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Phil Cooke Podcast

Jan 7, 2020

Billboards are a powerful marketing strategy in today’s digital age. Phil Cooke shares the story of how billboards created a front-page sensation when Joel Osteen took over Lakewood Church and how you can utilize it for your church or non-profit marketing.


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Do you have a message or story the world needs to hear? As a Hollywood producer and media consultant, I offer advice for leaders and creatives each week on filmmaking, digital media, publishing, strategy, communication, leadership, culture and faith – to help you get from where you are to where you want to be in your career.


More about this episode: Billboards are Back! What Churches Can Learn from the New Advertising Trend

Years ago, billboards were all the rage for businesses around the world. While billboards date back to ancient Egypt, they really came alive in America back in the 1950’s when vacations by car became so popular. Churches eventually jumped on the bandwagon, but in the digital age, churches have shifted advertising to online platforms.


But according numerous sources, businesses are betting big on billboards once again.  In fact, in 2019, it’s the only major non-digital category in advertising that’s growing. The irony about all this is major technology companies like Netflix, Alibaba, and Google are all investing in billboards.


So what do they know that churches should know?  It appears that in today’s cluttered digital era driving a car is one of the only times during the day when we aren’t staring at screens – which means we’re starting to notice billboards again. Sure we can listen to music or podcasts in the car, but when it comes to our visual attention, billboards are making an impact.

(Except for those idiots who text while driving).


And the advertising impact is pretty high for billboards: they cost an average of $5.22 for 1,000 impressions — compared to $7.91 on Instagram or $17.67 on TV. Plus today, we have the advent of “smart” billboards that can aggregate data from multiple sources, and use digital screens to update information.

The bottom line is that it may be time to re-think using billboards to help remind people that your church is pretty awesome!


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