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How does billboard advertising work and why is it important?

How does billboard advertising work and why is it important?

Billboard advertising also known as outdoor advertising is anything done outside to catch people’s attention. An example is billboard advertising, but there is a slew of other options as well, many of which feature virtual media.

As a marketer myself, I understand that outside marketing and marketing extends the definition of this layout to include a slew of factors you might have never even considered:

  • The famous “Carrie” coffee shop advertising stunt was an example of experiential advertising.
  • Logos and images of advertisers can be found on branded cars
  • Buying a bus shelter or a park bench to advertise
  • Before watching your movie, you may encounter promotions at theaters.

There are countless examples of billboard commercials. In this day and age, you can find a variety of examples, which brings us back to in part to our opening question.

Billboard advertising is important for a number of reasons?

There are a number of ways to answer that question, which we’ll explore in-depth. But the point is this: a crowded media landscape envelops us today, so advertisers are increasingly struggling to stand out in increasingly crowded media environments. Enter billboard advertising.

Billboard Ads - What Do They Look Like?

You can find billboard advertising on pretty much anything outside the home.

While some may dispute whether mobile advertising falls under the definition of billboard advertising — especially since many people use their mobile devices outside their house — the accepted definition of billboard advertising places more emphasis on the medium used for the advertisement than the device used for distribution.

For example, stickers advertising "Despicable Me" attached to bananas would be considered billboard advertising. On the other hand, an ad appearing while you browse ESPN.com on your phone at the grocery store will not.

Typically, billboard ads are tailored to the particular format they will appear on to be more effective. For instance, you will see a different advertisement for the same movie on the side of a bus as opposed to a billboard.

Billboard advertising relies on imagination for success. It's about seeing things in a new way and helping people to notice them, too. Such an approach means bananas become the perfect vehicles for displaying banana-colored minions from a kids’ cartoon.

Billboard Advertising: The Top Forms

Ultimately there are many ways of advertising on billboard media. You could spend an hour trying to list them all, but that would still leave out some since practically anything can become a billboard channel. However, the following are the top categories of billboard advertising:

  • In addition to traditional bulletin billboards and digital billboards, there are also mobile billboards.
  • Advertising on building walls, wall capes are the largest form of billboard advertisement available.
  • Transport: Buses, trains, subways, cabs, and other transport-focused advertisements.
  • Advertising is typically placed on bus shelters, kiosks, benches, parking garages, street poles, bathrooms, I.D.s, and other street furniture.
  • In addition, beach advertising includes trash can advertisements, floating billboards, surfboards, and airplane banner tows.
  • Ads in trains, train stations, and within trains are used as rail advertising.
  • Advertising inside and outside of a taxicab is known as taxi advertising.
  • Film Advertising: Pre-film advertising and in-theater advertising.
  • Film Advertising: Before- and during-movie advertisement.
  • Occasionally referred to as hand-painted billboards, mural advertising features hand-painted advertisements on a wall.
  • Advertising in Airports: Screens, Backlit Diorama, Spectacular, Mini Spectacular, Banners, and Digital Video.
  • There are other categories as well, such as ambient and guerilla campaigns.

Billboard Advertising and Digital Advertising

With the rise of digital media, billboard advertising has gained a whole new dimension. By incorporating social media elements into a campaign, it can increase its reach far beyond the original target audience, as experienced in Coachella's recent promotion with Lady Gaga, operated by DASH TWO.

  • Through Bluetooth devices, you can ping people.
  • QR codes can be used for instant access to a client’s website.
  • The billboard can be interactive by allowing passers-by to play a game.

Almost half of all out-of-home advertising will be digital by 2020. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, it's growing at a compound annual rate of 9.4 percent, and by that time, it will make up almost half, or 46 percent, of all billboard ads.

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