Exploring the Impact of New Jersey Billboards on Local Advertising

There is no denying that billboard advertising has become a ubiquitous aspect of modern omnichannel advertising. Driving along highways or walking through city streets, it's hard not to be bombarded by the colorful and often eye-catching images splashed across these massive structures. In New Jersey, billboards have long been an essential component of local advertising, but their impact on consumer behavior and the advertising industry as a whole is continuously evolving. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the history, current state, and future of billboards in New Jersey, and explore their overall impact on local advertising.

The History of Billboards in New Jersey

Early Beginnings of Outdoor Advertising

The concept of advertising via outdoor signage dates back thousands of years. From Ancient Greece to the Ming Dynasty in China, it was not uncommon for merchants to advertise their wares using painted signs on walls or banners hung from shop fronts. Even in the early days of America, signs were a common form of advertising, with many towns and cities passing laws to regulate their use.

However, the concept of billboards as we know them today did not emerge until the late 19th century. In 1867, a man named Jared Bell created a large sign advertising a circus that was touring the area. This sign was so large that it had to be painted on cloth and then glued to a wooden frame. This was the first true billboard, and it paved the way for the massive structures that we see today.

Of course, it wasn't until the rise of the automobile in the 20th century that billboards truly became a dominant force in American advertising. As highways were built and expanded, ad agencies and businesses alike recognized the potential of targeting drivers and passengers with bold and memorable signage. In New Jersey, the popularity of billboards skyrocketed in the 1920s and 1930s, as the well-traveled Route 22 and Route 30 became the home of some of the earliest billboards in the state.

The Evolution of Billboard Design and Placement

Over the years, the design and placement of billboards continued to evolve. In the 1940s and 1950s, neon signs added a new level of brightness and eye-catching appeal to these structures. These signs were often used to advertise products like cigarettes, soda, and beer, and they quickly became a staple of the American landscape.

Then, in the 1960s and 1970s, the rise of digital printing allowed for more detailed and intricate billboard artwork. Advertisers began to experiment with new materials and techniques, and billboards became even more visually striking. In New Jersey, the iconic "Welcome to Atlantic City" billboard was created during this time, and it quickly became a beloved landmark.

Today, billboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be found in both rural and urban areas throughout New Jersey. Some billboards are even interactive, using technology like augmented reality to create immersive experiences for viewers. Despite the rise of digital advertising, billboards remain a powerful and effective way to reach a wide audience, and they continue to play an important role in the advertising industry.

The Current State of New Jersey Billboards

Prominent Locations and Hotspots

While billboards can be found all over New Jersey, certain locations are more popular than others. In urban areas like Newark and Jersey City, billboards can be seen towering over busy streets and highways. These billboards are strategically placed to catch the attention of drivers and pedestrians alike, showcasing everything from local businesses to national brands.

Along the Jersey Shore, billboards advertising everything from hotels to amusement parks line the major highways leading to popular tourist destinations. These billboards are designed to capture the attention of vacationers and day-trippers, enticing them to visit local attractions and businesses.

Additionally, billboards can be found in more residential areas, targeting local consumers with ads for nearby businesses and services. These billboards are often smaller in size and less flashy than their urban and shore counterparts, but they still play an important role in local advertising.

Regulations and Restrictions

Despite their popularity, billboards have faced their fair share of regulatory challenges in New Jersey. In many cases, municipalities and local governments have sought to limit billboard placement and size due to concerns over aesthetics and safety.

In 2018, for example, the city of Hoboken passed an ordinance banning new digital billboards within city limits, citing concerns over potential driver distraction. Other municipalities have implemented similar restrictions, often citing concerns over the impact of billboards on the surrounding community.

Despite these restrictions, billboards remain a vital component of local advertising. For example, in densely populated areas like Jersey City, where space for other types of advertising may be limited, billboards offer a unique and visible way for businesses to reach potential customers.

Digital vs. Traditional Billboards

One major change in the billboard industry is the rise of digital billboards. In many ways, digital billboards offer unique advantages for advertisers. They can be updated quickly and easily and can display dynamic, eye-catching content. This allows businesses to tailor their advertising messages to specific times of day or to promote limited-time offers.

However, digital billboards are not without their controversies. Opponents argue that the constant changing of ads can be a distraction to drivers and that the bright lights of digital billboards can interfere with the sleep of nearby residents. Some municipalities have even gone so far as to ban digital billboards altogether, citing concerns over safety and quality of life.

Despite these concerns, digital billboards continue to grow in popularity, particularly in urban areas where they offer a unique and eye-catching way for businesses to promote their products and services.

Analyzing the Effectiveness of Billboard Advertising

Reach and Visibility

One of the most significant advantages of billboards is their potential reach and visibility. They can be seen by thousands or even millions of people per day, depending on their location. This makes them an excellent choice for businesses looking to reach a large audience quickly and easily.

