Has Traditional Outdoor Advertising Matured

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    Oct 10, 2013
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Has Traditional Outdoor Advertising Matured Photo by Joson  Rego

When someone talks about conducting an ad campaign using outdoor media, the first word that comes to the listener's mind is 'Billboard'. This is because billboards and hoardings have made themselves the basic form of promotional exposure, for every advertising agency. There was a time when advertisers would booked the boards years before their campaigns even took off. Such was the power of billboards and hoardings. However, of late, many people notice outdated billboards at several prime locations, unlike the days when one would see new ads popping up almost every month. Moreover, several hoardings are now being quickly replaced by huge digital banners. This brings to light, the important question: Is the concept of traditional billboards and signs fading?

Billboards are still, the preferred form for outdoor advertising. However, with the evolution of technology, a new trend has emerged, and is now taking control of the way that they operate. Digital billboards are the latest means of outdoor promotional exposure. They are designed to display digital messages on the screen, which are constantly changing. It also provides the advertiser with the ability to present and update ads tied to specific events. For example: A local firm can offer a team's merchandise, within seconds of them winning a championship. Moreover, these billboards aren't as expensive as people expect them to be. Some communities have passed specific laws regarding the number and content of these billboards. Not every creative ad agency can afford to resort to digital means. However, it hasn't deterred these agencies from conducting digital outdoor campaigns, every now and then. This is why, people are convinced of the fact that several boards are going to digital means and the traditional paper ones are, gradually, fading out.

The ability to conduct a digital outdoor campaign using electronic billboards, depends on how the advertising company operates. Gone are the days when one would find the need to print and deliver faces to the billboard site, mount them to the board and repeat this process constantly, as newer faces emerged in the market. The overall functioning of almost every known full service advertising agency around, has changed. This is because, going digital has given them the ability to change ads instantly and present them, simultaneously, on multiple boards. They can also schedule the works of multiple advertisers on a single face, at the same time. These technological advantages have given billboards the ability to operate like other electronic media, such as TV, internet, radio, etc.

Whether an advertising agency or a simple end consumer, one cannot deny that digital billboards are a great and exciting medium for outdoor promotions. But, it is not the most effective means of advertising. A lot of people have an emotional connect with traditional displays. For example, a person without GPS would be able to figure his precise location, by viewing the billboard or hoarding placed on that street. This is why, an efficient, digital effort should be part of a total marketing and advertising mix, and should be able to deliver a message that appeals to all customers. Traditional billboards are still, a great medium for outdoor print advertising. However, the final result of the campaign, whether digital or not, depends entirely on the strength of your message.


Jason Rego is a reputed ad expert and the owner of an established full service advertising agency. His articles are both informative and enlightening.

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