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What Are the Different Types of Billboards That Exist Today?

Billboards are nostalgic sights on road trips and summer vacations. There’s nothing like seeing a fast-food billboard after miles or an ad for your favorite childhood radio station.

Consumers have lived with billboards since the 19th-century. While it feels so commonplace, outdoor advertising still grabs the attention of drivers and pedestrians.

Like newspapers and radio, billboards have retained their original appeal, with a few fascinating upgrades!

Here’s a closer look at various types of billboards for advertising.

Vintage-Style Billboards

Retro marketing themes are always making a comeback. As soon as one era ushers out, consumers long for the good ole days. Brands like Pepsi, Trader Joe’s, Nintendo, and Nickelodeon have long understood this strategy.

Vintage-style billboards have a distinct look from regular billboards. They’re usually smaller and feature antique fonts, painted graphics, and taglines. These types of billboards are more common in historic city districts.

There are plenty of retro billboard examples online too. Get inspired by retro advertising from Coca-Cola, 7UP, Americana attractions, Levis, and more.

Appeal to the Senses

One of the rarest outdoor ad types is scented billboards. Arguably, the most famous scented billboard ad belongs to a North Carolina grocery store. Bloom Grocery installed a billboard that sent grilled steak aromas wafting through traffic.

Another example includes a dog food company with scented billboards at ground-level for pups. Flower shops, fragrance companies, and shopping malls also use scented outdoor advertising.

Forget Flat

If you thought scented billboards caught drivers’ attention, check out the world’s coolest 3D billboards.

Movie studios frequently use three-dimensional billboards to promote blockbusters and animated films. The Peanuts Movie, The Lorax, and Smurfs Movie are just a few popular campaigns.

You’ll also see this strategy in Amusement park campaigns, with roller coasters soaring above billboards.

Traditional Billboards

Scented, 3D, and other specialty billboards will exhaust a small budget. Fortunately, you can still buy traditional no-fuss billboards.

For example, let’s take a look at one of the oldest players in the advertising game:

Clear Channel billboard advertising offers straightforward 48-sheet outdoor ads, generating 170,000 impressions in two weeks. 96-sheet billboards produce over twice that amount.

Most billboard advertising follows these principles:

  • Simplicity (without being subtle)
  • Large sans-style fonts
  • Short ad copy with impact
  • High contrast long-distance viewing
  • Don’t blend into the sky
  • Ignore white space design principles

Billboard visual principles differ from other marketing design rules, like logos and websites. This point is most evident in designers’ approaches to white space. While white space helps designs pop, they make billboards disappear into the background.

You can’t control the color of the sky. While a minimalist white billboard may pop on a clear blue day, it loses its impact on cloudy days.

Discover Different Types of Billboards

You’ve already made your mark online. Why not make a statement on the highway?

Learn what outdoor advertising can do for your message. Immerse yourself in various types of billboards, like retro, scented, 3D, and classic ads.

Stay inspired by the latest ideas and trends. Discover even more posts on popular topics!

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