In today’s digital age, it was only a matter of time before billboards turned digital too. Billboards resemble a glimpse of a lively city environment. They make you think of Times Square and its glitzy blockbuster atmosphere. They’ve always been used to promote products, services or spread awareness on various causes for decades – so what really has changed?

With the emergence of technology, billboards have evolved from standard, old printed posters to illuminating digital or LED screens with interchangeable ads every couple of seconds. Therefore, they’re still doing what they’ve always done – just more timely and effectively.

Digital billboard advertising is here to stay. It’s combining the best of billboard ads, advanced tech and content strategies used in digital marketing today.

Moreover, digital billboard advertising has got an impressive ability to achieve high exposure and interactivity rates. It’s the perfect medium to showcase concise messages and attract and urge onlookers.

Just as everything else in digital marketing, LED billboard campaigns require a certain set of elements to ensure its success. Everything from researching the right location to the demographics and preferences of the target audience are vital.

In this comprehensive blog, we will share why digital billboard advertising is such a big hit.

Digital advertising billboards
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – 2020/08/31: Digital billboards at Piccadilly Circus, London’s West End. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

What Is Digital Billboard Advertising?

The standard definition of digital billboard advertising is digital images displayed on a changing, computerised board to promote a specific brand, product, or service.

Digital billboards are designed to exchange images every couple of seconds. While these billboards are primarily used in advertising, they can also be used for public services purposes.

According to OAAA, digital billboards generate high recall for ads and positive consumer attitudes. Three out of four respondents recalled seeing a digital billboard in the past month and 60% noticed one in the past week.

Billboard Types

Before exploring the option of billboard advertising, it’s important to know what’s out there. Believe it or not, there are four main types of regular, digital or LED billboards. The standard kind, the digital, the trivision and the wallscape.

Standard Billboards

Remember the form of billboards we’ve all been impressed by as kids? It still works out great for some businesses and in some prime locations. Standard looking billboards to this day remain an eye-catcher and a classic outdoor advertising channel for companies around the world.

Old fashioned billboard example image.
Static billboards are fine, but they lack the potential of their digital counterparts. (Image credit: Billboard Advertising)

Digital Billboards

Digital or LED billboards have revolutionised the outdoor advertising industry by providing a hassle-free, cost-efficient and more attractive finished product than traditional billboards.

With digital billboards, the advertising campaign can be launched instantaneously without any delay. All the time involved in taking down the billboard and pasting the new ads is saved. Advertisers get the opportunity to run their ads in a specified time slot instead of 24 hours, meaning more control is handed over to the advertiser.

Digital billboard advertising example
Digital billboards are an incredible way to grab people’s attention. (Image credit: Scotsman)


Trivision or three-message sign is a set of framed triangular prisms rotating on a 120-degree angle. This type of billboards provides great flexibility and space for showcasing several different ads, or one ad with different messages, at the same time. Plus, there’s no denying it’s eye-catching!

Trivision billboard advertising example image
Trivision billboard ads have been around for decades now. (Image credit: Standard Outdoor)


Wallscape is another synonym for a mighty billboard. They are very gigantic, considered by far the largest billboard option for advertisers. Sometimes, depending on the location, a wallscape can even envelop multiple walls on a building, like below. A standard wallscape size is around 700 square feet.

Wallscape billboard advertising example
Wallscape billboard advertising can also be effective, but the opportunities are rare. (Image credit: Clear Channel)

What Are the Pros and Cons of Digital Billboard Advertising?

Before investing in digital billboards, one should consider how the business can benefit from them and also learn how to deal with the downsides.

The Pros of Digital Billboard Advertising

They Are Often Built in Prime Locations

Advertisers place digital billboards in heavily exposed locations such as famous squares, bridges and high roads.

While this advertising is not exactly the best method to get a good return on investment, it effectively increases brand awareness.

Digital billboards are more likely to encourage people to look up from their phones, more so than a static stock image and text. This is how the digital industry has creatively tackled this ongoing issue with standard billboards. Therefore, its attention-grabbing USP is worth capitalising on, especially in high traffic areas.

You Can Pick Your Preferred Time Slot

Digital billboards capture attention around the world. However, a lot of advertisers do not utilise their time on the screen properly. Since digital billboards display up to five or six different ads throughout the day. Suppliers understand this and allow advertisers to select the best timing for them.

One business can select the preferable time to display its message. For instance – if the ad is a limited time offer – the shop or brand can research the best times to display their message.

Also, as illustrated by Air Outdoor, if the advertiser is a bar and the offer is a happy hour, it makes more sense to focus on targeting passersby at the end of the day. As they are better prospect consumers.

