In today’s constant outcry about advertising and how are we going to monetize this and get a return on that, something came to mind that many seem to pay little attention to these days, outdoor advertising. You know those huge poster boards that dot the main highways and byways of our great land, billboards.
I have disclosed that I am an ad and commercial freak and I include billboards in my periphery. I notice when new ones go up, old ones come down and when the graffiti appears.
With that in the open and taking my bias out of the discussion, I ask does outdoor advertising still work? Do they impact consumers to make a purchase?
Research from The Arbitron National In-Car Study is very interesting on what impact, if any, billboards have on us when it comes to marketing and advertising.
On average each of us spends upwards of 20 hours per week and travel more than 200 miles per week allowing exposure all types of billboard advertising. But, do we pay attention to it and if so, does it cause us to make a purchase?
The study showed that 71% of us “often look at the messages on roadside billboards and more than one-third (37%) report looking at an outdoor ad each or most of the time they pass one.”
What is the information we are gathering from a billboard…
- Learned about an event they were interested in attending (58%).
- Learned about a restaurant they later visited (58%).
- Talked about something funny they saw (56%) on a roadside billboard.
- Been reminded to tune into a TV program (33%) or a radio station (44%).
- Noted a phone number (26%) or Web site address (28%) written on an outdoor billboard.
Funny, on a personal note, I never remember a website or phone number from a print ad much less a billboard at 70 mph!
What about purchase decision and influence…
- 72% of billboard viewers frequently or sometimes shop on their way home from work.
- 68% frequently or sometimes make their shopping decisions while in the car.
- 38% make the decision to stop at the store while on their way home.
- 24% say they were motivated to visit a particular store that day because of an outdoor ad message.
- 32% visited the retailer they saw on a billboard later that week.
- 50% reported receiving directional information from a billboard.
- 24% said they have immediately visited a business because of an outdoor ad message.
This is good news for retailers who are considering some billboard advertising. Supermarkets or large retail chains were the locations most often cited by respondents!
So, it appears, that outdoor advertising is noticed and does impact some influence. I am not telling all marketers and advertiser they should run right out and start a billboard campaign. After all, as with any strategy it needs to fit. But in today’s digital love affair and hand-glued to a smart-phone thinking, you just may be able to shine a new LED on an old canvas!