serious value- to recyclers.

Across this nation there are up to 400,000 billboards. Paper and glue are giving way to polyethylene large-format printed materials.

In ten years around 2,400 billboards have been converted to digital displays containing LED lights. Advertisers love the flexibility, and government is using this new communications platform to deliver emergency messages and to find fugitives and abducted children.

Like all electronics, digital billboards wear out eventually. Many regulators, the billboard industry leaders and anti-sign critics wondered about the fate of digital billboards once their pixels had died or the electronics blinked out.

In 2010, an anti-sign group based in Philadelphia said that digital billboards have “an abundance of difficult-to-recycle, discarded technology.”They even circulated a report, “Illuminating the Issues” by Gregory Young, which featured a photo of out-of-date cathode-ray-tube monitors with the caption: “Could digital signage one day face a similar fate?”

The group on Philadelphia was using scare tactics which turned out not to be true at all.

“Recycling is more practical than the landfill,” sums up Rod Wardle, vice president at digital billboard manufacturer Young Electric Sign Co. (YESCO) in Logan, Utah. “The landfill is not a smart man’s option.”

The outdoor advertising industry has learned that almost the entire unit can be recycled. Some parts are reused, and a fraction—less than 2 percent—is disposed of at certified facilities.

“These signs weigh up to 9,000 pounds,” Wardle says. “It’s more expensive to take a digital billboard to a landfill than it is to recycle it.”

In a real world example there was a digital billboard in St. Louis that was killed by a tornado on April 22nd. Crews dismantled all the components and hit the market.

  • Aluminum = $2000.00 Sixty-four percent of a digital billboard is aluminum
  • Stainless steel and copper wiring was bought (non disclosed) by local recyclers
  • LED modules were separated from their plastic (you know what happens to plastic)
  • Fan assemblies were scrapped as build metal and sold for spare parts.

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Bus Stop Prank Photoshops People Live to Promote adobe’s Creative Days

Category : Billboard Successes

-By Mediapoondi

Photoshop Live - Street Retouch Prank
Adobe launched a fun bus stop prank at unsuspecting people waiting at bus stops to promote its Adobe Creative Days.


The prank involved taking pictures of people live and photoshopping them in a funny manner while they waited at the bus stop. As part of the prank Adobe’s Creative Days hash tag was also promoted (#CreativeDay).

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FBI Turned to Billboards to Aid in Boston Bombing Suspect Searc

Category : Billboard Successes

A nation was devastated and afraid. Bombing suspects had been identified. The search was on. So how did the FBI get the word out for information on their whereabouts quickly and to as many as people at one time as possible? Along with social media, internet, and press: digital billboards.


Digital BostonABC News reported the use of digital billboards used to update photos of the suspects that are believed to have been the perpetrators of Monday’s tragic bombing.

With thousands of people passing by these billboards daily, it can be an extremely effective method for notifying the public of the dangerous situation. The FBI updated billboards in surrounding cities and states in the event that the suspects attempted to flee: “[I]mages also were on billboards in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.”


The FBI used digital billboards to post photos of the suspects, a tactic that helped to spread the awareness of the situation in the quickest way possible. It also helped to make the suspects aware of how quickly the FBI was able to work to identify them. As reported by ABC News, “‘[L]ong story short: The billboards are working and working well. And that means a safer America for all,’ the FBI wrote on its site at the time.”

Digital 2 Boston The advantage of digital billboards is that they can be updated as quickly as news is released. Though having “Wanted” signs flashing is not the optimal use for billboards, it does help to be able to send out a message quickly. Keeping the people aware of the developing situation was also helpful when the search began, as it kept people out of the way and safe when things were so uncertain.


The use of the digital billboards is an up and coming form of outdoor advertising. Billboards have been around for many, many years. Though digital billboards are not common in all areas of the country, they are helpful when news or a message needs to be spread quickly.


Billboard advertising is seen by thousands of people on a daily basis. Locals and out of town travelers can be updated and informed with a simple billboard message; or in this case, photos.