Four things your Billboard Reps didn’t tell you

bad billboards

Just a few things that I’m sure the outdoor billboard rep “forgot” to mention…

1. The average person isn’t exposed to your billboard the same way you are. Many outdoor sales reps sell their facings (the term for a single billboard) by driving very slowly by the locations of various boards they own. The rep points out the location so the prospect (you) sees the board for as long a time as possible. Then once the client rents the board, they may go out of their way to drive by it. The average person isn’t paying as much attention to the client’s board as the client is.

2. Which billboards do you remember seeing on the way to work? Make a list of the boards along that route and notice the ones you’ve never seen. People who frequently look at billboards are:

  • Those that sell outdoor advertising
  • Those that advertise on them
  • Other advertising sales people
  • Everybody else

3. Winter is a risky time to be advertising on billboards. Where are your eyes when the roads are slippery or the windshield is dirty?

4. The average time someone looks at a billboard is about three seconds. The billboard companies tell advertisers to keep their messages short — seven words or less. How much selling can you do in three seconds or seven words?

PS.   Know what the best two words are for a billboard?   Next Exit.


Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.



4 responses to “Four things your Billboard Reps didn’t tell you

  1. I think billboards are a blight on the landscape. I think the fact that Maui has NO billboards was an influencing factor in our decision to move here a long time ago.
    Great picture btw.

  2. 258marketing

    Thanks for the comment mauihunter. I hope to see your island someday!

  3. Another thing that a billboard rep may conveniently forget is that if there is seasonal vegetation or brush that obscures the view of a billboard. Often times, photo sheets are taken during winter when any kind of vegetation is not visible. For some billboards on state land or protected private property, it is illegal to cut back any growth that may be impeding the sight of the billboard. So make sure if you are buying a board in the summer but are looking at a photo sheet taken in the winter, that the line of sight for your billboard may be altered by roadside vegetation

  4. 258marketing

    Good point Jay. That vegetation and other things that obscure the views on billboards is something that ALWAYS needs to be considered.

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