Archive for November, 2010

Billboard/Website – The Perfect Marriage

I was visiting my nephew recently and commented on his beautiful Hi-Def TV. Two things caught my interest…every time a commercial came on, he switched to another channel remarking that he doesn’t miss any of the second show because the TV package will buffer another channel for up to a full hour. That means that it is recording a 2nd channel of your choice and therefore allows you to go back and see what was showing 20, 30 or a full 60 minutes ago. My nephew doesn’t watch advertising…EVER. The other thing I noticed is that the number on the channel we were watching was something like 921. I said, “Do you get 900 channels?”. “Yup something like that and I watch way too much TV. It’s less than a hundred bucks a month though.”

Another cousin of mine doesn’t even pay for satellite TV as he bought a Hi-Def system in the US and just plugged it in.

Oh and by the way, my nephew estimates that his yellow pages books are used maybe twice a year. All else is found online. He recently renovated an entire basement suite: plumbing, wiring, drywall, everything he did himself…having never done it before. He simply researched each subject online, read about it and then did it. My nephew is 27 years old with a wife and daughter – a typical family in the new and changing world of massive technological shift. Get with the future and forget about advertising in traditional media.

To their credit the Yellow Page industry is going virtual and does have online search engines for finding phone numbers, pizza, etc. I wonder how much paper goes into making phone books even for one small City – I estimate a small forest. By the way, don’t buy stocks in pulp and paper companies.

In a typical week, Canadians spend about 35% of their time away from home, according to the Toronto-based Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada (OMAC). People may be involved in activities such as shopping, attending fitness clubs, or driving to and from school or work.

Optimizing and driving traffic to your website is probably the single most important thing that you can do at this time. Having a Billboard is one of the best and cheapest ways to do this. Billboard Advertising has one of the lowest costs per thousand in all media. Look at these numbers:

In Kelowna B.C. you can have over 100,000 people view your billboard each day for less than $25. A one year contract would bring you over 30 million viewers.

For more information on billboard advertising, visit our website: or call us toll free: 1-800-795-7525

by Jim Wannop

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Billboards Help Advertising Get Off the Couch

We have come a long way since the first televisions were installed in nearly every home, and television ads were served up to millions of viewers from the comfort of their couches.

Savvy companies know that North America is also a mobile nation with both work and recreation activities. Advertising is moving with us, in the form of outdoor advertising mediums such as buildings, buses, and park benches. Billboard advertising has a long history dating back to the 1800’s, and today this advertising medium is still popular with outdoor advertisers from film studios to telecommunication empires to fortune five-hundred companies.

Marketing Executives such as Frank Mendicino of Alliance Films spends 25 per cent to 40 per cent of his ad budgets on out-of-home advertising in the summer months, when Canadians are out and about and watching less TV. As the company is preparing for the release of the film, The American, he knows his ads need to reach large groups of people on the move. Annette Warring, chief executive officer of Vizeum Canada, Alliance Films’ advertising agency echoes these thoughts, “We spend a lot of time working with Alliance deciding who we need to target for a particular film.”

Advertisers want billboards that are placed where large groups of their target markets are, but billboards also need to be highly visible for both pedestrians and vehicle traffic. This means a desirable location, size, position, and lack of competing ads make a billboard a more effective advertising medium. Billboards that possess these criteria will earn building owners top dollar. Randy Otto, president of Vancouver based Pattison, says proximity of ads is just one zoning issue that can determine where billboards can be erected, and looks to maximize his advertising dollars based on these essential criterias.

Digital billboards can enhance desirability and visibility of ads, by rotating ads every 15 seconds, or projecting media onto a retail window at night, or even use audio to enrich the viewer’s experience. Nick Barbuto, vice-president of digital solutions at advertising agency Cossette, points to a 2007 billboard ad for Paranormal State, a ghost-themed television show. The ad used directional audio that aimed a chilling sound at passers-by.

