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Aug. 12, 2021

Episode 074 - Simplifying Billboard Advertising with Shane Hutton

Episode 074 - Simplifying Billboard Advertising with Shane Hutton

Shane Hutton,  CEO at Tasty Ad, chats about his company and best practices for billboard advertising. 

Tasty Ad is a sales and design tool for out-of-home advertising. They provide billboard design software, ad design, news, tips, and freebies.


  • “If you are trying to sell somebody and you are not showing them an ad then you are selling them a ghost. They don’t know what they are buying.” ~Shane Hutton
  • Each second, visual, and word counts when you are creating an ad. Keep it simple and easily comprehensible at a glance. Own that one idea.
  • Make advertisements easily digestible by simplifying a bold idea into something that is visually compelling and evokes an emotional response.
  • Mini digital billboards are a captivating way to display spec ads to an existing or prospective client.


Special thanks to OneScreen.so for making this show possible. Check out OneScreen.ai and learn How to Beat Facebook with Billboards at www.onescreen.ai

Looking for your next job in OOH? Start here: www.oohired.com


Welcome to out-of-home insider the loudest voice in out of home. It's funny. A lot of people stop and ask me, they say, Tim, what's that mean? What does it mean to be the loudest voice in out of home? A lot of folks assume it has something to do with being louder than other industry trade coverage. It actually has nothing to do with anyone.

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Let's go welcome everybody to the out-of-home insider show, a podcast like no other hosted by the one and only Tim Rowe.

You ready to have some knowledge dropped on. You went to being entertained because nothing's more valuable than food feed brain. So sit back, relax. We're about to dive in as the best industry podcast is the bathroom.

As you can see, I've got the original. I love OAH hat on that's courtesy courtesy of tastes. Yeah, the original  Shane what's up, man, just a duel or today, you know? So we're come up with some new things and, you know, market a little more and, you know, try to make it a good year. Start out. It's cool. This is how I originally found you.

I don't know. I'm trying to, you know, I'm trying to remember, but I was just like, oh, there's swag for this sweet. Let's go. Um, and then like a bunch of people in the office bought it as like internal, like Christmas gifts and things like that. But for folks that don't know, like, what is tasty at? Like who is tasty add and what do y'all do?

So. Two or three years ago. Um, I had spent about 10 years out of home working for a mid sized local billboard company. And, um, we started with one, two digitals and then quickly grew in and they've got like 37 now. So, um, having artwork for those digitals was, was always kind of an issue because you've gotta be able to, to create it quickly.

If the sales team wants some spec ads, you know, they don't, they don't want to wait several days to get some more work, to try to walk in and sell somebody. So, um, me and Dave Rowland, who was, uh, well indigenous media, the company that. Um, I still do part-time work for, um, we kind of got together and I showed him the idea to kind of automate the ads if you will.

So anybody could create an ad for a digital billboard or a display. And, um, had it developed, uh, locally, uh, company out of Nashville. Um, it's been turned into burn and ever since, uh, that's awesome. So it's, it's a subscription service that I can sign up for and be able to create, create, create, create spec work like on the fly.

Pretty much you could do it. You know, you could see a new business now open, you can pull the parking lot and, uh,

Right. And that's, it it's compelling because if they can see it, it's real. And that's like, kind of like a mantra at tasty. I'd really like to creative creative cells. Yeah. The w the finished product, or the end product that you're selling to the customer is the ad. So, you know, if you're trying to sell somebody and you're not showing them an ad, you know, you're selling them a ghost, they don't know what they're buying, so you can show them.

Yeah. Can you show him, stop them? That greatly increases your chances of making a sale? Um, one of our sales guy who, who, who does a lot of spec art, he says, you know, He gets probably, it's probably a 50% higher chance of making a sale if you watch him with the spec art. So, wow. I mean, that's a lot. And if you, if you multiply that by every market and every, every seller in all of those markets, that's, that's, that's significant.

That's a lot, but obviously, uh, you know, creative directors don't want you to tie it up to creative teams hands with, with spec art all day. Um, how, how has the general. Internally at like a regional or smaller outdoor company to have a tool like tasty ad. Is it generally accepted internally or do you find it's kind of hard sell?

Um, I mean, we don't really do a lot of marketing for it. Everything's kind of word of mouth. Um, but you know, once, um, somebody. Signs up and, you know, there's a two week free trial where you train them a little bit. Um, there's all kinds of, uh, helpful ways that they can ask questions as well. They're doing it.

