1. Be Concise (15/20): The less information displayed, the faster drivers will comprehend your message, and the more likely they’ll be to remember it. Most sites agree you should aim for seven words or less in your headline
2. Focus on One Message (15/20): A billboard ad needs to be simple. Do not try to convey multiple ideas or messages. Focus on one key idea and convey it as clearly as possible. Your average viewer traveling 70 miles an hour. Your message needs to be clear.
3. Make Your Font Readable (14/20): Use a large and easy to read typeface. Avoid fonts with thin strokes or ornate designs. As Zak Mroueh of Aulu Alpha Kilo explains in Open 3, “For a standard 10 x 20 ft billboard, if you count a maximum of 22 characters across from left to right, including spaces, it will always be readable…If mathematics isn’t your strong suit, there’s another technique that never fails: whatever the art director designs, make it 25% bigger.”
4. Use Contrasting Colors (13/20): Contrast makes your ad memorable. Lamar for instance refers to research indicating high color contrast improves out-of-home advertising recall by up to 38%. Penneco adds that bold, fully saturated colors make a billboard stand out, while neutral and pastel colors blend in with the scenery
5. Quality Images are Key (11/20): A compelling picture can carry an ad. Use big, impactful images that will print well at billboard size. Many outdoor advertisers recommend images be 300 DPI minimum
6. Be Innovative and Creative (6/20): Consider using humor, top-outs, side-outs, or extensions, or other unconventional integrations to make a unique and memorable billboard. After all, no one remembers dull.
Company: Ad Trend, Inc.
Markets: Kansas City
Headquarters: 14450 S US 71 Hwy, Kansas City, MO 64147
Founded in 1983 by Jim Boeh, Ad-Trend owns a static billboard plant with 125 faces in the Kansas City metro, St. Joseph, MO and surrounding communities. They are the largest locally-owned OOH company in Kansas City. Most of the plant is static 14×48′ bulletins along the major highways in the metro. The company is an operator associate in the IBOUSA.
Aside from their billboard plant, Ad-Trend specializes in a variety of other OOH products. This includes banner printing, mobile billboards, giant inflatables, searchlights and helium balloons for promotions. Insider talked with David English, the company’s Vice President of Sales.
David, how did you get into the out of home advertising industry.
I started in OOH in 2004 as an Account Executive with Lamar Advertising in Kansas City. I started out selling in many of their outer markets, I was a road warrior, to say the least. The General Manager there took a leap of faith on a young twenty-three-year-old kid, one that I look back on and really appreciate. I was at Lamar for four years, eventually moving out of the outer markets and into metro sales, eventually being part of the sales group who brought the first digital billboards into Kansas City. While at Lamar, I attended both their sales and sales management school. I was fortunate to learn from some icons in the OOH Kansas City market. Lamar was an incredible experience and one that I’m grateful for. It didn’t take long for me to realize that OOH is the right place for me.
Our Ad-Trend plant has developed into a terrific footprint around Kansas City. Between the development of several new locations, the purchase of a few smaller Independent companies and the improvement of a few boards, our locations are scattered throughout the metro in a great way. We reach both the northern and southern edges of the metro in both Kansas and Missouri. We are looking at adding a handful of new locations in 2018, increasing our exposure in the Kansas City metro.
We also have developed a rotary program in Johnson County that consists of about a dozen 10’x30′ boards. Due to the demographic in Johnson County, it is always in high demand and these boards give us something no other plant in Kansas City has. It really is unique, and something we are very proud of. Due to these rotary boards, and our 14×48 bulletins in Johnson County, we have one of the, if not the largest Johnson County plant in Kansas City.
You’ve got some business lines which complement out of home?
We do, yes. Ad-Trend was originally created as a Point of Purchase advertising company, installing banners, flags balloons, and cold air inflatables. This side of our business has remained constant and we use it a lot to complement our billboard customers. We have even added mobile billboard trailers recently, which is very exciting for us. It will allow us to reach the areas and suburbs that currently do not allow billboard locations. The ability to pair our billboard campaigns with our complementary products has been great for us. We can do things other companies can’t, which, despite our smaller size, has proven to be a competitive advantage.
Do you have any digital billboards?
Not yet, however, ask us again in 2019 and I suspect that answer will change. Digital is something we have a very strong interest in. It is something we are strongly considering.