Billboards 101

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Know the Basics
OOH advertising can trace its lineage back to the earliest civilizations. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians employed tall stone obelisks to publicize laws and treaties. While modes of advertising have changed over the centuries, OOH advertising is still a relevant form of communication today. More specifically billboards are a communication tool. Companies who may want to launch a new product, introduce a service or simply communicate an idea are good candidates for billboards.In the current day of high technology people are bombarded by advertising every day. However with that people are choosing more and more to opt out. With the advent of mp3 players, dvrs, audio/video streaming, social media or other personally selected content sources media fragmentation is larger than ever. Billboards can’t be tuned out, turned off or simply not read as they are present on the routes people travel to work, school or to entertainment districts.

Billboards have traditionally been thought of as a mass medium but you can also target your message by zip code, retail trading areas or specific demographics to increase the reach or frequency of your ad by a specific group. International Outdoor is fully capable of taking your idea from concept to working for you on the streets and freeways of metropolitan Detroit.


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Billboard History
Outdoor advertising is one of the oldest forms of communications.
Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians used a tall stone obelisk to
publicize laws and treaties. While formats have certainly changed
as advertising ideas have evolved, outdoor is still here and more
popular than ever.In the beginning, American roadside advertising was generally
local. Merchants painted signs or glued posters on walls, barns and
fences to notify the passersby that their establishments up the
road sold horse blankets, rheumatism pills, etc.The earliest recorded commercial leasing of billboards occurred in
the U.S. in 1867. By 1870 close to 300 small sign-painting and bill
posting companies existed.In 1900, a standardized billboard structure was created in America,
and ushered in a boom in national billboard campaigns. Confident
that the same ad would fit billboards from Connecticut to Kansas,
big advertisers like Palmolive, Kellogg, and Coca-Cola began
mass-producing billboards for the national market.

In 1975, the Institute of Outdoor Advertising developed a campaign
to measure billboards’ effectiveness. The concept featured Shirley
Cochran, the newly crowned Miss America, on billboards that were
displayed across the country. Her name recognition soared 940%
after the campaign.

Color Theory
Complementary colors, such as red and green, are not legible
together because they have similar values that cause vibrations in
the wave lengths. Any similar color value combination will create a
low visibility message. On the other hand, yellow and black are
starkly different in hue and value, and as a result provides the
strongest contrast for long distance reading
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Strong contrasting combinations in both hue and value create a very
eyecatching and legible design. Hue is the identity of color while
value measures a color’s lightness to darkness. Contrasting colors are
most useful for long distance viewing. The 14 color combinations
represent the best use of color contrast for readability. The chart
evaluates primary color and secondary color combinations taking into
account hue and value. Example 1 is the most legible color combination
while example 14 is the least legible.

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