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New Study Highlights Effectiveness of Digital Billboards

Date: July 23, 2015


Contact: Nicole Hayes
(202) 833-5566

New Study Highlights Effectiveness of Digital Billboards 
Travelers Notice Digital Billboards with High Levels of Recall

July 22, 2015(Washington, DC) –Digital billboards generate high recall for ads and positive consumer attitudes, according to a new study conducted by Nielsen. Three out of four (75%) respondents recalled seeing a digital billboard in the past month and 60 percent noticed one in the past week, according to Nielsen's survey of those who traveled roadways with digital billboards.

More than half (55%) of travelers who noticed a digital billboard in the past month were highly engaged, recalling the message on the screen every time or most of the time they passed by a digital billboard. More than eight out of 10 (82%) recalled advertisements in the last month, 35 percent noticed AMBER Alerts or missing children alerts, 24 percent recalled community information, and 18 percent noticed weather alerts. 

“This detailed study highlights the effectiveness of digital billboards for businesses to communicate with consumers and for communities to reach the public,"said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher.“Consumers are paying attention to the information presented to them and acting on it, whether they are drawn to a location featured on an ad, discussing the ad with friends and family, or attending an advertised event.” 

The study showed brand recall is high among travelers who notice digital billboards. Nielsen tested six campaigns in five major US markets and found that travelers recalled seeing at least one specific digital billboard ad from 74 to 89 percent of time. Top performing brand categories included entertainment, gaming, quick-service restaurants, recreation, and televised sporting events. 

The study also gauged consumer attitude toward digital billboards, finding the majority of respondents appreciated the advertising platform. Seventy-two percent think digital billboards “are a cool way to advertise,” 65 percent think the medium is a “good way to learn about new businesses in the area,” and 61 percent agree digital billboards are “a good way to learn about sales and events.”

The majority of respondents feel ads stand out more or just as much on digital billboards compared to other ad media. Seventy-one percent said “ads on digital billboards stand out more than ads online,” and 46 percent feel the same related to TV ads.

Travelers are also impressed with digital billboards’ immediacy and ability to communicate timely, relevant information, with 70 percent agreeing the medium provides current and important information. 

“Digital out of home is part of advertising’s future, and digital billboards offer brands a quick and flexible solution to target today’s mobile consumer,” said Stephen Freitas, OAAA chief marketing officer. “Communities are impressed by the medium’s ability to drive awareness and business.”  

Commissioned by OAAA, the report analyzed 1,256 online surveys with US residents age 18 or older who lived in and around five major cities – Atlanta, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Tampa. 

Respondents were screened for having traveled on specified roads containing digital billboards within the past 30 days. Ad recall was tested for 30 OOH advertising campaigns running on select digital billboards in these markets (six brands per market).

Nationwide, there are 6,100 digital billboards, according to OAAA.

For more information and to request a copy of the Digital Billboard Study 2015, please contact Nicole Hayes at or (202) 833-5566.

OAAA is the national trade association for the out of home (OOH) advertising industry. Founded in 1891, the association represents more than 90 percent of the US industry based on revenues. OAAA is dedicated to leading and uniting a responsible OOH industry committed to serving advertisers, consumers, and communities. The OOH industry generates $7.1 billion annually in ad revenues and donates more than $450 million in space each year. For more information, please visit



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