If you want to get the right billboard placement and content, you need to understand the advertising billboard industry's language. Most billboard terms are familiar, as they overlap those from other genres--"copy" is the text portion of the billboard, for example, and "bleed" refers to the portion of a vinyl billboard that wraps around the back of the sign.
Advertising markets are expanding as quickly as technology and human imagination will allow. In order to stay current with billboard companies' language, therefore, get a general overview of the industry jargon first, then review key terms for particular billboard applications. A quick review of billboard advertising key terms will allow you to:
1. Apply basic billboard agency terms to specialized markets like mobile billboards.
2. Identify three jargon-heavy, traditional types of billboard advertisements still in use.
3. Catch up on tech-talk from billboard agencies that are pioneering in the digital realm.
Master basic billboard agency termsWhat do "A-frames," "video trucks," "scrolling billboards" and "tri-vision trucks" have to do with billboard advertising? They're all common types of mobile billboards.
Federal Highway Administration offers a complete guide to outdoor advertising language, which is intended to help standardize outdoor advertising (billboard) jargon. Once you have the general jargon down, you're ready to move on to TruckAds, which gives you visual and text examples of many of the common mobile billboard terms.
Take a good look at traditional billboard ads"Poster panels" for billboards are printed on paper and glued to a metal sign; they're also known as 30 sheets, papers, paper bulletins or junior posters. "Vinyls" work similarly, with the vinyl facing either hung or adhered to the billboard, and are best suited to displaying complicated graphics. "Bulletins," "posters" and "junior posters" all refer to essentially the same traditional billboard format, in diminishing sizes.
Hook up with high-tech billboard adsLED, LCD, digital and video billboards are all basically gigantic screens that display, depending on local regulations and technical considerations, anywhere from static slide-shows to broadcast-quality animation or video content.
WireSpring Blog gives a good rundown of the pros and cons of digital billboards and a rough overview of regulations that affect them. Much of the jargon you're likely to encounter is most likely already familiar from general electronics and computer use; the field develops so quickly as technology progresses that most jargon is likely to spin off from brand names, like "SideTrack" as featured in a CNet article about billboards in subway tunnels.
- Many specialized types of outdoor billboard advertising, such as tri-vision truck technology, can be applied to stationary billboards as well.