What are billboards?

A billboard is a large outdoor advertising structure that is typically located in a busy place and shows advertisements to passing cars and pedestrians.

Its main goal is to quickly, within a few seconds, capture the interest of consumers, especially potential customers.

With vibrant visuals and concise, impactful messages, they aim to create a memorable impression, encouraging people to learn more about the advertised product or service.

Types of billboards

There are many types of billboards, including:

  • Traditional or static

These are the traditional vinyl billboards with a single, permanent message.

  • Digital

Modern electronic billboards can display multiple ads in rotation. The advertiser can use more dynamic content, which can be remotely changed.

Times Square in New York and Piccadilly Circus in London have many digital billboards.

  • Mobile

These are attached to moving vehicles, such as trucks and even boats.

Times Square in New York has many billboards.

Pros & cons of billboards


  • Visibility

They are very easy to spot due to their size and location.

  • Consistent exposure

Unlike TV or radio advertisements, billboards are visible all the time.

  • Geographical targeting

Billboards target specific areas or demographics, which is great for local businesses.

  • Cost-Effective

When comparing the cost per impression, billboard advertising tends to be a cheaper option than other forms of media, especially in densely-populated areas.


  • Limited content

Consumers only view billboards for a short time. Remember to make your message as clear and recognizable as possible.

  • Static location

Traditional billboards are restricted to one location.

  • Maintenance

They are exposed to the elements, and therefore require constant maintenance.

How much does it cost to advertise on billboards? According to indeed.com:“Classic billboards can cost as little as $250 per month when they’re in rural areas and as much as $14,000 per month if they’re located in midsize or large cities.”

Modern billboards

Billboard advertising has adapted to new technology to stay relevant. Digital ones today can:

  • Change content based on time or weather

They can, for example, display coffee in the morning, or umbrellas when it’s raining.

  • Interactive content

Some of them use augmented reality (AR) to engage with passers-by.

  • Data collection

Some Digital billboards can collect data regarding impressions or interactions. For most marketers, this kind of data is extremely valuable.

Video – What are Billboards?

Written by Nicolas Perez Diaz, September 23, 2023.