Billboards That Work
There may be no advertising medium clients waste more money on than billboards. Don’t get me wrong. A good billboard pays for itself many times over. It’s just that too many graphic designers and clients ignore the basic lessons of what works on a billboard and what wastes money.
The Biggest Billboard Waste
By far the biggest waste DJP Design LLC sees on billboards is overly long messages. Remember that most billboards are trying to attract the attention of drivers, bikers, cyclists, or pedestrians. They’re speeding by your message. There’s not a chance they can read and absorb a long message. In fact, the billboard industry says people spend an average of six seconds reading a billboard. So, limit your billboard message to about six words or less. Also, if you have a complex message to deliver billboard advertising is not for you. Choose an advertising medium that can handle longer and more dense messages (direct mail is one).
Billboards work when they’re part of a campaign that includes other types of advertising. Think of billboards as a secondary advertising medium. They’re great for building your brand and reinforcing your message but don’t expect them to bring the business in all by themselves.
Like any type of advertising, billboards perform much better when you use more than one. Repetition works in getting your name or your message cemented in your audience’s mind. At DJP Design LLC we suggest you stay away from billboard advertising if you cannot afford to buy 3-5 billboards in the same geographic market. Sometimes less is more, but in the case of billboard advertising, more is more.
Know The Billboard Rating
Every billboard has a rating, called Gross Ratings Points (GRP). GRPs are based on traffic, visibility, location, size, and other factors. This rating gives you a score between 1 and 100. A rating of 50 means that at least 50 percent of the population in the area would see one of your billboards at least once a day. If you have only one billboard, your impact is obviously less than if you have four or five.
In recent years smart advertisers have pushed the boundaries of what you can do on a billboard. When you do something new or different you tend to attract more attention and that’s what billboards do well — draw attention. Yes, there are rules about not being too distractive, but DJP Design LLC has seen great billboards that have: simulated car crashes, three dimensions, billowing smoke, and people living on them. Surprisingly creative ideas like these are generally not much more expensive to produce. Most billboard expense comes from renting the space. Creativity can give you a greater return on your investment.
So here’s a fairly recent billboard that caught our attention in a good way. It’s actually part of a series. It’s eye-catching. The message is short and creative. And you know exactly what’s being advertised.
Do Follow Best Practices
We hesitate to tell you to be creative because some clients will put being creative above all other goals. Doing so can mean losing effectiveness by not adhering to graphic design best practices. One example is using contrasting colors. No matter how clever or creative a billboard is, if you don’t follow the practice of using contracting colors your billboard hard will be hard to read and you’ll lose marketing power. Another best practice is to always make sure your billboard message clearly relates to your product or service. Don’t grab attention with something creative that doesn’t logically relate to what you’re selling.
Call DJP Design LLC At 203.675.0430
There’s much more to creating effective billboards and making the most of your marketing expenditures. Call Dale at DJP Design LLC to discuss your next billboard project.
Watch for a coming post that explains why low-cost graphic design is too costly.
DJP Design LLC | Graphic Design Orange, CT
My 20+ year journey has allowed me to lead critical graphic design projects, serve major corporations at small design agencies, and build my own successful freelance graphic design business in Fairfield County, CT. From large corporations to single person shops, I work with all types of businesses and nonprofits. I’ve won many graphic design awards but prefer winning more visibility or sales for a client. Our capabilities include: Logo Design, Graphic Design and Consulting Services. If you think you might want to work with us call us at 203.675.0430, or email us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.