Billboards are everywhere and we, most likely, see hundreds of billboard ads during a typical week, but retain just a few. Who can remember all those ads anyway? We remember relevant ads to us and ads that stand out and communicate well. Outdoor ads and marketers are becoming more competitive and it’s important to know a few rules to make your advertising as effective as you can. We’ve compiled six strategies to ensure your billboard has the highest chance of being noticed, and more importantly, remembered.
1: Billboards need to keep to Six Words or Less. (Yes a web address counts as a word
Most people are on the move when reading billboards and don’t have a ton of time to absorb the message. That gives us around six seconds to read a billboard. Conclusion: six words is all you should use to get your message across. It is possible to increase this a few words depending on location of the board, but as a rule, less is more effective here. Keeping a message this simple is tough, but small paragraphs will not be read so why spend money on crafting a paragraph. That means, if you have a complex brand, product or service, stay away from billboards or have our marketing team craft a pithy solution for your message. We have experience in creating INTERESTING ads that drive traffic to websites for more information.
2: Make a Positive Impact, Not a Huge Distraction.
Billboards are aimed at drivers, bikers, cyclists or pedestrians. This creates a dilemma for the advertiser; get noticed, but be responsible. You don’t want to cause any major, or even minor, accidents. The billboard “Hello Boys” Wonderbra ads caused havoc. Drivers were so attracted by Eva Herzigova’s cleavage that they crashed into poles, medians and even other. So, while distraction is paramount in many ads, there is a fine balance with billboards.
3: Billboards are Not the Best Time for Direct Response.
Billboards covered in phone numbers and website addresses may miss the mark. A hard number to remember or a long website address will not be remembered by 99.9% of the people who actually read the billboard. A billboard is a secondary advertising medium. It’s best as a brand-building and support campaign, but it cannot do all the heavy lifting. We have 800 numbers that will be remembered and we can suggest a web address that will link to your site.
4: More Billboards, More Better.
One billboard is not cheap. But it’s also not the most effective either. Billboards are a mass market medium, and they need support. We’ve found that you want more than one to get as many eyes on them as possible. Every billboard is rated, called Gross Ratings Points (GRP) . It’s based on traffic, visibility, location and size. This rating gives you a score between 1 and 100. 50 means that at least 50% of the population would see one of your boards at least once a day. If you have only one board, your impact chances are less than if you have three or four. You really want a 100 score, but those boards are not cheap.
6: Show it, Don’t Say It.
Be creative with your billboard layout. A flat billboard is the standard, but it doesn’t have to be flat. You can go 3D, have moving parts and even have your billboard animate. There is no reason that it just has to be a large, simple print ad. You have an opportunity to do something eye-catching and memorable, so do it. If done right, you’ll create additional press, for free. A recent example of that is this simulated crash billboard that got major coverage from multiple news stations. The price of the 3D board was more than the cost of regular artwork, but it paid for itself many times over with PR impressions.