Press Release October 15, 2003
Roadmark Conducts Comparision Study "Mobile -vs- Stationary Outdoor"
In an effort to better understand "the real differences" between traditional stationary billboards and local distributor box trucks outfitted with graphics two sides, Roadmark, Inc. (Webster, MA) conducted a two month fact finding study in Greater Hartford, CT during the summer months of 2003. The objective was to identify precise "attributes and limitations" of both forms of media with "real data" compiled in close proximity of the viewing universe of both types of large format display faces (30 sheet billboards, highway bullitens and 16" box trucks).
The "methodology" of the study was simple. Study personnel (experts in various fields of advertising) were hired to spend time physically in the viewing range of randomly selected displays for no other purpose than making notes of their observations relating to each display. Staff were assigned to sit at billboard sites and ride shotgun on box trucks during prime daytime hours. Each staff person assigned to sit at "a billboard location" was also assigned time riding "in the cab of a box truck", mainly for the purpose of applying their judgments in a balanced manner, objectively.
To make sure that the findings were not swayed one way or the other in favor of either form of outdoor, staff were asked simply to determine "Why are stationary billboards were more popular than truckside advertising" (a very real fact in the industry). They were asked to identify and document (in plus or minus column form) their observations of "viewers AND the environment" of each display (location, location, location). The study"s theme was "What can truckside providers do better to compete with billboard companies" (prompting study personnel to compile neutral data for later comparrison).
By observations reported, these were unanimous findings:
1) Roughly 20% (on average) of people in the universe of billboards seemed to be looking in the direction of the message being displayed. About 60% of the people in proximity to trucks were viewed to be looking in the direction of the truck. Part of that estimate was attributed to the "double sided factor" of the truck having displays on both sides. Part of that evaluation was attributed to the truck being "closer to viewers" compared to billboards typically being 500 feet or more away from potential viewers. Part of that evaluation was attributed to the "motion" of the vehicle (a subconscious reaction that people glance at a moving object). It was also noted that when a truck was stopped in traffic (at a traffic light for example), people tended to glance at the message while they were waiting.
2) Based on fix locations of stationary displays as opposed to mobile travel of trucks; study staff suggested that "it was probable" that their assigned billboards generated higher "frequency" of viewing to fewer viewers -compared to- trucks that "reached" more viewers, less frequently. (A truck"s "broader universe range" diluted frequency, but significantly increased the number of people it could influence). All study staff referenced a billboard as being able to expose people in a one thousand yard radius as opposed to a truck exposing viewers in a 10 mile radius.
3) When asked to estimate daytime potential viewership counts, billboards averaged about 25,000 @ 20%, trucks averaged about the same @ 60%. Study staff agreed that frequency was probably about 2x a day for billboards, about 1.5x a day for a truck circulating around a marketplace. The higher frequency number for billboards was attributed to commuters repetitious route travel to or from work whereas people on-the-move might see a truck only once (maybe twice) in their daily travels .
4) Study staff all independently agreed that "their billboards" communicated a message "identically" as a truck display, however, the truck more often suggested that the product being advertised was also being delivered, distributed (carried to the marketplace), therefore might be perceived by viewers as a more desirable, credible, available comodity for them rather than just "promotional information" being presented. Study staff all agreed that viewers they saw viewing the truck appeared to be contemplating "what might be in the truck", thus, reinforcing "mental awareness and confidence" in the product.
5) Study staff (when comparing campaign costs of production and space rental) concluded that truck advertising was about 50% more cost effective based on their awareness of CPM value.
For more information, contact Roadmark, Inc. (602) 684-8078