I recently had the luck to be stuck in traffic on Highway 101 North, toward San Francisco. Strange as it may seem, I do not say “luck” in a tone of sarcasm. The bumper-to-bumper delay under the hot Saturday sun gave me the opportunity to contemplate a perhaps under-appreciated form of marketing in today’s digital world: The Billboard.
In an age of online banner ads and constant and instantaneous Twitter; in a world where the drivers all around me had headsets and smart phones and GPS systems, I was suddenly struck by the strange contrast of the billboard. Like the last dinosaur, these giant and simplistic forms of advertisement remain, forming a static 2-D marketing backdrop behind the stage of our digital daily lives.
It occurred to me that it is precisely because of this stark contrast that the billboard is still relevant in the modern world. It optimizes one of the only remaining spaces and times in which consumers can not be completely dialed in. Legally, they must keep their hands and eyes on the road, and thus the road is the one frontier where touch pads and social networking and pay-per-click ads have no power.
The billboard rules the road. And a well-made billboard can go a long way for business brand.
For example, picture yourself stuck in traffic, as I was. You are in view of a particular billboard for a good ten to twenty minutes. It is the only ad in sight and the only real visual entertainment to break the monotony. You had better believe that billboard has a great chance of being noticed and leaving an impression on the thousands who cross its path every day.
Now, imagine that it is a great billboard: well-designed, clever, eye-catching. That is an ad that will move consumers. For example, the billboard I read was for Wells Fargo. It said something like, “Your ‘Check Retirement’ Light is Blinking.” I half-smiled to myself at their clever use of car-related metaphor. That was all it took: a small moment of recognition that has turned into lasting awareness and respect for a brand. I haven’t changed banks yet; but when I do, I’ll be thinking of that billboard that I stared at for twenty minutes one hot Saturday in San Francisco. You might say the writing was on the wall for my current bank since that moment.
If you’re ready to think big and take your business brand on the road, consult a company with experience designing signs that leave a lasting impression. AR & Co. graphic designers match the billboard’s size with creativity on a large scale. Email us or—in the spirit of strategies that never go out of style—do the old-fashioned thing, and give us a call.
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