“…should have rode the boards”
Bird, Brando and Billboards.
It is mind numbing when I think about the number of times I have heard an Out of Home Buyer remorsefully share, ‘…should have rode the boards.’ And similarly the refrain of an Outdoor Advertising Seller explaining, ‘…should have rode the boards!’ Add ‘I’ and ‘They’ in front of each ‘should’ respectively. With both parties, the reference is to an Outdoor Ad message(s) ‘compromised’ placement.
The Outdoor Vendor says, “Hey, not our problem. They approved the list.” Or “They should have taken the offer for a market ride.” ‘Buyer Beware’ should never be an accepted warning or theme for Outdoor Advertising at any level, in any instance.
Comparatively, media directors with 25+years in OOH and newbie buyers right out of college, resignedly observe, ‘I should have ridden the boards.’ Spoken like, washed-up boxer Terry Malloy, played by Marlon Brando, before Brando was The Godfather, in the movie On the Waterfront. “I coulda been a contender.” ‘I should’ve rode the market.’ A comment we still hear today. Despite the growth of OOH support businesses like buying services, measuring devices, data gathering and software companies, ‘should of rode’ is arguably heard more now than past.
The long-term effect of compromised OOH face(s), may not be so obvious. In the short-term, it inflicts a wound to the advertiser. In the long term, no matter the specific offense nor responsible party, it is not the trusting, arguably naive, agency or advertiser who bears the burden. The OOH Industry suffers most.
Why? In the final analysis of unintended consequences, Outdoor could be like a plate of pasta. Stick with me here. The worst type of complaint any business, including Outdoor, may have, “is the one you never hear”. Sage advice, my first year in Billboard sales, from a client restaurateur. He explained, “It’s the worst, because if you don’t know about it, nothing can be done to correct it. One thing for sure, they are never a customer again.” He may have been talking about cold spaghetti dinners, but that advice stuck.
How many Fortune 500 Companies who should be buying OOH, see compromised Outdoor Advertising messages in their daily travels and consequently, not consider the medium? How much more new OOH business could be realized? How much greater yearly spend or growth would be realized? Let’s improve Outdoor together.
Eliminate from OOH lexicon “…should have rode the boards.”
Paraphrasing and apologies to basketball star Larry Bird:
It makes me sick when I see a National Advertiser on a poor crap location, just because an OOH Owner could get away with posting them there.