Putting up billboards as a way of advertising is one reliably inexpensive medium of giving information to the public. In terms of exposure as compared to other media, billboards are visible at all times of the day to thousands of people for as long as the contract stipulates.
Hand painted billboards were originally the style before. Since it was too time consuming and labor intensive, it did not give the advertiser much flexibility. But with the advent of technology, an ad can now be designed on the computer, printed on vinyl or a special paper allowing it to be pasted on the board easily. Poster panels, a standard type of billboard, are ads printed on poster paper and then glued to the frame. Exposure using this material may last up to two months costing less than a thousand dollars. In contrast, the bulletin billboard, where ads are printed on vinyl material may last for a year at a much higher cost. It goes without saying that the more durable the material, and the longer it is exposed, the higher the expense for the company. The use of three dimensional figures along with a short and easy to remember tag line is also a new trend in billboards.
Billboard design can be handled by advertising agencies, sign companies or the billboard companies' in-house design team.
Finding the right place to put up a billboard advertisement is a significant decision. Without one owners the property, a lease agreement with the owner of the lot is drafted. When the property is identified, permits from concerned governing bodies are obtained. To avoid this hassle, most companies prefer to negotiate and rent from an outdoor advertising agency. As experts in this field, signage permits is a part of their usual routine to complete the transaction.
Consider the maintenance of the billboard and its usual wear & tear. One has to contend with zoning laws specifically in big cities that restrict the placement of big size ads. These issues are being handled by the outdoor company. Dealing with them also gives flexibility to the advertiser by rotating the billboards in different locations. On his part, a conscientious advertiser monitors the rotation and placement of the ads as agreed in the contract. There are some of the reasons why it is more cost effective to hire and deal with an expert rather than go at this project alone.
The billboard's message should be catchy, brief and not too detailed for the product or service to be remembered. Bear in mind that usually, billboards are just one of the many avenues employed by a company to advertise its products. But the overall cost is comparable to a one day full page ad in a major newspaper. How the billboards come across to the moving target market and the image it projects are significant concerns of the advertiser. In the end, billboard advertisements may very well serve the purpose.