Mediapost reports today that out-of-home advertising revenues rose 8.6 percent for the first nine months of 2006 over the year-ago period, topping $5 billion and making it the second-fastest growing segment behind the Internet. Kind of amazing that so much cash is being poured into what still amounts to a pretty low-tech segment, despite the emergence of new types of digital signage.
Driving back from Long Island yesterday, I did see one electronic billboard with rotating ads, but the majority of the endless stream of oversized posters along the I-95/I-91 corrider through Connecticut are old-school, static banners. Most of those seemed to be from local businesses. Porn shops were very popular, along with auto dealers and TV and radio outlets, with the occasional telco thrown in. They certainly had a large, attentive audience during the hour that I and thousands of other commuters were stuck in a 5-mph crawl south of New Haven thanks to some bridge maintenance.
Billboards seem like such an anachronism in today’s digital society, but you probably can’t beat the exposure for a relatively low cost. Too bad they’re so damn ugly.