An LED billboard essentially is a huge TV that plays moving ads by the side of the road. LED billboards have been enthusiastically embraced in some places, such as New York’s Times Square, Tokyo and Las Vegas. They’ve been banned in others as a distraction to drivers. Both LED and traditional, paper billboards have advantages and disadvantages. Which one is right for your business depends on your goals, your markets and how much money you have to spend.
A traditional paper billboard is a known quantity. It’s low-tech, it’s much less expensive than an LED billboard, and unlike LED billboards that make you share space with five other advertisers, once you pay for space on a traditional billboard, it’s all yours — for weeks or months. You don’t have to worry that your message only has six seconds of display time before it’s changed. Unlike an LED billboard, it can be read 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You also won’t have to contend with irate residents claiming the light from your sign is keeping them awake nights, or worry that the glare and motion from your ad might make someone drive off the road.
Although a traditional billboard is less expensive than an LED ad, it’s also more forgettable, according to figures cited by the Wirespring website. A traditional billboard ad can’t be changed without hiring someone to climb up and repaper it, which is usually time-consuming and expensive. And if your traditional billboard has to compete with a nearby LED ad, it’s likely that your message will be overshadowed.
LED billboards have some impressive advantages. They’re almost impossible to ignore. They’re extremely bright, they have color and movement and special effects. They can be changed quickly and easily if important facts change, such as the date of an advertised event. They can be customized so they’re relevant to the time of day when they’re shown — rush hour, for example. They are also the favorite in the most heavily traveled tourist destinations in the country. If yours is the only LED billboard in the area, your ad will likely get all, or most, of the attention.
The owners of electronic billboards sell ad space to many advertisers at once, rather than to just one. Ads rotate quickly, and yours might have only seconds to catch the attention of potential customers. Ads on LED boards are much more expensive than traditional billboard ads. LED billboards have also drawn fire from those concerned about their potential to distract drivers and cause accidents. Some LED signs change their message every few seconds and some are placed near dangerous intersections or curves. Though LED billboards can be found in many large U.S. cities, some cities have banned them because of safety concerns, notes the Torontoist website. Some LED billboards are so bright that they can be seen from miles away — a fact that has inspired complaints from nearby residents. And if yours is a “green” business, you might want to consider the fact that LED billboards have been criticized by environmentalists as energy-wasters because unlike traditional billboards, they use energy all day and night.