The costs, sizes and options to consider.
Billboard advertising can be found on highways, motorways, expressways and major A roads around the world.
The US was the real originator of the format, as the location of restaurants and other attractions were in prime positions to advertise on in high traffic areas.
Billboard advertising can now be seen in areas where high density exposure to consumers is at an optimum level and this system provides a wonderful opportunity for regional and national goods and brands.
Although billboards are large structures, it is very important for the advertiser to use the space wisely. Most advertising is located in areas where the traffic has only 1 or 2 seconds to take in the message, so the design and structure needs to be right.
The largest billboards are called bulletins and these create the most impact at around 14 x 48 feet, but can be smaller in certain areas. This format is mainly used for vehicular traffic and they offer the best visible impact and customized options for the advertiser. They are usually sold individually as part of a rotating programme between certain locations at different intervals. Think of them like a banner rotating on a website across multiple pages to reach different users and visitors.
Posters are also a type of billboard at around 12 x 24 feet, but they are usually aimed at commuter, pedestrian and residential traffic areas. These are usually sold on what they call a 'showing' level which is designed to reach a percentage of the market on a particular day or week.
A lot of billboards are made of PVC vinyl sheets, although a lighter and safer (non toxic) alternative is polyethylene which also has a smaller carbon footprint than PVC, so seems to be better all round.
Around 15,000 billboards are erected each year in the US alone and many groups around the world are complaining that an excessive number of trees and plants are being destroyed by billboards. Added to this some billboards are seen as visual pollution and are seen as actually being a threat to the safety of motorists and even pedestrians in certain high traffic areas. However, research by some leading universities have found this not to be the case and there are many other distractions that we CAN CONTROL that really are killing people on our roads each year.
A typical campaign on a bulletin or large display won't be cheap, but you must consider the massive impact on a huge passing audience. Even some of the smaller billboards are so well placed that they can represent great value. If you have a local business at the next junction of a main road, then you should consider a billboard on a location somewhere before people get off - your 'passing trade' could be significantly increased with this format.
All in all, billboard advertising is here to stay and can be a great way of getting your message out to masses of relevant people when the timing might just be right.
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