Out of home (OOH) advertising is any type of advertising (e.g. billboards, bus stops, and benches) which target consumers when they are outside of the home or office environment. The most high-profile of OOH advertising mediums is the ubiquitous billboard, which is nowadays increasingly in digital (sometimes full-motion) format.
According to the OAAA (Out of Home Advertising Association of America), people spend about 70% of their waking hours outside of the home environment. This large chunk of time represents a lucrative opportunity, especially for larger brands, to market to wide range of audiences.
Types of Out of Home Advertising
Out of home advertising opportunities come in a variety of venues and formats. Here we will cover the most common ones:
Even though this category can be more broadly described as just billboards, the traditional print billboards are harder to come by—digital billboards have taken over the industry, and there is a shrinking number of billboards which are strictly static.
Digital billboards are available in several types, including stationary and mobile. Digital billboards provide the opportunity for advertisers to set up and launch a campaign with relative ease and without the need to take on the expenses related with traditional billboards such as printing and installation. Digital billboard also enable advertisers to modify and improve campaigns quickly, adapting to changing market conditions.
The digital mobile billboard is similar to the stationary billboard with the added advantage of enhanced targeting. If there are no billboards available in a given location where desirable audiences are located, a digital mobile billboard can help reach those areas in a cost-effective manner.
Transit advertising is what is available on public transpiration means as well as stations and terminals through which people access the transportation services. The most common type of transit advertising is bus and train adverting. The advertisements appear both on the outside and the inside of buses and trains. The exterior space on these vehicles provides ample space for not only posters, but also full wraps. Smaller spaces are available on the interiors, and some of them even utilize digital screens for dynamic ads.
Along with the advertisements on the transit vehicles themselves, bus shelters, train stations, and subway stations provide OOH advertising opportunities which capture the attention of commuters.
Advertisers take every opportunity to reach their target audience, and what better time to suggest a service or product when the potential customer is already out for shopping. This is where retail advertising comes in. Initially retail advertising appeared in the form of posters, and banners, but today many malls and shopping establishments offer digital billboards.
Construction advertising is when the construction site enclosure or scaffolding is used as advertising space. Even though these are generally static banners they provide a cost-effective way of utilizing an otherwise unsightly construction facade.
Digital Out of Home Advertising
Digital OOH advertising has gained popularity and is poised to become the overwhelming majority of OOH advertising in the coming years as billboards and other advertising spaces are converted to a digital format.
Digital billboard (and other OOH) advertising makes it possible to advertise in a more affordable fashion than traditional advertising. For example, instead of paying for a billboard which displays an advertisement 100% of the time, advertisers can opt for paying for impressions. This also makes it possible for tracking conversion analytics to a certain extent, especially if specific offers or coupon codes are advertised through a given billboard.
Examples of OOH Advertising
Out of home advertising is most familiar to consumers in the form of billboards, and increasingly in the digital format. Below are some examples of digital billboard campaigns:
T-Mobile - Featured on the i10Beacon® in Ontario, California (Los Angeles DMA)
Fox TV - Campaign on Interstate 10 (freeway) in Ontario, California (Los Angeles DMA)
YouTube - Featured on Mariott DTLA - A full motion digital billboard in Downtown Los Angeles.
Blue Moon - Featured at 2nd & PCH, an open-air lifestyle center with retailers, restaurants, fitness and more in Long Beach.
Apple Music - Featured on Solair in Koreatown, Los Angeles
Benefits of Digital OOH
The primary reasons why digital out of home advertising is more desirable to advertisers are:
Quick Turnaround: Digital displays or billboards make it possible for an ad campaign to go live quickly by using digital assets instead of having to produced printed media.
Ease of Editing: Since digital advertising uses image or video files to display the advertisement, error, changes, and updates are easy to make by simply updating those files.
Message Variety: A digital billboard is not restricted to displaying a single message, and can cycle through a variety of campaigns throughout the day, weeks, or month. For example, a fast food chain can advertise their breakfast offering in the morning, and switch to lunch or dinner later in the day.
Cost Effective: By the use of digital imagery, impression-based campaigns, and time-of-day pricing, the cost of OOH digital advertising can be managed in a much more cost effective manner than the traditional static options.
Consistent Quality: Traditional billboards have the disadvantage of being damaged by weather, and at a minimum lose their luster as sun damages the printed medium. With a digital screen or billboard this is not an issue, as even a partial failure of the screen elements the campaign can still enjoy a successful run, and furthermore it will never lose the impact of the initial design.
Trends in OOH Advertising
Increasingly advertisers realize that their consumers spend their time outside of the home or office environment a lot more than they used to. Consequently, out of home advertising in all its form, but especially digital billboards, is being included as part of advertising budgets.
As cities grow, and more people move into large metropolitan areas, there are more opportunities to reach these urban consumers who are often high income, young, and the ideal target audience for those companies looking to offer their goods and services.