L.A.’s Outdoors go Digital

Hello! We here at Marketing Through the Clutter are back from our summer vacation and ready to resume our critiques of the good and the bad of marketing in today’s busy world. 

Circa December 2006 I wrote about Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin vetoing plans by a few outdoor advertising companies to erect digital billboards in Atlanta.  But over on the Left Coast, there’s no such ban and some Los Angeles residents are pretty upset.

Clear Channel is doubling its number of digital billboards in L.A.  To paraphrase the company’s president and COO, the more congested a city, the better it is for billboards.

So he’s saying that the worse the traffic, the better it is for advertisers to use billboards.  I can see the logic that if you’re sitting in traffic and need to stare at something, why not make it an advertisement?  And why not make it a relevant ad since these digital billboards can change their messages pretty quickly? 

Those who live near those billboards can tell you why not.  The flashing lights are garish and disruptive as they stream into the windows of nearby apartment dwellers.

As I said before, I think this is a bit Big Brother-ish, but not a bad marketing tactic.  I just prefer marketing methods that are more one-to-one rather than one-to-anyone who happens to drive by.

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