Saturday, May 28, 2011


Three reasons this billboard isn't working

It's a mistake to assume that roadside advertising doesn't work. It does, and will continue to do so when leveraged correctly.

The billboard at the right, however, isn't doing it. Yes, it prominently displays the core brand. But it's ineffective on three fronts:

1. As a consumer, I'm apparently expected to choose between two agents. What differentiates them? Should I go with the guy with more hair, or the guy with the nicer smile? As a consumer, I have no basis to choose, no reason to know which I should call. When faced with such uncertainty, I'm far more likely to not do anything at all.

2. Phone numbers on billboards don't work. This billboard isn't exactly next to a parking lot where people are staying still and able to write something down. It's on the side of a relatively busy road. I might remember a short and catchy URL, or even a call to action such as "search XXXX on Google to find us." But there's no way I'm remembering a phone number (especially when it's placed at the bottom in small type).

3. These two agents are subsidizing the ad for State Farm. Good deal for State Farm, bad deal for the agents. Maybe this helps reinforce choice for their existing clients. But I doubt it's driving new business.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh? I'd love for someone from State Farm, or one of these agents specifically, to jump in and prove me wrong.


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