You already know what a billboard is. What you may not know is the main differences between the three types of billboards. Wait a minute? Three types of billboards.
Yes. As advertisers, we classify the three types of billboards for a few reasons (which we’ll get to). It’s not because we have nothing better to do with our time but because each type calls for a completely different creative approach.
Starting with the basics, this blog will guide you on the three types of billboards and everything you need to know.
Billboards: Starting With The Basics
Before we get started, let’s start with some trivia. Tell me, when do you think billboards started popping up?
The answer to that question is 1889 when the world’s first 24-sheet billboard was displayed at the Paris Exposition.
A billboard is a large advertisement to promote a product, brand, or campaign in a high-traffic area. Ideally, that area is trafficked by your target audience — plastic surgery in Beverly Hills or the latest tech in San Francisco.
Are billboards outdated? It depends on how you look at it.
Yes, they’ve been around forever, and there’s nothing sexy about them compared to newer strategies like A.I. or the latest Silicon Valley tech website.
By the end of this article, you’ll see why that’s actually an advantage to using billboards to drive customers and garner more exposure.
Reason numero uno.
Many consumers are indifferent to the deluge of digital and TV ads that dominate our online world. Ever noticed a five-year-old who can’t tie their shoe expertly skip an ad on YouTube or a mobile game?
Online ads are easy to ignore; you can close a window or put down your phone. Yet you can’t ignore a billboard. This makes out-of-home (OOH) billboard advertising a fundamental part of the modern marketer’s toolkit.
Here are some stats to back that up.
Studies by Statista and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America show that 90% of American consumers notice billboards and 71% feel that OOH ads stand out better than online advertising. That’s why out-of-home advertising currently boasts one of the highest ROIs in marketing, at $5.97 per $1 spent (OAAA).
What Is A Static Billboard Advertisement?
Static billboards are the traditional form of billboard advertising we grew up with. Static billboards consist of images, text, or other content posted onto a large surface to expose surrounding viewers to a brand, product, or campaign.
Businesses have used static roadside billboards for hundreds of years as the bedrock of their OOH campaigns. Even today, they currently make up nearly 75% of total OOH revenue
You’ll see these types of advertisements, most commonly on the road, along highways, freeways, and intersections targeting vehicular traffic. They usually use simple eye-catching graphics to draw the viewer’s attention.
The United Cooling Popsicle billboard showed a giant melting popsicle, wittily expressing the brand’s main point of value – keeping drivers’ frozen items from melting on hot summer days.
Although they might seem lo-fi, static billboards are much more accessible and ubiquitous than their digital cousins.
They’re the only billboards that offer a 24/7 presence, as most mobile billboard signs rotate between 6 or 7 ads at once.
This is due to the way static billboards are made. They’re usually printed on vinyl and then applied to the board, so they can’t be re-printed or removed without significant costs.
This may make your campaign less versatile but also prevent other companies from eating up your space.
Static billboards are the best outdoor advertising option for cash-poor companies, too.
If your marketing budget is small, you can get your message to your target audience without spending the amount you’d need to get space on a digital or mobile billboard.
They usually have standardized pricing and routine installations, so you can squeeze out longer periods of static billboard advertising.
However, today’s billboards aren’t just slices of cardboard on the side of an inner-city building or one of your major highways. Advances in technology mean that we can incorporate digital technology into our OOH campaigns to maximize their success. So, let’s explore the different outdoor advertising strategies available today.
What Is a Mobile Billboard Advertisement?
Mobile billboards are a form of out-of-home advertising on wheels. They are digital or analog billboards attached to a vehicle like a car, semi, or bus.
You commonly see this form of billboard advertising on buses because they stay in one geographical location.
For example, material handling and maintenance firm Global Industrial drove five mobile billboards along highways in the Orlando area in 2019.
Over a 14-week period, the company generated a massive 24.6 million impressions, specifically amongst the audience they wanted to target: Florida road users who were struggling with transporting goods.
This campaign ultimately affected every aspect of the business, even increasing their online click-through rates by 86%.
There are several advantages of mobile billboards over other types, too. The biggest of these is versatility.
Firstly, mobile billboards are far more versatile than other OOH methods due to digital technology, which lets you change the imagery without rewrapping or repasting.
Even more importantly, mobile billboards allow you to dynamically re-focus your campaign, in terms of location and audience. If you find you need to target a different customer, you can simply move your billboard to a location that’ll reach them.
The other major advantage of mobile billboards over static and digital kinds is better engagement. In a 2020 study, 57% of respondents were “highly engaged” with moving outdoor ads – significantly more than stationary ones.
This correlates with our scientific understanding of the human attention span; brain scans show that an ad that moves is biologically guaranteed to catch more eyeballs.
What is a Digital Billboard Ad?
Digital billboards are computer-controlled LED screens, fixed in one place but controlled off-premises to display ads (including still images, video, and animation) to consumers within sight range.
Digital billboard spaces are usually sold in slots, giving your ad up to 10 seconds of exposure every 60 seconds.
Swedish marketing agency Animal generated publicity in Stockholm with their innovative digital sign for Reebok. This outdoor ad incorporated a specially designed speed camera, which used real-time object recognition to calculate the pace of people running past it.
If anybody managed to run past the ad faster than 17 km/h, they won a brand-new pair of ZPump 2.0 shoes.
Digital billboards are like mobile billboards in several ways, so they have some of the same advantages. Digital videos and moving images can capture the same high engagement, and digital signs have a high level of versatility.
However, the Reebok example demonstrates the major advantage of billboard signs over mobile ones.
Digital billboards can be more technologically advanced, even interactive. Innovative, interactive marketing content is extremely effective; over two-thirds of marketers agree that audience engagement has increased since they’ve begun to use interactive content.
So, a digital sign could be an easy way to stage eye-catching and social-media-friendly stunts.
Even though you have to share space with other users, 10 seconds of unbroken captivation is worth far more than a daily glance.
Lastly, digital signs bring static billboards online. Pairing an out-of-home campaign with an online one can amplify the reach of both. Some digital signs can even send contextually relevant, proximity-based messaging to the viewer’s phone.
Seeing that 66% of smartphone users will take action (either search or social) after seeing an OOH ad, a digital billboard could be the best way to link up your online and offline campaigns.
Who Should You Contact To Get Started With Billboard Advertising In Your Area?
You can now see that billboards aren’t just making a comeback, they never left. Do you want to create a billboard campaign that displays your message or services? Then you need to work with a marketing team with the creativity to design a billboard that captures your target market.
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