Billboards, also known as billing boards in some parts of the world, have evolved significantly since serving as a canvas for cigarette companies. They’ve run the gamut from cigarette and rest stop ads to high-end digital billboards in megalopolis nerve centers like Times Square and cities like Singapore and Dubai.
So, clearly, they’re not going anywhere. In fact, as marketers team up with developers to dream up cutting edge innovations in advertising, billboard advertising is gearing up to become more ubiquitous than ever.
You don’t think so? Take a moment to reflect on your drive to work every day. Chances are you’ve run into at least 3 or 4 billboard ads that have either captured your attention or lingered behind in your mind. The latest blockbuster to come out of Hollywood? Check. A reminder to head to church? Or to a museum exhibit? Or the newest watering hole in the neighborhood? Check and check.
Billboard advertising is more effective than we’d like to admit, especially because billboard advertisers have a firm grip on location. If increasing exposure to your brand is your goal, then you can’t go wrong with giant messages in high traffic areas. And they certainly work; outdoor advertising grew by 4% in 2010.
Of course, what makes a billboard ad work is more than sheer size and placement. Creativity with implementation doesn’t hurt a brand. For instance, the Calvin Klein billboard, which is really an enormous image of a QR Code; or any of these billboard advertisements that truly know how to capture the attention of a distracted audience.
Or, to step up a rung on the evolution ladder, billboards that are take-aways from science fiction movies – designed with algorithms that learns spending behaviors of people in an environment and display highly targeted (and interactive!) advertising. Creepy? Depends on the lens they’re viewed with. Have a look at this video and let us know what you think!