Margaret Burnside, vice-president of marketing at Alliance, likes digital billboards for this very reason. “As we get closer to a theatre opening, we can change that creative up so eyeballs viewing it will see something new and different every time,” she says, adding that live data can even be streamed into ads on digital billboards. Whether traditional or digital, every billboard can entice people to a website for an experience. “We want to drive people to the Web, where the intention is to get them to interact with the content and engage in the movie by doing things like watching the trailer,” says Ms. Warring.

Whether static, rotating, sound or animation enhanced, there is no doubt that billboard ads and other outdoor advertising are a popular and effective form of getting the message to market. In 2009, advertisers in Canada spent close to half a billion dollars on out-of-home advertising, including billboards, transit advertising and street furniture. In the United States, advertisers spent about $6-billion on these ad mediums.

Top 10 out-of-home advertisers in Canada in 2009

1. Telus Corp.
2. BCE Corp.
3. McDonald’s Corp.
4. Molson Coors Brewing Co.
5. Tim Hortons Inc.
6. Rogers Communications Inc.
7. Government of Canada
8. Provincial government lotteries
9. Labatt Breweries of Canada
10. Astral Media Inc.

Top 10 in the U.S.:

1. Verizon
2. McDonald’s Corp.
3. AT&T Corp.
4. Geico
5. Warner Bros Pictures
6. Coca-Cola Co.
7. PepsiCo. Inc.
8. State Farm Life Insurance Co.
9. Apple Inc.
10. MetroPCS Wireless Inc.

For more information on billboard advertising, visit our website: or call us toll free: 1-800-795-7525

by Jim Wannop

Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Outdoor Advertising Association of America


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Smart Billboards

Look, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s … A Smart Billboard!

Just like the Wright Brothers’ aircraft was once considered a flight of fancy, billboard advertising that is aware of its surroundings, and adapts to your activities also seems far fetched, at first glance.

Smart Billboards are becoming the norm, and cellular technology allows them to deliver ads that are geared to those watching. The smartphone company, RIM, recently filed patents to marry Blackberry technology with roadside advertising. Data is collected from nearby Blackberry users, which determines traffic speed and density of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. This data is then used to determine the type of ads that are displayed on the billboards.

The two patents RIM has filed are for “Adaptive roadside billboard system and related methods” and “Adaptive pedestrian billboard system and related methods”, and both are described as having data banks capable of highly customized advertising based on traffic speed and density. When traffic is moving fast, the ads served are simple, motionless, and easy to identify, such as logos and product or company names. Static billboard ads that can easily be picked up in our peripheral vision are less likely to distract drivers who are focused on a busy British Columbia highway, or annoy pedestrians in a hurry. When traffic is slow, such as in a traffic jam or a densely populated street in downtown Kelowna, consumer attention is more available, so the advertising becomes more informative and people can absorb the product benefits, promotions, or incentives.

Looking into the future of these Intelligent Highway Signs, the potential lies in delivering advertising that is tailor made to our interests, based on specifics like age, gender, and even previous shopping preferences and purchases. The sky is the limit for these Billboards to serve us intuitive ads, but smart advertising must be balanced with privacy laws and demand.

Smart Billboard Advertising comes with its benefits for both the consumer and the advertiser. Instead of intrusive advertising like TV ads, door to door sales, and cold calling, consumers can see more of what they want, when they want, while advertisers get more effective billboard advertising and satisfied customers. We say … let ‘er fly.

For more information on billboard advertising, visit our website: or call us toll free: 1-800-795-7525

by Jim Wannop


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Effective Billboard Design

Is a Billboard a great marketing tool or a big waste of money?

It can be both really, depending on your design. Next time you drive past some billboards, notice the features that grab your attention and see which advertisers you remember. Now how do you reach them? Just for fun do a Google search of the names that you recall. If you find one of them easily and quickly, then go to their website. Is their website easy to navigate and is it easy to contact them? If you were able to get this far that company is doing all the right things; effective billboard design, brand awareness and easy to remember website optimization.

