What is Outdoor Advertising?

Outdoor advertising has worked hard to progress with the evolution of advertising. Known as a support medium, outdoor advertising is one strategy that media planners and buyers use to prevent media fragmentation in the media plans. Combined with other mediums like radio, television or digital, outdoor advertising can elevate a brand to top of mind awareness.  Traditional outdoor advertising consists of billboards, digital displays, transit, bus shelters (and other street furniture), and place based media such as on the side of a building.

Impact of Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising can have a huge impact on a marketing campaign. This form of advertising cannot be blocked or skipped. The sheer size cannot be avoided, and availability on the side of most major highways and main streets in all cities and towns across the country make it accessible to most consumers. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, outdoor advertising has reach, “91% of U. S. Residents age 16 or older who have traveled in a vehicle the past month, noticed some form of OOH (out of home) and 79% have noticed OOH in the past week.” The engagement with OOH cannot be ignored, “82% of billboard viewers make a point to look at the advertising message at least some of the time; over one-third look at the billboard ad each time or almost each time they notice one.”

Use of Outdoor Advertising

Because media planners and media buyers can choose locations that are ideal and relevant to the advertising campaign, outdoor advertising is effective. Outdoor advertising is not just stagnant locations placed around a given city; it encompasses impactful digital boards, bus shelters, bus benches, and so much more. Today, technology in outdoor advertising allows an advertiser to deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience. In today’s digital world, outdoor advertising can be day-parted, highly targeted, contextually relevant (based on location), demographic-driven, and consumer behavior focused.  Restaurants can customize the menu or food imagery with the time of day, weather reports can be included on a board in real-time for an event, or businesses can use time of day to direct consumers in to the store or online depending on hours of operation.

Outdoor can be used in many different ways and incorporated with other strategies within a media plan. For instance, a media buyer can select three to four key outdoor locations around an event location or a competing business to target their advertising.  Since each billboard location comes with GPS coordinates, the buyer can create a geo-fence to deliver digital banner ads and retargeting messages concurrently, which is a perfect way to extend the reach and frequency of any marketing strategy.

But Wait, There’s More Outdoor!

Outdoor advertising is now much more than just billboards!  It is advertising on the side of buses (or wrapped around entire buses), it is on the top back and sides of taxi cabs, on street corners, kiosks in airports and shopping malls, banners at baseball fields, posters in public bathrooms, and so much more! Looking to reach foot traffic downtown? Bus shelters are perfect. Want to make sure that tourists know the hot spots to dine? Airport advertising in baggage claim and on taxi cabs is a great way to initiate awareness. Need to go big? With a little bit of effort, money, and coordination with a few people, advertisements can be placed on the side of a building.

  • Standardized large format displays such as billboards are intended for viewing from extended distances, generally more than 50 feet.
  • Street Furniture displays (bus shelters, benches, and kiosks) are advertising displays positioned for eye-level viewing and influence.
  • Transit (buses, subways, mobile billboards, blimps, and airplanes) advertising is attached to moving vehicles in common areas of gathering or transit.
  • Place-based (arenas and stadiums, cinema, gas station, and projection) advertising can go anywhere one can just about imagine. There are new types of placed-based advertising becoming available every day!

Do’s and Don’ts of Outdoor

While outdoor advertising seems like it isn’t all that tricky there are a few do’s and don’ts that are very important.

  • Content: Content of the advertisement is critical. DON’T overdo it. Most ads are seen very quickly so DO stick to the “less is more” theory by keeping the content to 8 words or less.
  • Creative: DO be creative, innovative or humorous if you can. DON’T blend in with the background, use lettering, or images that will be hard to see.
  • Placement: Just because the location available has the highest traffic count does not mean it is the most effective. DON’T impulse buy outdoor advertising based on location. DO take into consideration if the location will have people zoom right past without notice. Is there another ad directly next to that location? Is there anything such as a tree or sign blocking part or all of the board?

Outdoor is a Blank Canvas

With new technology, new formats, and more creativity, outdoor advertising perfect for any media plan or marketing strategy. No matter what consumers media consumption habits are, outdoor advertising will always be noticed. The various formats are essentially blank canvases with the unlimited creative potential to break through the clutter with eye-catching artwork that will extend and amplify an advertising campaign.

Outdoor with BluHorn®

BluHorn media buying software allows media buyers and planners to schedule outdoor advertising in any form with standard fields for dates, location and impressions as well as custom fields for notes and additional information.  Calculations are done in real time to include production costs if relevant as well.

BluHorn is the media buying solution for planners and buyers alike.  Our software empowers a user to organize, analyze and communicate media buys for broadcast TV, cable, radio, outdoor, print and digital.  Get 14 days risk free and try us out today!