Um, so we got, we kind of made them a little bit, you know, from the start and then once they get to know it and you know, they, uh, that don't seem to have any issues going on and, uh, making ads for people. Uh, designers used it. I mean, I use it myself. If I'm doing spec ads for, um, somebody and I don't want to open up Photoshop and spend three hours.

And now all. Five minutes. It's it's, it's like it's Canva, but specifically for digital. Out-of-home. Exactly. That's pretty awesome. And, uh, I definitely liked the idea of selling more space with creative, uh, with creative available are these, so the ad that I'm able to design on the fly in the parking lot is somebody I'm going into to have a meeting with that same ad.

I'm guessing I could just use it to traffic, the campaign. If they, if they liked the creative. Well, once it's approved, um, you know, we've got seven different size ratios to fit. I would say 90% of the inventory out there. So if an ad's approved, you can download it and upload it. No watch fire deck, tronics, whatever for METCO and start running it.

So pretty close and go over the pricing. You mentioned that the two week free trial, but this like, it's a pretty inexpensive subscription to be able to do this. It's $99 a month. For a single user. And if you're an Ivo member, um, we give you a discount. So the audio discount of 75 bucks a month come on all day long.

Like if I was, if I was still selling, uh, digital billboards, I would 100% have this, uh, regardless of what the, what the company, um, said yes or no to, because like you just said, it's going to sell more stuff for a hundred bucks. I mean, do you, do you do get a lot of like individual sellers signing up for themselves?

Yeah. Yeah. And there's a, um, a larger plan. If you've got a sales team of 2, 4, 5, 20 people or whatever, you can get the bigger plan and it's like 300 bucks a month for up to 20 different users. Oh, gosh, I just want everybody, I want everybody to do it. What are the, what are the things, right. So you've built a tool to really simplify digital, outdoor, creative, but what, what are the elements that, that really make effective creative campaigns that work in your experience?

What do you think it is? Or what have you seen? So I've seen a lot of good ads, but I'm sad to say I see mostly bad ads when I buy and look at billboards all over the U S or wherever Fred's at blips said they reject like 60% of the ads that gets submitted. So I clearly, there's a, there's a Delta between good and bad.

I think a lot of people, I mean the public, but even a lot of people. That are creating a marketing campaign and trying to sell a product or service state. They don't understand that the seconds matter. So you've got to make it as simple as possible is bold as possible. Um, and with as few words as possible.

So I'm going to use in general one picture and that picture has gotta be. I've gotta be able to tell what that picture is just by glancing at it. It can't be too busy. You can't have a lot of going on. Um, you gotta have good contrast. So, you know, you don't want to use yellow text on a white background or red text on a blue background.

It's gotta be very legible. Um, big copy and. Um, a lot of people will try to put too much contact info. So you'll have a website phone number, address, um, you know, way too much info. Let me keep it short. Keep it down to one. If, if at all, because people are going to Google anyway, if they want to find out more about the business.

Right. It just like that, that, that one simple, like own that one simple idea. W we were driving, uh, my son, the other day, we passed the static poster and it was a family ski and it was like three, three passes for 119 bucks, a seven, like he's learning to read. Right. Um, and he looks out the window. He goes, dad, that billboard says that you can go skiing for $119.

I was like, you just read that. He's like, no, it was a picture of people skiing and it said $119. So if I get a seven year old, who's learning to read can understand it. That's usually like a good barometer of a pretty effective creative, I think. Or I grab the idea telling you about it, right? It's that nag factor.

And how important is that in creative? Like oftentimes we, we think about, you know, that, that the one person that we're trying to get the attention of in this case, I really missed it. He from the backseat right now, He's asking us when, when are we going to go ski a dad? When are we going to go ski? And I didn't even see it.

So making it digestible for, for other folks that might be exposed by simplifying it by having one big, bold idea, you know, not too much text high contrast, something that's visually compelling and evokes some sort of emotion. Uh, certainly seems to be the best approach, but you've got a lot more than even just the tasty ad product, the platform.

You've got a lot of resources for. Billboard salespeople. Tell, tell me a little bit more, like you've got a lot of I've downloaded and bought some of the stuff like what's some of the other stuff that you have available on the site. Um, so, um, like a billboard stuff we've got, um, just anything that could help a sales or design person in out-of-home.

