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Digital Billboard Design

Written by Brandon Cook.


If you spend any sort of time on the freeways here in Phoenix, you’ve most certainly come across one of Clear Channel’s digital billboards. Scattered along the I-10 and I-17, these billboards allow advertisers exceptional flexibility with their messages.

Whether you want to change up your advertisement throughout the day, purchase multiple spots to increase your number of impressions, or get your specials out at a specific time during the day, digital billboards are gaining steam and emerging as a dominant outdoor medium.

Digital Billboard Rotating Designs

How it works:

Once your digital billboard space has been purchased, you’ll need some eye-catching creative to ensure your message gets out to the target audience. On the Phoenix outdoor network, each billboard has eight rotating advertisements at eight seconds each. As with printed billboard design, you’ll want to keep your message short and sweet as viewing time is at a premium.

After getting the design aspect squared away, your outdoor ad can be up and running in as little as 24 hours. So not only are printing costs wiped away, but the ability to get your ad displayed is no longer restricted to a monthly basis. Want your ad displayed one day per week? One week per month? Wednesdays at 5pm? A great example is the way various television stations use the medium from around the valley. Got a hot news segment showing on the nightly news, or does Oprah have a special guest on today? As the advertiser, this is about as flexible as it gets, and you can even switch out an ad during the course of the campaign should you feel the results are below targeted expectations.

While some may argue that digital billboards aren’t all I’m cracking them up to be due to exclusivity issues, it all depends on how you approach the situation. Who ever said the advertiser could only buy one eight second spot? With eight spots, each running eight-second ads, couldn’t one purchase all eight spots on a billboard? I think so, and with those eight spots, you could display eight different messages that are not only branding your company, but highlighting several important factors of your campaign… And for all my stats people out there, even with 1 spot every 64 seconds, at 17 hours of up time per day, that’s 187,376 spots over the course of a 4 week period. Not too shabby if you ask me.

All this being said, we recently finished an outdoor digital billboard campaign for London Gold. Being that this is still a somewhat new technology, we were excited to experiment with different color contrasts, and make those diamonds “pop” off the screen as so many clients request. We worked with London Gold to create a variation of ads in order to keep the consumer engaged. Just think, you can hit drivers with variations of the message all while strengthening your brand and gaining exposure. It truly is the new era of outdoor advertising.

I’m just waiting to see when animation will come into play on digital billboards in Phoenix. Is animation something digital billboards can support? If so, are there state and federal laws against motion graphics due to motorist distractions? When I spoke with a rep at Clear Channel, I didn’t really get a definitive answer, and when conducting a search on Google, I came up empty. If you’ve got an answer for me on this one, I’d love to hear it.


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