We all come to recognize the importance of billboard advertising and how profitable it can be for a company to advertise on the billboard. But there's a new trend in the billboard industry that I think is fantastic. They're Eats Billboards. They first started popping up in New York and now have taken other regions as well.
What am I talking about? Well, when a billboard is waiting to be rented it can be an eye sore. When there are no ads they are just blank papers held high for everyone to see. We look, because the brightness of the white attracts our eyes but we see nothing. If they aren't white they can sometimes be just the wood or dark backing. This is ugly too. Though it might not attract as much attention, it is still ugly. It also looses the glances of the regular audiences who see it everyday in passing. And putting up a simple sign saying, "Put your Ad Here" is ugly and is as effective as bringing hot dogs to an Iron Chef contest. You are bringing food but you won't win any hearts. And the billboard companies know this. They don't want their boards to be hideous or annoying because a billboard is like real-estate. They hold value.
You also can't keep ads on the boards after their contracts are up because this diminishes their value as well.
So what is being done about it? A creative ad campaign is afoot. The boards are covered with images that are pleasing while they wait formal ad contracts. What a great way to treat a billboard while it's off dusty. The billboards do not mention any company or product.
One board has the words '"The Big," then has a picture of cheese. Another board says, “Cool As A,” followed by a photo of a cucumber slice. Then there's my favorite, “Easy As” in gigantic letters followed by a 12-foot-high picture of a slice of pie.
One Van Wagner billboard had a photo of a giraffe next to the word “Reach” another one had a whale with the word “Splash.” Liam Tomlinson, a creative director at Van Wagner, said that the animal campaign, was loved by children, while parents were confused. They had tried to figure out what zoo or museum was behind it though it was just a space holding billboard with appeal that added to the value of the billboard.
Outdoor ads should be big with bold colors and images and have three to five words. It also helps to use neutral imagery so as not to offend anyone while leaving a smile on people’s faces. So while billboard ads are being created these boards look pretty good.
It's important to know that the ad reps and potential advertisers know these signs mean the space is available. This is a win win for us All!