Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Billboards draw DRTV customers

According to the Direct Marketing Association, using photos in outdoor advertising creates a 300-percent greater recall than ads without photos. Also, a colored background organizes the information and enables the viewer to read it 26-percent faster, according to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

"Billboard advertising works and it works very well, if it is used properly," said Cleveland. "High-quality graphics are critical. One of the great things for drtv advertisers is that the technology for printing outdoor graphics is photographic. It is like product packaging - you have to have an appetizing photograph."

Cleveland added that billboards can fail when an advertiser tries to do too much. "So many times billboards are ineffective because we try to use them to communicate more than they can communicate, or to communicate too complex an idea. It takes too long for a person viewing the billboard to understand the message."

An example is a sign plastered with a number of Web site addresses, phone numbers and logos. Too much of a good thing has the wrong effect when passers-by have seconds to read as they speed past.

For a billboard to maximize its per view direct response television potential, Cleveland suggests first determining what the ad needs to accomplish.

"There are certain products or services that may not benefit that well from outdoor advertising," said Cleveland. "A branding message that isn't complicated works the best."

Cleveland warns against a message that grows stale. Depending on the location of the billboard, most target consumers see a billboard's message continually - on their way to and from work, for instance. Constantly refreshing messages is the solution to keeping the billboard from being ignored.