The 5 rules of effective outdoor advertising

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Did you walk to work this morning? Did you drive to work this morning? If for whatever reason you did not go to work today, did you leave the house this morning? Then the likelihood of you coming across outdoor advertising, whether on billboards, busses, or shop window banners, is very likely. In fact, we all probably see hundreds of outdoor ads every week. Now, how many of them can you remember? It’s not just offline advertisements either, online advertisements and emails are constantly trying to fight for our attention – we’ve all got the ‘check for free bingo‘ email in our inboxes at least once.

I’m going to guess at, not many. With outdoor advertising becoming more competitive, it’s important to know how you can make your efforts count. Here are five tips to ensure you’re yours are being noticed, and most importantly, remembered.

1. Less is more

When it comes to text, less is more. Considering that we tend to be on the move when outdoors, any form of advertising we see, whether it’s a large roadside billboard, or poster on the wall, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Make sure you can get your messaging across in as few words as possible. As a rule of thumb, around 6 words is ideal.


2. Don’t distract

While it’s important to grab people’s attention, you don’t want to distract, especially when it comes to billboards, which are mostly aimed at drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians). The last thing you want is a driver being so fascinated by your ad that they crash into a lamp post. The iconic “Hello Boys” Wonderbra ads, back in 2011, were guilt of this!


3. Be smart, but not too smart

It’s no secret that a boring advert will be ignored, and a smart one will grab people’s attention. But be careful not to be too smart, you don’t want people to have to solve a complex puzzle when looking at your creative visual metaphors. Keep it smart but simple.


4. The more the merrier

Outdoor advertising may not be cheap, but it can be very effective. Having one or a few scattered around probably isn’t going to give you the results you want. You want as many eyes on your ads as possible, so make sure you have enough to create impact.

If you’re a small business, then using billboards as a mass market medium may not be the answer. There are, however, plenty of other cheaper options. Using companies like FastPrint for banner printing can be a great cheap option.


5. Get creative

You have an opportunity to do something memorable, and most of all, eye-catching. Get creative with your artwork and visuals. When it comes to your messaging, don’t say it, show it. Here is a post we did about examples of guerrilla marketing to inspire you

For design inspiration, check out these simple and effective print banner advertisements.


At HighDefGeek we love to blog about the latest trends in Technology and Business News from around the world. We are a small team of geeks who love to discover and review the latest gadgets and share our thoughts directly to you as well as keeping on top of stocks and shares and giving our advice on the next big thing.

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