The key to successful advertising is knowing your target audience and timing, timing, timing. Sports scoreboard and billboard marketing can be one of the best (or worst) investments, depending upon your message and timing.
Sports marketing is a completely unique concept in that the advertiser has a trapped audience for the duration of the game. Typically that can be from two to four hours, which is unlike any other form of advertising. While our society does not readily accept commercials on television, we are far more receptive to advertising from sponsors at sporting events. This can quickly turn sour if the advertising is mismatched or timed badly.
There are many examples of sports advertising mistakes, from a top brand that aligns itself with a sports player, only to have the player involved in a scandal, to a billboard or scoreboard ad that is targeted to people that are not part of the attending fan group. If you are going to advertise, you need to do your homework and understand the audience and have a targeted campaign.
The message, in advertising, is everything; and the way a message is worded can be an attraction or push people away. Each method of advertising requires its own unique ad. Don’t try to save money by using the magazine ad for the scoreboard or billboard ad. The target audience is different. You might want to send the same message, but create a new advertisement.
If you are focused on billboard advertising, you need to understand some color-don’ts: Don’t use a black background. Lettering, no matter how light, is lost on a black background and can’t be easily read when driving. The same thing goes for using red type on a blue background. Going too light can also be lost. White on yellow fades out and isn’t legible. Remember the environment. White and blue may be lovely on printed paper, but they fade into the natural sky environment and your advertising dollars were just wasted. If you are completely set on a sky appearance, add some reds or pinks to the colors to offset Mother Nature. The average driver has about 7 seconds to see your billboard, so keep the copy down to a minimum (4 lines is the norm) and don’t try to use fancy fonts such as script. If you had a rough time reading the fancy font on that wedding invitation, multiply it a thousand times for a billboard.
Whether you are accomplishing scoreboard or billboard advertising, don’t be boring. No one will remember a boring ad. Try to be creative with your message, but the message must relate to the product or service you are selling. Don’t put that lovely picture of your niece in her tutu. We know you love her, but what does her photo have to do with the plumbing fixtures you pride yourself in presenting. People will forget all of it.
Nothing is worse than seeing a large picture of the staff on a billboard or scoreboard and not knowing what they do. Too many people focus on the image and not the message. Balance your graphics with the key words of the service or product. (Remember those 4 sentences? Try to keep those sentences to around eight to ten words max).