Statistics provided by the Advertising Association and Warc, which also states that billboards accounted for around 25% of this total outdoor marketing spend, which has continued to increase by around 3% year-on-year in the UK.
One of the main reasons for this is the effectiveness of OOH and billboard advertising among Millennials, who are now established as the dominant consumer demographic in the UK. Similarly, OOH adverts (and particularly traditional billboards) play an increasingly important role in any integrated marketing campaign, which aims to optimise brand exposure and drive a higher rate of engagement and conversions online.
If you’re going to successfully use billboards to your advantage, execution is key. So, here are some of the billboards we’ve successfully created for our clients, as we look at why they were effective and address the lessons that your business can learn from these.
So, let’s get started!
A time-sensitive advert, this billboard was designed to drive the sales of school uniforms during the summer holidays. Timing was key to the success of this billboard campaign, of course, but there are a number of other important elements that helped to create traction for the brand.
Given the potential time constraints, it was crucial that the proposition was made as clear as possible, so we translated the core features of this into clear customer benefits and presented these in the centre of the billboard.
There was also a clear focus on driving traffic through both on and offline channels, with the company’s website placed prominently at the top of the advert (just below the brand name). The store address and it’s telephone number were also presented in a clear font in the footer of the billboard, creating options and flexibility for customers in terms of how they continue to interact with the brand.
The use of product imagery was important here too, as this enabled us to directly promote the brand’s garments in a positive light. All in all, this was a simple but effective campaign that presented a clear value proposition to customers who were motivated and in the market to complete a purchase.
If parents in the market for schools represent a captive audience, gym-goers certainly do not. When promoting a gym or fitness brand, it’s imperative that companies differentiate themselves from the competition, in order to engage potential customers and convince them to spend their hard-earned cash.
So, when creating a billboard for the Feel Fit brand, our approach was to develop primary and secondary messaging that really differentiated the company’s value proposition.
This involved capturing the attention of customers with an interesting and unusual piece of information presented in a large font, so that they were compelled to focus on the advert and read more. In this instance, the initial text explained that it would take 30,000 kettlebells to fill the clients’ gym floor, and this was followed up by a secondary message which read ‘But size isn’t everything,right?’
The main aim here was to hint at the large and varied nature of the gym’s facilities, placing a focus on health and fitness rather than just muscle building. This not only optimised the reach of the billboard, but it also made an argument to aspiring gym-goers with a diverse range of fitness objectives.
Along with the prominent placement of the brand’s competitive pricing, this advert highlighted the importance of using concise and targeted messaging throughout their billboard campaigns.
Billboards are well known as being key drivers of assisted conversions, which describe the numerous brand interactions that a customer experience before they make a purchase. To leverage this, you really need to define the customer journey so that you can create genuinely impactful calls-to-action (CTAs).
This was one of the main challenges with our billboard campaign for Visual Conservatories Windows & Doors, as we need to utilise a single, compelling CTA to avoid cluttering the display with text.
Fortunately, we quickly determined that the majority of the client’s customers would book an appointment to view their products in-person before making an informed decision, meaning that pride of place would need to be given to the company’s telephone number and showroom address.
The benefits of this approach are clear on the final version of the billboard. As customers are known to spend up to 80% of their time viewing the left-hand side of an advert or billboard, we used the incentive of a 40% discount to originally engage potential consumers.
Then, viewers are drawn to the main telephone number and the address of the brand, so that they are presented with a CTA and contact information at the moment when they’re most engaged with the proposition.
We all know that’s there is a psychology behind the use of colour in adverts, while applying contrasting shades can also have practical benefits when laying out a brand’s proposition.
In this billboard for Easy Bathrooms, we fully utilised alternative colours to influence potential customers and create an effective layout as a whole.
In terms of the former, the availability of huge trade discounts was advertised against a red backdrop, with this colour known to solicit a sense of urgency and action among customers. Similarly, different shades of blue promote trust and reliability, and we have leveraged this when advertising the brand name and it’s status as Wakefield’s biggest bathroom and tile showroom.
The use of different colours also presents the ideal layout for the billboard. In essence, the contrasting shades of red and blue frame the high resolution image of an installed bathroom suite, drawing the eye of the customer and showcasing the quality of the company’s products.
As we can see, the simple and diverse use of colour can encourage different actions from customers, while it also allows businesses to frame their imagery and provide an appealing, visual representation of their products.
Not all billboard adverts are made equal, as while sometimes clients will need to drive brand awareness, there will be other occasions when they’re required to promote a specific sale or discount.
In other instances, it’s all about a specific product or range, as brands bring a new offering to market and look to drive a singular marketing message. This was the aim with our billboard campaign for Chickano’s, which had unveiled a brand new burger for its customers to enjoy.
With such a simple premise, we understood that the execution of the billboard was going to be all important. With such a clear proposition and focused marketing message, we decided to devote the vast majority of the billboard to the brand new ‘Boss Burger’, creating a visually bold and striking advert that was designed to really engage customers.
This effect was achieved with a high-resolution shot of the delicious burger, which was presented on the right-hand side. Next to this was the brand name is an extremely large font, with bold lettering enhancing the visual effect of the product’s name.
Perhaps the most inventive element here is the use of colour contrasts, as the combination of a black background, bright lettering and a high-res image really amplifies the visual impact of the advert.
In doing so, this ad provides the perfect showcase for the product and allows it to well and truly shine, which is crucial when presenting such a simple marketing message.
Our billboard campaign for FineGlaze is another that used colour to excellent effect, but this advert different in that the objective was slightly different. Rather than compelling customers to act fast and take advantage of a trade discount, for example, in this instance we utilised the colour red to promote the brand’s contact number and core proposition.
As well advertising the companies contact details with a sense of excitement and urgency, this also allowed us to capitalise on the ability of red to solicit a direct action. In this respect, our choice of colour played a key role in defining the CTA within the advert, as we drove customers to make contact with the brand and find out more about it’s proposition.
Once again, the combination of red and blue promotes values such as energy and trust, but by using these colours in a slightly different way you can subtly change the way in which you influence customers.
This is why the use of colour is such a delicate art form, as it can have variable defects depending on how and where you apply different shades.
So there you are: six compelling billboard campaigns that leveraged different marketing tactics and approaches to achieve the client’s objectives.
There are clear takeaways here for local businesses, depending on their core proposition and the goals that they want to achieve. By taking inspiration from these examples, you should be able to create successful and targeted ads that really hit the mark!