Stuck in traffic on I-76? Billboard advertisers hope so.
Philly has some of the country’s most congested roads. That’s great news for billboard advertisers.
To the surprise of no one who has ever driven in Philadelphia, this story begins on I-76.
Among the top 10 worst congestion points in the country, I-76 at I-676 ranked in fifth place for congestion, according to new data from Oppizi, an advertising company with a focus on offline marketing. The average car speed in that area was 30.5 miles per hour. I-76 at Roosevelt Boulevard placed seventh on the list, with an average speed of 33.6 miles per hour — and 25.3 miles per hour during peak times.
While those speeds might not get drivers where they’re going very quickly, it does give them an opportunity to spend more time looking at nearby billboards.
“It’s a unique opportunity to have inventory next to some of those congestion points,” said Dylan Mabin, president of Geopath, a New York-based non-profit company that tracks where billboards are located and who owns them. In outdoor advertising, he says, there is an objective to place ads in areas that will be efficient at delivering the message to as many people as possible.
“People that are traveling on those roadways have a longer period of exposure,” said Mabin.
Clear Channel, Lamar, Krain Outdoor Advertising, and Outfront Media Inc., are the companies with billboards near Philly’s most congested areas, according to Geopath.
Larry Krain, of Krain Outdoor Advertising, owns billboards on I-76 between City Avenue and Belmont Avenue. A billboard there can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $17,0000 a month, he says, although companies typically sign on for a full year contract. He estimates that about 75,000 to 80,000 people see those billboards everyday.
“The reason I can charge so much for my signs is they’re the only ones from 30th Street out to Conshohocken,” he said.
Krain says he’s seen the kinds of ads that appear on the billboards change since the company’s founding in 1976.
“The advertisers used to be tobacco and liquor. Now they’re healthcare and banks and lawyers,” said Krain.
Despite the influx of ads that pop up on Instagram, or the commercials that interrupt our TV streaming, billboards are still a good place to advertise for some companies.
People don’t typically screenshot ads on their phone to send to others, says Mabin of Geopath. They do take pictures in front of large adverting all of the time and share those pictures on social media, though. Think Times Square.
There is a certain fascination when people see a billboard.
“It is larger than life,” said Mabin.