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Positive Effects of Billboards

By Selena McIntyre


When billboards were first posted they expressed artistic creativity, informed the public of current events and served as constant reminders of national products.  From the very beginning, the people did not have any idea how powerful billboards really are.  Fortunately we have learned how powerful outdoor advertising is and are currently using this power to help others in several ways that are listed below.


Help Find Criminals



Twenty billboards were posted to help find a missing Ohio girl.  The police received a tip from someone who saw the billboard & was able to help the police solve the case because of these billboards!


Billboards also help alert the public of kidnapped children by making them aware of the current "Amber Alerts."  The governor of Florida said that billboards were an effective way in finding missing children.


Do you remember Elizabeth Smart, the young girl that was kidnapped in Salt Lake City and finally returned home after 9 months?  Billboards, fliers and commercials went out to the public with hopes of finding Elizabeth.  In this case, the billboards did not bring Elizabeth home, but they did catch a lot of attention and reminded the public that she was still kidnapped.  When Elizabeth safely returned home, billboards went were posted to welcome her home.


Serial Rapist


In Miami Florida, a serial rapist was linked to seven rape cases by DNA.  City officials posted billboards that had a composite sketch, clothing and jewelry that the rapist wore during his attacks and a reward posted on each board.  They are hoping to alert people so they can prevent future attacks and catch this rapist.




Billboards were placed in Pittsburg Penn. to help catch a killer.  These billboards helped the police bring in a suspect for a triple homicide.


Help Needy


Charities all around the U.S. have turned to billboards in order to help the needy.  Billboards have helped people raise money, food, bibles, blood, clothes, and support in other emergencies.


Improve Lifestyles


The Foundation for a Better Life launched a billboard campaign right after the attacks of September 11th called "Pass It On" and this campaign is still going strong.  The mission of these billboards is to promote positive values and encourage others to "pass it on."


These billboards were posted showing celebrities, historic legends, and common people doing things that will improve our well being.  Here are some examples of these billboards:

"Nice guys do finish first. - Class & Grace - Pass it on"

Winston Churchill's photo was beside this saying "Never, never, never give up. - Commitment - Pass it on."

Other billboards had a photo of a fireman and the words "When others ran out, he rushed in. - Courage - Pass it on."


Increase Health Awareness


Billboards don't just increase profits, they also help people.  For example, we have done several billboards that try to convince people to stop smoking, to prevent the spread of AIDS, and offer pregnancy support.


Major organizations are also using billboards to promote safety.  People like M.A.D.D (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) have used billboards to promote safe driving.


Provide Information


Billboards provide us with helpful information.  Of course billboards help us find places and some signs tell us how much further places are.  Other billboards tell us about upcoming events like concerts, conferences, and festivals.  Some billboards reveal useful information like current gas prices.


Knowledge is power and the more we have, the better of we will be.




Outdoor companies aren't adding to the pollution problem, instead they are recycling vinyls and making tote bags and home-building materials.


Show our Support



All over the United States, billboards have been posted with reminders to support our troops.  Billboards are also used to congratulate our troops and hometown heroes as well as to remind us that freedom isn't free and that we have to fight to keep it.


The "Get Ready" campaign


This campaign informs and educates American citizens about how to protect and prepare ourselves for future terrorist attacks.  Outdoor, print, radio and television ads have been developed by The Martin Agency for this campaign.  For more information please visit www.ready.gov.


Sept. 11th


After the horrible attacks of September 11, 2001, billboards were posted through out the U.S. that said "In God We Trust. United We Stand."  These signs were posted in hopes of comforting us and reminding us to help one another during these horrendous attacks.


Billboards were also posted outside of the U.S. in places like Brazil and Canada to show support for Americans.


Spread Religion


Unfortunately people are not attending church as much as they did ten years ago.  The Episcopal Church's Diocese of Southern Ohio used humorous billboards to help increase attendance and rid boring, negative stereotypes. Here are some examples of their billboards:

"Summer sermons will be shorter. Priest golf too."

Around Christmas time, "You can't fill that empty space with fruitcake."

Around Easter, "That bunny is a great guy, but where is he when you need help?"


The "God campaign"


1999 marked the start of one of the most popular campaigns ever. In Broward County, Florida billboards were posted with short, quirky lines that were based on the Ten Commandments and signed by God.  These billboards were so popular that over 10,000 "messages from God" were posted on billboards through out the United States.  Some examples of this campaign are:

We need to talk - God

Keep Using My Name in Vain And I'll Make Rush Hour Longer - God

You Think It's Hot Here? - God

That "Love Thy Neighbor" Thing, I Meant It. - God

Let's Meet At My House Sunday Before the Game - God


Stop Hate Crimes


In April of 2003, The San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition launched a new advertising campaign to stop hate crimes.  One of these ads shows a Middle Eastern man sitting on a bed with a black eye & a bandage on his face.  It says "They didn't like my skin color. So they tried to change it."




As you can now see, billboards have been used to help us do several important things and they can reach people when other Medias cannot.


Never underestimate the power of outdoor advertising.




www.thekansascitychannel.com/news/785440/detail.htm http://www.forbetterlife.org/billboards


Selena McIntyre has been a Creative Designer for BPS Outdoor Media since 1999. She has a Marketing Degree and several years of customer service experience. Selena has studied art most of her life and continues to do so now. She designs most of BPS’s billboards and has written several articles about the outdoor advertising industry. To see some of her work please visit http://www.bpsoutdoor.com/blog/


This article is provided as a courtesy from www.OutdoorBillboard.com


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