3D Billboards



3-Dimensional billboards are an emerging new medium that has evolved from the traditional media of 2-dimensional billboards. 3D billboard construction used to be difficult, dangerous, time consuming and expensive, but with the astounding technological advances in recent decades the process has become significantly more manageable and inexpensive, allowing for advertisers to take advantage of this creative new medium.

3D Billboards share many of the same advantages and disadvantages as traditional 2D billboards concerning cost, audience and availability, but unlike 2D, 3D allows for advertisers to maximize their creative potential. The already powerful visual impact of traditional billboards is propelled to another level with 3D billboards because of the creative possibilities they allow for.



The greatest strength of 3D billboards is the potential for a very powerful visual message that leaves a lasting impression. 3D billboards allow for a form of creativity and artistic expression that no other medium offers. A 3D billboard is essentially a piece of art that delivers a message that creates an immediate and lasting impact on the audience. The lasting visual impressions that 3D billboards create are unique and present the advertiser with the task of presenting the visually creative aspects of the billboard in a way that does not overshadow the intended message. (AZZARO, 2009)

Another advantage of 3D billboards is that these creative impactful messages reach a large audience at a low cost. The CPM for billboards is significantly less expensive than any of the other major media. (AZZARO, 2009)

Additionally, Billboards are a very high frequency medium because they are on display all the time and cannot be ignored by the audience. Many commuters will be exposed to the message repeatedly, which is beneficial for the advertiser, because it reinforces the message. (Icon Group Publication, 2008)



Much like traditional billboards, 3D billboards face the problem of limited demographic selectivity. Most 3D billboards are not mobile and therefore are confined to a specific location for their entire existence, limiting the diversity of the audience. (AZZARO, 2009)

Another sometimes-troublesome issue for billboard advertisers is the limited amount of time that the audience is exposed to the message. 3D billboards are often on highways or other fast pace locations that leave a small amount of time for the audience to view the message. Advertisers must limit the complexity and the text on 3D billboards to allow the audience enough time to view and process the message. (Cronin, 2008)

One difficulty that 3D billboards face that traditional billboards do not is the inability to easily change the message. Traditional 2D billboards are very versatile because of the flat layout, which makes it quite easy to replace one advertisement with another. 3D billboards are obviously much more difficult and expensive to adjust because of the complex construction and often unsystematic elements. (3DBillboards)

3D billboards also face the inconvenience of restrictions. There are various safety and environmental requirements that must be met, which can disrupt the advertisers objectives. (Wong, 2005)


Safety and Evnironmental concerns

There are those groups who have complained about the popular use of billboards. They say that having billboards along the highways and interstates causes too much cutting down and clearing of trees and endangering wildlife. Concerns are also raised that billboards may intrude on the surrounding landscape, because of their size, bright colors, and large fonts. They believe this may be a form of visual pollution. Some other groups believe that billboards, and even advertisements in general, do not help the mentality of the public, because of their focus on material wants and needs. (WKBW, 2009)

Another concern over the use of billboards is that they may be distracting to drivers. Since billboards are aimed at being large, flashy, and highly visible, many drivers take their eyes off of the road too long in order to look at them. In the United States alone, some cities have tried to ban billboards, but the First Amendment has always protected the rights of billboards and the companies who display them. (WKBW, 2009)



There are many variables that contribute to the costs of 3D billboards. The price of 3D billboards varies a lot based on the materials, the complexity and the location.

