The above billboard can be found on 490 East (headed toward Downtown) in Rochester, New York. The billboard location hasn't changed in years. Probably because it works so well. It's also a great example of a super-effective billboard.
Why is it so effective? Because it presents a compelling message, that drives people to action ... "Spend a few bucks on lotto tickets for your (minuscule) chance to win $290,000,000." In this case, the event is the giveaway of $290 MM. The bigger the jacket, the more demand.
A neat feature of the billboard is that it's both a static billboard and has dynamic updating. Each time the jackpot changes, the winning amount gets automatically updated ... probably with a cell or wireless connection. Isn't that the same as a digital billboard? Not really, and here's why ... Unlike a digital billboard there is no 8 second ad rotation. That's one HUGE downside to digital billboards ... It can be a crapshoot in terms of making sure the right audience sees your message at the right time.
Same Marketing Fundamentals (Yet Again)
Lately, I've been bringing up a number of marketing examples that seemly have nothing to do with events. The reason is because marketing ideas are interchangeable from one industry to another. In this case, the SAME fundamentals that frenzy people to buy lotto tickets are applicable to selling advance tickets to your event. Remember - the fundamentals of sales and marketing never change.
If you haven't already, please make sure you read "The Billboard Test and Beyond." It gives some great points that you need to consider before advertising your event with billboards.
What You Need to Include
If you're going to try and leverage billboard advertising, you need to include:
- The name of your event
- Dates and times
- A strong call to action directing people to your event web site.
- e.g. "Visit (YourSite.com) for Deep Discount Ticket Offers!"
Most importantly, if you're going to use a billboards to promote your event, keep the message simple and direct. You're wasting your advertising dollars on billboards if you only list the name of your event, dates, and times. Don't try to cram every last detail into your billboard. Please can stop and carefully consider all the information, because they're probably driving.
Please Don't Do This
Last year, a client spent thousands of dollars on a visually stunning billboard. It included a great performer shot, the event title, even dates, and featured the main sponsor. Sadly, the designer neglected to included the event web site address or a strong call to action. Example - "Visit (YourSite.com) for Deep Discount Ticket Offers - Before It's Too Late!" The result ... LESS than 10 additional daily visitors to their web site. That's preposterous!
Would you pay thousands of dollars a month for an extra 300 monthly web site visitors? That's exactly what happen and it was bad news. Fortunately, because the billboard was digital they were able to quickly change their billboard and include their web address. You've been warned - please don't make the same innocent, yet costly mistake!
The Same Advice is Cross-Medium Applicable
The information above is not only applicable to billboards, but it can also be used for flyers, posters, postcards, business cards, etc. It's the fundamentals, in this case a strong compelling call to action, that make a world of difference.
Here are some additional articles that will help you create super-effective billboards:
- The Billboard Test and Beyond
- A "Must Follow" Event Advertising Strategy
- The Importance of Market Research in Planning Your Event
- Get Great Ideas from an Event Marketing Field Trip
- The Experience Must EXCEED that of Your Event Marketing
- Horrid Event Marketing Mistake: Confusing Art with Results
- A Black Friday Marketing Idea for Event Promoters
- Event Marketing from the Magazine Rack