This Retro Advertising Method has Modern Appeal

This Retro Advertising Method has Modern Appeal

When considering their advertising budget, many companies limit themselves to social media campaigns and costly TV and radio advertising. But road trip favorite Cracker Barrel is leading the way in craft an advertising campaign with timeless appeal. The restaurant commits nearly 50% of its advertising budget to billboard ads, according to eMarketer. Their charming, southern-style restaurants are often located near exits and major highways in order to attract travelers on long distance journeys, so an extensive billboard advertising campaign is a natural fit for their business. And it’s proven to be a very effective strategy. The corporation has experienced annual growth of over 10%.



Many companies overlook this strategy when crafting their advertising budget. But outdoor advertising such as billboards remain effective even in a modern climate. Although social media campaigns can target specific audiences closely, billboards–including digital billboards–can help your business gain exposure to a wide customer base. Here are four ways to ensure the effectiveness of your next outdoor advertising campaign:


1. Pattern your campaign after other successful brands


There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. When you see an advertising strategy that’s worked well for other brands, consider designing a similar campaign for your own product and audience. This strategy worked well for the grocery delivery app Instacart. According to an interview in AdWeek, their online media strategy was seeing declining returns in 2014. Their former media manager chose to pattern their new campaign after the subway billboard campaign he saw utilized by other companies. Though the subsequent growth was difficult to quantify, Instacart enjoyed a surge of online subscribers.


2. Create a campaign with visual impact


Unlike online advertising, an outdoor media advertising exists in a rich–and sometimes distracting–physical environment. To increase the impact of your billboards, use eye-catching designs that can be easily read from afar. And consider ways to increase user interaction with these ads. A hashtag campaign embedded in a billboard can increase reach, as consumers take quick snaps with their smartphones and share them in online spaces.


3. Consider the impact of travel time in your ad placement


Online ads on social media are viewed quickly and then dismissed. However, Americans spend huge amounts of time in their cars, particularly those in congested areas or with long commutes. Carefully placed advertisements in prime real estate could be viewed for far longer than other advertising. A deliberately planned outdoor advertising campaign can help even companies who primarily do their business online. According to Investor’s Business Daily, companies like Amazon and Netflix are some of the biggest spenders when it comes to outdoor advertising.


4. Combine retro advertising appeal with modern strategies


Just because you’re embarking on an outdoor advertising campaign doesn’t mean you have to forgo new strategies for interaction, design, and more. Smartphone and tracking tech can give you extensive data about who is viewing your ads and when. Outdoor advertising can be combined with interactive elements, like lights which illuminate when ads are being viewed, sample dispensers, and more.


By pacing your ads in outdoor spaces, you’re guaranteeing views–and expanding possible returns. Ads carefully placed on gas station pumps, subway cars and stations, and traffic tunnels integrate seamlessly into the modern landscape, increasing your returns on your advertising investment.





About The Author

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson is general manager of Veale Outdoor Advertising and has been an ad man for more than 25 years. Originally from Indiana, he’s lived in Santa Rosa since 1988 and, when’s he not helping clients fulfill their marketing goals, Tom enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, family, friends and playing golf.