Last week, I made the ten and a half hour drive from Austin to Memphis for Thanksgiving. On my drive, I marveled, like I often do on trips, that people still use billboards for advertising. Sure, I get advertising your general store or auto shop when it is a few miles away, but on a large-scale who thinks to use a billboard in their marketing plan? But, the more I think about it, the more I realize that certain billboards do stick out in my mind, which when considering a person is exposed to 5,000 ads per day (I bet being in the industry I see more) is pretty impressive.
Lamar Advertising, one of the big wigs when it comes to billboards brought in $1.29 billion of net revenue in 2014. That is insane! Obviously to bring in that much cash, advertisers are seeing a return. When you think about, the average person spends 20+ hours in their car every week. I’d say I spend more like 30 (?).The Arbitron National In-Car Study says that 71% of people “often look at messages on roadside billboards.” The study also gleaned some habits of viewers.
- 72% of billboard viewers frequently or sometimes shop on their way home from work
- 38% make the decision to stop at the store while on their way home
- 24% say they were motivated to visit a particular store that day
- 32% visited the retailer they saw on a billboard later that week
- 24% said they have immediately visited a business because of an outdoor ad message
These are some pretty good stats for static ads that people pass on their commutes or on road trips. Obviously, billboards are not for every business or product. I doubt we’ll ever see an Apple billboard, ever. But some companies have done some really cool things with billboards. If a the right choice for your needs, I say run with it. About offers a few tips on billboard advertising.
- Keep it short
- Make it noticeable but not distracting
- Don’t call for a direct response (i.e. no “call now”)
- Don’t make people think to hard
- The more the better
- Pictures > words
What companies or copy come to mind when you think billboards? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter!