Standing Tall: Why Billboards Rule for Lawyer Advertising

In a competitive market, savvy lawyers know how to stand out — literally. Towering high above California’s freeways, billboards deliver a visual punch, instantly showcasing a lawyer’s firm and specialty to a captive audience of…

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In a competitive market, savvy lawyers know how to stand out — literally. Towering high above California’s freeways, billboards deliver a visual punch, instantly showcasing a lawyer’s firm and specialty to a captive audience of tens of thousands of drivers.

Even as law firms are stepping up their online game, investing in everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to pay-pay-click (PPC) advertising, they are seeing a lot of success in billboard advertising.

“Lawyers have found that the medium works really well for them,” said Anna Bager, president and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), in an interview. “The whole industry [of outdoor advertising] has grown quite steadily in the last 10 years.”

Digital Billboards on the Rise

This tried-and-true method of advertising — it first appeared in the United States nearly 200 years ago — is indeed performing exceptionally well. According to Grand View Research, the global billboard and outdoor advertising market size reached an estimated $32.22 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9% from 2023 to 2030. The research firm credits the adoption of digital billboards for the surging interest.

Statista reports the number of digital billboards spread across the United States grew by nearly 14% in 2022 to approximately 11,500. (In total there are more than 350,000 billboards in the U.S.) In recent years, big-name companies like Google, Netflix, Microsoft, and McDonald’s have all bought billboard space (remember McDonald’s Sundial campaign?).

Garrett Penney Billboard

Penney Duo Expands Reach with New Campaign

For law firms that want to reach individuals at scale, Bager said billboards are a far more effective option than trying to engage the dwindling audiences of local print and television stations.

A recent example features a father-son duo, Frederick W. Penney, a prominent personal injury and trial lawyer, and Garrett Penney, an associate attorney, of Penney & Associates. Since their eye-catching digital billboards went up across the Sacramento, CA metro area and on freeways I-80 and Highway 65, the firm has reported a surge in calls.

“We are very pleased with the additional exposure this campaign has given us,” Fred Penney says. “We’ve built a powerful online presence, and now we’re amplifying it with a public outreach strategy that allows us to connect with a wider audience and ensure our firm remains a go-to resource for potential clients.”

High Engagement Drives Strong ROI

Numbers show Penney has good reason for doing so. Nearly all (96%) who responded to a recent market survey by said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the return on investment (ROI) of their out-of-home (OOH) advertising of which billboards make up the largest segment. The Out of Home Advertising Association of America estimates the return is $6 for every $1 spent on advertising.

The strong ROI, in turn, can be attributed to the campaigns’ massive reach. A single billboard on a busy highway can garner 25,000-50,000 views from passing vehicles per day. And that’s not passive viewing – a staggering 85% of consumers report actively looking at billboard messages.

Those figures come from Gitnux Marketdata Report 2024, which also reveals a sizable percentage of people take action after seeing a billboard advertisement. The trend and market insights firm reports, for example, that 24% of billboard viewers say they have visited a restaurant advertised on a billboard they saw while driving.

‘This Is Always There’

Changing market dynamics are also helping billboard advertising stand the test of time. A study by Kantar Millward Brown, a leading global research agency specializing in advertising effectiveness, found Gen-Z is harder to engage with online ads. Instead, that generation is consistently more positive about ad formats such as billboards.

As the online marketplace becomes more segmented and competitive, billboards offer a welcome contrast to the fleeting nature of other ad formats, whether it’s radio or online ads, Bager explained.

“You can’t block it, you can’t skip it,” said Bager. “It’s not like an ad on the internet that will swish before your eyes and then disappear. This is always there.”

That fact is key to building name recognition among as wide a range of clients as possible, according to Dave Westburg, co-founder of the outdoor advertising news website Billboard Insider.

“This isn’t like a McDonald’s that may want one billboard off of Exit 17 because that’s where their store is,” Westburg told a Chicago news outlet. “An attorney wants to draw from anyone in a metropolitan area.”

The Penney billboards are impossible to miss for Sacramento freeway drivers. With their bold white-on-red copy, the names and portraits of Fred and Garrett Penney prominently displayed, and a clear and concise message (“Injured? Penney &”), they command attention from people on the road. It’s the look of a legal marketing strategy put into practice. And as a trend, it’s going nowhere.

Contact Penney & Associates

Have you been injured in an accident? Don’t navigate the complex legal process alone. Trust Penney & Associates, where our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to fighting for your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve. With decades of experience and a track record of success, we have the knowledge and skills to handle even the most challenging cases. Contact Penney & Associates today for a free consultation, and let us help you get the justice you deserve.

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