The Digital Billboard Formula

Have you noticed an increasing trend in your city with these digital billboards?  Animation on an illuminated sign offering state of the art advertising, sounds like the future doesn’t it?  Hardly.  If you haven’t noticed, these signs are popping up all over the place, a friend and I counted off the top of our heads how many there are in Regina, sixteen. (to see them all click here) sixteen billboards all claiming to offer thousands of “views” per day depending on the location.

With the city being saturated with these digital boards paired with the difficulty to measure their effectiveness, paying clients to fill the spots are becoming sparse.  So who’s advertising on these boards?  The surrounding businesses.  Count the next time you’re at a red light how many ads show up that are for business in the vicinity of the sign.  It’s astounding.

So if the sign owners aren’t making the money and it’s still not a good medium for your company to buy time on, who wins?  Obviously the sign manufacturer’s stock is rising.

Now I would hate to complain about this phenomenon without offering a solution.  If you still want one of these signs we put together the perfect formula.  If you’re going to buy one ensure you put it up in the area with the most businesses around.  Find the part of your city that is saturated with businesses and put up a digital board, that way you will ensure getting the most out of the sign.

For more information on why I don’t like this as a medium read Martin Lindstrom’s Buy-ology.

7 replies
  1. Sebastien
    Sebastien says:

    Great article Jeff! However, a better approach may have been to compare the number of digital boards to the number of static billboards. I believe there is more then 15. At that point a person could weigh out the advantages and liabilities of each medium. This kind of “research” would have been beneficial in adding a more realistic and informed approach to your article. Keep up the good work.

  2. Jeph
    Jeph says:

    Great comment Sebastien but I think static billboards are somewhat in the same category as the digital ones, an interruption to get my attention to communicate an idea. Both are difficult to measure rate of effectiveness and the billboard stats that the agency’s are selling ad-space on are flawed, still based on number of views not number of views turned into leads. There is a place in our world for mass media but it is slowly shrinking. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Jay Roach
    Jay Roach says:

    We’ve observed two benefits of digital sign ads:

    1. Brand awareness. People love watching these ads. And for clients who have brand awareness as a priority, this works. Think Houston Pizza.

    2. Event promotion. I’ve heard from a few promoters that the digital ads serve as great reminders about upcoming events, which has been reflected in turnout #’s. Think Brandt Centre.

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