National Billboard day is celebrated on June 1 every year. The day was created by Keystone Outdoor Advertising, an Out-Of-Home (O.O.H.) advertising agency located in Philadelphia and New Jersey to celebrate the earliest form of advertising in the world. Billboards are pretty much everywhere you go and so reach millions of people daily when placed at high traffic areas. They are used to advertise products, services, public service announcements, and a host of other purposes to pass on a message to as many people as possible, who then get to consume the message consciously or subconsciously. The day should be celebrated as the concept of it has been around for ages.
History of National Billboard Day
Although National Billboard Day is relatively new, the concept of using billboards is as old as the ancient Egyptians. Messages have always needed to be passed down to people through different means, and a method that passes on the same message to the largest possible number of people is always appreciated. In modern times, billboard advertising can be traced to the adoption of flyposting in the late 15th century. Flyposting is also known as wild posting or billposting and was a guerilla marketing tactic where posters were stuck onto places of interest with wheatpaste.
Further down the years in 1796, lithography was invented by German author and actor Alois Senefelder to print text or images onto paper or other suitable material. It was initially used for musical scores and maps. Billboard advertising became more structured in 1872 when the International Bill Posters Association of North America, now known as the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, was established as a billboard lobbying group. The group set guidelines to govern the use of billboards for advertising to serve not just the public better, but the advertisers as well.
In the early years of the 20th century in 1908, the number of people that used the highways increased in America, and Ford’s Model T was released. This move reduced the reach of roadside billboards and gradually moved advertisers to put billboards on the highways to maximize their reach, and advertisers continue to utilize this tactic today. All of these have led to National Billboard Day being celebrated as the day encourages industry professionals and businesses who use billboard advertising to share how billboards have improved their businesses or helped spread an important Public Service Announcement (PSA). The day is meant to show just how important billboards are in our lives.
National Billboard Day timeline
Posters are adhered to places of interest with wheatpaste to pass on important messages in a guerilla marketing tactic.
Lithography is invented by Alois Senefelder to print text or images onto paper or other suitable material.
The International Bill Posters Association of North America, now known as the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, is established as a billboard lobbying group.
Advertisers move toward roadside billboards as Ford’s Model T is released.
National Billboard Day FAQs
Who invented the billboards?
Jared Bell invented the first proper billboards in America in the 1830s.
Where are billboards illegal?
Billboards are illegal in Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska.
How much do billboards cost in Times Square?
Billboards cost at least $10,000 for two weeks in Time Square.
National Billboard Day Activities
Digest a billboard message
Digest a billboard message to celebrate the day. It is easy to just drive past a billboard without consciously trying to read it, but on this day, take time to understand what the message being passed on is about.
Read a book on advertising
Celebrate the day by reading a book on advertising. It helps you understand that a lot goes into creating an ad and in turn, you’ll appreciate advertising better.
Spread awareness to celebrate the day. A simple social media post with a hashtag goes a long way.
5 Facts About Billboards
A Billboard holds a world record
The largest billboard in the world created by Ford was done in Madrid, Spain, and was 6,296.8 5 square yards in size.
Times Square Billboards are visible from space
As unbelievable as it sounds, astronauts confirmed this in 2013.
Billboard ads stick more than digital ads
With the numerous ads we’re exposed to every day, billboard ads stick more than digital and are one of the reasons this old form of advertising hasn’t been phased out.
A billboard is worth $2.5 million
One of the costliest billboards in the world belongs to Google and costs $2.5 million.
Electronic billboards have been used since 1904
Electronic billboards are usually associated with the 2000s but have been in existence in New York City since 1904.
Why We Love National Billboard Day
It supports advertisers
People celebrating National Billboard Day serve to support advertisers. As an advertiser, seeing the public talk about a major part of your job makes you proud.
It helps people appreciate billboards more
Seeing that billboards are being celebrated piques people’s curiosity about billboards. Their curiosity about billboards will help them appreciate billboards more
It helps people digest advertising messages better
Advertising messages are understood better when days like National Billboard Day are celebrated. It educates the public on advertising messages.
National Billboard Day dates