What is it that companies like Apple, Coca Cola, MacDonalds, American Express and Google all have in common. Well yes, they are massive companies but more importantly, they are the biggest spenders in out of home advertising (OOH).

OOH is any advertising that is seen outside of the home.  When you think that people spend 70% of their waking hours out of their home it makes sense to advertise where you have their eyeballs. Out of Home advertising is a lofty name. For big business it means billboards and stadium advertising. For the average small to medium businesses it means banners and small billboards.

The principles of advertising are the same for both big and small enterprises. So how can banner advertising benefit your local business, the way it benefits those big businesses?

ADVERTISE IN THE AREA YOU OPERATE IN

For small, local businesses advertising in the area they operate is the most sensible thing they can do. If your business comes from your local population then you want to be seen in as many places as you can with your local area.

Banner advertising speaks to locals in their own area. As we spend 70% of our days outside of home: at work, getting to work, coming home from work, etc, etc. Our eyes are consciously or subconsciously taking in our surroundings all the time.

Let’s use the example of a local electrician working on building sites around their area.  Grabbing a little fence space of the job they are working on to hang their banner exposes their business to thousands of potential clients. Their contact details are there for everyone to see. No need to look up on the internet or Yellow Pages. They tell potential clients what they do, provide their contact details, tell them where they work (by virtue of having a sign in that area) and best of all the banner does it for them passively. Hundreds to thousands of views per day.

UBIQUITY – THE ART OF BEING EVERYWHERE

The reason that large companies advertise outdoors is that is where their customers are. It makes perfect sense to run integrated, multi-faceted advertising campaigns using mutliple delivery methods. What big brands do that small ones often don’t is, well, BRAND.

Bigger businesses have the luxury of spending money on building their brand equity. They bank on impressing their logo and message with an all-out assault on their customer’s senses. Outdoor banners or billboards are just part of their overall strategy – just a very cost effective one.

Smaller businesses can take advantage of this too. Building brand recognition via banner advertising is one of the most effective ways to convince potential customers of their good standing, their amazing product or service. Going back to our electrician example, people are more likely to trust businesses whose brands they have seen completing work locally. If that electrician were to leave a banner at every job site, it would go a long way to convincing clients that they are always in demand, or that they work on properties they aspire to, or simply that they have absorbed their name subliminially. A competing electrician whose brand recognition is zero starts a long way behind our our savvy marketer in competition for local business.

ENGAGING LOCAL AUDIENCES

Businesses use outdoor banners to promote events or reinforce their promotion. Banners tell passers by of the new shops coming to the site they are passing, or of the amazing apartments they are building that they would like to sell to them.

The dollar value of advertising precisely where their business is taking place is immeasurable. For example, people that live in an area are more likely to buy their next home or investment in the same area. House hunters might pass a small billboard telling them that what they are looking for will be built in that very spot. It is virtually impossible to be more accurate, at least geographically.

Using banners to advertise ‘happenings’ is very common:

  • Advertising presales for building developments
  • Advertising upcoming events
  • Informing of local changes such as traffic
  • Seeking school enrolments by a certain date
  • Advertising retail or hospitality openings
  • Congratulating local teams or individuals on their achievements.

Local banners engage local audiences.

OUTDOOR BANNERS LAST A REALLY LONG TIME (FOR THE ADVERTISING WORLD)

Vinyl and mesh banners last around 2 years in an outdoor application unless they have been laminated. This may seem like a short time to some people but in advertising land, it is a very long time.

A TV commercial lasts for about 15-30 seconds, a newspaper ad for one day, a magazine ad for one month – these forms of advertising just can’t compete with the incredible value and longevity of advertising banners.

Still not convinced by outdoor advertising. Check out some of these eyewatering statistics, even if they are from the US.

NOW YOU ARE JUST SHOWING OFF…BRAGGING RIGHT’S BANNERS

Our last reason to use banners for cost-effective advertising in local markets is for bragging! Business and organisations of all sorts love get credit for the good things they do.

