Billboards launch a new style of advertising


Courtesy of the BSM Communications Department

The billboards promoting the recent open house were located on highways 494 and 394.

While driving on the highway, one sees dozens of billboards advertising various products zoom past ranging from McDonald’s new promotion to car insurance specials. As of February 3, an advertisement for BSM joined these billboards on the highway; there are two billboards, one on 394 and one on 494 at Baker Road that advertise the last open house at BSM, which was on February 14.

The decision to purchase a billboard ad was made by Mary Rausch, Director of Marketing and Communications, with input from the Admissions office and Richard Olson, Vice President of Advancement. The decision was made after BSM received an email from Clear Channel announcing they were having a promotion and were selling inventory at very marked down prices.

Ms. Rausch, along with other members of the BSM community, weighed the pros and cons of purchasing a billboard advertisement. With her background in marketing and advertising, Ms. Rausch knew that BSM should take advantage of Clear Channel’s sale because BSM had the opportunity to purchase quality advertisement for a discounted price.

According to Ms. Rausch, the new advertisement was purchased with ultimate goal of an increased enrollment at BSM. However, the main focus of these billboards was to notify prospective students about the upcoming open house.

“We won’t really know until the 14th at the open house if it has worked or not,” Ms. Rausch said. However, she noted that she had overheard students comment on the new advertisements they have seen on their way to and from school, which gives her hope that the billboards will be successful.

Many students have caught sight of these billboards as they drive to and from school each day, whether on 394 or 494. There are varying viewpoints on this billboard among the student body at BSM; some believe that they will be beneficial for the school, and others do not. “I don’t think its beneficial, because it is on a billboard that moves, and so it is too difficult to read the sign as you are driving,” said sophomore Betsy Cawood. While this may be the case, the billboards have certainly been noticed, which was the main goal of this purchase; to make people aware of the upcoming open house.

Due BSM’s exposure through the billboards, the open house on February 14 was a success. “I have heard positive feedback from faculty, staff and parents that they are happy to see BSM on billboards,” said Mrs. Rausch. While there is no quantitative data on the impact of the billboards as of now, Mrs. Rausch believes that the billboards were beneficial to the school due to the success of the open house.