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The Digital Billboard: An Advertising Revolution

Some municipalities are trying to ban billboards outright, from the concern that they’re too distracting for drivers. Yet, the evidence suggests this isn’t a concern. According to a survey conducted from Opinion Research Corporation, eighty percent of adults in this country believe digital billboards aid motorists in receiving important information, along with a comparable majority who are opposed to banning them. In the view of Jimmy McAndrew, CEO of Magic Media, “over time, all signs, all billboards, will go digital.” Meanwhile, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America forecasts that these new billboards will grow at a rate of several hundred per year. This is simply the way things are going.

Of course, this common wisdom hardly guarantees a cost-effective advertising campaign for your company. Many of the old billboard rules still apply: All text should be a minimum 18″ tall in an easily readable font. Dynamic, contrasting colors and other attention-getting strategies are a must. And, of course, location, location, location. It all points to the central premise of advertising and branding:

A Versatile, Cost-Effective Advertising Strategy
All that said, there are also new rules and strategies that speak specifically to the digital billboard. Although they are invariably more expensive to implement than the conventional type, the digital billboard is in many ways the safer bet. When designing a conventional billboard, you must essentially pull your hair out trying to find the perfect message and visual cues, and the billboard’s ultimate success is likely still a crap shoot. Plus, if the billboard turns out to be a dud, you’re back to square one.

With a digital billboard, however, you can create multiple billboard presentations, whittle them down to the most promising few, and try them out either on trial-and-error basis or a daily or even hourly rotation. It also makes for a fairly easy cost-sharing mechanism. Rather than pay for a 24/7 billboard display, you can buy a timeshare at a location with rotating ad displays. Indeed, the growing consensus is that the digital billboard is one of the most cost-effective advertising strategies available to companies today. It’s not just the Internet that’s putting newspapers out of business. Most likely, you can make a month-long ad buy at 5-15 billboard locations for roughly the same cost as a full-page, single-day news ad.

The Advantage of the Digital Billboard
If you’ve ever been to the Vegas strip, you don’t need to be told that digital billboards are more effective visual displays than conventional billboards. Once the sun sets, the difference is simply jaw-dropping (although top-notch digital displays have external sensors that make adjustments for night and day, sunny afternoons and overcast skies). This increased adaptability mean even help mitigate the controversy surrounding these billboards, as these sensors and brightness controls may allow communities to establish brightness standards for displays that reduce the concerns of driving distractions.

That said, not all digital billboards have the same incredible features. From dimensions to pixilation to the overall setup and quality of the billboard itself, you need to do all due diligence to make sure you get what you’re paying for. In some sense, the digital advantage for billboards is one of balance, rather than excess. With a clear, bright visual display, you don’t need to get overly clever with your message just to grab someone’s attention. Stick to the bare essence of your message, let the digital display do the heavy lifting, and the results should speak for themselves.

Digital Billboard Software
Needless to say, digital content doesn’t create itself. You need a software program to develop, deliver, and run your ad. Here’s where Four Winds Interactive comes in. We provide software programs that offer incredible reliability, security, and performance. You can design new displays and change them over from a remote location. You can establish a program to run one ad in the morning and another in the afternoon. The applications are endless, but the guarantee and customer support from Four Winds Interactive is constant. So let us show you what our software can do for your digital billboard advertising.

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