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Planning a billboard advertisement may appear a large and complex task, especially if you’re new to O.O.H (out-of-home) advertising.

To help you, we’re going to take you through a few vital steps to ensure that you can release a high quality billboard advertisement that captures the attention of your target audience effectively.

In this post we’ll help you answer questions such as:

  • What’s the most important image for this billboard?
  • Does this artwork clearly show what you do as a company?
  • Is your call to action clear?
  • Do we clearly drive consumer interaction here?

As an agency with years of industry experience and expertise in the ooh advertising market, we are well versed in the steps that go into creating a successful billboard advertisement – so let’s dive right in!

Step 1: Choose a type of billboard advertisement.

The type of billboard you select plays a big role in the success of your campaign.

There are a variety of billboard types you can choose from, from static print billboards and digital billboards to animated digital billboards, and mobile billboards.

Types of billboards:

  • Print billboards.
  • Digital billboards.
  • Mobile billboards.
  • Bulletin billboard.
  • Vinyl billboards.
  • Painted billboards.
  • Three-dimensional billboards.
  • Scented billboards(a little more out of the box!). 

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Advertising to find out more about types of billboards and explore billboard advertising.


Step 2: Craft creative media for your billboard that grabs attention.

Each element of your billboard is important to capture the right kind of attention from your audience.

With billboard advertisements you can increase your impressions and recall rate, by placing an intriguing campaign in right areas – such as bustling city centres, beside main roads and other hotspots.

Let’s cover some design elements that to assist you on with the design of your billboard advertisement:

Billboard image/visual:

It goes without saying that the images you use in your billboard advertisement need to be bold, eye catching, and grab the attention of a moving audience. The images need to tell the story without necessarily needing the assistance of the text if your ad includes text. Keep in mind that you only have a few seconds to get your message across, so make it punchy.


Colour is a powerful design element that can make or break your billboard advert. Choosing the right colour can be influenced by a number of things, while you want to incorporate your brand colours, you also need to take into account the surroundings of your billboard.

The point of billboard advertising is to stand out, so if your billboard is on the outskirts of the city where there is lots of greenery you want to avoid colours such as green and brown in your advertisement, as these will blend into the environment. Here is an example of how

Slogan & marketing message:

The majority of your audience will only examine your billboard for 5-10 seconds maximum as they drive past, meaning you need to create a slogan for your billboard that catches their attention and sticks in their mind. The slogan is amongst one of the most important aspects of billboard advertising and it’s highly recommended that you simply use 7 words or less.

Key content:

Keeping in mind that you have around 10 seconds or less to grab the attention of your audience and be memorable, your call to action needs to be easily spotted and easy to remember. Placement and the copy of your CTA is therefore very important, use your words and space wisely, make it clear what action you want your audience to take.


Step 3: Choosing a location for maximum marketing impact.

This is the most important element when it comes to billboard promotion.

The location of your advert is the make or break element for billboard advertising campaigns. Research your audience and brainstorm locations within which you’ll be able to target the segments of your intended target audience.

For example, if you wish to target fashion lovers, you may aim to place your billboard in the city center near shopping malls and fashion retail outlets – that way you remain top of mind when your customer enters a shopping mall where your outlet is positioned.


Step 4: Remember your key advertising objective(s).

When designing your billboard, always keep in mind the objective you are trying to achieve along your decision making process.

Whether you are promoting an in-store drive product or service, or getting your target audience to engage with you online, keeping the marketing objective top of the mind with your team and ensuring they understand the objective will assist in ensuring they execute the ad messaging successfully. Check out the below example from Ponds that conveys their desired message well.


Keep in mind that billboard advertisements are higher up the sales funnel, forming part of larger budget marketing objectives to increase brand awareness – and shouldn’t be considered a catalyst for direct sales or leads. That being said, a clever billboard campaign spreads like wildfire if you can break through the clutter and grab your audience’s attention effectively – helping you gain and retain more customers in the long run.

Step 5: Make your billboard advertisement interactive.

Depending on the location of your billboard, you may be able to make your design interact with the surroundings. In doing this, your ad sticks out and grabs the attention of drivers and pedestrians passing by.


Step 6: Be smart, but don’t overdo it.

You need to find the perfect medium between a smart billboard that will get noticed, but do not be too smart that you confuse the viewer or they find themselves scratching their heads trying to figure it out.


Step 7: Refine the design of your billboard advertising campaign.

One your ad is created, and you have followed all the design steps and your message is clear and concise you need to test it and refine it. Print out your billboard to the size of a business card. Now, hold it out at arm’s length. If you’re not getting everything you were when it was displayed on your 27-inch monitor then you need to rework it and make sure it pops!


Check out our list of the 55 best Billboard And OOH Ads Of All Time to get your creative juices flowing for your next billboard campaign!

Your International Billboard and OOH Advertising Partner

If you’re looking to incorporate OOH advertising into your next campaign, our expert team knows what makes it work. Empire has successfully helped many business owners reach their intended audience and gain new customers. Contact us for more information.

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