Effectiveness of billboard advertising; a case of soft drinks in Nairobi
Achieng, Jacqueline Anne
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Billboards are defined broadly as any large outdoor printed (or projected) sign. Artists’ Billboards have been a key medium or vehicle to explore and express the ideas and strategies behind the most important art movements over the last fifty years: conceptualism and dematerialization, temporality, appropriation and authorship issues, socio-political critique, institutional critique, direct political engagement (defending the voices of minorities like women, gays, blacks, different ethnicities, etc.), postmodern concerns about the difference between reality and representation, among many others (indooradvertising.org). Billboards are a vital means of communication especially in business. They therefore follow communication principles to ensure effectiveness. Effective billboards must have a clear, concise message and attractive illustrations and visual appearance. They need to be as clutter-free as possible and easy to read. They only receive about 2-4 seconds of a customer’s attention so the message needs to be easily digested. Assessing the value and effectiveness of billboard advertising is challenging. There are many methods of advertising which produce results that are easier to evaluate such as newspaper ads and direct mail campaigns. The difference with billboard advertising is that it is exposed to the masses but there is no real way to evaluate who really absorbs the message. Methodologies have been applied to evaluating effectiveness, but they are weak in demonstrating validity. The research design employed in this study was descriptive survey research design. This method was preferred because it allows for generalization of the research findings. From the findings of the research, it was found that soft drink companies on average utilized billboards for promotions. This was because they are attractive and could catch the customer’s eye easily. On the same note it was found that the number of billboards was not sufficient especially in rural areas. Most of the promotions utilized were found to be media advertisements. To enhance the effectiveness of billboards in promotion of soft drinks, the researcher recommended that companies must follow the 7 Cs of communication: Context, Content, Components, Cuts, Composition, Contrast and Consistency so as to come up with an effective message that will promote the product.