January 19, 2024

Billboard blunders – a cautionary tale of advertising missteps

Avoid billboard blunders! Uncover key tips to ensure your outdoor ads hit the mark.

In the world of outdoor advertising, a billboard's placement can make or break a campaign. This was vividly illustrated by a recent experience with the LoveHoney project. Rushed decisions led to a mix of decent and ineffective billboard placements. It's a situation that reminds me of a mural I walk past frequently near our office on Wickham Street. The call to action on this mural is perennially obscured by a tree. This serves as a classic example of expectation versus reality in advertising, underscoring the importance of thoroughly vetting your billboard placements.

A prime advertising location on Wickham Street in Brisbane, as seen on Google Street View, often faces a dilemma: a large tree obscuring the key message. This highlights the importance of site inspection before finalising ad designs.

Seeing is believing – the power of physical inspection

Before you commit to a billboard, take the time to see it in person. It's one thing to look at a location on paper or in a brochure, and quite another to see it in real life. Ask yourself:

  • Visibility: Can the billboard be easily seen, or is it hidden by obstacles like trees or buildings?
  • Time in Line of Sight: Consider how long potential customers will actually see your billboard. Is it located in a spot where people can absorb your message, or will they just whizz past it?

Understanding your audience's path

It's crucial to ensure that your billboard intersects with your target consumer's daily path. There's little point in having a billboard in a location that your desired audience rarely frequents. This requires a deep understanding of your audience's habits and preferences.

Collaborate with your out-of-home (OOH) supplier

Close consultation with your OOH supplier is essential. Plan in advance and be specific about your campaign's needs. Suppliers should provide clear, accurate information about the potential effectiveness of each location.

Regional recommendations

For those looking to advertise in specific regions, here are some recommendations based on our experiences:

  • Regional QLD: Choose placements that are visible in high-traffic areas and tourist spots.
  • Inner city: Opt for locations that capture the attention of both pedestrians and drivers.
  • Coastal SEQ: Consider areas with high foot traffic, especially near popular beaches and tourist attractions.

Internal linking and learning

Consider linking internally to the LoveHoney Australia project as a case study. It's a practical example of what can go right and wrong in billboard advertising.

In conclusion, when it comes to billboard advertising, don't be swayed by glossy brochures or sales pitches. Inspect the location, understand your audience, and work closely with your supplier. By doing so, you'll ensure that your billboard isn't just seen, but also effective in delivering your message to the right people. Remember, in advertising, as in real estate, it's all about location, location, location.

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