Neil Bell Says Digital Billboards Make The Pie Bigger

This is the second article in a series by Neil Bell of New South Outdoor on selling ad space on digital billboards.  New South is the company that put a tiger tail on an Auburn Alabama billboard to tie into hometown football loyalties.  Neil’s previous article was  Getting The Most Out of a Digital Billboard Ad.

By Neil Bell, owner, New South Outdoor

With the increase of digital billboards in the market, there have been many new industries moving their advertising money from other media to outdoor.  Outdoor’s newly acquired abilities have helped make OOH a stronger competitor for those newspaper and broadcast dollars.

Here is a list a few of these new advertisers that have been using outdoor in a way that was previously impossible.  Hopefully these will help give you ideas when you are out there selling.

  • Funeral Homes– Running obituaries on the digital board – running photos of the deceased and a web address for the full write up which would ordinarily get published in the newspaper.
  • Realtors– Many realtors have been running individual listings for nearby homes. They report that they rarely attribute the sale of the posted homes to the billboard. They do, however, report that they see an increase in homeowners signing on with them to list their homes.  An increase in listings often equates to a higher possibility of the realtor selling additional homes.
  • Venues– Civic centers, concert halls, theatres and other places where ticketed events are held are starting to buy longer term. Before digital, only select events got outdoor support and only for 2-4 weeks beforehand.  Now, a venue can sign an annual agreement and run all of their upcoming events without production charges.  They also have the ability to run one event at a heavier rotation than another.
  • Entire Shopping Centers/Downtown Merchants– Many of the merchants in the center are pooling their funds to purchase time on a digital board. The copy has a common look with shopping center branding (i.e. “Visit us at Westgate Center!” or “Come Shop Downtown.”), but each rotation features a different merchant.  Some shopping centers even purchase the space and then re-sell it to multiple tenants for a profit.
  • Arcade/Children’s Entertainment– These businesses are using the ease of personalization in their ads to drive sales. (Examples: Chuck E. Cheese, Monkey Joes, Shobiz)  If the parents sign up for a birthday party with a minimum amount of guests, the entertainment center will run a happy birthday message to their child that day using their slot on the digital board.

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