We’ve all seen enough billboards that unless they’re absolutely attention-grabbing, we don’t pay any attention to them. It seems that about 95% of the time, I don’t remember what a billboard is about nor who is on it. Even when someone asks, “Have you seen that hilarious ______ billboard on Prospect?”, and I try to pay attention that next time I pass it, I still cannot seem to notice.
Realtors® seem to be everywhere on billboards these days. Granted, I probably just notice them more since I am one, but I still remember seeing Realtors® on billboards everywhere long before I took that career path.
If you pay any attention to the Realtor® ads, you will notice that they generally consist of a large [touched-up] picture of a Realtor® with a big, friendly smile, some slogan by which to remember them, their contact information, and perhaps some service that they offer. Apart from the contact info and picture, these advertisements have generally the same message, and it’s impossible to actually determine anything about a Realtor’s® quality based on the ad. This inability to determine quality is true for most ads, though. Eventually, all these ads just end up blending together, but what people remember is the 1 or 2 Realtors® that they know at any given moment, based on how much they’ve seen them advertised. Here is what Thomas Smith, London, U.K., 1885, had to say about visual advertising:
- The first time a man looks at an advertisement he does not see it.
- The second time, he does not notice it.
- The third time, he is conscious of it’s existence.
- The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before,
- The fifth time, he reads it.
- The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
- The seventh time, he reads it through and says “Oh Brother”
- The eighth time, he says, “Here’s that confounded thing again”
- The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
- The tenth time, he thinks he will ask his neighbour if he has tried it.
- The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertisers make it pay.
- The twelfth time, he thinks it may be worth something.
- The thirteenth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
- The fourteenth time, he remembers that he has wanted such a thing for a long time.
- The fifteenth time, he thinks he will buy it someday.
According to the results that visual advertising provides, the most prominently displayed Realtor® would earn the most business. The difficult part, then, is to determine when to begin to spend money on billboard advertising, and whether the money spent justifies the business gained. When should you expect to yield results?