Billboard and roadside promotion
Big billboards and road signs can be an effective way to raise the profile of your organisation or promote a specific event, however to make the most of them you need to get a few basics right. When planning your roadside campaign, keep in mind the following points.
- Unless drivers are stuck in traffic, they will have only a few seconds to view your message. Choose one key message you want to get across and decide the one action you want viewers to take as a result. That’s all there is time for.
- Drivers won’t be able to stop and write something down, so make sure any contact details are easy to remember. Make sure the website address or alpha phone number relates to your cause. Don’t offer the viewers too many contact options, they’ll read them all - then forget the lot.
- The roadside is cluttered with all sorts of signs and symbols, so you need to do something unique if you want yours to stand out. Size definitely counts, but so does design and imagery. Pictures, particularly photographs, really do paint a thousand words, so choose one that sums up your message and touches the heart.
- When it comes to marketing, repetition builds reputation. If you are planning a billboard campaign, do your best to have lots of billboards up at the same time, and back them up with other forms of marketing. Write a letter to the editor and start a discussion by commenting about the board, use flyers to create mini-billboards in specific areas, or get on community television to discuss your campaign. Billboards on their own won’t necessarily get results.
- Billboard advertising has 3 main costs:
1. Site rental (Paid per billboard or as a fee to your local council for small temporary signs)
2. Production (How much does it cost to make the sign?)
3. Installation (How much does it cost to erect the sign or get the billboard set up?)
Consider how you can produce signage that you can use over and over again. This makes the whole exercise much more cost effective.
The big billboards that you see in larger cities are owned and managed by several different companies. Rates vary, however it is worth telling them you are a not-for-profit organisation as many will donate sign time or give you a discounted rate.
For information about billboard advertising, see:
Oggi provides billboards in most centres throughout New Zealand, and regularly uses billboard ‘downtime’ to promote community messages.
Adshel is the company behind billboards in bus shelters. They regularly donate space to community groups, and in the last 10 years have given away $7,600,000 worth of promotion to community groups across Australasia.
AGAD provides mobile billboards by way of putting your message on commercial haulage trucks. Your billboard is then driven up and down the country as the truck goes about its business.
There are different regulations surrounding roadside advertising, depending on where you live. This is particularly relevant if you are making your own signs to display temporarily before an event. To find out the rules in your area, check out your local council website. You can find your council website by visiting: www.lgnz.co.nz