The Rules of Billboards

January 22, 2014

Billboards are a great medium to use in marketing. A huge audience including motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are exposed to them on a daily basis. When done correctly, billboards can do a great job of delivering your message. Here are some simple rules to follow…

Seven words or less:Less is more. The audience for billboards is more than likely on the move. As a rule of thumb you should stick to around seven words when trying to get your message across. Think of your message as a newspaper headline; if it’s too lengthy or complex it will just be ignored, but a short concise headline will have a greater chance of being retained and recalled by your audience.

Not the time for direct response:Billboards are a secondary marketing medium. They are not there to do the heavy lifting but rather to build your brand and support your main campaign. In most cases, it’s better to leave phone numbers and websites off. On the other hand, if your number or site is part of the message, you’re good to go. Just make sure it’s simple and easily remembered; 1-800-SafeAuto,, etc.

Fonts & Colors:Your audience has maybe 10 -15 seconds to read your billboard. Unless it’s crucial to the design, try to avoid fancy fonts that are difficult to read. Make the copy big and bold enough to be easily legible from a distance. As for colors, make sure there is enough contrast between elements so that nothing gets lost. Bold colors work best to attract the attention of motorists.

Don’t say it, show it:A picture is truly worth 1000 words. Big, stunning images plastered in the sky above people’s heads demand attention. Landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and bold images get noticed more than the cleverest words ever will. Don’t forget though, less is more. Too many images will make your billboard too noisy and take away from the grandeur of a single beautiful image.

Get Creative:A flat two-dimensional billboard is the standard and has been done a million times. If you’re serious about standing out, you have to get creative. Consider going 3-dimensional, try to work in moving parts or animation, use the surrounding environment, or even make it interactive. This is your chance to do something truly memorable and if you’re lucky, you might even generate media attention and get some great PR.

Here are some creative billboards to get you thinking.

Still unsure if you’re using the correct marketing strategy? Let us help!

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