The internet has made product reviews indispensable and it seems that there are awards for pretty much everything these days. If you gained some kudos you should let people know about it – otherwise what use is it.

Bragging rights banners are a very cost effective way of telling the local community how awesome your organisation is:

  • You won the grand final
  • You won a building award
  • You got a million 5 star reviews
  • You got married

Awards are for bragging rights and bragging rights are for banners.

Australian builders looking at marketing their business should look no further than the fence around their worksite. Advertising on construction hoardings is cheap and effective. The only question is whether to use small banners or larger banners for maximum effect. In terms of construction sites, the best solution for fence hoarding is individual mesh panels.

Banner mesh panels are banners designed to fit on individual temporary fence sections. Most temporary fencing in Australia is around 2.4m x 1.6m. This size is the standard size although the panel banners can be designed to cover the entire banner if a very precise fit is required. 

An explosion in banner mesh use, particularly in the construction industry, has kept printers very busy. Branding wars have started up between the major building companies. Building sites in prime positions advertise the builder for the full duration of the build. Up to 5 years in some circumstances. Banner mesh is very durable so this is an amazing amount of inexpensive brand exposure. 

Smaller builders have the same opportunity to get their brand out that the bigger builders do. In fact, the advertising of smaller builders is actually more effective. Whilst we are wowed by the latest huge development by Multiplex and co, we are unlikely to give them a call for our new house build. Small builders speak directly to their potential customers, in the area where they are located. It is virtually perfect advertising. Right market, right place and right time and for an extended period of time. 

Compare placing an ad in the local newspaper. An advertisement in a local weekly newspaper can cost around $200 for a tiny ad. Compare that to a mesh banner which is 10,000 times larger and is generally displayed for up to 6 months. The audience (the market) is able to see the job in action. They can make their own minds up about the quality and speed at which the build occurs and whether the builder might suit their future project.

The price of banner mesh panels, in January 2020, is somewhere between $35-$80 depending on the quantity ordered. They are reusable time and time again. Banner owners should expect to get 2 years out of a well maintained banner. In the context of the price of print advertising that represents incredible value for money.

There are other distinct advantages of smaller banners over larger ones – other than price.  Large building sites use long, unbroken sections of mesh. Whilst the continuous branding looks striking, the cumulative wind drag on long sections create massive sails hanging on temporary fencing. 

Printers and sign installers are bombarded with complaints when mesh aids in toppling fences over in high winds.  This is generally a result of the wrong mesh being used for the application. The most common issue is the fence the banner is installed on is poorly braced for the possible wind scenarios. Large runs of mesh on open fields really demand virtually a permanent fence installation.

The smaller the banner, the smaller the sail it creates. In the case of individual banner panels the gaps between the temporary fencing sections provide places for the wind to escape. The cumulative wind drag is significantly lessened.

Panels are also ideal for moving around quickly. Individual panels can be moved on the temporary fence where longer banners need to be unfastened and moved off the fence. Smaller banners also mean that the message can be changed quickly. A different message could be delivered over a short period of time.

Mesh panels are a great choice for small builders and trades. They are much more mobile than longer banners but have equal impact. They are not ruined by subcontractors removing fence advertising and leaving it lying around. In terms of value for money for a small building company banner mesh is very hard to beat.

Vinyl banners have forever changed signage printing. It has allowed signage that was previously impossible. Take car wraps as an example. Using a type of vinyl called cast, signmakers are able to mould signs around the dynamic shapes of modern day vehicles. The results are incredible. PVC is also used for stickers and wallpaper. It is now hard to imagine a world without stickers – all made possible by advances in self adhesive vinyl.

As a banner material vinyl has also had widespread applications. From billboards to backdrops vinyl is used everywhere for business signage. We explore the reasons why vinyl banners are so useful for businesses.

VINYL DELIVERS OUTSTANDING PRINT RESULTS

The main reason why advertisers choose to use vinyl banners is overwhelmingly the print result it delivers. Vinyl banner printing incomparable.  Photos and digitally created graphics are represented true to their original form. Colours are perfectly displayed and best of all vinyl is waterproof so there is never any damage from water.

