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Do Human Billboards Work? Case Study

Do Human Billboards Work?

If you’ve ever driven down a busy street or walked through a bustling city, you’ve likely encountered human billboards – individuals standing with eye-catching signs promoting various products, services, or businesses. But the question remains: do human billboards work? In this article, we’ll explore the effectiveness of human billboards as a marketing strategy, share real-world results, assess cost-effectiveness, and discuss how businesses can hire human billboards to boost their campaigns.

Effectiveness of Human Billboards

Human billboards are a form of guerrilla marketing that aims to grab the attention of passersby in a unique and engaging way. Their effectiveness can be evaluated through several key factors:

1. Attention-Grabbing

Human billboards are hard to ignore. Their physical presence and the signs they hold often stand out in the urban landscape. The novelty of this marketing approach makes it more likely for people to take notice.

2. Memorable

When done right, human billboards create a memorable impression. The combination of visual cues, friendly interactions, and the message they convey can stick in people’s minds long after they’ve passed by.

3. Interaction

Human billboards have the advantage of direct interaction. They can engage with potential customers, answer questions, and provide information about the advertised product or service. This personal touch can foster a sense of connection.

Real-World Results

While the effectiveness of human billboards can vary depending on the campaign, location, and other factors, there have been numerous instances where this marketing strategy has yielded positive results. Here are a few examples:

Case Study 1: Local Restaurant Promotion

A small restaurant in a busy downtown area hired a team of human billboards to promote its lunch specials during peak hours. Over the course of a month, the restaurant reported a 15% increase in foot traffic and a 10% rise in overall sales. The human billboards engaged with pedestrians, handed out menus, and even offered discount coupons, contributing to the success of the campaign.

Case Study 2: Grand Opening of a Retail Store

A retail store celebrating its grand opening in a shopping mall enlisted human billboards to attract shoppers. With their energetic performances and visible signs, the store saw a significant increase in customer traffic during the opening weekend. Sales exceeded projections by 20%, demonstrating the impact of human billboards in drawing crowds.

Cost Effectiveness

One of the appealing aspects of human billboards is their cost-effectiveness compared to many other forms of advertising. Typically, hiring a human billboard can cost between $50 and $75 per hour. To assess cost-effectiveness, let’s consider a hypothetical scenario:

Imagine you own a pet shop that sells puppies for $2,000 each. You decide to run a human billboard campaign for 8 hours on a Saturday, investing $400 (at an average rate of $50 per hour).

If, as a result of the campaign, just one customer visits your shop and purchases a puppy, you’ve not only covered the cost of the human billboard but also generated a substantial profit of $1,600. This simple example illustrates the potential return on investment (ROI) that can be achieved through effective human billboard marketing.

Hiring Human Billboards

Businesses interested in utilizing human billboards for their marketing campaigns can follow these steps to hire them effectively:

1. Define Your Goals

Start by clearly defining your marketing objectives. What do you aim to achieve with the human billboard campaign? Are you looking to boost foot traffic, promote a special offer, or increase brand visibility? Understanding your goals will help you design a more targeted campaign.

2. Find the Right Location

Choose strategic locations where your target audience is likely to be. Consider factors such as foot traffic, demographics, and the visibility of the site. Public events, busy intersections, and shopping districts are often ideal locations.

3. Select the Type of Human Billboard

Decide whether you want to hire sign holders or sign spinners, depending on your campaign’s objectives and budget. Remember that sign spinners can add an extra layer of excitement but may come at a slightly higher cost.

4. Budget Appropriately

Set a budget for your human billboard campaign, taking into account the number of hours you plan to hire and the chosen type of billboard. Ensure that the budget aligns with your expected ROI.

5. Search for Talent

You can find human billboards by contacting local advertising agencies, searching online job platforms, or reaching out to sign spinner companies if applicable. Conduct interviews or auditions to select individuals who align with your campaign’s message and image.

6. Plan and Execute

Create a detailed campaign plan that outlines the schedule, locations, messaging, and any special promotions or interactions the human billboards will perform. Ensure that they are well-trained and briefed on their roles.


In conclusion, the effectiveness of human billboards as a marketing strategy depends on various factors, including campaign goals, location, and execution. While it may not be suitable for every business or scenario, real-world examples and cost-effectiveness calculations demonstrate that human billboards can indeed work to attract attention, engage potential customers, and generate sales. When planned and executed thoughtfully, human billboard campaigns have the potential to offer a compelling ROI, making them a viable and exciting option for businesses looking to stand out in the competitive world of advertising.