Out-of-Home advertising has evolved and the industry wouldn’t be the same without it

From static to digital, the evolution and impact of OOH in the world of advertising

When someone mentions OOH (out-of-home) advertising to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Your first thought is probably something along the lines of a billboard next to a busy road or highway – and this is actually where OOH began in the early 1800s.

But the truth is, many years have passed since then and OOH has evolved into something much more than a static billboard on the side of a road. The advances in the capabilities of OOH, which include targeting, measuring and messaging have increased the opportunities that brands have to be able to connect with their consumers.

In today’s modern world, OOH refers to any form of advertising that is seen by consumers outside of their homes. OOH includes a variety of digital and printed options seen at fuel stations, park benches, billboards, building wraps, signs on buses and in airports that are used to connect with the target market and communicate the message of the brand.

How Out-of-Home has evolved

As we mentioned, there are various ways in which digital technology has allowed for the significant improvement of the effectiveness and success of OOH. These include:

  • Targeting and OOH
  • Measuring OOH
  • Messaging on OOH

Targeting and OOH 

While the most commonly known way for a brand to purchase an OOH is based on the location of it, brands can now target their consumers based on behaviours, such as a specific place of interest or store. Taking it one step further – targeting can also include web-based behaviours, for example, visiting a specific website gives an indication of preferences, or TV viewing behaviours such as a specific show or show category that is watched.

These behaviours can then be linked back to mobile phones and devices, which can tell a brand where their consumers move while on the go. This data can then be used to map out and buy media units based on the specific target audience.

For example, if your audience is young and has just bought tickets to a big music festival online, then you know where to find them – at the festival.

Measuring OOH

OOH was initially measured by traffic patterns. But, thanks to the help of advances in technology which make use of mobile phone locations and behavioural data, the exposure and performance of OOH can be found based on the consumer’s proximity to the advert, their web behaviour is then also taken into account after being exposed to the ad.

For example, did they visit the brand’s website after seeing a billboard?

Messaging on OOH

OOH boards typically require a longer lead time to be produced, this included production, shipping and installation. But, with digital OOH, messages can be changed, adapted and created quickly and effectively.

The thing is – static and digital OOH ads both have their place in the world of advertising. Which goes to show how OOH is one of the most powerful and successful forms of advertising – which brings us to our next point:

The impact OOH has in the advertising industry

OOH cuts through the clutter

When we think of OOH advertising, we think of dominant visibility, strong messaging and branding that breaks through the clutter with larger-than-life imagery and creative.

OOH presents a major opportunity for advertisers, truth be told, there is no other form of advertising with the same kind of guaranteed impact. As a consumer, you cannot ad block an OOH ad, you cannot just keep scrolling or unfollow. It’s right in front of you, catching your eye and your attention. OOH does not compete with the clutter of other ads, it is a standalone element, the success of which is largely based on the message and creative.

OOH is becoming more and more powerful and relevant as the population grows. Whilst major platforms such as social and web are growing in their abilities to target, retarget and generate leads, outdoor is right there with them.

The difference is, whilst other mediums are fighting, bidding and fragmenting for the consumer’s attention, OOH is constantly broadcasting and acquiring audiences.

Recent studies have shown that 86% of consumers agree that OOH helps a brand to stand out.

OOH Increases the success of other mediums

When used effectively with a coherent message across all different mediums, OOH can increase the impact of a campaign.

Using OOH can be an effective form of increasing reach and recall of an advertising campaign. Studies have shown that consumers remember OOH campaigns for a long time after seeing them.

When used with other mediums such as TV, online and radio, OOH has the power to extend the life of a campaign when integrated correctly.

The strengths of OOH place this medium at the top of the podium when it comes to strong branding with a creative message that speaks to the consumer and grabs their attention. The evolution of this medium gives it the strength, knowledge and years of research into consumer behaviour patterns and allows it to take a competitive edge.

But OOH is not to be seen as the competition to online or otherwise, of course not – when used in conjunction with other mediums, as we mentioned, it can only increase the success of a campaign. Find out more about marrying your online and OOH campaigns here

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