Billboard Advertising In the Digital Age

Billboard Advertising pic

Billboard Advertising

James Neumann, chairman and CEO of Optic Outdoor Signs, has earned recognition in the field of billboard marketing for a career filled with innovation, being noted among the “50 Pioneers and Visionaries of Advertising” by Advertising Age, and the “Five Original Thinkers of the ‘90s” by Chicago Magazine. At his current position, James Neumann now operates the largest privately held outlet of billboards in the US, taking in 45 million viewers on a monthly basis through displays of over 300 billboards across three countries.

Odd as it might seem for a forward thinker to be associated with such a traditional form of advertising, the truth of the matter is that it is still very effective, according to recent research. One study in 2011 noted that more than two-thirds of drivers frequently take note of billboards, and over one-third have reported a regular habit of checking them at almost every occasion, while a majority credit billboards with informing them on upcoming events, or suggesting restaurants they later visit.

This is not to suggest there’s no room for evolution in the medium, however. While plenty of paper billboards are still strewn throughout the United States, digital billboards are rapidly replacing them. They may be more costly to produce and maintain, but they can also be much more effective by offering engaging animated visuals, and use their space more efficiently by allowing a series of advertisements to rotate through their displays, effectively allowing advertisers to share the board. It’s worth noting that in a time when some are feeling overwhelmed by advertising, digital billboards are actually regarded with some favor – nearly three-quarters of viewers consider digital billboards to be not only a good medium for advertisement, but more effective than online ads.


Kars4Kids Benefits Children with Its Famously Unpopular Radio Jingle

Kars4Kids pic


As chairman and CEO of Optic Outdoor Signs, James Neumann of Chicago manages an advertising system of over 300 billboards, reaching more than 45 million potential customers monthly. As an active philanthropist, he routinely makes contributions to charitable organizations, offering funds to nationwide groups and his own time to local food kitchens. A charity such as Kars4Kids is well-supported by those like James Neumann, benefiting both from his direct donations and from the media exposure of a well-run advertising campaign.

Kars4Kids, based out of New Jersey, began in 1995 by offering to haul away a donor’s automobile – regardless of its condition – either repairing and reselling the vehicle or dismantling and salvaging it. The charity benefits from the sales of restored vehicles and spare parts, while donors can write off their gifts as deductions from their taxes, as well as receive vouchers for free hotel stays in most states. For the children it serves, Kars4Kids offers mentorships, summer camps, and after-school centers, as well as tuition assistance and GED funding for older students. In recent years, Kars4Kids has also partnered with other charities and local governments to distribute backpacks and coats for children.

Aside from its work, Kars4Kids is certainly best known for its somewhat infamous radio jingle. Though the group has long advertised in print and on billboards, its radio advertisements have stood out for their infectious tune, a source of pride for Kars4Kids despite whatever critics and detractors it draws. If anything, such recognition just proves how memorable it is, and soon after it came to television in 2014, Kars4Kids saw its contributions increase by nearly 50 percent. Kars4Kids keeps the full origins of its signature song a secret to this day, revealing the writer of the melody, but not the lyric, other than sharing the fact that he was a volunteer.

Two Start-Up Companies That Aim to Change the World

Global Giving Image:

Global Giving


James Neumann studied business in Chicago, Illinois and currently serves as president of Optic Outdoor Signs. In this role, James “Jim” Neumann owns and operates multiple billboards nationwide; with over 300 displays, his billboards reach over 45 million people each month. Outside of his own business, he maintains an interest in start-ups that seek to help the world.

From the innumerable start-ups around the United States and in other countries, Forbes has selected several with particukar potential. Among these are Global Giving and Better Place.

Global Giving is a network that aims to transform the way individuals are investing in the developing world. While raising more than $65 million dollars, Global Giving has supported over 5K projects by connecting donors to grassroots initiatives around the world.

Better Place is another start-up that is striving to encourage forward-thinking practices for electronic vehicles and builds transportation infrastructure for them. This company believes that investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow to facilitate more efficient and greener technology for automobiles. Better Place educates individuals and companies in developing products and targeting future markets that lead to a viable, sustainable business model.

St. Louis Junior Achievement Chapter Hosts Trivia Night

St. Louis Junior Achievement Chapter pic

St. Louis Junior Achievement Chapter

Employed since 1985 at OOS Investment, LLC, based out of Chicago, Illinois, James “Jim” Neumann works as its president and chief executive officer. OOS Investments specializes in acquisitions of billboards, appraisal services, and market analysis. Honored for his work by Outdoor Ink as one of the Most Powerful People in Billboards for the past several years, James Neumann remains heavily involved in the St. Louis area, including the Junior Achievement’s (JA) St. Louis Chapter.

