Three Billboards

Three Billboards…

The movie awards season has officially kicked off. Featuring heavily is a film underlining the powerful effect of outdoor advertising, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Without giving away too many spoilers, the billboards act as a catalyst for action and drive the plot forward by engaging both the townsfolk and dontchaknow, the leading figures in the town too. From the perspective of an outdoor audience measurement body, we need to ask, is this really plausible?


While Route data can’t determine what the real-world audience for these billboards would look like, as we don’t cover the USA, we can provide the next best thing… An audience for ‘Three Billboards Outside Reading’.

What Route data shows is that the audience of three billboards in and around Reading, Berkshire for a month will reach two thirds of people in the town[1]. This is roughly as many people as will go to see any movie in the cinema in a year[2].

The campaign, comprising three roadside 48-sheet billboards, will reach an audience of 157,000 people who will see the ad on average 6.8 times over the course of the month and deliver in excess of one million advertising impacts.

To highlight that this is not simply a case of cherry picking, we also look at the audience for three billboards in Birmingham, West Midlands. Again, we see significant audience coverage even in such a major city. Three billboards can reach 421,000 people, providing up to 55% cover of the city in a month and giving almost 4.7million advertising impacts.

While some may say that these analyses seem as dumb as a dog’s foot, they do underline one serious point. They point to the significant audience that out of home advertising can offer, even with relatively modest presence.

So, is the plot of Three Billboards… plausible? You betcha! Even a small number of billboards are seen by a heck of a lot of people.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is in cinemas now.

[1] Source: Route R25 December 2017
[2] Source: IPA Touchpoints 2017:

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