The Power of Outdoor Billboards


The outdoor billboard business is growing stronger by the day showing the power of this version of Out of Home advertising. While the traditional static billboards are nearly flat in sales for the past several years, the amount spent on digital billboards is growing.

The growth of outdoor billboards in 2017 was at 2.7%. In this same year digital advertising took the top spot from TV ads. The total amount spent annually on advertising worldwide was $31 billion. 7.6 billion of that was spent in the US. The market share of outdoor billboards in the advertising world is about 13% of most companies advertising budget.

It is true that the mobile then internet is now the preferred places for companies to advertise, but in third are outdoor billboards in terms of growth last year. They are ahead of advertising in theaters, TV, magazines and news papers, but more money is still spent on TV ads.

What makes outdoor billboards relevant is the number of daily views they receive each and every day. Unlike magazines and news papers that have to be purchased for people to see the ads, outdoor billboards are free to view, up and operating 24 hours a day.

With more thought going into just what ads should be in specific locations, the mass media approach of using outdoor billboards is changing. The fastest growing section is the digital outdoor billboard. With the ability to change the ads on average every 8 seconds, the target audience can change instantly attracting more attention by those passing by.

The determining factor into who should advertise where is by just who is passing by. The digital world advertises on billboards close to schools and shopping centers. Restaurants advertise near one of their locations on highways while car manufactures are everywhere on the freeways.

For the outdoor billboard owners, they rent on average 73% of their space to local business with 18% to promote national brands. 9% of the advertisements are for public service messages with a small percentage donated for causes determined by the billboard owners. By knowing this the placement of the billboards is easier so the target audiences can be attracted.

The posting of social messages are also growing in popularity. Just like the 4 Billboards of Wichita and the 3 billboards in the New York area. These are generally only short term like the ones in NY, but the income for that month for the billboard owner was $14,000. This is higher than the national average.

Starting out in the Out of Home advertising business sector all begins with the purchase of just one outdoor billboard. This type of business is almost assured to provide a steady stream of income now and into the future.

The power of the outdoor billboard business is still thriving in the digital era and does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. No matter how much the digital world expands, it will never replace the real world. Humans need the real world to live, eat, breathe and sleep.

The New Popularity of Billboards

The new popularity of billboards is continuing this year. This simple and effective way of using mass media to get a message out is now becoming trendy.

Just like the movie the 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri and the 4 billboards of Wichita, The latest posting involves a direct message at the corner of 31st Street and 7th Avenue in NYC.

The simple message is ‘23 James, King of New York? Prove it.’ The placement of the billboard is near the Madison Square Gardens where the NY Knicks play their home games.

This advertisement is directed at LeBron James who is currently a member of the Cleveland Cavilers. He has already stated he is looking to join a new team in the NBA.

The new billboard in New York was paid for by fans of the New York Knicks. The group that posted the outdoor billboard has an Instagram account @NYCAdsCo.

The ad was posted in hope of enticing LeBron to join their NBA team in New York. This is the fifth time recently the use of billboards has been used involving sports with a direct and pointed message.

The Ann Arbor Bank posted 4 billboards urging their team on in the final four of the NCAA basketball tournament last month.

The use of mass media by professional teams is not new. What is new is the use of fans of professional teams and other organizations to use outdoor billboards to attract a specific player to their team.

The power of this approach is far greater than just what an average billboard provided in the past. This specific billboard was noticed by the TV news media and is posted on social networks on the World Wide Web. This proves that the use of billboards is attracting more attention than before.

With exposure on multiple platforms, the message is getting out to the public and to who the message is direct too. Not only is the message for LeBron but also his agent.

NY is the fourth city in America using outdoor billboards to persuade Lebron to either remain with his current team of move to a new city. There have already been billboards asking him to go to Philadelphia and Los Angeles, along with the people of Akron who want him to stay where his is at.

This trend of using outdoor billboards is attracting more attention in the uses of this mass media outlet. Just like all trends, they start with a spark. The movie 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri was the spark and now the positive aftermath is following.

The world is noticing the billboards they pass with a new light. As this old but trendy way of getting a message out grows more popular, more people will be turning to it for their message. With coverage on the social media outlets and possibly on the TV news, the old limit of only those passing the outdoor billboard as the recipients of the message is no longer valid.

4 Billboards of Wichita

Just like in the movie 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, there are the real life 4 Billboards of Wichita, Kansas. Just like in the movie, the theme is seeking justice for a life lost and the lack of proper police investigation into the death.

The picture of what the billboards say was posted on the local news channels Twitter page of KWCH12.

The black letters on red background might be hard to read, but could have been used to signify the blood and then death of an innocent man. The billboards read “ANDY FINCH IS DEAD. IF YOU BELIEVE IN JUSTICE, IT’S TIME TO FILE CHARGES.” The color scheme is the same as the now famous movie.

The four billboards are posted in all four directions of the compass on and near Rock Road in Wichita. They have garnered attention even with the March Madness Tournament going on which Wichita State was part of until their defeat by Marshal.

The reason the billboards have been posted is because after 3 months of no action by the police for pressing charges against one of their own who gunned down an innocent man.

Andy Finch was an unarmed 28 year old who died in his front yard after being shot by an unnamed police officer as the reports have stated, when the police were responding to a swatting hoax. Andy Finch was just a victim of the swathing hoax and had nothing to do with it, yet he is dead and no accountability by the person that gunned him down has been taken by the local police department.

The billboards where posted by The website states it is owned by members of the community in Wichita. No names other than the victim, the criminal that made the prank phone call and the police officer identified by witnesses from the scene of the killing.

Only time will tell just how effective the 4 billboards of Wichita will be. It has been three months now since the incident and now the billboards are up and attracting attention. This will apply pressure to the police department, but so far police claim no fault in the incident.

In the movie it took months for before the sheriff took action and that was when he was on near death. So far 3 months have elapsed since the killing of Andy Finch occurred. It has only been days since the billboards went up. Will the country react?

If history repeats itself, this police officer that gunned down Andy will just be reassigned to another area because the unarmed man had no political influence or wealth. It is very common. Justice for innocent victims of the police killings is rare.

Hopefully the 4 billboards of Wichita will make a difference.

The billboards from the movie and from Wichita are about police violence and inaction in solving or resolving crimes, but this same approach can be used for other purposes.

Outdoor billboards are the oldest and most effective mass media advertising that will be seen by the most people of any kind of ad to date. If you have a message, this approach will get you noticed.

Sources: KWCH12, Huffington Post