The biggest trend in outdoor advertising in recent history is certainly the increased prominence of digital billboards. The digital revenue percentages across the industry have quickly increased in the past five years. At Regional Billboard Co we are often asked about how we see digital playing a role in Regional Victoria.
To begin answering this question it is helpful to provide an explanation of the technology and its applications. A digital billboard typically has up to 10 ads which are rotated one-by-one, with each ad shown for between 10 and 30 seconds. When compared to traditional static billboards digital does grow the pool of potential advertisers, as artwork can be provided at short notice rather than weeks in advance. For example, retailers can advertise price-based specials and agricultural brands can advertise based on weather patterns.
Despite the fast growth of digital in metropolitan areas, it has been slowly rolled out in regional areas. In most states some of the national outdoor providers have rolled out a small handful of digital sites in larger regional cities. These have been used primarily as an extension of metropolitan advertising campaigns – giving national advertisers the ability to target regional areas with national digital outdoor campaigns.
This has been the case in Victoria, with digital sites in Warrnambool, Shepparton and Ballarat which are sold by national outdoor providers. There has also been a small number of local entrepreneurs that have put up their own digital screens in an attempt to sell the space to local advertisers. This has been the case in Shepparton & Traralgon with mixed success.
At RBC we see digital as a key part of the outdoor advertising future in Regional Victoria. In five years’ time we would expect to see digital billboards in major regional centres such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Gippsland, Wodonga & Warrnambool. As the cost of the technology comes down the rollout will likely expand to towns like Horsham, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Mildura, Sale & Colac.
That said, it is important to recognise that most static billboards in Regional Victoria are used for campaigns focused on brand awareness and directional signage. For campaigns with these objectives static billboards (with 100% share of voice) are usually more effective. It is expected that static billboards will continue to be used for these campaigns, and future digital billboards used to attract new advertisers to outdoor advertising.
Regional Billboard Co is excited to have its first digital billboard going up in Traralgon later in 2019.