Watchfire Digital Billboards Helps BEAM Thrive in Economic Downturn

Many of BEAM Enterprises' customers are first-time advertisers on billboards of any kind who are drawn to the digital side of the business because rates are actually a better value than newspaper and television advertising. Not to mention because they can advertise more timely events and, in many cases, because they can create their own ads. In today's economy, a digital billboard is a very attractive advertising option.

"These billboards have sold themselves," said Leo Bouchard, president and owner of BEAM. "There is no question that Watchfire Digital Outdoor makes the best looking and most vivid billboards in the industry. There is a competing digital billboard down the street from mine and my Watchfire billboards definitely stand out and are far easier to read, both in the daytime and at night; especially on an overcast day. Customers have been calling since installation to secure ad space."

Bouchard also says that because Watchfire digital billboards require so little on-site management, and attract so much attention, regional operators can, for the first time, branch out beyond their local boundaries and still provide customers top-notch service. Since much of his customer interaction is done electronically, he can manage ads from anywhere in the world via Watchfire's Ignite Online™ software, and he is automatically notified of any service issues by the board's automated diagnostics program. So he is expanding his location search to areas around the country.

Of owning a digital billboard, Bouchard said, "Watchfire has made this process easy. When you call Watchfire, a live person answers the phone, someone helps answer your question right away…whether the person is in a technical role or in sales, you get first-rate service from beginning to end. That's atypical in any industry, but especially in the billboard industry. Watchfire really is the best in the business."

Similarly, Bouchard explains that it's getting easier for operators to buy digital billboards. "As the digital billboard technology has developed, the price has come down significantly, yet the quality has gotten better. The boards essentially pay for themselves. As a 73 year old who bought my first digital billboard two years ago, I can tell you that it's never too late to get into this business."

BEAM Enterprises, based in Decatur, Ala., already owned Watchfire digital billboards in Decatur, Ala., and selected Watchfire Digital Outdoor for these two most recent locations. The 10' x 36' billboards are positioned side-by-side on University Drive in Huntsville, AL, where approximately 70,000 cars pass by each day. The intersection features dozens of restaurants that service the almost 32,000 people who work in nearby Research Park.

Watchfire Digital Outdoor produces the industry's only 19mm pixel pitch billboard-which packs 768 LEDs into every square foot-and is capable of producing 281 trillion colors, the most in the industry. It is the only manufacturer that fully encapsulates the LED module in a thick bed of silicone gel, which enables the LED boards to operate in extreme weather conditions: more than 180 days completely submerged in water, 60 days in a salt-spray chamber, and temperatures ranging from -40° F to 120° F. In areas where heat and humidity are both high, like Alabama, the silicone gel encapsulation protects the boards from humidity and moisture, greatly improving projected reliability. All Watchfire boards feature unique extruded aluminum cabinetry that comply with 2006 IBC codes and a streamlined electronics design that improves operation and simplifies maintenance. Watchfire's warranty, lead-times, customer support, and no-fee software are considered to be the best in the industry.

Digital Billboard Customers Talk About Their Success With Watchfire

We asked several digital billboard operators about their experience in converting to digital with Watchfire billboards. Watch the video to learn how operators with billboard businesses of all sizes are succeeding with digital outdoor.