You Can Promote Several Messages In a Larger Campaign

Digital billboard advertising can really highlight large-scale campaigns as it allows advertisers to spread multiple messages. You can also choose between best slots and certain demographics in order to achieve optimal results. This further enhances any campaign’s flexibility and specific targeting of consumers.

With this in mind, you can spark a familiarity between your audience and your campaign. By changing the visuals but maintaining a cohesive, true-to-brand style, you can enhance brand awareness even further.

Be Part of a Fast-Paced Environment

Digital billboard advertising guarantees a shorter lead time. As worshippers of timings due to how impactful it can be on campaigns, advertisers use billboards to increase brand image and engagement levels at peak times. Digital billboards waste no time. Once an ad is finished, it can be published in a matter of hours.

This is highly beneficial as you do not need to go through the rigmoroll of waiting around and feeling frustrated that people will not see your ad. Once your time slot is booked, it is only a matter of time before your results start to come in.

The Cons of Digital Billboard Advertising

As much as it would be nice to have an all-positive advertising window, it’s nearly impossible to achieve. However, there are best-case scenarios, but in order to achieve that, you must be aware of the cons.

Cost Depending on Location

Digital billboard advertising can sometimes far exceed the company’s outdoor marketing budgets. Why? Simply put, the location and timing of the ad fully dictate its pricing. If we also put the high demand in play then prices could spike even more.

This disadvantage often forces small to medium enterprises to compromise and use different locations, therefore, downplaying their results and exposure rates.

Message Transfer and Receipt for Consumers

While flexibility is highly needed when it comes to digital billboard advertising, it can sometimes have a negative impact. For instance, if a campaign has various messages that shuffle as the day goes by, day-time drivers or passersby will only get to see the morning messages, same goes for night-time drivers.

Less Exposure and Exclusivity

Because digital billboards feature up to six different ads, this means less concentration or exclusivity to one ad and more messages to take on by consumers.

This potential lack of exposure could mean that prospects miss out on your message and thus, drop the overall success of the marketing campaign.

Moreover, there is the issue of competing with how attractive the other ads are that are also playing on the same digital billboard. Even if the other ads target different segments or are showcasing irrelevant products or services – they might look more visually appealing to consumers.

Distractions on the Road

There’s no denying that the more flashy the billboard, the more distracting it will be. While this is the intention – this is not always a positive outcome, especially for drivers. Outdoor digital ads can have an impact on a driver’s focus on the road, which is undoubtedly dangerous.

Another aspect is that during nighttime, when digital billboards are supposed to be most effective, this can become a cluttered scene. With other bright lights like lampposts and cars distorting the effectiveness, the ad can almost blend into the environment too much.

Not Environmentally Friendly

According to On Sign, digital billboards are guilty of being extreme energy wasters. As they work around the clock, day and night, they take up so much energy, which adds a cost, too. However, as we progress to the future, this matter will likely be less troublesome as methods such as solar power collection will become a key player.

So, Are Digital Billboards Effective?

Studies claim that more than half of viewers notice and engage with digital billboards. These results prove that digital billboards are highly memorable and effective in delivering brand messages.

Digital billboards speak the minds of brands and resonate with the audience in an eye-catching way. That’s why they always generate positive attitudes and feedback from consumers. This form of advertising comprises the best of online ads and the mighty exposure of outdoor billboards; it’s interactive, clever, cool, and up-to-date.

Important Elements in Digital Billboard Advertising Strategy

Like any other platform for advertising or form of marketing, digital billboards require a set of elements to operate efficiently and provide the best results possible.

The Location

Selecting the right location is a deal maker or breaker. To choose the optimal space for an ad, any company must mind their target market, demographics, all while keeping an eye on nearby competitive ads.

The Message

Because digital billboards are interchangable, and are only displayed for a fraction of a minute at a time, messages have to be highly concentrated, concise and memorable. Always keep in mind that passersby only get a few seconds to read this ad – so keep it short and exciting.

The Action

Successful marketing campaigns are the ones with direct calls-to-action. Digital billboard advertising is no exception to that rule. Each ad posted should have a direct action for consumers to perform. Specialists argue that the most fitting messages for digital billboards are brand awareness.

If you, like most of us, have thought that billboard days are over. Think again. Digital billboards are here to stay. Their impact and effectiveness speak volumes. Even with targeted platforms such as online ads and social media – digital billboard advertising remains one of the strongest, innovative mediums there are.

We will leave you with a video that explains how you can analyse your advertising strategy to be able to improve it.

At ProfileTree, we offer digital advertising as one of our services – whether it be to give you advice, or give you a helping hand. Contact us today to see how we can get you started.

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