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HomeSales and MarketingAdvertisingWhy billboard advertising is thriving in an age of smartphones

Why billboard advertising is thriving in an age of smartphones

Many brands are investing more and more into various forms of digital ads, but there’s one type of old-school marketing that still works wonders: billboards. You might think that, due to the fact that people are spending much more time online these days that tried and tested forms of advertising such as billboards are becoming obsolete, but it truly couldn’t be further from the truth. Today we’ll discuss some reasons why you probably need to give billboards a second chance.

It Takes Seconds

The thing about billboards is that they make it very easy to convey a message across. They’re big, they’re very legible and it only takes a few moments to look at an ad and understand it (if it’s put together well). Whether you’re passing by in a car or on foot and you aren’t doing much else, chances are that you’re going to notice the billboards around you. 

Many advertisers such as Carrot & Stick are taking advantage of this fact to reach out to a large number of people, and if you have the right type of ad with a catchy graphic and a clever slogan, a billboard will leave a lasting subconscious impression on the viewer.

Available Everywhere and Non-Obtrusive

Most types of digital ads require the viewer to either be looking at a screen or their device, and the problem with this is that under these circumstances, ads might actually be non-desirable and distracting since the viewer is engaged with something else (no one likes it when their favorite show is interrupted by a commercial or when a video or song pauses for an ad to play).

However, billboards don’t have this problem – they’re completely optional and the interaction with the user is almost completely subconscious. No one thinks that they’d like to look at a billboard, they simply do, and it’s much easier to connect with your viewers as the interaction is much more natural and less obtrusive.

They’re Cheap

This might surprise you, but when taking the number of viewers into consideration, billboards are actually one of the least expensive forms of advertising. It costs less than a penny per thousand viewers, and this is much cheaper than other forms of advertising, including digital advertising.

In the U.S. alone, more than $5 billion is spent on outdoor advertising each year, but considering the vast number of billboards and the fact that they’re rented out 24/7, this still puts billboards close to the bottom in terms of price, when compares to other advertising methods.

It Works on Drivers

It’s safe to say that the main target audience for billboards is likely drivers. When you’re driving you aren’t actually looking into a smartphone screen (unless you’re keen on breaking the law) and in many situations, driving can be pretty boring, making the viewer look for mental stimulation anywhere they can find it.

Billboards are perfect for this situation because they aren’t distracting enough to be a hazard, but they’re still  a welcome change of scenery that you can quickly take a glance at. This is especially true in traffic jams, where more and more people in major cities are spending a lot of time during the commute.

It’s definitely worth looking into billboard advertising in areas that are known for constant traffic jams, as this guarantees a high volume of people that will almost certainly see your ad.

Full Control of Ad Space

The problem with digital ads is that they’re everywhere and that there’s a lot of them. On our mobile devices, we’re constantly bombarded with the next ad and it can be a lot for a viewer to take in at once, so there’s a constant “bid for supremacy” in terms of which ad will take up the viewer’s attention span.

This isn’t the case for billboards, where one billboard = one ad. You have complete control of the ad space, and you can do whatever you want with it. This is a huge advantage in a world where our attention span is already stretched as thin as possible, and can definitely give you the edge with your ads.


It’s tempting to think of going full-digital when it comes to advertising as it definitely looks like the more efficient, cheaper and modern way to go about kicking off your marketing campaign. However, you’re giving up a huge advantage if you neglect tried and tested methods of advertising such as billboards. Hopefully, this has given you some insight into why this form of advertising is still alive and well, and we guarantee that your next ad will benefit from it greatly.

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