Out-of-home advertising or OOH is, as the name suggests, visual advertising that you find outside your home.

This encompasses anything from advertising on bus shelters and train stations to large billboards in open spaces, digital signage at sports events, and everything in between.

There are literally thousands of options for OOH advertising, and advertisers are embracing the opportunities presented for out-of-the-box thinking and creativity.

As the world became more technology-driven, marketers shifted their focus from the standard advertising media to online channels. The internet provided a useful platform to get your message across through the effective use of static or dynamic ads.

However, as internet usage soared media buyers encountered more and more obstacles to running effective advertising campaigns. As a result, while online advertising remains a large component of many brands’ advertising campaigns, advertisers have begun to make better use of the new and diverse opportunities presented by advertising out of home.

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The Advantages of Out-Of-Home Advertising

To reiterate the question “what is ooh advertising“, it is any kind of advertising that can be observed outside of a consumer’s home.

In days gone by, OOH (out of home) advertising was a much-used advertising format by marketing companies globally. Standard billboards, signs on lampposts, on bus shelters, and in phone boxes were commonplace before we stepped into the world of electronics and technology.

Although OOH suffered somewhat of a slump as our attention focused on the extraordinary world of tech, it’s made an auspicious comeback and offers fantastic advantages for both advertisers and consumers.

ooh advertising
Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash

OOH is Smart Advertising

In the old days, traditional billboards for out-of-home advertising used a large sheet of paper on which your ad was printed. The display was static and remained in the same position until the paper was replaced with a new ad.

After a while, the standard OOH space became automated, with rotational ads that changed after a preset length of time. However, technicians physically change the ads on the billboard and this proved to be a very time-consuming form of advertising.

Step into the 21st century and these old-style formats have developed into digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising with digital billboards. Companies now have the technology to change the content of their ooh adverts remotely.

They can change the digital ads on screens according to the time of day or of the week to reach predetermined target markets. This is called having dynamic content with multiple images rotating on digital billboards throughout the day.

For example, you’ll want a different ad targeting school-run traffic than that aimed at Friday night revelers. Alternating between content or brands provides targeted exposure to the right people in a mass audience.

Variety of Options

We mentioned earlier that DOOH advertising provides many options for marketers to get a message across to their audience and increase brand awareness.

Think about all the places where you’ve seen or encountered an OOH ad. A billboard is just one example of the advertising formats businesses employ for their marketing campaigns. You will also find OOH advertising in shopping malls, train stations, bus stops, and taxis.

However, the format you choose for your OOH messaging depends largely on location, target market, and of course, budget.

Exercise Your Creative Flair

Digital out-of-home opens the door for advertisers to really be creative and engage with the consumer through enticing visual content. There will always be a place for static outdoor advertising.

However, consumers are more captivated by dynamic media that projects a clear message.

Brands should grab their customers’ attention with a visual hook, encouraging them to find out more about their product/service. Static OOH formats have longevity in that it’s not always necessary to alter the content regularly.

On the other hand, the content of digital OOH ads should change regularly to avoid becoming stale.

A new innovation in DOOH that advertisers are including in their campaigns, is to encourage customer interaction with the ads. The more interactive the approach, the better the impact that the brand has on the consumer.

This physical engagement with a brand enhances its customer loyalty and retention thereby building a stronger connection between the two parties.

You can be as creative as you like with interactive ads by incorporating puzzles, competitions, quizzes, or personal challenges in your content. Digital OOH really opens the door for your brand to let its creative side speak for itself.

ooh advertising billboard
Photo by Lee Soo hyun on Unsplash

Brand Awareness

Regardless of your industry, every marketer knows the importance of putting your brand name in front of your potential customers.

Out of home advertising is an opportunity for you to promote your brand in different and unique ways on outdoor platforms.

You can use OOH to complement your standard radio, tv, or online advertising, or as your primary campaign. Whichever OOH media you choose to convey your brand information and messages, your company’s growth will benefit from the enhanced exposure to its potential audience.

Hit The Right Target Market

In the days when print media was front and centre of an advertising campaign, newspaper ads reached everyone who purchased a particular edition.

Much of your efforts in your product or brand were wasted on people who weren’t interested. With advancements in marketing and advertising and the development of social media ads, it’s become easier to target a specific demographic or interest group.

Gather as much information as you can about the market you wish to hit, and use this data to determine the best location and/or format for your OOH campaigns.

If you’re marketing a range of healthy shakes and supplements, think of a specific out-of-home space such as a local gym or sports club for your out-of-home ad.

These facilities offer up plenty of opportunities for outdoor advertising, and you can place your products in front of your ideal consumers.

Select your location according to your products and services and to their audience.  For example, if your target audience is high-end customers, having a digital billboard for outdoor advertising and basing your marketing campaign in a less affluent area is unlikely to reach the desired consumer group.

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Online Advertising vs. Out-of-home Advertising

A well-rounded advertising campaign uses a number of methods to get a brand message across. As we mentioned earlier, there has been a shift from online advertising to ooh advertising, and more specifically to DOOH.

There are a few reasons for this trend in outdoor advertising.  At Sortlist, we provide advertising agencies all over the world to help businesses reach their full marketing potential.

Digital Outdoor Advertising is Immune to AdBlockers

The volume of ads circulating the internet is frustrating for users who want to have an uninterrupted session. One way to restrict the ads is to enable adblockers to streamline your internet use, which most people choose to do.

These adblockers make it extremely challenging for advertisers to run a successful internet campaign as their ads go unseen.

It’s impossible to block digital OOH.

These outdoor advertising displays are in your face everywhere on city streets, and unless you close your eyes, you are going to see them.

24/7 Exposure

While consumers can switch off a screen, computer, or smart device thereby switching off the online advertising, DOOH is always on.

Regardless of the time of day or weather conditions, brands can maintain an active presence 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

An example of this is the DOOH media space in Times Square, New York. These billboards are active every day with virtually unlimited potential for advertising.

Not even Piccadilly Circus in London, UK can match this feat as its digital screens were switched off for high-profile events such as Princess Diana’s funeral.

24h ooh advertising
Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

Digitalisation

OOH has been a feature in marketing campaigns for years. One reason that it’s showing a comeback in advertising around the world is because of the move to digital.

There will always be a place for print ads in outdoor spaces, but digital advertising outside the home opens up many more options to connect with your target market on a much larger and far-reaching scale.

Privacy

Online advertising has had some bad press recently due to an increase in privacy fears. Thanks to algorithms embedded in social media sites and search engines, you’re bombarded with targeted ads that you don’t want.

This is a problem as it causes concern about your personal data being distributed to unsavoury channels.

DOOH collects data about the audience rather than the individual. It does this through the use of interactive displays, foot traffic stats from measurable locations like malls, and on occasion, mobile location data.

Marketers use this data to analyse trends and gain insight into their target market so that all future digital campaigns are adjusted accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Technological growth is throwing up an increasing number of options for improving contact between a company and the consumer. Both can benefit greatly from these developments, and use them to maintain a clear channel of communication.

Outdoor advertising and DOOH are a welcome addition to the standard marketing channels we’ve become accustomed to. These industry trends are exciting and innovative, paving the way for further creativity in advertising.

DOOH is an excellent form of advertising for brand awareness.  As technology develops further we are likely to see new outdoor advertising channels opening up in the near future.

Marketers must stay on top of advertising news and industry trends and gather up-to-date consumer data.  This way, they can put together focused advertising campaigns to meet the needs of both the company and its target consumers.