In the past week, three clients have asked me about the value of billboards. The advice I always give is they are great if you have the budget or if you have a small geographic area you want to target.
On Wednesday, I drove from Fredericton to Grand Falls and back. I decided to take special notice of the billboards along the way and what I do and don’t like about the advertising. Most of the billboards along the TCH were permanent. This really surprised me. When I think of billboards, I think of the ones that are rented by the month, mostly in urban areas.
The billboards along the highway were really effective for one reason: there was nothing else to look at except trees and snow banks. I saw every one and recalled seeing them all before. Most of them were for the hospitality industry, and just before each exit, the billboards were for accommodations and restaurants.
These signs work because their target market is right there driving on the highway. What about the billboards in and around urban areas? If you are going to rent a billboard, should it be close to your business? I think so. Is it going to be seen? It sure is. Is it going to be expensive? You bet it is.
Companies like McDonalds, CocaCola and Molson can afford big media buys and are frequent users of billboards. Smaller local retailers have a harder time making room in their budget for this. An average billboard is $1,500.00 per month plus production costs. Actually, this is not outrageous if it is well placed in a high traffic area with a good sight line. However, to market your company to a larger audience in New Brunswick carries quite a price tag, but companies like Pattison Outdoor are more than willing to sharpen their pencils to give you better pricing. They can also take your budget and mix and match with some of their other products like transit shelters and bus boards.
Billboards are awesome for building brand awareness and will work for you, they are so large you can’t miss them. They have to be in the right location, they have to be easy to read and you have to have the budget to do it.