The Value of Advertising with Banners
Advertising is a type of communication whereby a product, service, event, or business is shared with the intention of informing and influencing a potential audience. Brand advertising benefits advertisers by building recognition of whatever is being advertised and the things associated with it. This is how tissues become Kleenex and lip balm becomes Chap Stick. This is how “everyone” finds out about a particular event or pop culture phenomenon.
Advertisements are ubiquitous, so much so that they are often unnoticed. A constant stream of print, television, radio, social media, mailers, contests, sponsorships, posters, banner, newspapers, magazines, journals, pamphlets, flyers, billboards, commercials, jingles, internet, clothes, and other methods surround people. Each medium of advertisements has its pros and cons. Today, the focus is on banners. Banners are not the most glamorous form of advertisements in this century. Newer styles such as internet, apps, and social media often steal the spotlight. These newer forms of advertisements render more instantaneous results; however, they often come at a higher cost, sacrifice brand integrity, and cater to demographics dependent on internet usage.
An old standby, banners are one of the most cost-efficient ways to advertise. Besides for the one-time cost of print services, ink, and vinyl, costs are minimal. Unlike more contemporary advertising methods, there is no need to calculate a cost per run price. One of the most significant appeals of banners is that they get right to the target audience. Real, physical shoppers in a defined location will see the banner, a direct line of connection to a tangible target audience. This is even useful of freeways, where banners are often seen on billboards as a way to pull in traveling shoppers. Banners have an undeniable physical presence in the way that virtual ads cannot, which makes for lots of practical benefits. Primarily, banners can help project an updated brand image in storefronts by strategically using colors, images, and words. Furthermore, banners can be placed over unsightly areas—damaged walls, mismatched paint, outdated finishes—to conceal problems.
What Makes Christmas an Important Time of Year for Advertising?
Year after year, Christmas draws out some of the biggest revenue days of the year, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Eve. Customers seek out the perfect gifts to give their coworkers, kids, parents, friends, cousins, postal workers, neighbors, and others. Strategic ads can capitalize on this consumer trend. Moreover, there are long-term benefits to these seasonal ads. Some businesses have found that thoughtful, effective ads during the Christmas season increase sales for months, ultimately raising annual profits. It seems that audiences are particularly prone to ad messages this time of year, more likely to try new products and services, and more likely to experiment with purchasing patterns.
In addition to product and brand sales benefiting from Christmas advertisements, event advertisements experience this during the Christmas season, too. The Christmas season is known for a plethora of parties: Thanksgiving parties, Christmas Eve parties, Christmas day parties, New Year’s Eve parties, New Year’s Day parties, family parties, work parties, friend parties. For events that are similar to parties—such as charity dinners and fundraisers—Christmas is a fitting time of year to celebrate in style, and holiday-themed ads will draw the festive crowd into the door. Christmas advertisements are so bonded with holiday imagery that they are often perceived as vehicles of entertainment rather than just ads. This means that viewers are often less critical of these types of ads, believing them to be natural in the holiday landscape at malls, storefronts, community centers, and other prime banner-hanging locations.
Considering the values of advertising during Christmas and the utility of banners, let's look at how to best use this advertising method. Whether being used to promote businesses, events, products, organizations, services, or initiatives, Christmas poses unique opportunities to advertisers. Keep reading to glean some tips and tricks to guide Christmas advertising endeavors.
When to Advertise with Christmas Banners
Christmas is a mega-marketing season. Each year, it seems like Christmas-based advertisements start earlier and earlier. Christmas music starts playing on the radio on November 1st. By Thanksgiving, ads are in full swing. Sometimes stores start displaying Christmas decorations before Halloween. If an add is out too early and becomes too familiar, it will be either stale or annoying to an audience. However, if an advertisement campaign starts too late, it misses out on the arch of the season’s sales. As much as forty percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping prior to Halloween. So, what is the best timeline for the season? This section outlines the options and gives tips as to why which one works and who would benefit most from that timeline.
- Advertise as soon as last Christmas ends.
One rule of thumb is to start advertising right after the last holiday season. From this point of view, advertising for this Christmas should have started last Christmas. The end of an advertising moment is a great place to take a step back, analyze results, and focus on where to improve and where to maintain success. This is the time to strategize. When it comes to banners, did customers comment on them in-store or did customers note them on surveys? Was the design well-received? What could be better? Advertising campaigns can begin long before an ad is officially created.
- Advertise six months in advance.
Another mentality is to start advertising six months in advance. For Christmas advertisements, this means that summer is a good time to start. This timeline is great for stores or businesses looking to push certain products, initiatives, or new branding messages. These should be lined up and ordered at least six months is advance. Banners that aim to display the most sought-after gifts, products, or services of the season would benefit from this timeline.
- Advertise three to four months in advance.
A similar strategy is to start the advertisement process a few months before Christmas. For businesses or events that take longer to create content, this is a good compromise between early and last-minute planners. It will provide enough time to scout out where to hang banners, what designs to use, what copywriting to use, and other small details. A benefit of using this timeline is that it ensures an of-the-moment, brand-coherent message on the banner. Plus, this timeline starts right after the summer holidays, so there will be plenty of manpower to devote high-energy to a campaign.
- Advertise whenever possible.
Another option is to wait till the last minute. Sometimes, advertisement goals sneak up like that. The great thing about banners is that they are one of the most time-effective, cost-effective advertising methods. Some banners can be printed overnight, and displaying them is less than a day of work. For those who waited a little too long to advertise an event, product, or business due to Christmas stress, banners are worth a try.
Where to Advertise with Christmas Banners
When it comes to Christmas, common notions pertaining to where to place banners still apply. Look below for some fail-safe tips on where to put banners this Christmas season and why they are effective.
- Advertise on a storefront.
One of the best places to hang an advertisement is right on a storefront. Whether the banners are statement window-covering panels, smaller door covers, or huge and visible overhead banners, storefronts can accommodate. These are great for recommending enticing products or services during the holiday season, such as jewelry sales, appliance sales, or free gifts or services with purchase.
- Advertise in malls.
Similar to storefronts, malls are excellent places to hang banner advertisements. The benefit is that customers who might not have known a certain store is in the mall may seek it out if a banner excites them. Additionally, malls are great places to use banners to advertise events. Malls have plenty of seasonal in-house events, such as Santa visits, concerts, and other fun community activities. Malls are also good for advertising events that occur elsewhere, because mall shoppers are likely looking for opportunities for entertainment.
- Advertise in community centers.
Community-based areas often receive traffic from diverse sectors of a population. Libraries, transportation centers, parks, and other tax-funded establishments are some of the many examples. Some people rely on community spaces for resources in terms of education, entertainment, and more, so they will be likely to read banners and seek out the events and activities promoted on them.
- Advertise on the road or in the air.
Christmas is a traveling season. To target flyers, banners in airports are a great option. To target drivers, banners off the free way and on billboards are ideal. People might just make a stop to your event or storefront to chase a particularly compelling ad.
- Advertise wherever people go.
For banner advertising visibility is literally the key to success. Every community has its hubs, niches, and hidden spaces. To advertise effectively, go where the target audience goes. In other words, go where the people go. Find the “in” spots and hang banners there. These areas will get a lot of foot traffic, but they will be underground enough to pull in cool crowds who will give the ad some notoriety, an unspoken stamp of approval.