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Technology Attracts Billboard Advertisers Back

There are 450,000 traditional billboards across the nation according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. Although there are only 500 digital billboards on U.S. roads, these digital billboards, resembling ballpark jumbo video displays that scroll through several static ads each minute, are helping to draw advertisers back to the outdoor medium.

(The computer-controlled LED displays, unlike their vinyl predecessors, allow advertisers to change their message as often as they would like. The initial cost of these giant screens are $300,000 to $500,000, as opposed to $80,000 and $100,000 for a typical steel billboard structure.)

Because digital billboards offer many new opportunities, including the ability for firms to use space in a time-share arrangement as well as opening up high-profile locations to more advertisers, they are the cutting edge of the future for outdoor media.

For example, the same billboard could offer a Starbucks ad during the morning commute, movie listings from the local theater complex during the ride home, and a late-night entertainment venue after the dinner hour.

It won´┐Żt be long before interactive billboards will entice commuters to download information to their cell phones.

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