Billboards are often strategically placed in high-traffic areas, such as highways, busy intersections, and popular tourist destinations. This means that they can be seen by a diverse range of people, from local residents to out-of-town visitors.

For small businesses, billboards can be a cost-effective way to get their message in front of a large audience, without the need for more expensive advertising methods like television or radio ads. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that are just starting out and have limited marketing budgets.

Consumer Engagement and Recall

Billboards can also be effective at engaging consumers and improving brand recall. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to remember the ads they see while driving than those they see in other contexts.

Additionally, billboards can be used to build brand recognition over time, as consumers are repeatedly exposed to the same message and imagery. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that are looking to establish themselves in a competitive market.

One way to increase consumer engagement with billboards is to use eye-catching graphics and slogans. This can help to capture the attention of passersby and make the ad more memorable.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Of course, like any form of advertising, the effectiveness of billboards ultimately comes down to their return on investment. While it can be challenging to measure the exact ROI of a billboard campaign, many businesses have reported positive results.

For example, a local coffee shop owner in Paterson, NJ, reported a significant uptick in foot traffic after running a billboard campaign targeting commuters on a nearby highway. This suggests that billboards can be an effective way to drive sales and increase brand awareness.

However, it is important to note that the success of a billboard campaign will depend on a variety of factors, including the location of the billboard, the design of the ad, and the target audience. It is essential to carefully consider these factors when planning a billboard campaign to ensure that it is as effective as possible.

Case Studies: Successful New Jersey Billboard Campaigns

Local Businesses Making an Impact

One notable example of a successful billboard campaign comes from Lakewood, NJ-based business Dips Plus. In 2019, the deli and catering service launched a billboard campaign targeting drivers on the nearby Garden State Parkway. The ads featuring mouth-watering photos of the shop's food and urging drivers to make a pit stop on their way to the Jersey Shore. The campaign was a hit, with many customers reporting that they had heard about the business via the billboards.

But it's not just food businesses that can benefit from billboard advertising. In fact, businesses of all kinds can make a big impact with the right campaign. For example, a local gym in Hackensack, NJ launched a billboard campaign featuring before-and-after photos of its clients, along with the tagline "Transform Your Body Today". The ads were strategically placed near major highways and commuter routes, and the campaign was a huge success, with many new sign-ups coming directly from the billboards.

Creative and Innovative Billboard Designs

In addition to effective targeting, successful billboard campaigns also often rely on creative and innovative designs. In Newark, NJ, for instance, a recent billboard campaign for the Newark Museum of Art utilized a unique, three-dimensional design that made the ads stand out from other signage in the area. The ads were a hit with both locals and tourists, helping to drive attendance to the museum.

Another example of creative billboard design comes from a local car dealership in Cherry Hill, NJ. The dealership launched a campaign featuring a life-sized car on the billboard, with the tagline "Drive Your Dreams Today". The eye-catching design helped the dealership stand out from competitors and generated a lot of buzz in the community.

Lessons Learned from Successful Campaigns

What can local businesses and advertisers learn from successful billboard campaigns in New Jersey? For one, it's clear that effective targeting and creative design can make a big difference in the impact of a campaign. Additionally, businesses should focus on building brand recognition over time, rather than relying on a one-time ad blitz. By consistently delivering a clear and memorable message to consumers, businesses can make the most of their investment in billboard advertising.

Another key takeaway is the importance of measuring the success of a campaign. By tracking metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, and sales, businesses can gain valuable insights into the impact of their billboard advertising and make adjustments as needed to improve results.

Overall, billboard advertising can be a powerful tool for local businesses looking to increase brand awareness and drive sales. By following the examples set by successful campaigns in New Jersey and focusing on effective targeting, creative design, and consistent messaging, businesses can make the most of their investment in billboard advertising and achieve their marketing goals.

Challenges and Opportunities for Local Advertisers

Advertising is a crucial aspect of any business, and local advertisers face unique challenges and opportunities in their efforts to reach potential customers. While billboards have been a popular advertising method for decades, the rise of online advertising has presented new challenges for local advertisers to overcome. However, with careful planning and execution, billboards can still be an effective way to reach a wide audience and improve brand recall.

Competition with Online Advertising

Despite their continued popularity, billboards face stiff competition from online advertising. In an increasingly digital world, many businesses are turning to paid search advertising or social media marketing to reach potential customers. While these methods can be effective, it's important not to overlook the benefits of traditional advertising methods like billboards.

Billboards offer unique advantages in their ability to reach a massive audience and improve brand recall. Unlike online ads, which can be ignored or blocked by users, billboards are a constant presence in the physical world. They can be seen by drivers and pedestrians alike, making them an effective way to reach a diverse audience.

In addition, billboards can be particularly effective in reaching local audiences. By placing billboards in strategic locations throughout a community, local businesses can increase their visibility and attract new customers. This is especially true for businesses that rely on foot traffic, such as restaurants or retail stores.

