Billboards are Classy by: Lauren Benson

There are two different definitions of “classic”. The adjective is described as “judged over a period of time to be the highest quality and outstanding of its kind”, while the noun is “a work of art recognized and established value.” I would very much like to think that billboards fall into both of those categories quite nicely.  They have been around for a long time, with some examples in the United States being erected in the 1930’s. While much has changed over the years, including technology, placement, and even how we print vinyls (we used to paint them), billboards have been a constant part of the American landscape.         

Last summer, my family and I got to embark on a road-trip from New Jersey to Disney (17h hours in the car with two kids, yikes) and even though I have been in the industry for over 10 years, I felt like I was getting to see billboards for the first time. Each state had different types of advertisers, shapes and sizes – some that I have never even seen before! It was fun getting to see road-side attractions telling you how many miles you were away from the landmark. It became a game for us – to spot where the next Buc-ees was going to be located (please come to NJ). As with any road-trip, we were quite happy to see billboards for Starbucks, and even the nearest rest-stop. As corny as it sounds, it felt like no matter where we were, the billboards were keeping us entertained and helped make the trip a little bit easier.

I think what also makes billboards classic, is the fact that you know what you are getting.

Yes, technology has evolved, and we can utilize all the tools that digital billboards can offer, however, there is something nice about the old-school charm of your standard billboard. Another point that I think makes our medium stand out is the fact that they aren’t personally invasive. You aren’t going to be tracked by billboards, and they certainly aren’t going to be listening to your private conversations at home.  Come on…I can’t be the only one who gets suspicious Instagram ads after I talked about a product with my husband.

Trends come and go and even popular apps die (or get banned by the United States Government), but billboards are classic and have stood the test of time.

Stay classy Philadelphia.