May the Force be with you The Power of Good Billboard Creative

The evolving outdoor advertising landscape offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to reach consumers in real-time, while classic billboards have continued to deliver scale, reach and impact over and over again. 

Why good creative matters

Let’s begin with a few fundamental principles that still hold true today. David Ogilvy, regarded as the “Father of Advertising”, wrote in 1983 that “Your poster should deliver your selling point not only in words, but also pictorially. Use the largest possible type. Make your brand name visible at a long distance. Use strong, pure colours. Never use more than three elements in your design.” Although much has changed since 1983, these same ideologies remain the same. Even in 2022, these fundamentals remain crucial for creating an effective and creative ad.

Creative vs. location – which matters more?

Many people would say that billboard advertising is all about the creative. Whilst outdoor advertising offers an exceptional opportunity for brands to be “visual storytellers”, it is equally important that people can not only read the messaging but also “see it”. When billboard advertising is created effectively and visible, it has the power to influence impulsive drivers’ shopping decisions. It is common for drivers to make their shopping decisions while in the car, and many of them stop at the store on their way home.

Considering that people read billboards while on the go, you only have a short time to convey your message. A billboard is usually read in less than six seconds on average making it essential to make your message clear and concise. Billboard creative should always be designed with the idea of less being more. Think of ways to make the messaging entertaining in some fashion. Remember, billboard advertising is not accompanied by other programming or editorial content. It stands on its own and must do all the heavy lifting to get people to notice it.

Creativity is powerful stuff! 

Great creativity in advertising works. And there has been plenty of evidence to support this claim. Through it, brands have gained fame, created fans and not just customers, captured market share, and made huge profits. The key fact to remember is that every interaction with your brand is advertising. Therefore, creating an experience that unleashes creativity throughout the customer journey is the answer. Its impact will be explosive in every sense of the word.


Civic Outdoor provide in-house graphic designers who not only understand billboard creative but push the boundaries to ensure great ROI for you next campaign. Find out more here or get in touch with our graphics team at

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