Wait, What Did That Billboard Say?

Have you ever been driving down a highway, notice a billboard, start to read it and then it switches to another billboard? Electronic billboards are great for graphics and imagery, but when you’re speeding by them at 65 miles per hour, and you only get half of the message, I wonder how effective they actually are.

In the last few days this has happened to me twice. There was information I actually was interested in and just as I was getting to the call to action, it switched. On my return trip on the other side of the highway, I was presented with several other electronic billboards and none of them presented the message that caught my eye the first time. And, now that I’m sitting here writing this, I can’t remember what either of billboards were about. It’s been many years since I’ve had to negotiate a price for a billboard but I hope that customers are getting a reduced rate on these electronic billboards. If they are paying the same amount or more than a traditional billboard I personally think they are not getting a great value.

This of course, is just my opinion. I’m sure the billboard companies have lots of data from studies that help customers make choices when purchasing billboard space.

Electronic billboards certainly aren’t going away. In fact, I’m guessing the old traditional ones will start disappearing more and more. I do think they work great in areas where people are a bit more stationary. A ball park or stadium. Walking around Time Square. But at 65 miles an hour, it’s really easy to miss the message.

What do you think? Are electronic billboards a good value? Are traditional “static” billboards more effective? Are they better suited to large brands like Coke, Miller, etc. where a website or phone number aren’t needed?

I’d love to hear what other people in marketing, advertising and design think. I’d also love to hear from businesses that use billboards as part of their marketing plan.

Have a great week!