Founded in 1919 by Horace Moses and Theodore Vail, JA’s mission is to give young people a chance to become recognized by policy makers, educators, and businesses as innovative individuals. In order to do that, the JA offers practical programs to students in areas found in east-central Missouri and southwestern Illinois. The St. Louis chapter, which began in 1943, has young people strive to spur economic development within the state.

Since it is a nonprofit organization, the JA offers a variety of fundraising events. The St. Louis chapter is sponsoring a trivia night on November 5, 2016, at the Dennis and Judy Jones Free Enterprise Center in Chesterfield, Missouri. The event features table and sponsorship opportunities, including:

* $200 for a table of eight

* $300 for a table of eight in a VIP area

* $750 for a table of eight, the company logo shown before and during one round, and on the scorecard

* $2,500 for two tables of eight and the company logo on all promotional materials

Smart Billboards Deliver Targeted Ads to Individual Drivers

OOS Investments pic

OOS Investments

Since 1985, James Neumann has presided over OOS Investments in Chicago, Illinois. As president, James Neumann controls dozens of billboards across the country. His company deals in both static and digital boards, and provides clients with marketing and business planning advice as well.

New advancements in billboard technology may bring a new generation of roadside advertisements to drivers in the near future. Collaboration between a Japanese advertising firm and a California-based software company has led to smart billboards that deliver targeted advertisements to individual drivers.

Smart billboards are programmed to recognize upwards of 200 vehicles, and currently achieve 94 percent accuracy. When a recognized vehicle approaches, the LED billboard will change to bring that driver a targeted ad. Ads will change frequently, and will generally be displayed for five seconds or less. Advertisers can show one type of ads to truck drivers, another to minivan owners, and something different for motorcyclists. With these smart billboards, advertisers can show individual drivers ads for a newer model of the vehicle they are currently driving.

Popular Boating Locations near Chicago

Montrose Harbor pic

Montrose Harbor

A proven leader, James Neumann serves as the CEO and chairman of OOS Investments, LLC. In this capacity, he establishes the strategic direction of the Chicago-based media and entertainment company and oversees its operations. Outside of work, James Neumann enjoys spending time outdoors. He is especially fond of boating.

Because of its proximity to Lake Michigan, Chicago is often regarded as a boating haven. Following are just a few of the top boating spots near the city to keep boating enthusiasts out on the water:

Montrose Harbor: Featuring a strong beachside vacation feel, Montrose Harbor is a great spot for summertime boating. The marina is regularly populated with visitors enjoying the beach and playing music, and there is plenty of docking available. Boaters also get a great view of downtown Chicago while enjoying the friendly atmosphere.

Fox Lake: Located just northwest of Chicago, Fox Lake is the ideal place for fishing, picnicking, or just enjoying the water. The largest in the so-called Chain-O-Lakes, it maintains ramps, fuel, and a marina. The lake is connected to others in the chain through a series of rivers.

Chicago River: Weaving through the middle of downtown Chicago, boating along the Chicago River can be a unique experience. Boaters travel under bridges and past the city’s urban buildings, giving them the chance to view the city from a new angle. While there’s not a lot of on-the-water activity in the Chicago River, it is lined with restaurants, parks, and bars.

Popular Off-Roading Sites in Illinois


Fox Valley Off Road pic

Fox Valley Off Road

James Neumann owns and operates a number of billboards throughout the United States through his Illinois-based company OOS Investments, LLC. As president and CEO of the company, he oversees daily operations for the global business. Outside of work, James Neumann enjoys various outdoor activities such as off-roading.

Although it might not seem like it, Illinois offers a variety of off-roading opportunities for enthusiasts. Below are just some of the most popular off-roading spots in the state:

Fox Valley Off Road: covering about 100 acres of land, Fox Valley Off Road in Ottawa allows four-wheel ATVs and motorcycles. Spectators can watch for free, but all participants must pay a riding fee and adhere to various safety gear rules. The park does not rent vehicles or accept credit cards, but it is still a very popular off-roading spot.

Little Egypt: located in Marion, Little Egypt stretches across 900 acres. There are over 50 miles of dirt bike and open trails, along with a kids track and a motocross track. Riders can bring ATVs, dirt bikes, and side by sides, but Jeeps are not allowed at Little Egypt. The wide variety of terrain makes for an interesting motorsports experience.

The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off Road Park: one of the state’s most recognized off-roading sites, the Cliffs Insane Terrain Off Road Park welcomes everything from dirt bikes and ATVs to Jeeps and trucks. There are several routes riders can take through the 300-acre park and it often hosts various all-day events.