From here of course you also need a great website.

Do they get the message
? A simple image that speaks a thousand words can get the message across instantly whereas a poorly thought out ad can be a huge waste of money. I loved the image of the kid in the bleach commercial holding an ice cream bar and leaving it melting on the shoulder of the man seated in front of him at the ball game. He realizes it is melted and just leaves it there…on the guys white shirt.

Very effective with little dialogue. The right message in the right place generates sales.

For billboard design ideas visit our website at: or call us at: 1-800-795-7525

By Jim Wannop

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Why Billboard Advertising Rates in Kelowna can be Expected to Rise, and Why Locking in your Rate is a Great Idea

There are many Highway billboard signs at the entry points to Kelowna; however, there are very compelling reasons why we can expect higher billboard rates in the future. It is really a matter of supply.

Firstly the number of signs will gradually decline. We predict at least one half of all the signs in West Kelowna will disappear to development over the next 10 years. Traditionally, billboards have been placed almost exclusively on native lands. There are now much more favorable leasing possibilities on these lands and this will spell the elimination of many existing signs to make way for development.

Secondly, Kelowna billboard rates are currently just 5% to 10% of the cost of larger markets such as Toronto or Seattle. If you’re selling Rolex watches there is a unique value to a metropolitan market. Tim Horton’s customers however are the same everywhere but Billboard rates to reach them vary drastically across the country.

Thirdly, growth in the local economy means higher traffic counts and a larger number of advertisers wanting space.

Fourthly, the industry at large is based on traffic counts. Kelowna currently has the lowest rates in the country when based on the cost / impression (motorist). Rates will more accurately reflect traffic volumes ( and will rise) as limited availability becomes an issue.

And finally, there is a steady increase in the number of National advertisers wanting a presence in Kelowna and a shrinking supply of billboards. The result will be higher prices.

Book your space early and negotiate a renewal term. This will guarantee you a fixed rate and the well located space that you want. It costs you nothing to be on the waiting list for the best billboard space.

For more information visit our website: or give us a call at: 1-800-795-7525

By Jim Wannop

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Billboard Advertising, the Oldest Profession Known to Mankind?

A friend and I hit the road last summer and went on a wonderful tour of Turkey followed by our own on- foot week in Paris. Now I would love to go on about Paris because if you haven’t been, you need to spend some time there just to eat. From Paris we moved on to Istanbul and made our way around the western part of Turkey to the ancient City of Ephesus. It is truly one of the great ruined cities of the western world. Ephesus was inhabited by the Greeks as early as 1000 BC. Among the gems inside Ephesus are the House Of Socrates and The Library Of Celsus (one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of The World).

The City spans over 3 km. The roads leading to the main part of the city are still in excellent shape as they were built from quarried limestone. Ephesus was a port city and travelers arrived from the west by ship bringing their goods to the massive market complete with buyers stalls … much like today’s trademarts. The on site tour guide made a point to show us an amusing feature on the side of the roadway leading to the great City.

Etched in the limestone which you couldn’t miss if you were walking – (I’ll bet they were walking… what do you think?) was the earliest billboard known to man . Was billboard advertising then the earliest profession known to man ?.. Well not really because the advertisement is believed to be for the local brothel to describe the services of the oldest profession known to man . It had all the features of excellent billboard design….a simple image and how to get there…See for yourself:


There is a heart, a cross, a woman’s head, a left foot and cash illustrated. Loosely translated it says turn left at the cross road where you can buy the love of a woman. The curve is the woman , the foot means left… as in just ahead on the left side.

The point is, if you are in any business, you need to advertise. Use simple images of what you have to offer, why you are unique and how to find you. Then place them on the roadway leading to your business.

For more information on billboard advertising, visit our website: or call us toll free: 1-800-795-7525

By Jim Wannop

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