Top: Effective content Bottom: Cluttered content
Top: Effective content
Bottom: Cluttered content

Artwork created for print ads or TV commercials follows different guidelines than digital billboard content. Why? For two important reasons:

  • The target audience has approximately two seconds to “read” the message.
  • Digital billboards can display multiple messages.

In today’s post, we want to talk about how the above facts affect content creation. These tips will help you build messages that people will grasp right away and remember longer.

Keep the content layout simple

If you have a traditional print advertising mindset, you might place too much information in a single frame. Remember, you can always present more information in the next message. Compare the two examples in this post. The top one is simple and effective, and the other is too cluttered and confusing.

Prioritize your message visually

Once you decide on the few elements you want to use in your message, use size and placement to make each element distinct from the others.

Lay out your elements by remembering that people read information in pieces, scanning across and then down. Also, when the elements are all the same size or overlap too much, it’s hard for viewers to understand and remember the message.

So, make it easy on them. Divide your content into distinct levels, placing the most important element in the top, left, and making it larger than the other pieces. See the effective content example for good placement and sizing:

  • Level A: $229 a month (most important information)
  • Level B: vehicle photo
  • Level C: dealership name and web site
Effective content_2
Effective content_2

Here is another good example of a simple layout with distinct levels (right):

  • Level A: parrot graphic (most eye-catching element)
  • Level B: featured attraction (rain forest)
  • Level C: location (zoo)

For more information, see Digital Billboard Content Guidelines.

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