Most of us commute to work every day—usually taking the same route. We have our routine, becoming immune to our surroundings and often failing to notice all of what is around us. The 182 billboards that grace New Hampshire’s major highways for example. But occasionally, you do notice that one billboard that’s catchy and creative. The one that makes you go “hmmm”.

It takes strategic thinking to make billboard advertising pop. Drivers zooming by have seconds to see and comprehend your message. This is not the medium to cram too much into an ad—when it comes it billboards, less is more. To ensure your billboard has the best chance of being noticed, and more importantly, remembered, here are some basic guidelines to follow:

  1. Capture the attention of busy commuters by utilizing oversized fonts and color for contrast;
  2. Be memorable by making it clever;
  3. Build the brand by aligning the message with existing campaigns;
  4. Use six words or less to be quick and concise;
  5. Minimal imagery unless imagery is the emotional draw;
  6. Keep it fresh by changing the billboard artwork frequently so it doesn’t just become another part of the landscape.

When a client recently came to us for help with a campaign, we decided that billboard would be the star. Space was secured on one of the highest-traveled highways in the state, and then the fun began. After exploring ideas that included both imagery and words, we gravitated toward a word-play approach using color to accentuate short impact phrases that act as take-aways from the full billboard copy.

A total of twelve subsequent boards were designed, all with bold text displayed on a black background and messaging that commands attention.


So remember, keep one eye on the road and the other on the lookout for creative billboards that catch your eye. You just might see something you like.

photo credit