Billboard Ads: A Challenging Yet Lively Medium

By Evan LaVigne

Digital media has transitioned itself to the forefront of the advertising modern world. This can be seen with the increased use of SEO, banner advertisements, and social media. However, aside from the hodgepodge of the online techniques, there is still a potent force of physical advertising media out in front of the eyes of consumers.

One such example is billboard advertising.

photo 1 billboard

Billboards come in a vast amount of sizes ranging from Wallscapes that are painted and attached to the side of buildings, to the typical 14-foot by 48-foot bulletin located on the side of the highway.

They can also include different mediums, such as: being a digital screen capable of changing into various advertisements, a Wallscape billboard taking use of our manmade concrete jungles, and even billboard’s with “3D” type elements. Advertisers use all of these eye-catching and new formats to spread their promoted brand.

Billboard advertisements are large, not only in physical stature but also in popularity amongst the states. We have all seen them, and we can probably recall a few memorable ones as well.

What’s the hype?

The exciting side of the billboard industry is its chance of being a unique and creative outlet for a company. In order to pop out from the rest of the around half a million billboards in the United States, it must catch the eye of the consumers.

This is where the creative team can really be, well, creative. They must decide whether or not they want to rely on a large catchy slogan or sum up their message with a simple picture and brand name. They could also choose to use an eye-catching and shocking image to captivate millions of Americans who drive on that particular highway every day.

Excellent examples

First off, let’s take a look at a brand called Ecofill Ink Cartridges whose billboard campaign was produced by Ogilvy & Mather Colombia Bogotá.

billboard 2

As the images imply, the billboards showed how running out of ink can be detrimental at the wrong time!

Another campaign that locals from Grand Rapids, MI might remember, involved Gordon Food Services and was managed by Extra Credit Projects, a local Grand Rapids agency.

billboard 3.jpg

This campaign utilized a timed strategy with the billboard first only displaying a piece of produce. Then weeks later a second picture took the original’s place, showing the fruit bitten or cut into. Predominately displayed along with the fruit were the GFS logo and the slogan, “More than you’d expect.” This was quite an interesting billboard campaign that was successful in creating social media and a general buzz about who the advertiser could be for weeks.

Billboard advertising is an impactful force in today’s advertising arsenal. While it has been viewed as possibly being an exhausted format, it continues to innovate itself by transitioning in various ways. From new digital billboard screens to 3D effects, the billboard industry is a lively yet challenging medium that continues to flex the minds of creative advertisers today.

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