Comparison Of Radio With Other Advertising Mediums
Outdoor Advertising + Radio
Billboards have come a long way since the Burma Shave days.
From the first advertising mural painted on the side of a building to today's animated "diamond vision" boards, outdoor advertising is an established part of the great American landscape.
If it stands or rolls, chances are it has an advertisement on it.
Bus sides, transit shelters, sidewalk benches, even privately owned automobiles, all reflect the value the business community sees in making their name visible to the public.
Advantages Of Outdoor Advertising
The combination of size, color and illumination attracts attention.
Billboards can be placed in high-traffic areas or other strategic locations, while transit signs can be affixed to the backs and sides of buses, in bus stops, and in rail stations.
Based on research by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, outdoor's cost-per-thousand is significantly lower than any other advertising medium.
Building Word of Mouth
Billboards can generate curiosity in "teaser" campaigns.
Outdoor's message can appear year-round. For additional fees, outdoor advertisers can purchase evening lighting - or in some cases, even 24-hour illumination.
Billboards can be used as directionals, guiding consumers to the location of a given business.
Current Status of Outdoor/Radio Advertising Rivalry
Significant Technological Advancements
Many of today's billboards are impressive. Vinyl technology provides advertisers with the ability to display images that are photographic in quality. Diamond Vision technology is turning some billboards into giant flat screen televisions. Inflatable and structural attachments make an advertiser's message 3-D.
These technologically evolved billboards do more than create visual impressions; they create word-of-mouth message proliferation.
As a result of these advancements, the outdoor industry has been able to grow their revenues at an impressive rate.
Brand Maintenance Rather Than Brand Building
Still, there are distinct limitations to what outdoor messages can achieve. While outdoor is effective at brand maintenance (assuming an adequate number of boards are bought), it is ineffective at initial branding.
Due to the minute amount of time consumers can spend reading them, billboard messages must be brief. Some experts recommend no more than eight words. As a result, comprehensive messages cannot be conveyed with a billboard.
Hard and Expensive to Update/Alter Messaging
Advertisers regularly must alter the messages they communicate to consumers. Marketing situations such as new locations, new departments, new products or services, and special events all require a new message.
However, changing messages on existing billboards is cost-prohibitive and require significant amounts of time to accomplish.
Radio Is The Perfect Advertising Partner
For all these reasons, Radio is the perfect partner for outdoor advertising. Not only can Radio do the things that outdoor cannot, we do them all cost-efficiently.
And considering the primary purpose of billboards is to reach consumers in their cars, can you think of a more compatible medium than Radio?
And by the way ... the Burma Shave outdoor campaign was brilliant.
Disadvantages Of Outdoor Advertising
The very nature of outdoor advertising demands that the commercial message be brief and relatively simple. Therefore, it is difficult to communicate product details, competitive advantages, and specific consumer benefits. Billboard companies generally recommend no more than seven words on a billboard, or people speeding by will not have time to read the message.
Prime outdoor locations (in high-traffic areas) often are controlled by large, long-term advertisers. Construction of new billboards is restricted by costs, space availability, and sometimes-rigid municipal codes and environmental regulations.
Because of growing environmental concerns, many communities have eliminated, reduced, or limited the volume and placement of outdoor advertising.
Lack of Effective Measuring Tools
Unlike other advertising media, outdoor advertising has no truly reliable method to measure its effectiveness. A few studies have been done, but they mostly apply to limited geographical areas and employ widely varying methodologies.
Commuters behind the wheel and other potential customers are exposed very briefly to outdoor messages, minimizing message retention. Such adverse conditions as heavy traffic or bad weather also can limit message impact and recall.
Once a message is up, it generally stays up through the duration of the contract, even if the advertiser's needs have changed. In addition, printing a new message is expensive, possibly taking weeks to produce and days or weeks to have it displayed.