Advertising Hoardings – What Are They, & Why Do They Matter?

by Shannell Davies
on 14th August 2019

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Our modern world is extremely hectic, and it seems that when it comes to advertising, new forms of media emerge all of the time. As digital technology has improved, the world of outdoor media has changed a lot – but one form of out-of-home marketing remains popular: advertising hoardings.

These standout adverts have existed in various forms for many years, and they’re a common part of both urban and rural environments. But what are advertising hoardings? Why are they such a popular medium? And how do you go about using these kind of adverts for your own business? We’ve decided to put together everything you need to know…

What are advertising hoardings?

Corrugated hoardings

Advertising hoardings are the large boards erected around a construction site, which can prominently feature printed graphics and designs. While these panels can be (and sadly often are) left blank, they’re hugely effective as the basis for an outdoor advertising campaign.

There can be a bit of confusion over the British vs American definitions of what advertising hoardings are. In the US, hoardings can refer to large roadside advertising panels – such as billboards – which can make things a little confusing. In the UK, hoardings mainly refer to the protective panels that protect the public from construction sites (with a few small exceptions, such as the barriers around sports pitches). These are a legal requirement, and so any construction site in a public place will have a set of these – making for plentiful advertising opportunities!

What are advertising hoardings used for?

Naturally, the kind of advertising these hoardings are used for will depend on a few things, but the most important factor is usually the company who owns them. Often, the contractor who organises and pays for the installation of the hoardings will want to use them as an opportunity to market their own business; this is why so many hoardings advertise construction companies.

There are situations when the hoarding panels are offered out to third parties, however. Sometimes, hoardings can generate a source of revenue for a contractor to earn back some of their investment; occasionally the hoarding panels will be offered as blank canvases for local (or even national) businesses to advertise on. Some businesses, particularly retailers, will also use branded hoardings during a refurbishment of a store to build anticipation.

It’s also worth noting that hoarding graphics aren’t always adverts, either. There are often a number of stipulations that local authorities and councils place on hoarding designs, to ensure advertisers don’t run rampant, tarnishing the aesthetic of surrounding communities with aggressive marketing.

These will naturally vary depending on the location, but it’s important to be aware of them. With a bit of creativity, businesses can find ways to meet any applicable local requirements while still making a visual impression – this might mean thinking outside the box slightly with how to use the hoardings, and a few examples of how they can be designed include:

Hoarding Advertisements

These can take almost any form, but usually feature a few standard features such as branding, logos, and the name/address/phone number details of the business placing the advert. The unique format of hoardings also makes them a good opportunity for a unique creative design, which makes use of the long, large format with striking imagery or graphic design.

To blend into the local environment 

Hoardings at Euston Square Garden

Rather than purely choose to use hoardings as advertisements, it’s worth considering if there is an opportunity to implement a design that serves another purpose – such as by engaging with a local community, or even simply blending in respectfully with the surrounding area. Take a look at our blog post about how hoardings can be used for community engagement for more!

To provide a public service

Usually, hoardings will be situated in an area of high public traffic or footfall – and while this makes them valuable as an advertising media, it also means they can be used as a helpful tool for passersby. Hoarding graphics can provide directions, useful local information, or inform the general public about the plans for the construction project taking place. It’s worth noting that these kind of designs can also feature ads too, with company details included as part of the design.

How do you get a set of advertising hoardings?

discussing advertising hoardings

So the big question, after considering all of the above, is how do you actually go about getting a set of hoarding graphics put together for your business? There are a few steps that go into this, but fortunately most of the hard work will be handled by your suppliers. A brief step-by-step of the process would look something like this:

1. Figure out the logistics

This basically involves two steps – going over all the potential ideas for concepts that you have, and deciding which one to pursue. This is also the step where you’ll need to find out as much as you can about the practical specifications of the hoardings: their size, shape, and the number of panels that will need graphics. You may need to conduct a site survey to figure these things out!

2. Research and find a print supplier

When you’ve your head around the logistical side of things, you’ll need to research and decide upon a large format print supplier, such as PressOn. Fortunately, once you’ve started consulting with them, their involvement should make the process much easier (as they’ll be able to advise on the logistics of the rest of the process, including surveys and removal).

3. Sign everything off

After a period of liaison with your print supplier, the final step of the process is simply signing off the artwork and final designs. This is the stage when you’ll agree the details of installation for your advertising hoardings too, and the turnaround time for delivery.

Once everything is agreed, your print supplier will get to work producing the graphics ready for installation; they’ll also usually be able to produce a set of ‘proofs’ for you if required, which are samples used to demonstrate colour accuracy and help ensure you’re absolutely happy with the finished product.

Final thoughts

Hoardings at Euston square garden

Hoarding advertisements are arguably among the most vibrant and eye-catching opportunities in outdoor marketing – but are also somewhat underused, particularly when you consider how many construction sites feature blank, unbranded hoarding panels. Granted, there is a bit of know-how in making them work for a business, but their scarcity compared with other forms of outdoor advertising (like billboards) makes them hugely effective. It’s exciting to see how businesses have used hoarding graphics to their advantage – take a look at our case studies for more!

Get in touch

Get in touch via our contact us page to find out more about how PressOn can help you transform your hoardings with a set of custom graphics. Our expert project managers are on hand to provide advice, quotes, and assistance – whenever you need it.

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Written by
Shannell Davies Senior Project Manager