Your outdoor ad says a lot about your company. Billboards, A-frames, and banners grab eyeballs and burn the information straight into the brain cells of your potential customers. Outdoor, or “out-of-home” advertising, tries to explore and take advantage of our subconscious mind. It is there for everyone to see: on the sidewalk in front of your favorite donut shop, right next to the highway you take every morning to get to work, or during sports events. Almost any business can take advantage of these hugely versatile advertising solutions. You can boost your company’s presence and diversify your marketing campaign, opening up to a previously unexplored market.
What’s the science behind a quality outdoor ad?
Let’s face it: there are some billboards that you simply cannot get out of your head. Day after day, you are bombarded with tons of advertising information, but there are only a few that you will remember and far fewer that you will act on. Take going to the supermarket, for example – you’ll see thousands of colorful, shiny products neatly lined up on shelves, but your eyes will only notice some of them. You probably have not put much thought into these arrangements, but advertisers have. They also know that the average American consumer sees more than 100 outdoor ads each day, and they will fight to get your attention. Moreover, when they get it, they do not want it for long – it takes a mere 2 seconds to get the information to your subconscious mind. From then on, without even knowing it, you are hooked. That is how billboards, A-Frames, banners and essentially all outdoor advertising works. At least that is how quality outdoor advertising works.
What makes a quality sign? How do you tell good signs from bad signs? Let’s take a look:
A good sign is direct
It is a fact: uncluttered billboards achieve greater success. A good outdoor sign, whether it is a flag, an A-frame or a giant billboard works better when the design consists of just three main components:
a compelling, rich photo
a short, emotionally charged headline or short description
a logo of the company or a slogan
Keep in mind that your potential customers are either hastily walking down the sidewalk or are driving over 50mph on the highway. They do not have the time and the presence to read a full sales copy, and they definitely won’t stop to read a Shakespearean sonnet about your product. You’ll need to get your message through as quickly as possible.
Good signs use bold colors and stark contrasts
When experts say “use bold colors” they do not mean flashy cyans, magentas or citron yellow. You could go for these colors, but what you need to get right are the contrasts. Blend powerful, flashy colors with light pastels or dark backgrounds. A little color will work great on a neutral background and will catch the eyes of passer-bys. Don’t use pasty, bland colors and never go for black and white outdoor signs as they are invisible in an urban setting.
Thick typefaces and no ALL CAPS
Thin fonts are elegant and work great for small graphics, but they are terrible for outdoor signs. They are very hard to read and often invisible, especially at long distances. Good signs employ simple typefaces, with bold contours and shapes. Also, avoid ALL CAPS as much as possible, they are less legible and your message will be harder to understand.
You simply can’t use an amateur photo for your billboard or A-frame. Because of their size, high resolutions are a must. Also, professional lighting is mandatory, as this will ensure the WOW! factor for your whole banner.
Focus, focus, focus
You’ll always know what a good banner tries to say. You will never wonder what the product is, what it does or which company makes it. You’ve got only a few seconds to talk about your product, and you should laser focus on it. There’s no space or time to list benefits, advantages or features. Be as direct as possible and build the whole banner around the product.
By following these tips, you will have a banner that is sure to impress your audience! This will lead to more sales as people are drawn to your door.