Prior to the adaptation of soft PVC banners, billboards were made by either hand painting (signwriting) or with paper. Paper billboards had a very short lifespan and took time to install. Signwritten billboards were incredibly durable but took a lot of time and expense.

Vinyl printing solved those problems and was an automatic choice for marketers of products and services. Billboard companies were able to change the face of a billboard quickly and cheaply (most popular sites rotate every 4-8 weeks). The digitally created print was always perfect. Designers can rest assured that the way they designed the billboard is the way it looks when on the frame.

VINYL DELIVERS GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY

Printed vinyl signs are incredible value for money.  For reasons we will outline below their durabilty and longevity mean that vinyl banners look very good for long periods of time even when subjected to weather extremes.

Soft vinyl print stock comes in rolls from 1.3m to 5m wide to fit on the largest of printing presses. Vinyl can also be welded together to create enormous banners and because it is so strong it will not rip or break.

Take a small builder as an example. They are able to make a portable vinyl sign that can with them from job to job. The cost of a vinyl banner might be less than $50 but that sign can be seen by thousands of people. His little sign can go with him from job to job, and be installed on fences endless times in front of properties he is working on.  Our builder exposes his business to thousands of potential clients over the life of the banner. He is advertising in the locale where he plies his trade and he is letting potential clients know he can do their work too. A vinyl banner might last 5 years. That small $50 investment could result in millions of dollars worth of work. Now imagine not having the banner and the opportunity cost the builder could have missed.

Vinyl signs also deliver great presales messages.  Consider a building development. Without vinyl hoarding banners, thousands of potential customers that already live in the area would have no idea that the building might actually be perfect for their needs. Printed vinyl is able to deliver that message in a way that no other material can and it does it cheaper than any other material could.

VINYL BANNERS ARE VERY VERSATILE

Vinyl comes in many styles. From cast for vehicle wraps, self adhesive material for stickers and decals to truck curtains. It can be used for so many things.

Front lit vinyl: standard vinyl banner used for signs and billboards.

Blockout vinyl: used when it is better if no light comes from behind.

Backlit vinyl banner: used for lightboxes.

Double sided vinyl: used for street pole signs, cafe barriers and hanging banners for trade shows.

Heavy duty vinyl: used for industrial applications and truck sides.

Vinyl is waterproof and does not fade quickly so it has huge applications for signage – vinyl printing has changed signage forever.

VINYL BANNERS ARE DURABLE

We have already talked about how vinyl is waterproof but it is also very hard to tear.  Frontlit material is made from a polyester scrim layer coated with printable PVC. The result provides a substrate that absorbs digital inks beautifully. Good quality inks will last a minimum of two years on quality vinyl. The life of a banner can be extended by up to 5 years with the application of a laminate.

Banners made from vinyl can last in the harshest of environments.

VINYL BANNERS HAVE A POST-USE LIFE

If there is a downside to vinyl it is that it is very difficult to recycle. The combination of polyester and PVC along with plasticisers to keep the material supple mean it is hard to form into separate constituents and harder to reconstitute.

Spent banners do however have a life after advertising. Consider some of the uses for old banners:

  • Covers for boats and stockpiles of materials
  • Repurposed as luggage or accessories
  • Providing shade on fences and gardens
  • Compost covers
  • Trailer load covers

PVC does deteriorate over time so it is a good idea to retire your repurposed banner before it degrades to the point of creating micro plastics.

THE FUTURE OF VINYL BANNER PRINTING

The short term future for vinyl banners is absolutely clear. Because of all the reasons mentioned above, it will continue to remain the material of choice for most outdoor advertising.  There is a concerted effort in the EU to ban PVC as an advertising material because of the damage plasticisers do. As this movement gathers momentum we can expect new, green products to replace vinyl. Already banners are being made from polypropylene but the print quality is not as good as vinyl, and their post-use path to recycling non less clearer. For now vinyl banners are here to stay.