How Effective Are Mobile Billboards?

By Nadiya Mutchu Sehgal and Rose Sugatan

Activity With a Billboard:

Considered to be one of the most creative ways to advertise, mobile billboard advertising is a favorite among advertisers. It is a more innovative method compared to other contemporary advertising mediums. Advertising on moving vehicles is certainly an effective and unique way to advertise in the modern age. As opposed to more traditional forms of advertising, like static billboards, it can move and travel great distances displaying a singular campaign or multiple by having more than one vehicle cruising through. It carries the message directly to people. Everyone, from people standing lines to those driving to work, are all directly targeted. Once companies study and assess neighborhoods that might include people who would like to purchase their brand or try the service they have to offer, it makes the campaign more effective and successful. The visible nature of the ad makes it stand-out and hard to miss. Here are some ways mobile billboards are extremely effective: 

A billboard can comprise an entire campaign idea. While it is hard to ignore, people merely glance at it while passing by. Therefore it is important to make it interesting and creative. Some of the ways to do this is by including gameplay and activities. It can then directly engage with a potential consumer. This creates an experience with the consumer. Coca-cola’s successful ‘open happiness’ campaign is a great example of this. They will most likely record this interaction and will want to take it to an online space. LED screens are another method. Since it can be seen at night as well, it will most likely stand-out on the streets. It is effective since it is bright and eye-grabbing. Some more out-of-the-box, never-been-done-before methods can make it more enticing. 

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Additionally, rolling out a truck campaign during winter and summer festivity can be a huge bonus since there is more footfall in shopping districts and malls. This can create a lasting impression on consumers and drive up sales.  Seeing multiple mobile billboards at once can further grab someone’s attention and get that instagram – social media worthy post. 

When launching a new brand or product, special offers or limited edition products, mobile advertising can be fruitful. Additionally, the billboard doesn’t only have to consist of a picture, it can have a sound system attached. This definitely does turn heads. Mobile digital billboards which use cutting-edge technology, can screen not just billboards for a campaign, but commercials as well. 

Finally, the most common and affordable method is wrapped billboards. These are vehicles which have an advertisement wrapped around it. Usually made out of thin vinyl sheets, they can also be painted. For example, minivans and delivery trucks can often be seen with this type of advertisement. Larger vehicles like the TTC bus, subway or streetcar can also have ads wrapped around them. Movies are most often seen as being promoted this way. 

Wide Reach: 

A common misconception of a mobile billboard ad is that only the brand’s vehicle carries the billboard while out on a delivery, like in the case of Amazon Prime. This is untrue. Trucks of any kind can be rented out and using the wrapped advertising method, can carry a billboard of any brand. Empty spaces on trucks are rented out and utilized for displaying ads. It can then be reached to people in multiple venues, outside concert halls and event spaces. It specially targets people who are waiting in line for hours and will be enticed by a mobile billboard which could possibly expect engagement of some kind in the form of an activity. 

It is safe to assume that mobile billboards can access and visit places where people are expected to be in. They also have access to residential spaces since they are often out making deliveries. Unlike traditional billboards which are limited to highways and congested neighborhoods or shopping districts. A part of what makes mobile billboards unconventional is the fact that it can enter spaces you wouldn’t otherwise expect to see one. At the same time it helps reach niche market spaces. If a brand wants to sell high-end electronics, circling the financial district would be a good idea. Parking right next to a popular upscale pub would be beneficial. Therefore, if a brand has a specific clientele and they want to cater to them, then this type of targeting will benefit them profoundly. 

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A Cost-Effective Return on Investment: 

Mobile billboard advertising can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods like TV, radio or print ads. This is especially true for smaller businesses or startups who have limited marketing budgets. The cost per impression is lower than other forms of advertising, making it a cost-effective option for businesses that want to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.

While it is true that mobile billboards are more economical, it might be a little surprising that it costs more on a per-day basis. However, when looking at the bigger picture, mobile billboards have a higher return on investment. The cost includes a lot of elements, therefore in a sense it is like a beautifully packaged campaign with a bow on top. It has a 97% recall rate. This is a huge assurance to have as a company, since it seems that the chances of a campaign being successful is quite high. 

