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Even though consumers are engrossed in digital platforms these days, Billboards are still considered to be a premium advertising medium. In South Africa, traffic congestion in our major cities is a growing concern, but when it comes to billboard advertising, the traffic problem provides advertisers with an opportunity of increased dwell time to expose commuters to out of home media.

Billboards therefore offer a highly effective platform for advertising and brand exposure on major routes however they often come at a premium rental cost. So how do marketers and companies ensure that when it comes to billboard advertising they are not losing return on spend due to poor creative strategy and graphic design.

Here we share a few tips on how to design a billboard advert for maximum return on spend and to create memorable and engaging adverts that motivate your audience to take action.

Less is better…

On average you have six seconds to engage and communicate to your audience with a billboard. Use a limited number of words to communicate your key offerings. This also means that your campaign message should be concise and clear. Try to keep the wording to a maximum of 9 words.

Create a visual story…

Think of a billboard advert as visual storytelling. Include imaging or design that will easily communicate your message whilst attracting your target audience. Try to use a single image instead of a combination of various images. Use high contrast colour combinations. Make sure that your brand identity or logo is used and placed on the design so that it is easily visible and the audience can quickly make an association with the campaign and your brand.

Keep it simple…

Creative strategy that is too gimmicky and clever runs the risk of losing the audience. Billboards are the wrong medium for this approach. Billboard adverts should be smart yet simple to assimilate and not cause your audience to miss the message because it’s difficult to comprehend instantly.

Size is everything…

Make sure that all the elements on the artwork design translate well to the full blown up size of the billboard. Use heavier fonts that can be easily scaled up and are easy to read from a distance. Adequate spacing between letters, words and lines will improve text visibility and legibility.

Don’t make the logo bigger…

There should be balance between the main imaging on the advert and your branding or logo. The logo should never compete with, or be as big as the image. About 1/8 of the board size is typically a good guideline for the logo size unless of course your logo or brand name is the primary campaign element.

Make sure it’s professional…

Use professional service providers to design, print and flight your billboard advert so that the artwork follows sound design principles and the print is not compromised in any way.

At AlienNation Creative Agency we combine strategic thinking and fearless creativity to bring your brand to life. We know that consistent, creative and strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means added value for your company’s products or services.