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The Billboard Advantage

Why billboard advertising is becoming increasingly popular...

Despite the overwhelming popularity of billboards in America in the 20th century, until the start of the 1990s, most were hand-painted and the quality compromised over time. Paint became faded and cracked, wood worn and chipped.[1]

However, recent advancements in computer technology have once again brought about a revolution in the outdoor billboard industry. Vinyl has replaced plywood and software design has ensured the perfect replication of advertisements and the cost-effectiveness of this advertising medium.

As knowledge of billboard outdoor advertising has increased in South Africa, so has its popularity

Compare, for example, the cost of printing and distributing 30,000 pamphlets in a once-off drop with the monthly cost of a billboard reaching the same number of consumers in just one day. The pamphlet method may come out slightly cheaper but there's a huge difference.

The billboard advertisement is displayed seven days a week, 24 hours a day...

The pamphlet is at best seen once before going into the recycle bin but the billboard advertisement is displayed seven days a week, 24 hours a day. If we assume half the amount of traffic on the weekend, the billboard advertisement isn't seen 30,000 times but 750,000 times in the course of the month. And that's assuming only one occupant per car!

Another obvious consideration is the benefit to the environment by saving on printing costs. As this becomes a growing concern, people are steadily moving away from print to online information. But online advertising has its issues too. The internet is more crowded than ever before and companies lost in the noise are losing their competitive advantage online. The correct placement of key words is no longer sufficient to ensure high web rankings and hard work needs to be invested in search engine optimisation to ensure decent exposure.

Many people channel flip or fast forward through TV ads

Another advantage that billboards have over radio and television is that they can't be easily switched off. Many people channel flip or fast forward through pre-recorded TV ads but it's far harder to not notice an eye-catching billboard with a powerfully condensed message.

Outdoor also reaches those people who aren't necessarily looking for a product and who don't follow traditional communication channels. A billboard serves as an introduction to consumers who are unaware of a company and provides an ongoing reminder of the company's products and services.

So in summary, outdoor billboard advertising is

one of the most cost-effective advertising mediums
as it
delivers your message around the clock, every day of the month
reaching potentially millions of consumers in a month
an uncluttered, uncompetitive, open environment
creative & condensed advertisements which force awareness
and which
can't be turned off, skipped through, turned down or ignored
building and strengthening brand recognition most needed in a recession.

Creative, eye-catching ads force awareness and build brands.

"Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals. "
[David Ogilvy]


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