All billboard advertising began outdoors (probably) with the earliest outdoor messages probably being the inscriptions on many Egyptian monuments. When the German blacksmith Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing in 1450, modern advertising was introduced through the handbill.
In 1796 the first illustrated poster was made when the lithographic process was invented (by another German, Alois Senefelder). The invention of lithography was soon followed by chromolithography, which allowed for mass production of posters, which could now be illustrated in vibrant colours to be printed.
Before the advent of cars, primitive examples of billboards were sometimes used to alert people travelling on foot, on horseback, or by a horse-drawn carriage that a local Inn could be found a certain distance up the road. Along with naming the [said] Inn and providing an approximate distance to it; the billboard would sometimes list some of the facilities such as clean beds, good food, and the stable facilities – to house the carriage & horses.
During the early 1900s, the rapidly growing use of cars quickly led to companies making use of billboard advertising to publicise a wide range of products and services. Motor villages and motels would buy or lease billboards as a means of directing potential customers to their facilities. Towns and cities made use of billboard advertising to entice the traveller to stop just long enough to see a few of the local sights (if interest) before moving on with their journey. Roadside restaurants made good use of billboards to advertise delicious meals for very competitive prices. In time the effectiveness of these ads eventually led to creating an entirely new branch of the advertising industry as clients demanded more modern and more attractive advertisements that would catch the eye and entice the traveller to stop and spend money.
In the early 1900s, there was a boom in billboard advertising campaigns. Big advertisers began mass production of billboards for the domestic markets. They advertised everything from toothpaste, soaps, breakfast cereals to sodas etc – advertisements were made to advertise in vast, beautiful, bold imagery. Moving on to 1913 in the USA when the practice of filling open boards began, public service advertising & took hold; this practice has continued to this day. During the Second World War, there was a joint effort from the advertising industry to help in the mobilisation. Then when peacetime arrived the primary concern was focused on efforts to generally; improve the way of life for Americans.
Billboards From 1990’s to Present
With the advent of digital technology, the somewhat antiquated hand-painted boards were eventually replaced by computer-painted outdoor large advertising formats. The new outdoor advertising companies started to offer a wide range of advertising formats (& locations) including bus shelters, kiosks, airport advertising, shopping centre displays and taxis.
As you’ve just read from an ancient civilisation to the present time, societies have used billboards to advertise, to market, to share their feelings and generally to uplift the lives of many. Whether it’s to provide information on fuel prices or the arrival of the latest greatest burger-bar in town, knowledge is one crucial element that billboard advertising has communicated. They have become a common medium to address current issues and relevant information. Perhaps, it’s because they can reach more people for lower prices than any other type of media – or maybe it’s because people are spending much more time in their cars now than ever before. Whatever the reason, adverting billboards are very much here to stay.
Contact ProCloud Signage About Billboard Advertising
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