The least expensive type of 3D billboard is constructed with primarily inflatable pieces. The inflatable billboards are a less expensive alternative to billboards constructed with stronger materials, but they require more maintenance and do not last as long. An advantage of the cost effective inflatable 3D billboards is that they are more maneuverable and can be assembled and disassembled much easier than a solid billboard. (Robinson, 2010)

3D billboards are a very cost efficient alternative media; excluding the extremely extravagant ones. The CPM is much less expensive for 3D billboards than most new emerging medias and traditional medias as well. (AZZARO, 2009)

The more basic 3D billboards can be as cheap as 10,000$, but the massive elaborate ones can cost more than 1 million dollars to create and maintain. (3Dbillboards)


Reach and Frequency

3D billboards have both high-reach and high-frequency. 3D billboards are usually placed in prime locations with high exposure because of their visually pleasing nature. Almost all elaborate 3D billboards are located in big cities or beside heavily travelled highways. Because of their high exposure locations the messages are delivered to a broad audience and often with a lot of repetition because of commuters. Billboards are visible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which also contributes to the high-reach and frequency. (AZZARO, 2009)



In most cases the purchaser of the billboard determines where, and how long the billboard will stand. 3D billboards typically stay unchanged and in the same place for a much longer period time than traditional billboards because of the unsystematic construction that makes them more difficult and expensive to alter. There is no specific projected life span for 3D billboards, but most high-end 3D billboards are constructed with the intention of delivering the message until it is no longer relevant. There have been many popular 3D billboards that have remained unchanged for years. (WKBW, 2009)

3D billboards are not subject to seasonal inconvenience, which allows for scheduling all across the country. As mentioned, 3D billboards are typically located next to heavily travelled highways, near major cities and at stoplights in densely populated and travelled locations. Because 3D billboard are always observable regardless of time of day and time of year, it makes scheduling for this particular alternative media a very manageable task. (AZZARO, 2009)


Audience qualities:

The audience for 3D billboards is usually quite broad, but can be selective depending on location. Most 3D billboards are strategically located in heavily travelled locations, but in some cases it is the same people that are regularly being exposed to the message, because of their personal schedule, which is beneficial for obtaining high frequency, but not always reach.

3D billboards possess a level of creativity that makes them visually pleasing for most all people regardless of age and social status. Opposed to most other forms of media, 3D billboards are able to captivate a much more broad and diverse audience because of the limited text and visually entrancing elements. (AZZARO, 2009)


3D billboards are becoming so popular that traditional billboards are becoming increasingly scarce. The creativity involved in producing these artistic messages appears to be creating competition amongst advertisers to create more and more extravagant ones. 3D billboards are able to create a message that is exciting for the audience to view, which is a valuable trait in an evolving market of alternative medias. The prominence of 3D billboards has raised the expectations of audiences, which in turn, has raised the bar for billboard creativity. (Robinson, 2010)

Successes with 3D billboards

The list of companies that have advertised using 3D billboards is endless, but some have had more success than others. The most successful campaigns have included little or no text and have delivered the message simply using visuals.
Makers Mark whiskey created a famous 3D billboard that used no text and was still very successful. Another successful and text-less billboard was the Rejoice hairbrush that is tangled in power lines that resemble hair. (Icon Group Pubications, 2009)

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Here is video you showing 3D billboards

Related Images

external image diorama%20billboard.JPG



Azzaro, Marian. Strategic Media Decisions; 2nd Edition. Chicago: Copy Workshop, 2009. Print.

Cronin, Anne M. "Mobility and Market Research: Outdoor Advertising and the Commercial Ontology of the City." Mobilities 3.1 (2008): 95-115. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Apr. 2010.

Icon Group Publications. “The 2009-2014 World Outlook for Radio and Out-Of-Home Advertising.” Icon Group International, Inc, 2008. Print.

New York, Billboard Advertising. "Billboard Advertising." WKBW Billboard Advertising. Web. 2 May 2010. <http://guides.wkbw.com/Billboard_Advertising-a854312.html>.

Robinson, Rick. "Pony Up the Dough, and Enjoy the Payoff." EBSCO. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Apr. 2010.

Unique Inflatables Ltd. "3D Billboards." 3D Billboard. Web. 7 Apr. 2010. http://www.3dbillboard.com

Wong, Elaine. "See Billboard. Wear Billboard." Brandweek 51.3 (2010): 37. EBSCO. Web. 7 Apr. 2010.