The Famous Chikin-Lovin’ Cowz

We’re Chick-Fil-A fans at our office. The great service, the clean stores, the nuggets, sandwiches, salads, frosted coffee, cookies; we like it all. We were intrigued to discover via Billboard Insider that the fast-food big-hitter began as a mall-based fast-food chain.

According to Billboard Insider, when the company started opening stand alone stores, they turned to outdoor advertising to maximize their limited advertising budget. They were among the first to capitalize on three-dimensional billboards.

The first ad campaigns featuring a rubber chicken didn’t take off.

photo via Billboard Insider

photo via Billboard Insider

Then one day, an art director saw workers pasting a new billboard ad. He wondered what would happen if they took a break midway through the job…leaving the ad unfinished. The idea kept running from there, with the workers becoming cows and the cows pleading with people to eat more chicken. Sound familiar?

photo via Billboard Insider

photo via Billboard Insider

The Chick-Fil-A cows have gone on to make a splash – from their debut at the Houston Astro’s stadium in 2006 to starring in their own calendars. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them mingling with guests at the store, posing for pictures and sitting down at the table with you.

In 2012, Chick-Fil-A became the #1 fast-food chain in terms of sales per store, reaching $3.1 million per location. The next year, they surpassed KFC in sales, despite having a smaller ad budget and closing on Sundays.

We really enjoyed reading this case study, and we take away these lessons:

Creative, well-designed billboard advertising can make a great impact

Compared to TV and radio, billboard advertising is an affordable option

If your first campaign doesn’t take off, don’t be discouraged! Try again until the great “big idea” really takes off

Let an advertising professional assist you with your campaign. You’re best at running your business. They’re best at advertising for you.

Oh, and make sure you go get some Chick-Fil-A if you were struck with a sudden craving after reading this article.

You can also read about the time we used animals for advertising as well.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Billboard Ad?

by Sindy Hankins

At Roland, we’re always looking for ways to serve our customers to the highest possible standards. In order to help your business grow even more, we will be implementing some new billboard ad guidelines. These will help your ads have the most impact and return.

The best part is, there is nothing you need to do on your end! Our designers will be making targeted suggestions and recommendations – all you have to do is approve the creative.

Did I mention that people are still looking at billboard ads? A recent report by Nielsen showed:

Who Looks at Billboards

I believe these stats because my husband saw a billboard ad for a Pebble smartwatch, Googled it, and after doing some more research ended up buying one. Since then, he’s bought a second watch and I’m on the market for one as well. People are looking, and people are buying. Hooray!

Here are our “Best Ad” guidelines for your ads:

Use 7 words or less in your main headline – use large, bold type and an easy-to-read font

Choose a simple image that conveys your message clearly

Be careful with color combinations; contrasting colors win

Don’t overdo the contact info – just add what people need to find you on the internet

That’s it! How are your ads doing? You can download our “Best Ad” guidelines here.

If your phone isn’t ringing off the hook right away, don’t be discouraged. Billboards are a fantastic advertising tool but depending on your industry, it will take some time for your message to take root. It took my husband a year to really commit to the idea of purchasing his new favorite watch…BUT he’s now a loyal customer (he’s on his second watch), brand promoter, and I’m in the market for one as well.

You can use your billboard ads for branding, announcing products, services, events; and for drawing people in and redirecting them to more information – via a website or social media page – to learn more about you.

In the meantime, not sure where to start on creating an awesome billboard ad campaign? Let us help! You know your business best, but it’s our business to know how to advertise for you.

Want to optimize your ads? We’re happy to help, get in touch today…