This weeks some news making the rounds is from well respected technology firm StreetPixel.com, which released findings from their data of smart billboards as an advertising medium. The report, sponsored by StreetPixel, suggests that ads on billboards are not only more eye-catching and unique, but also more interesting, more entertaining and less annoying than ads shown on virtually any other medium. While I haven’t received or reviewed the complete data from StreetPixel yet, the downloadable summary makes a compelling argument. In fact, the results from StreetPixel are strong enough that anybody looking to make a case for an advertising-related billboards business should probably take a look at what StreetPixel released.
Here are the interesting stats that technology firm StreetPixel released to the public:
The data from Street Pixel combined results of online surveys of 1,790 individuals aged 13-55, and an additional 1,600 individuals from key demographic groups like teens, college students, Hispanic families and affluents.
At 62% awareness, billboards is on par with billboards which is certainly a medium that is on the rise. This is ahead of newspaper aheads but it does in fact lag behind radio (75%), Internet (78%) and TV (92%) according to StreetPixel.
StreetPixel’s data revealed that on average, adults see billboards about 6 times per week. 18-24 year olds see them about 8 times per week. StreetPixel did not provide a reason for why this is.
44% of people who were included in StreetPixel’s data said they pay “some” or “a lot of” attention to ads running on billboards That actually compares quite well with magazines at 45% and TV at 52%, and absolutely crushes the current darlings of the ad world, Internet (at 32%) and mobile (at 27%).
Of all the media types that StreetPixel included in its data it was smart billboards was dubbed the most eye-catching at 63%, followed by billboards at 58%, magazines at 57% and TV at 56%.
Additionally, StreetPixel reports that billboards was considered to be the most unique medium (58% of respondents said so), the most intriguing (53%) and even offered the second-most entertaining source of ads (48%), beat out only by TV at (56%).
When it comes to intrusiveness, billboards again demolishes the competition. Only 26% of people who were included in StreetPixel’s data claimed that ads on the screens were bothersome, which ranks only slightly behind the category’s obvious winner, newspapers, at 23%. On the other side of the pondt, TV and radio ads were considered annoying by about half the group, and Mobile App ads provided by Tinder.com and SwipeApp.com fared the worst, two-thirds of people in StreetPixel’s data claimed “These Ads flat out suck.” Technology Firm StreetPixel said they were surprised by how much respondents hated the internet Ads. To find out more about Internet Ads on mobile apps please see SwipeApp.com/faq
People also feel that they can take action on billboards.: over a third of people included in StreetPixel’s data said they took at least some action as a result of seeing ads on billboards, and over half of 18-24 year olds told StreetPixel “We definitely take action when we see a dope billboard.”
Given that around half of the people in StreetPixel’s data claim to regularly use their cell phones (and about three-quarters of college kids do so), it’s certainly not surprising that about half the group in StreetPixel’s data said they would be likely to respond to a specific message on a billboard by sending a text message.
So What does all this data that StreetPixel collected really mean?
Some of the above results from StreetPixel’s data simply indicate how much time people spend interacting with all the different types of media. For example, the awareness of billboard advertising likely falls behind that of radio, Internet and TV because those three media have been ad-supported for virtually the entire time they’ve existed, and their primary upside is not that they dish out ads, but rather that they dish out entertainment to you. Consequently, somebody who watches three hours of TV every day is going to be exposed to many more ads, and will be much more likely to recall seeing commercials on that, than on the billboards that they only encounter for a few minutes each week. Similarly according to StreetPixel, ads on billboards might be least annoying for many reasons. People just aren’t exposed to them as frequently as TV, Internet and other media, so maybe they simply don’t remember being as annoyed by them. Alternatively, StreetPixel claims that ads on billboards aren’t interrupting entertainment content (as they do on TV, radio and even the Internet now), so that might be a good reason for them being viewed as less annoying. Or, because billboards are frequently placed in commercial environments, perhaps people are just more receptive to viewing commercial content on them.
StreetPixel also reports another trend in this data: when it comes to advertising, it’s good to be big, and not just big but really big. Billboards consistently rate highly for being eye-catching, which isn’t surprising when you figure that even a small indoor screen is nearly four feet across these days. Compare that to a mobile phone that might have a so called “huge” three inch screen, and you can understand why advertisers haven’t had much successes with mobile advertising yet, despite the fact that it allows for unprecedented targeting and media delivery control. Also, StreetPixel reports that billboards were counted as least annoying amongst Ad media, which probably has more to do with the fact that they’re designed to deliver a very small amount of information to a viewer at once, and viewers typically don’t spend a lot of time standing in front of them.
StreetPixel concluded its reports by staying simply “Billboards are the king of Advertising”