Balancing Cost and Impact

Another challenge for local advertisers is balancing the cost of billboard advertising with its potential impact. While billboards can be a cost-effective way to reach a wide audience, they can also be quite expensive, especially in high-traffic areas. As such, businesses and advertisers must carefully weigh the potential benefits of billboard advertising against the cost of the campaign itself.

One way to maximize the impact of a billboard campaign is to carefully select the location of the billboard. By choosing a high-traffic area, businesses can increase the number of people who see their message, making the campaign more cost-effective in the long run. Additionally, businesses can consider partnering with other local businesses to split the cost of a billboard, making it a more affordable option for everyone involved.

Adapting to Changing Consumer Behavior

Finally, advertisers must continually adapt to changing consumer behavior. As more and more people turn to their smartphones and other mobile devices for information, billboard advertisers must find ways to make their messages relevant and engaging to a mobile audience.

This may mean integrating mobile call-to-actions into billboard designs, such as QR codes or short URLs, that allow viewers to easily access more information about a business or product. It may also mean leveraging social media channels to extend the life of a billboard campaign, by encouraging viewers to share photos of the billboard on their own social media accounts.

Ultimately, the key to success for local advertisers is to stay flexible and open-minded, and to be willing to experiment with new and innovative advertising methods. By doing so, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and continue to reach new customers in an ever-changing marketplace.

The Future of Billboards in New Jersey

Technological Advancements and Innovations

Looking ahead, it's clear that technology will continue to play a significant role in the future of billboards. Digital billboards, in particular, are likely to become even more prevalent, thanks to advancements in display technology and the increasing availability of real-time data. With the development of high-resolution displays, digital billboards will be able to show more detailed and engaging content, making them even more effective in capturing the attention of passersby.

Furthermore, the integration of mobile devices and other digital technologies into billboard campaigns will become more commonplace. Advertisers will be able to use location-based data to display targeted ads on digital billboards, making them even more effective in reaching specific audiences. For example, a restaurant chain could display a digital billboard ad that shows the distance and direction to the nearest location, encouraging people to stop in for a meal.

Potential Changes in Regulations

Of course, the future of billboards in New Jersey will also depend on regulatory changes. As we've seen, many municipalities and local governments have sought to limit the placement and use of billboards due to concerns over driver distraction or aesthetic impact. However, there is also the potential for regulatory changes that could expand the use of billboards in certain areas. For example, in areas with high foot traffic, such as shopping districts or sports arenas, billboards could be used to display local events or promotions.

Despite potential regulatory changes, it's important to note that billboards have been a staple of the advertising industry for over a century. As long as there are businesses looking to promote their products or services, billboards will continue to play a role in the advertising landscape.

The Role of Billboards in the Advertising Landscape

Despite these potential changes, it's clear that billboards will continue to play an essential role in the advertising landscape, both in New Jersey and beyond. For businesses looking to reach a large and diverse audience, billboards offer a unique and impactful way to get their message out. By targeting specific locations, demographics, or interests, advertisers can maximize the impact of their billboard campaigns and improve their overall return on investment.

Moreover, billboards are a cost-effective way to raise brand awareness and increase visibility. Unlike other forms of advertising, such as television or radio ads, billboards can be seen by a large number of people at any given time, making them a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

In conclusion, the future of billboards in New Jersey is likely to be shaped by technological advancements, regulatory changes, and the evolving needs of the advertising industry. However, one thing is certain: billboards will continue to be a powerful and effective way for businesses to reach their target audience and promote their products or services.

Billboards in New Jersey

New Jersey

  • State in US
  • 8,908,520
  • Population
  • Area
  • 7,354
  • Square Miles
  • Population Density
  • 1211.3
  • People per square mile


  • Age
  • 40
  • Median age
  • Sex
  • 51.17%
  • Female
  • 48.83%
  • Male
  • Race
  • 12.77%
  • Black
  • 20.65%
  • Hispanic
  • 9.67%
  • Asian
  • 54.61%
  • White


  • Income
  • $42,815
  • Per capita income
  • Poverty
  • 9.52
  • Persons below poverty line
  • Transportation to work
  • 32.45
  • Mean travel time to work


  • Households
  • 3,249,567
  • Number of households
  • People
  • 2.7
  • Persons per household
  • Marital status
  • 51.52
  • Percent Married
  • Fertility
  • 5.1%
  • Women 15-50 who gave birth during past year


  • Units & Occupancy
  • 3,628,198
  • Number of housing units
  • Value
  • $344,000
  • Median value of owner-occupied housing units
  • Owernship of occupied units
  • 63.98
  • Owner occupied
  • Geographical mobility
  • 10.72
  • Moved since previous year

New Jersey at a glance

There are at least 9,360 billboards in the New Jersey area. Check out the breakdown from our inventory!



Street furniture






Wheat Pastings


Everything Else


Find billboards in other states

Ready to see AdQuick in action?

Get Started ->

Launch hyper-targeted OOH campaigns in minutes