Chicago Billboard Advertising – Most Impactful Billboards in Greater Chicago Area


The most populous city in Illinois, with a population of about 2.716 million, and the third most populous city in the U.S. has learned to adopt modern billboard advertising in their mix. The Windy City is a unique metropolis consisting of the U.S.’s second largest central business district as well as rich culture filled with the performing arts and world class cuisine. This combination allows for high traffic exposure of billboards on one of the major interstate highways running through Chicago such as Interstate 55, Interstate 57, Interstate 65 or Interstate 80. Outdoor audiences are targeted for billboard advertising in downtown attractions like Rogers Park or Grant Park. Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, makes for another OOH advertising option. The hundreds of restaurants that flood State Street bring forth other advertising ventures, especially within food related advertising. 

Let’s take a closer look at what makes Chicago a star in outdoor advertising, what the costs look like, and what their transit system allows in terms of ad spots. 


Chicago utilizes outdoor advertising to best speak to their target markets

How to Best Advertise in Chicago 
Chicago truly takes advantage of the digital kick in outdoor advertising. The city uses Digital Urban Panels (DUPs) to best connect with pedestrians on street level upon entering a train station. The purpose of DUPs is to advertise businesses, first and foremost, but, along with that, also provide useful information about bus times, emergency messaging, and other travel updates. This helps consumers better plan their travels in Chicago, while also hinting at product placement and digital advertising messages. 
DUPs help travellers but also advertise products
Brands interested in displaying their messages alongside travel information see benefits in DUPs. But, another way that Chicago goes about advertising is through wallscapes. This format allows for graphics to be displayed directly onto building surfaces. Wallscapes are larger than normal bulletin billboards, and are a more interesting way to engage audiences in Chicago. Because Chicago is partly known for its arts scene, and its musical history, wallscapes match that talent with bright and bold designs featuring brands in a more creative sense.
Wallscapes bring an artsy edge to a basic outdoor environment 
Another way to best advertise in Chicago is through a technique called wild postings. Large brands are incorporating wild postings in their marketing mix because they work on street-level, urban environments and are engaging posters that connect real world with social media action. Wild postings meet the eye contact of people walking by, and they promote engagement on social media through the use of hashtags and call-to-action. Targeted specifically to millennial audiences due to its wheat-paste style and edge, wild postings have the ability to define brands in outdoor settings where attention must be grabbed, quick! 
Wild postings speak to millennials on street level


The Costs of Billboards in Chicago 

The average billboard rates in Chicago are as follows: 

Large Billboard Bulletins will run for about $1500-5000 per ad per month. 

Medium Billboard Posters will go for about $700-3000 per ad per month. 

Small Billboard Junior Posters will be around $300-800 per ad per month. 

Digital Billboard, offering the best in LED lighting and 24 hour display, will cost around $2500-8000 per ad per month. 

A prominent outdoor advertiser in Chicago called Scadron has served the market for over 100 years, providing outdoor advertising that hits the Kennedy Expressway, Ontario Street at Orleans Street, and the Ohio Feeder Ramp. The advertising that they specialize in with clients include new product alcohol, local restaurant, and innovative vehicle developments. 


Scadron provides high quality ads that aim at targeting people along the freeways


The Chicago Transit Authority 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the second largest public transit system in the U.S. It sees over 1 million passengers each day and includes full train wrap advertising, as well as interior cards that help to dominate the attention of all their riders. Their buses cover up to 1500 routes per day and include more than 1800 buses that allow for extensive advertising hitting the entire city of Chicago. In their subways, the CTA advertises in 135 of their stations that maximize brand visibility and target commuters to and from their destinations. Whether it be a tech product or a dining advertisement, the CTA completely endorses outdoor advertising and sees it as profitable potential for the consumers of Chicago. 


The CTA uses advertising to target their passengers

Airport Advertising in Chicago 
The O’Hare International Airport (ORD) uses advertising to deliver messages to flyers and business people. Whether traditionally or digitally, the ORD uses billboard advertising assets to give people waiting around something brand oriented to look at. The ORD serves almost 15 million United fliers each year, making this center one of the top places to advertise using billboards in Chicago. 
Be it wallscapes, wild postings, DUPs, or transit and airport advertising, the windy city’s impactful billboards are meant to blow consumers away… yet draw them in to their uniquely targeted messages. 


Talk to a Mobile Billboard specialist today


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

x [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]