Targeted Advertising:

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One of the biggest advantages of mobile billboards is the ability to target specific demographics or areas. For example, a local restaurant could advertise in the surrounding neighborhoods to attract nearby residents. On the other hand, a new tech startup could target business districts or tech hubs where their target audience works. This level of targeted advertising allows businesses to reach their desired audience with a higher level of accuracy than traditional billboards, which rely on a general location to target consumers.

Flexible and Customizable:

The design of mobile billboards can be customized to suit the business’s branding and marketing message. A design can be eye-catching, with bold and vibrant colours or unique graphics to attract the attention of potential customers. Plus, the design can be updated or changed regularly to keep the campaign fresh and exciting.

When it comes to routes taken by the mobile billboard, businesses have complete control, allowing them to target specific locations or events where their target audience is likely to be present. For example, a business may choose to drive their mobile billboard through a busy downtown area during peak hours or target a specific event or festival where their customers are likely to be in attendance. This flexibility allows businesses to reach their target market at the right place, at the right time.

Additionally, with mobile billboards, businesses can experiment with different strategies to see what works best for them. They can try different designs, messages, and routes to determine which ones are most effective in reaching their potential customers and generating leads or sales. The ability to experiment and adapt quickly is particularly valuable for small businesses or startups that may not have a large marketing budget. The flexibility and customization of mobile billboards provide businesses with a unique and powerful advertising tool that can be tailored to their specific needs and marketing objectives.

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Higher Engagement:

Since they are hard to ignore, mobile billboards tend to be more engaging than other forms of advertising. Unlike static billboards that are stationary, mobile billboards are constantly on the move and can reach potential customers wherever they are. The movement and changing messages of mobile billboards can catch the attention of people who may have otherwise ignored a static billboard or other forms of advertising.

Mobile billboards are also driven to the exact audience that a brand desires, which makes them more effective at engaging potential customers. For example, if a brand is targeting a specific demographic, they can drive their mobile billboard to the areas where that demographic is most likely to be found. This allows the brand to reach their desired audience more effectively and increase engagement with their advertising.

In addition, mobile billboards can be placed in areas where other forms of advertising are not allowed or may not be as effective. For example, they can be driven through busy pedestrian areas or neighbourhoods where static billboards are not permitted. This makes mobile billboards a versatile and effective advertising tool for brands looking to increase engagement with their target audience.

Better Tracking and Analysis:

Compared to traditional billboards, mobile billboards allow for better tracking and analytics. With GPS tracking, advertisers can monitor the location of their mobile billboard in real-time, which can be helpful for targeting specific areas where their target audience is most probably present. Additionally, mobile billboards provide more accurate data on the number of impressions or views an ad receives. Advertisers can track how long their billboard was parked in a particular location, and use this information to estimate the number of people who saw the ad. This data can help advertisers measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and adjust their strategies as needed to improve their results.

Mobile billboard advertising also has the ability to conduct A/B testing, where advertisers can run different versions of their ads and measure which one performs better. This can help them optimize their messaging to resonate better with their target audience. Overall, the ability to track and analyze mobile billboard advertising campaigns in real-time provides advertisers with valuable insights that can help them optimize their marketing efforts and improve their return on investment.

Novelty Factor:

If there’s one thing different about mobile billboards, it’s their ability to grab people’s attention due to their unique and innovative nature. Unlike traditional billboards, which are static and often blend into their surroundings, mobile billboards are large, moving advertisements that can capture the attention of people who might not have noticed a traditional billboard.

When people see something new and different, their brains tend to take notice and remember it. As a result, mobile billboards can help brands stand out from their competitors and create a lasting impression on their target audience. This novelty factor can also make mobile billboards more memorable than other forms of advertising, which can increase the likelihood that people will not only remember, but respond to the brand’s message. This can help brands break through the clutter of traditional advertising and generate interest and attention from potential customers.

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In recent years technology has advanced profoundly. Mobile billboards can now collect data on the go. Not only is data collection possible, it is faster and efficient. It is safe to assume that the technology will only improve in the years to come. Movia uses beacon technology which collects real-time impressions, making the entire campaign a worthwhile investment as the collected data can be utilized for future campaigns and understanding the consumer base better. Therefore, while it might seem expensive at first, it actually is the most affordable–and effective–medium based on the final sales and brand loyalty it will achieve. 

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