Who is the target audience for billboards?

Billboard advertisements are typically seen by all those who pass by them, be it driving by it in a vehicle, walking down the street etc. Billboard ads are typically strategically placed where the target audience of the advertisement frequents the most. However you may ask, what is the typical target audience for any billboard? Well lets begin with some statistics, according to Harley’s Dream, 71% of people driving past billboards are consciously looking at billboards. Additionally, according to Mixed Media, Americans typically spend about 300 hours in their vehicles annually, meaning these consumers will be seeing these ads very frequently, intentionally or unintentionally. Now considering these statistics, a study done by Nielsen OOH finds that about 90% of US travelers are about 16 years of age or older. This study had analyzed all the different types of billboards such as street furniture, transit advertising and many more to come up with this conclusion. It had also pointed out that the most frequently seen type of OOH ad are billboards (roadside). The final verdict on what age group views OOH ads most frequently are those ages 16 – 34 and that is after viewing all formats of OOH. It also highlights the household income of those to be $100K and up.

It has shown in the past couple of years with technology increasing and becoming more advanced especially with its effect on the advertising industry, that the younger generation are the ones influencing these advances. A clear example of this would be the incorporation of QR codes in advertisements.

QR codes have only recently been introduced within ads across countries as it makes it an easy transition if the target wants to go straight to the product they see in the advertisement displayed. All they have to do is pull out their phones and scan the code with their camera and they get redirected straight to the link to the product. The younger generation are known to be more savvy in that department whereas the older generation prefers to go directly in person to shop their favorites or may not be able to learn the news form of technological advertising or may not even want to. 

Another question is do consumers even see these ads and perceive them the way the advertisers intend them to be seen? Well statistics show the target audience is most responsive to advertisements that are more interactive which again may tie into the specific age group that is most responsive to them.

Photo by Yuting Gao from Pexels

People are more receptive to billboard ads in general as they are targeted towards a very captive audience, those driving the streets. Consumers who are always on the road are bound to view your billboard whether intentional or not as the billboards are typically to the right or left of the street or overhead. Another reason is the creativity in billboard ads that really catch the attention of the consumer. Having visuals and copywriting that pop out to the target such as bright colour, large writing and visuals that one would not expect are what make your billboard ads most effective. Finally, the content you place onto your billboard should be what is most relevant to what is going on in the present day. The content you create for your brand should already be most relevant to today’s atmosphere, so catering your visuals to depict that is very important to ensure the best viewability and results. These relevant ads should then have a call to action and a very easy and quick way to reach your brand as according to a study done by Neilson, 23 percent of those surveyed say that after viewing a billboard they went online to find out more information on the brand. 

Out of home advertising is one of if not the most effective form of advertising out there. When brands create content to place on a billboard, be it static or digital, they need to take into account who will be seeing these ads outside of their target audience. Studies have shown that the typical viewer or an out of home billboard is about the age of 18 to 34 years. Brands should keep this in mind when creating content as these are the type of people who would most likely be responding to the ad and should therefore be up to date with the most relevant content. Content should always stand out to be able to catch the attention of the consumer as the majority of the time they will spend five to ten seconds reading before ultimately passing by it. The ad should be memorable so that said target thinks they want to learn more about the product or service. Consumers are hard to please, so being on top of the latest trends and keeping a watchful eye on what the current events are will ensure you a successful campaign.

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