BILLBOARD

It’s just an ordinary morning today when I ride in a bus and almost get stack into traffic. From Makati Avenue going to Guadalupe is not a busy road at all but from Guadalupe (EDSA) going to my work place is a different story. I stayed in Guadalupe Bridge for almost 10 minutes and noticed something new . . . new billboards of Bench about summer thingimabob. I even recognized that the billboard of Coco Martin is as huge as the one of the buildings there at the back of Pioneer Center . . . I took a deep breath and just say “wow!”. Subsequently, I asked some queries in my cognizance . . . and ruminate and ruminate again. (until now)

A lot of people are really worried about the different distractions in driving. Actually, there are already laws about bringing to a standstill in texting behind the wheel, talking on the phone, even drinking a coffee and all distractions that divert the eyes of the drivers from the road. We must agree that driving distractions are threats.

Billboards are large structure used for advertising naturally found in high traffic areas. As an advertising style, billboard advertisements are designed to catch a person’s attention and generate impression very quickly, parting the reader’s discernment about the advertisement. Construction of it and other markers has become a customary occurrence in our country but an increase of the number billboards on the milieu creates undue congestion. As I notice it, wherever one sees as a point for way or advertising, a billboard is raised.

According to research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (2007), found that there is no evidence of a connection between digital billboards and traffic accidents. However, in the latest review of studies by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found that digital billboards “attract drivers’ eyes away from the road for extended, demonstrably unsafe periods of time.” Well, nobody will be surprised about the distraction brought about the billboards along highways. Definitely, if it didn’t catch drivers’ attention then they wouldn’t be laid there. Right?

There are about 10,000 billboards in Metro Manila alone, majority of which are along EDSA that somehow cause road accidents and other impasse. This is the very reason why even the former president GMA ordered dismantling of billboards though her Administrative Order 160.

It is just to give importance in ensuring public safety against hazardous structures such as distractive billboards and signages. As I observed, excessive number of outdoor signs and billboards have led to accidents which have caught the attention of the public who are now clamoring for the outright ban on billboards.

Ooooops! Please don’t get me wrong. I never said that I hate billboards. In fact, they show me cheerful images of things that I crave for some reason (maybe similar to your reason) aside from the fact that is a good marketing style. Unless, of course, you want to promote something and your company is good enough to have billboard alongside a busy highway.

Billboards are more effective in seizing attention than any other else in the road. But the big question is, “Are they really effective in attracting customers?”.

I will be citing some of the basic considerations before placing billboards. Successful billboards are those in good location. Ideally, billboards should be placed in a place where there are numerous people and highways were there is heavy traffic. It should be printed in vinyl because vinyl doesn’t fade as quickly as paint and it is usually cheaper and easier to use. The design should be eye-catching and informative, as it convey message in few seconds. Contents should not be more than eight words. Cost is also an important thing that has to be considered before having billboards. Basically, it depends on the contract, size and location. The last but the most important I think is the purpose. Is it right to have billboard in your business? If it will not really help you in your business, better not to have it or try other marketing style that are proven effective, cheaper and yet will bring quality output.

Well, billboard advertising is highly effective marketing instrument for businesses. On the other hand, we can also consider it as a waste of money if the purpose failed to perform its role. Billboards are really costly, so it will be much better to know all the sides of your marketing style before bannering it along superhighways.  🙂

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