Digital Billboards

Businesses evaluating use of digital billboards as part of a marketing plan should look at the pros and cons of this method of advertising.
Costs for advertising using this medium may be significantly more than other static billboards

Public Outcry

Many organizations and residents decry the use of DBBs as excessively distractive to motorists. Even though digital billboards number around 2,000 out of 450,000 billboards total as of 2013, they have been banned in several states. If you’re evaluating adding your business’s name to the roster of advertisers on a DBB, consider whether your business would be able to weather opposition to the use of this type of media for advertising. Digital billboards are considered more of a distraction than their traditional counterparts because of the fact that their luminance and animation may hold the attention of motorists trying to see the ad in a short time span.

Cost

Advertising on a DBB may cost your business anywhere from $700 to $10,000 a month or more, depending on the sign’s size, location and how many time slots you purchase. This can be a significant chunk of any business’s marketing budget when compared to other less expensive forms of advertising like print or social media marketing. As the digital signs gain in popularity, the cost of advertising on the units has been on the decline. However, companies still need to consider the investment required to create multiple marketing advertisements for this type of medium, especially if changes in promotional messages will be made throughout the year.

Competition

While digital billboards may spell more money for the sign’s owner because of the ability to cram many more advertisements onto the displays, this does not always equate to a better return on investment for the advertiser. A more eye-catching advertisement preceding your company’s may erase all memory of the message that your business worked hard to develop. With traditional billboards, you don’t have to share display space with any other companies. Prospects thus have no choice but to focus on your message exclusively, giving you a much better chance of earning the viewer’s attention and money.

Message Transfer

Unlike traditional billboards, the information on DBBs is constantly changing. This means that you run the risk of viewers missing your message because they are not able to read its contents fast enough or because your message was not displayed when the driver or passenger was looking. On a traditional billboard, your advertisement is normally the only one that is displayed over an assigned period of time. This means that you don’t run the risk of viewers missing your message because it was replaced by that of another advertiser’s after a few seconds.

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More on Digital LED Outdoor vs. Traditional Billboards
DIGITAL OUTDOOR BILLBOARDS/LEDS

PROS

  • Digital Outdoor Signage enables you to run segmented campaigns, specials, and recent news with an unprecedented amount of flexibility. Most digital billboards are located in high-traffic locations. Based on your industry, the ability to measure results from LED Billboard campaigns is very straightforward.


    CONS

  • Clients share time. (Impressions/rotation) up to 7
    Cost may almost the same as a traditional billboard but much less viewership.
    Not necessarily located near client business.
    Potential competition may be displayed on the same billboard.
    More Disadvantages The owners of electronic billboards sell ad space to many advertisers at once, rather than to just one. Ads rotate quickly, and yours might have only seconds to catch the attention of potential customers. Ads on digital boards are much more expensive than traditional billboard ads. Digital billboards have also drawn fire from those concerned about their potential to distract drivers and cause accidents.
    Some Digital signs change their message every few seconds and some are placed near dangerous intersections or curves. Though digital billboards can be found in many large U.S. cities, some cities have banned them because of safety concerns, notes the Torontoist website. Some Digital billboards are so bright that they can be seen from miles away — a fact that has inspired complaints from nearby residents. And if yours is a “green” business, you might want to consider the fact that Digital billboards have been criticized by environmentalists as energy-wasters because unlike traditional billboards, they use energy all day and night.
Traditional Outdoor Signage/Billboards

PROS

  • Depending on your resources and location, you may be able to place a sign in a strategic location near your business, if desired.
    Consistent message 24/7 for most of the time about the same cost as digital.
    Brand reinforcement, ongoing 24/7
    More Advantages A traditional billboard is a known quantity. It’s low-tech, it’s much less expensive than an Digital billboard, and unlike Digital billboards that make you share space with up to six other advertisers, once you pay for space on a traditional billboard, it’s all yours — for months or years. You don’t have to worry that your message only has six seconds of display time before it’s changed. Unlike an Digital billboard, it can be read 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You also won’t have to contend with irate residents claiming the light from your sign is keeping them awake nights, or worry that the glare and motion from your ad might make someone drive off the road.


    CONS

  • Single/multi location cost versus impressions spread over a targeted region.
    Sometimes traditional outdoor billboards are ideal. Sometimes, digital outdoor billboards provide flexibility and cost-effective marketing for campaigns and marketing.
    LED (Digital) stands for light-emitting diode.
    An LED billboard essentially is a huge TV that plays moving ads by the side of the road. LED billboards have been enthusiastically embraced in some places, such as New York’s Times Square, Tokyo and Las Vegas. They’ve been banned in others as a distraction to drivers. Both LED and traditional billboards have advantages and disadvantages. Which one is right for your business depends on your goals, your markets and how much money you have to spend.