Humans have been creating wall art since we lived in caves. So, when did it move from self-expression and art, to a hugely successful marketing tactic? The history of billboard marketing, and billboard printing is a rich one, steeped in creativity, antiquity, and innovation.
Outdoor Advertising in Ancient Times
The oldest form of outdoor advertising can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians. It is believed that they are the first civilisation to have used wall art as a form of marketing. The Government had the laws of the land carved into stone walls, to spread this information to the masses.
This kind of marketing was a sculptural art form, taking time, talent, and patience. Today, we are able to mass produce information, and our modern day billboard printing and billboard designs can be traced back to the invention of the lithograph in the late 1970s.
The Evolution of the Modern Day Billboard & Billboard Printing
The lithograph and lithographic printing opened society up to the mass production of information. Business owners and politicians were able to create posters and announcements. These were handed out to the public and plastered on walls. These mass produced prints were small, and unable to withstand the elements. However, the impact that they made did not go unnoticed, and society began to expand on the concept.
In 1835, the billboard became the must-have advertising platform for circuses. As these travelling troupes would move from town to town, they required easy to assemble, large, and eye-catching posters to announce their arrival. The billboard was the best option for this, thus the modern day billboard was born.
The circus was the very first industry to profit from outdoor print marketing, and as this news spread to other industries, billboards became one of the most popular, and proven forms of advertising. This is still true today.
An Industry is Born
In the mid 1860s, outdoor advertising agencies and outdoor printing companies were developed. The industry flourished, and with this surge in popularity, the International Billboards Association of North America was formed. This organisation is still active today, and is known as the OAAA.
The industry saw even more growth in the 1900s. This explosive expansion began when automobiles became accessible to the masses due to Henry Ford’s introduction of the affordable Model-T. With a new mobile audience, outdoor advertising boomed.
Much like the automobile industry contributed to the growth of billboard marketing, so too did the lighting, LED, and solar power industry. This made advertisements economical and visible in the evenings.
Despite the introduction of radio, television, and the internet, billboard and outdoor marketing has proven its worth – and is stronger than ever. This is a testament to a strong, flexible, affordable, and simple marketing platform – one that promises results.
Billboard Printing South Africa
Billboards provide excellent visibility to prospective customers because of their size.
Contact your closest Jetline store today and find our how we can assist you in creating the ultimate billboard campaign.