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Top 10 Rules for Billboard Advertising

by Colling Media - November 14, 2023

Top 10 Rules for Billboard Advertising

According to an Arbitron National In-Car Study, 71% of Americans consciously look at billboard messages while driving, making billboard advertising an effective and reliable marketing choice. The problem is, not all billboards are created equal. Billboard advertising has an entirely different set of rules when compared with other mediums. Billboard advertising has to tell a story about your company using thought-provoking images and very few words to accompany the pictures. Billboards need to create an immediate impact on your customer base. You should abide by the top 10 rules for billboard advertising.

Ten Rules for Billboard Advertising

Below are ten basic rules to keep in mind when creating your billboard advertising creative.

1. Target Your Audience

As part of the design process, get into the head of your customer base. Think about what kinds of ads will reach them. Putting a face on your audience will help you make vital decisions about your ads’ design and placement.

2. Curb Boredom

Entertain your audience. Let your message spark imagination and encourage customers to seek out more information about your business. Creative billboards win.

3. Think Bigger

Sometimes the most challenging facet of creating a billboard ad is thinking about the scale of the images and text. You have to keep in mind that views of the billboard will often be at a distance of 500 feet or more. The words will have to be at least a foot tall, and the spacing between words and lines increased.

4. Write a Sentence, Not a Book

Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians glance at billboards quickly and don’t have the time to read a long, drawn-out message about your business. A rule of thumb is to keep text at seven words or less. If you can’t get your company’s message across with a short phrase, billboard ads may not be right for you.

5. Go for Readability

Although you may love fancy fonts, they are not the right choice for outdoor advertising. Use simple, large fonts that are legible from great distances.

6. Design Responsibly

There’s a fine line between getting your billboard noticed and providing a massive distraction to drivers. Depending on your business, you might want to keep your image choices G-rated and your text clean.

7. Keep Your Images Relevant

Kittens and puppies are undoubtedly adorable, but unless you’re a pet supply company, they have no business on your billboard. Choose one of your products to display on your billboard sign or an iconic image that viewers can associate with your brand.

8. Choose High-Resolution Images

Grainy and blurry photos will look unappealing displayed on a large canvas like billboards. As a guideline, billboard images should have a resolution minimum of 300 pixels per inch.

9. Remember Contact Info

Branding is a must on your billboard. Remember to incorporate your business phone number and website in the space.

10. Use Colors and Contrast

Billboard ads aren’t the time to go boring with your color choices. Choose bold colors since they’ll be more noticeable from considerable distances. Contrasting colors will improve Readability. Ideal options include black, white, red, yellow, and blue.

Our 10 rules for billboard advertising will help you elevate your billboard advertising campaigns. The rules apply to digital billboards since your end goal will be the same: get your business noticed.

Additional Tips for Effective Billboard Advertising

Use a clear call to action. 

Tell viewers what you want them to do, whether it’s visiting your website, calling your business, or learning more about your product or service.

Use humor or surprise. 

A well-placed joke or unexpected twist can make your billboard more memorable and engaging.

Test your ads. 

Before you roll out your billboard campaign, test your ads in different locations to see which ones are most effective.


Q: What is the average cost of a billboard?

The average cost of a billboard can vary depending on the location, size, and length of the campaign. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 per month for a billboard.

Q: How long does a billboard campaign typically last?

Billboard campaigns typically last from 30 to 90 days. However, you can also run shorter or longer campaigns depending on your budget and goals.

Q: How can I measure the effectiveness of my billboard campaign?

There are a number of ways to measure the effectiveness of your billboard campaign. You can track website traffic, phone calls, and sales. You can also use surveys to gauge public awareness of your brand.

Q: What are some common mistakes people make when creating billboards?

Some common mistakes people make when creating billboards include: Not targeting their audience, Using too much text, Using low-quality images, Not including a call to action, Not testing ads

Colling Media is a Phoenix, AZ-based advertising agency specializing in billboard advertising and placing outdoor advertising.

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