On a recent Sunday drive along Interstate 205, I drove by a lot of billboards.
Being in the billboard business, I always make it a point to check out the competition and see what other companies are doing. I want to learn what works and what doesn’t. What billboards I remember and what ones I don’t.
There was one billboard that I didn’t get. I couldn’t make out what the photo was and wasn’t sure what the headline meant. And it wasn’t in a place where I could slow down to try to figure it out because if I did, then you would be reading about a huge fender bender pile-up on Interstate 205.
Here’s the catch – if it was a good billboard, I would have gotten it right away. I would have known what the company was and understood the message.
When it comes to billboard advertising, especially for billboards along Interstates and Highways, you have to remember the driver is going anywhere from 55 to 75 miles an hour, depending on the speed limit restrictions and the driver.
That means as an advertiser, you have seconds to share your message. Your message needs to be quick to read, easy to understand, have a captivating photo or artwork and be memorable. Because what’s the point of a billboard, if it doesn’t cause people to take action and visit your business.
Here are a few tips on what to and not to do when it comes to creating a billboard:
- Don’t gross me out. Taking pictures of food is a challenge. A huge challenge. You need to make it look appetizing, not like something that has been sitting in the local dumpster for a few days or that your dog just threw-up. It is one thing to look at a photo on your computer screen and it’s another when it’s blown up to the size of a billboard. Be cautious when using photographs of food. Try to stay away from food pictures that have too much detail. Keep it simple. Use bright colors. And make sure the food looks appetizing.
- Don’t try to be too clever. The idea of a billboard is to attract new customers or inform your current customers. You advertising should be simple. A certain company that you all know has a billboard with a cup of coffee and six words –” Free coffee Mondays. Love Mondays again.” Simple message that is memorable.
- Use six words or less. A billboard is not the place to compose your novel or share every detail about your business. You need to pick six words or less that tell your story. A challenge? Try Toms Shoes with its simple message: “One for one.” Or Nike’s “Just Do it.”
- Don’t distract, get noticed. Having a billboard with a bunch of venomous snakes or Victoria Secret models would cause a distraction to drivers and maybe a few fender benders. You want people to notice you. Not for you to get noticed as the spot on the highway with all the fender benders.
- Most importantly, KEEP IT SIMPLE. I like billboards I can remember. That make me curious about the company or quickly inform me of something.
As a business owner, if you decide you want to advertise on a billboard, first take a drive where you would like your billboard ad to be placed. Look at billboards you like and notice what you don’t like.
And when you are ready to have your own billboard, give Oregon Marketing Group a call and we will help you create a memorable, remarkable billboard.