5 Tips to Creating the Perfect Billboard Advertisement
- Keep the text short.
- Keep it simple.
- Be creative.
- Don’t try to be clever.
- Don’t ask for a response.
People read a billboard for six seconds, which means adding large amounts of text can be ineffective. Many billboard experts recommend sticking to six words or less. While not every business can get its message across in just six words, the principle is the same: less is more. It doesn’t take much to convey your brand or cause, which is what a billboard should really be used for. If you think you need more text, consider using multiple billboards.
Going along the same lines as the limited text, try to keep your graphics simple. People will be zooming past your billboard and won’t have time to notice and internalize a message if there are seven different things going on at once. Choose a single purpose and theme for your billboard and let that be the star of the show. If you have other ideas you want to include, invest in multiple billboards and spread the images out across the different canvases.
The best billboards follow the “show, don’t tell” mantra. Sure, you could use text to share your message, but a more effective way is to use a creative image. Billboards lend themselves to creativity, which means you can let your imagination run wild with texture, color, or moving parts—take advantage of a billboard’s huge size and do something truly eye-catching. Creative images are better at getting people’s attention and stick in their brain for much longer than boring text.
There’s a fine line between being smart and clever. Smart billboards are the ones that people naturally notice and that get them talking; clever billboards are the ones with complex visual metaphors or overly complicated puns or designs that require a second glance and are often lost on passersby who only have a few seconds to look at a billboard. Your goal should be to leave a lasting impression in a way that makes the viewer laugh, think, or have an emotional response, but not one that is wasted because people just didn’t have the time to understand it.
Billboards are excellent for building a brand and spreading awareness about a company or cause. The best use of a billboard is to share a quick message about what your company offers, not to share large amounts of information or to direct people to a website or phone number.