Are Billboards Dying in the Age of Digital Marketing?


“The universe of Billboards is down about 17% over the past five years but there are still 15,000 of them just in the UK, so they are hardly scarce and unlikely to vanish for many years, if at all.”

       – Glen Wilson, MD, Posterscope(the world’s leading out-of-home and location marketing company)


Are Billboards their way out in the growing pace? Well I would say, NO! Billboards are not dying, in fact, they are getting modified by the digital world!

What exactly are Billboards?

Billboards are a kind of billing boards structure or a hoarding found in typical high traffic area, basically used for outdoor advertising structures. The kind of large billboards are placed on the highways or to a highly dense populated area, while the small ones such as, posters can be used for all type of advertisements. Billboards are designed in such a way that they leave a quick reminder on a person’s mind thus making them think about it again and again. We would have generally noticed that the billboards are written short, precise, with bright colours and large prints that’s because they are read in a short time while passing with a high-speed.


                         Source: Pixie Lott / Mayflower billboard © Southampton Old Lady

In some arguments, it could be heard that billboards are dying recently in the age of digital marketing as people travelling from places to places are focused less on the outer environment but more on their mobile phones and other gadgets.

As the research says, “After 7 years of declining revenues, the outdoor advertising industry is getting back on their track of growth and development, with the annual revenues of 8.4 billion dollars and an upraised in 17% profit margin.

But is the digital world really affecting the outdoor advertisement?? Well YES! ‘But in a positive way’.

Technology does not usually replace current industries, In fact, it often makes them stronger and powerful by adding the upgrades. Billboards are still in most use. Billboards are not just constant over a written board matter or information, but they are also used for direction and brand advertisements. There are certain types of billboards, for example, A classic billboard or bulletin board, which we can be seen in the high traffic areas such as Expressways and Highways. Vinyl billboards which are painted with UV paints so that they are captivating and can keep going for a long run. We also come across the Mobile Billboards, Three-Dimensional Billboards and now there are number of Digital Billboards that are created from computer programs and software, changing the texts and fonts that are repeated constantly in order to be in the mind of the reader.

Billboards are an easy and inexpensive way to grab everyone’s attention.


                             Source: Outdoor Media Center, “The Customer Journey”, 2015

The above graph shows the rate at which consumers reported being exposed to particular media. And Out of home or the outdoor advertisement still holds the second position. Billboards are of everyone’s reach and is attractive to everyone. The taglines or the slogans are not only impressive but also catchy, therefore it is the real way to bring brand awareness in the realistic world.

Some influential Billboards:

Coca Cola, a U.S brand is an advertiser in the New York times for 97 years, but its latest Billboard advertisement has made it big and bold like never before. Its new billboard has been advertised as the world’s first 3-D robotic sign, composing more than 1760 LED screens, approximately 1,379,840 LED lights, who’s content is programmed by considering the time of the day like for example if it’s the early morning time the content publishes the morning breakfast while in the daytime the content flaunts Coke and Meals. These Digital Billboards not only grabs people’s attention but also engages them with it for a longer period of time. Coca-Cola became a forefront of outdoor advertising innovation and the Guinness World Records as the Largest 3D Robotic Billboard and ‘The First 3-D Robotic Billboard.’

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Pepsi, again a U.S based company got a great way of targeting audience for their brand with ‘Live for now‘ campaign by putting the Vine Videos on Billboards across the U.K. The company welcomed the public, inviting them to create their own six second Vine Video, labelled with a hashtag #LiveForNow, and said that the best submissions will be broadcasted across the seven largest cities in the Britain. The company took over more than 70 percent of the Billboards for this campaign.



Billboards are still not ready to retire, as they are still the most successful form of advertisement, and also because of their huge success and improvements the advertisers have ensured that the billboards should remain in service. In billboard marketing, there is no barrier of viewing the ads as those remain for a long time in the same place, thus targeting the audience. So, there aren’t any chance of saying them a permanent goodbye, they will always grow with the upcoming technology and will survive. And I think that the market of billboards can face difficulties but it will never vanish.



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