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Billboards still have a place in a digital world: part 2

Outdoor advertising remains a huge market in Australia, including new digital platforms that allow for animation, videos and multiple advertisements.

Outdoor advertising

This has allowed the industry to remain relevant and grab a slice of the $15.25 million spent annually in advertising across all media platforms—a rise of 17.9 per cent from 2015 to 2017.

The Media Precinct previously spoke to residents in Newtown about whether outdoor advertising still impacted them. Now, we have hit the streets of Leichhardt to determine their thoughts.

Brazen billboards attract the most attention

In Newtown, a common theme was the use of sexually charged content in outdoor advertising. Residents of all demographics were turned off by this and found it invasive.

But one middle-aged man in Leichhardt said being bold was the only way billboards could attract attention in the modern world.

"Advertising now has to be engaging, if it is on social media, it has to have something (like) a small film that engages you with the product," he said.

"If it is just billboard, the imagery has to be very powerful, otherwise there is so much of it that you just tend to skim over it."

A young mother said no matter how striking the image was, she was unlikely to absorb the message.

"If I am on one of those [public transport vehicles], I am usually with my kids," she said. "So it is rare that I would be noticing that sort of stuff. I might notice it, but it doesn't stay with me particularly.

"Probably the advertising I notice the most is if I am looking on Instagram or Facebook and things come through."

Placement is key

In Newtown, residents said they only really noticed outdoor advertising if it’s placed in a prominent location. The same was said in Leichhardt, with one middle aged woman saying she never notices billboards except for one place.

"Billboard advertising is becoming a little bit more old-fashioned," she said. "I don't really know, I don't really notice it as much. It depends where you are, if you are driving over the Anzac Bridge I always notice the billboards up there. That's good, but other than that, not a lot."

Actively seeking out billboards and posters

Street posters

The salient point from both Newtown and Leichhardt is that billboards need to leap out at people to get their attention. But, for one older lady, that isn't always the case.

She will actively peruse street posters' advertising to organise her social calendar and even to get updates on her favourite artists.

"If I see a notice on a wall I always look and see if that is something I should go and do, is that a musical venue, is that a function I should go to?" she said. "I pay attention to them. I wouldn't go to them all, of course, but it's nice to see some of the bands are still operating. I think they are quite effective."

It was an interesting point, and shows that outdoor doesn't have to leap out with large scale, sensational images or content to attract the eye. Sometimes, the message conveyed is enough if it is relevant.

About the Media Precinct

The Media Precinct is a leading Australian owned media agency known for our research and insights led by Glenda Wynyard. If you are looking for a media agency that understands how people connect with media then email today.

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