In order for your billboard ad or bus panel to be noticed, and most importantly, remembered, you need to follow some basic rules before you engage in anything too adventurous.
With the outdoor advertising medium becoming increasingly popular even among small businesses, it is important that your ad is straightforward enough, so it can reach your audience in the right way.
Here are three tips to make sure your billboard ad has the highest chances to catch the attention of the passers-by.
1. The design
Studies have shown that the average attention span of a passer-by is somewhere around 2-3 seconds. Billboards, moving ads on buses and taxis, and the general bustle of the street, all compete with each other to win people’s attention. Therefore you should not hide your product in overly complicated layers of design, unintelligible fonts or distracting pictures. You want people to remember your brand, not some eye-catching stock picture. Aim to strike a balance between the elements of your billboard. Don’t let any of them prevail over the others! Anything that is too colourful, crammed or hard to understand at a glance is less likely to be successful in maintaining people’s interest. In other words, keep it simple!
It goes without saying that the most important rule is legibility, so stay away from any fonts that are too ornate or knotty. Fancy typography won’t make your ad more artsy, it would merely make your audience tune out. Urban dwellers don’t have time to decipher your message, they have to catch it ‘on the go’. Our advice would be to use either the all-time classic Verdana or Arial. Depending on the overall artwork, Times New Roman could also be a good choice, although it is more appropriate for print. But we cannot stress enough how bad Comic Sans or a handwritten font can be for outdoor advertising (or anything else for that matter). The former will make you look unprofessional, while the latter is hard for the eye to scan. Keep your typography clear cut, so that your message gets through easily – express your creative side in other parts of the campaign.
Read more about typography: 3 Tips On Outdoor Advertising Typography
3. Be witty, but not too clever
No one wants their ad to be boring, so it’s ok to experiment with your options. But you need to make sure you do not confuse your audience. You want to create a smart ad to grab people’s attention quickly and make a long lasting impression. You don’t want people to stop in front of your billboard scratching their heads and wondering what is going on. Chances are they won’t even do that, they will just ignore it. Keep mystery or riddles off the billboards. With outdoor advertising you need to be straightforward, even at the expense of sounding dull. After all, you want people to remember your brand, not some puzzling billboard.