So we've got, uh, sales workbooks, um, for keeping up with black leads and stuff like that. We've got, um, billboard design, sketchbooks. Hardcover billboard idea books with like, you know, 30, 35 different industries and all kinds of ad ideas for those. So, you know, if you're gonna try to sell. Um, a local, a bakery or whatever, you know, when you want to see if you add ideas, you don't flip to the bakery page and got seven, eight different ideas, you know, for a bakery.

So we also sell some swag on there and mini billboards or mini digital billboard. Tell me about the mini digital billboard. Cause that's like the cool. I haven't seen that anywhere else. Yeah, come up with that idea probably seven, eight years ago. I mean, they roll and, you know, they give away a ton of the mini billboards.

Um, I mean, they were, they were buying them by the case from China. Is that tells you when you say, yeah, I've got, I've got a couple of shelves. I've got a couple shelves full underneath here for my friends at circle graphics. Uh, yeah, the mini billboards are. Yeah. So I just thought it'd be cool to have a digital version.

So, I mean, I've been playing with the idea forever. Um, and just, I don't know, I just, uh, I like to build stuff. I came up with the pieces and I had to get some fabrication done, some custom metal pieces made. Um, and then we get the screen and we assemble it here in the us. And, uh, so yeah, they're pretty cool.

I mean, you can people use those as a sales to sales tool as well. We had one guy that would put spec ads on, on as many digital. Nobody's meeting with a client and set it down on the desk. It's playing. W how smart is that? Like, that's a great use of it. People might look at it and they, you know, it's a little more expensive because it's a digital screen folks.

Like, you know, there's costs associated with these things, but what a great sales tool that would be, get one of these things, get a subscription to tasty ad, be able to do the creative, upload it, and then that's powerful. Right back to that idea of if they can see it, it's real, like that's a really compelling, um, visual, but also as a salesperson, like clearly demonstrates that you go above and beyond.

So there's a lot of value in that. Some of my favorite things from tasty ads, like all the infographics and how, how the medium compares to some other things like really practical sales tools. Here's how to sell digital out of home versus. TV versus radio versus print. Like clearly a lot of time has gone into this and it's been, I'm sure a process over the years with like 10 years of basically compiling information.

Wow. I mean when I was working for, um, Roland, I mean, as far as like digital artwork goes, I mean, there were, there's at least 60,000 pieces of artwork, you know, of clients that we've had for, it's pretty easy to say. I mean, when you have that many digital boards, um, the artwork just comes and goes like in the sales team, they are, you know, Go above and beyond as well.

So there, they've got those flyers and infographics and they're handing out folders with all this information in it, you know, and, uh, Right. I'm sure, because it's something that we talk about as an industry, like education, being that big gap. And you've put a lot of resources together that I know at the local level, there's a lot of account executives who would love to have it, but maybe the creative, you know, the creative department doesn't have the bandwidth or, or it's a smaller company.

And you've done a lot of the heavy lifting by compiling that. So I encourage everybody to check it out. I'm going to make sure to link. To everything, to, to taste the ad to billboard stuff. There's so much there in terms of resources and he's got way better swag than the out of home insider. He's the original, the original, um, the baseball tees.

I think I'm going to get the baseball tee cause I'm a baseball tee cat in the guy. Um, Shane, what are you most excited for in 2021, the 2021, the year that we're in, not the year that we weren't in. I think a lot of people are gonna, you know, recover from, from last year. And I think out of home is going to be a big part of that.

I think we're already seeing some signs that the industry is been growing for years, but now I say, I think it's a. Gonna really take off this year with different things that are going, I mean, there's all kinds of, um, innovation going on and I think we're going to see some exciting things. So yeah, definitely.

That seems to be the, uh, the consistent thing. Well, I appreciate you coming to hang out any, any parting words of wisdom for, uh, for the audience at home. No pressure. You can, you can talk. Um, yeah, let's see. I'll give you a quote from. Dave Roland from Roland digital media. He says, assign sign without red is.

There you go. There it is. Don't don't get, don't get called red and dead. Shane. It's been an absolute pleasure. If you found this to be helpful, please share it with somebody else that you think could benefit. Check out tasty ad creative cells and your creative department probably doesn't want to take on stacks of spec work for you.

So check out tasty ad, check out billboards stuff. There's an incredible resources there. Even if you're not selling billboards, encourage you to check. All sorts out of home. There's a lot to learn. Make sure to smash that subscribe button down below in the corner. And we'll see you guys next time, quarter century.

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