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If you look at our other post “Making Sure Your Billboard Doesn’t Suck”, you will remember that to get an effective message across to your audience, you should strive to have a message with less than seven words, preferably less than five.
For some companies, that’s a pretty tall order. We’ve all been to a cocktail party and asked someone “So what do you do?” Ten minutes later you still have no idea what the heck they are talking about. More than likely, that guy is not the best fit for outdoor advertising. If you can’t explain your business in ten minutes, how are you going to reduce it to less than ten words?
That said, maybe there is an element of the business that is a good fit. I don’t need to understand exactly how and what C&D Scrap Metal does in Houston, TX as a business . . . I just need to know that they will “Pay me in $2.00 Bills For Your Scrap Metal”. It’s not less than 7 words, but it is also reinforcing a radio and TV ad campaign they having going on, so the audience is a little more familiar with the message presumably.
The two best candidates for billboards are 1) simple messages such as “Exit Here”, or brand recognition such as Coca Cola or Miller Beer.
If I were considering outdoor advertising for myself, I would ask myself a few questions:
- Do I have a single message?
- Can I say that message succinctly?
- What am I trying to accomplish?
Again, billboards and outdoor advertising can be tremendously cost effective, but paying ANYTHING for an ad campaign that is not effective is too expensive.
One of the best examples of a great billboard use is for a new restaurant. Do they have a single message? YES ! “We are here and open!” Can they say that message succinctly? Yes! “Now Open!” What are they trying to accomplish? Letting the area know they are there and open.
Outdoor advertising may or may not be for you. Like any marketing campaign, a little extra thought on the front end about what you are trying to accomplish will go a long way. Consider carefully what you are trying to get done, and you’ll do just fine.