by Peter Higgins
In the modern world, we are surrounded by advertising. So much so that most people tend to tune advertisements out. They tune out the noise. The eternal marketing struggle for businesses is to try to overcome this and create something that stands out in the noise. Successful ads are ones that manage to do this.
One method for achieving this is simply to put ads in places where they are not normally seen. This is why yard signs get noticed. Ads on billboards, ads on the bus, ads in a magazine, and even ads on TV are surrounded by . . . other ads! They are much more likely to get lost in the sea of messages. Yard signs stand out because suddenly there’s an advertisement in your neighbor’s yard. What’s that all about?
If you are considering using yard signs to advertise, here are a few considerations.
Is that . . . legal?
A large obstacle to yard sign advertising is getting permission to place the sign. It is common practice for construction, home improvement, and landscaping companies to place yard signs in their customers’ yards when they do their work. Any reputable company would, of course, ask the permission of the homeowner before doing this.
This practice makes good sense. Neighbors may see the workers at the house and naturally wonder what company they are with. And most homeowners have no problem letting companies announce themselves while they do their work. Some companies even give a small discount to homeowners who allow them to leave the sign up for a period after the work is complete.
What if you want to expand the reach of your advertising beyond customers’ yards? After all, you spent good money to have your yard signs printed, why not sneak a few on to the median of a busy intersection or the right-of-way next to a park?
In most cities, as you might imagine, putting yard signs in public space is illegal without a permit. That doesn’t stop some businesses from throwing caution to the wind, however. It is undoubtedly true that, if it’s in a good spot, many eyes will see your sign before it’s taken down. On the other hand, if you want your sign to be effective, you’re going to have to put your contact information on it. So you can judge for yourself whether putting your phone number or website on a sign placed in an illegal location is worth it. It may depend on how strictly your city enforces its ordinances. In general, it’s probably safe to say that with just a few signs here or there, you’re probably fine. If your yard signs are everywhere and become a public nuisance, however, you may have a problem.
What does the use of yard sign advertising say about your company?
Every form of advertising carries a message about the company that created it that goes beyond the advertisement itself. That secondary message comes from the type of advertising. Think about how you view a law firm that advertises on sports talk radio versus a law firm that is successful without any apparent advertising. What if you saw a yard sign advertising a law firm? What preconceptions would you immediately have about that firm?
For many types of businesses, yard sign advertising is appropriate and almost expected. Conversely, there are many industries for which advertising on a yard sign would seem odd or off-putting. For example, you would probably pass on a doctor who had “WE DO SURGERY” yard signs all over town.
For many more types of businesses, there exists a grey area. If you have one of those businesses, you must decide what type of image you want to project. There are restaurants that use yard signs to advertise, but they usually aren’t anniversary-date-night types of restaurants. There are banks that use yard signs, but most would not be viewed as high-class financial institutions.
Not that there is anything at all wrong with catering towards a more thrifty clientele, you just should be aware of the image that your business is presenting with its choice of advertising medium.
It’s all in the numbers
If you decide to move ahead with yard sign advertising, remember that quantity is key. A few yard signs placed in a couple of spots will not be nearly as effective as many signs all over the city. With advertising, as with many things, a repeated message is one that gets remembered. In order for your yard sign message to be “repeated”, it’s going to have to be in multiple locations.
So you will have to find a good balance between your budget and an effective number of signs. At Denver Print Company, as at most print shops, your cost per sign will go down with higher quantities of signs. So it may be to your financial advantage to estimate on the high side in regards to the number of signs that you will need.
If you order from us, we will, of course, keep your design on file. So you can easily order more whenever you are ready.