What’s not to like about outdoor advertising? You take a big empty space, fill it with your message, and put it up along highly trafficked areas for all to see. It’s simple and efficient and has remained virtually unchanged for centuries.
Enter the Digital Billboard
At first, digital billboards seem harmless. Yes, the printed material was replaced by pixels, but it’s still just a giant sign with a logo on it. You could treat it as a flashier, well-lit version of a traditional billboard and still get decent exposure.
But you don’t want your brand to just look more appealing. You want it to be dynamic, interesting, and above all else, adaptable. In an increasingly connected world, you need your media to be able to change as quickly (and as cost-effectively) as possible. And that is where the digital billboard really shines.
Want to adjust your creative? A quick email can get a new offer up within the hour. Have a product that changes based on time of day? You can daypart your outdoor schedule so your audience only sees your brand when it makes sense. Need real-time signage that can adjust itself based on weather/time of day/jackpot numbers?
The picture above is a digital billboard from a campaign our agency is running for Broadlawns Medical Center, based in Des Moines, Iowa. This is a great example of how to take advantage of digital billboards. Broadlawns updates the billboard with wait times for the walk-in clinic, making their digital billboards as up-to-date as your smartphone.
Dynamic Messaging and Viewability
That level of connectivity is the real power of a digital billboard – dynamic messaging that can adapt to the needs of your campaign. And according to a study by PQ Media, exposure to digital billboards nearly doubled last year, with the average American viewing 30 minutes of digital outdoor content a week.
With that level of exposure and without the clutter that plagues online display ads, a dynamic digital billboard can stand head and shoulders above other media in the outdoor space. As more and more advertisers take advantage of their flexibility and impact, expect to see big ideas come from agencies and clients exploring the new possibilities in this time-honored space.