Even with the growth of technology and online marketing, the billboard continues to play an important component as a marketing tool. As a physical marker that thousands of people can see daily, with 71 percent of Americans consciously look at billboard messages while driving, it can hold great potential in exposing your company and product to potential buyers–if designed properly. The truth is, not all billboards are created equal. Billboard advertising has a completely different set of rules when compared with other mediums, such as online advertising, print and periodicals, social media – just to name a few. Billboard advertising has to tell a story about your company using thought-provoking images and very few words to accompany the pictures. To be effective, billboards need to create an instant impact with your customer base.

Below are some basic rules to keep in mind when creating your billboard advertising creative.

Keep It Simple

Keep it short and sweet and safe! The average driver will only have about 5 to 10 seconds to view your billboard design, read any text, and comprehend the message. In those 5 to 10 seconds, the driver could also be glancing from the billboard, to the road, and back to the billboard again depending on the severity of traffic. That’s even less viewing time on your ad! So one of the most important rules to follow will be keeping your message short. Very short! Shoot for a maximum of 7 words or less. Use short simple words with quick and easy comprehension. Limit or eliminate punctuation and edit down to the bare bones of your message.

Make It Visually Memorable

A larger-than-life-sized layout is no time to be meek! Make sure any text in your design is printed in clean, bold font to ensure the best readability. Also, the larger the font, the more time a driver has to read and understand your message at a distance.

Use bright colors or a bold image in your design to effortlessly attract eyes to your billboard. Contrasting colors within the design will also create an even bigger impact that will help improve the retention of your message.

Speak To Your Audience

As part of the design process, get into the head of your customer base. Think about what kinds of ads will reach them. Putting a face on your audience will help you make vital decisions about the design and placement of your ads. Better yet, use a local face that the community will recognize! Show that you know your city and choose local folks to feature as your billboard models.

Make sure you also have a clear call to action. Does your target audience have the necessary information to respond to your ad, like, a place to visit, a number to call or an exit to take?

Reinforce Your Story

If your billboard is on the side of a highway on which people will be zooming by, then a design without a story simply won’t be memorable. To find your story, think about the one thing you want people to take away from your ad. Do you want them to remember your web address? To be able to recognize your brand the next time they’re in the grocery store? Or do you want people to pull off at the next exit for some fried pies? Use your key message to find the story.

To find your story, you take the key message and give it meaning: it could solve a problem, or evoke an emotion, or fulfill a need. Humans are terrible at remembering facts but great at remembering stories.

When in doubt, just shoot for remembering the Big Three of billboard design: Bold Imagery, Short Phrasing, and Brand Markers. Billboards are all about exposure so make it fun, make it impactful and keep it simple.

Looking for a new billboard campaign? Bad Penny Factory regularly designs static, digital and interactive billboards and we work with your local vendors to ensure the best possible placement and pricing for your business. Contact us today to learn more!