Longevity of Watchfire’s First Digital Billboards Provides Competitive Advantage

Drury digital billboard being installed

Some of Watchfire’s first digital billboard customers include Land Displays from Reading, Pa., Drury Southwest Signs in Cape Girardeau, Mo. and Zalla Companies in Covington, Ky.

Land Displays owned digital boards from other manufacturers before purchasing their first Watchfire digital board in the first quarter of 2007. Almost seven years later, Owner Jim Landrigan says he wouldn’t even consider buying from another manufacturer. “Watchfire’s products are excellent and their service is far and above other digital billboard manufacturers,” according to Landrigan. A premier digital billboard operator, Land Displays owns and operates twelve True-19mm boards, all purchased from Watchfire, in the greater Reading, Pa. area.

Impressed with the quality, reliability and longevity of Watchfire’s digital boards, Landrigan explained that he has discovered that, “Watchfire offers a higher quality board.” He reports that they have experienced very few service issues with their boards, but when they have, he has been particularly impressed with Watchfire’s service department and their ability to solve the issue right away. “One of Watchfire’s key advantages over other competitors is their ability to match a replacement module’s color and brightness with the rest of the board.” Landrigan explained that it’s often easy to spot replacement modules on boards from other manufacturers, because they don’t blend in with the original display’s color and brightness.

Approaching seven years and over 200 million passing motorists, Zalla Companies’ Watchfire True-19mm 192’ x 576’, digital billboard is still “running great” according to Executive Vice President David Heidrich. The company made the decision to go digital in 2007 because they knew it “would maximize our return on investment.” Their decision has paid off and today they are known for having one of the highest quality displays in the area. Their Watchfire digital display has daily traffic of more than 140,000.

When it came time to choose a manufacturer, Heidrich choose Watchfire because as he put it, “I could tell that Watchfire was the company most interested in taking care of me and was attuned to my needs.” Heidrich says they made the right choice, “Our Watchfire digital display has been great! At most, I have to call Watchfire once a year and whenever something needs to be replaced, they ship it right away and the issue is resolved.” He said his staff has also been impressed with Watchfire’s web-based Ignite® Online software. They have found Ignite Online to be very user-friendly for managing accounts and uploading advertiser’s artwork. Heidrich considers the quality and reliability of their Watchfire digital board a key competitive advantage, “The public and potential advertisers can see the quality of our board and see that it’s always running, and that makes a difference.”

DSW Billboard being installed nearly 7 years ago.For billboard operators like Drury Southwest Signs, there’s no question how their Watchfire digital billboards compare to other manufacturers. “From what we’ve seen of competitive boards, our 19mm from Watchfire has cleaner, crisper and sharper images, even after all these years,” explained Drury Southwest Signs’ President, Jeff Bohnert, adding, “Watchfire simply offers better image quality over the long run.” Drury Southwest has eight Watchfire True-19mm digital billboards installed in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Marion, Ill., and Jackson, Mo., (pictured during installation in 2008 at right). Their first Watchfire digital billboard, “still runs great today,” said Bohnert.

With more than 30 years in the outdoor advertising industry, Bohnert said they chose Watchfire because they had had a positive prior experience with Watchfire’s electronic message centers in the on-premise business, especially in their ability to get parts quickly and receive good service and support. Along with superior image quality and support, Bohnert reported they have also “been happy with Ignite Online, especially the ability to store artwork online so that ads can be scheduled from anywhere.” For Bohnert, their decision to choose Watchfire has helped them and their advertisers. “I would definitely recommend Watchfire; they have been very advantageous to our business. We’ve had very little downtime and that helps keep our advertisers happy and helps them see results.”

For Watchfire’s Vice President, Darrin Friskney, the success these first digital billboard customers have experienced epitomizes the very goal of the Watchfire team. “As a vertically integrated manufacturer, our customers know that we control every aspect of our product – from concept through color calibration.  The attention to detail that a company like ours delivers results in products that are outlasting lower-quality alternatives – sometimes by as much as several years.  Our first billboards are now seven years old and are going strong.  Every single digital billboard we’ve ever manufactured is still in operation.  One reason our customers buy from us is they know our product will last and they won’t be faced with another $170,000 investment in five or six years. When they make this kind of investment, that peace of mind is priceless.”

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