The A to Z of outdoor advertising

You have definitely seen billboards, digital screens and wraparounds around the city. You probably know out-of-home advertising exists but have you ever wondered about the ins-and-outs of the outdoor advertising world? If you’re curious about what running an OOH (out-of-home) campaign entails and everything that goes into it, then keep reading…

What is OOH?

OOH advertising – very simply put – is any visual advertising media found outside of the home. OOH is considered to be one of the most successful forms of advertising to date and consists of various types which include;

  • Billboards
  • Advertising posters
  • Ads on street furniture (benches or bus shelters)
  • Ads at airports or train stations
  • Lamppost banner advertising
  • Wallscape
  • Ads at a stadium or cinema – it all depends on the needs of the client
  • Construction hoarding

OOH ad campaigns are unmissable, they are striking and memorable in the eyes of a potential customer. You can’t just block the ad or change the channel, OOH advertising captures an audience who may not even realise they are being targeted. OOH advertising acts as a tool for the big and colourful messages brands are trying to get out into the world.

What is DOOH?

Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) refers to digital media and advertising appearing in public places and includes digital billboards, digital screens, outdoor signage, as well as networks of screens found in businesses like malls and healthcare providers. Digital displays allow for moving imagery which captures the eye easily, creating a much bigger and longer-lasting impact. DOOH allows for interactivity and flexibility in advertising. It is dynamic and can be changed easily and quickly (often in real time) thanks to innovative technological solutions.

Who is involved in an OOH campaign?

OOH campaigns are large projects with many people involved. To summarise the entire process –  it starts with an advertising agency coming up with a creative plan for a brand to advertise their product or offering. The agency then gets approval from the client (in some cases the client does the idea generation without an agency) and from there work with their media planners to decide the best execution options, budget and other details.

Media planners from the client or agency will then send the requirements/brief to media owners – these are the people who own the advertising space such as a billboard or bus shelter. The media owners will then send a prospective list of sites and executions according to the brief.

Once the sites, budgets, display periods, contract etc. are agreed upon, the media owners will then execute (this often entails printing) and erect the ads at the chosen sites.

What goes into the design of OOH and how important is the creative for an OOH campaign?

The creative (which includes the imagery, design, copy etc.), is a major factor in your OOH campaign. Advertising can become the most striking part of our environment and has the ability to liven up an entire city. This means the creativity in an OOH ad is an extremely vital component.  The creative is where the thoughts, ideas, hours of brainstorming and final concept come to life in an attempt to grab your consumers’ attention and keep it. Having witty and creative advertising enables you to engage with your audience, draw them in and keep their attention. Some benefits of creative OOH advertising can be seen as;

  • Engages the audience: OOH enables you to connect with people by placing unmissable messages in their path. The people you reach with outdoor ads are the people you would want to reach the most – young, urban, mobile, active and connected.
  • The positive environment: OOH reaches people in a positive environment; whether they are near the shops or on their way to work, home, to the cinema, pub, or any leisure venue, you are reaching your audience in a positive mindset and open to visual stimulus. Which means they’re open to influence. Done in a creatively effective way – OOH advertising can stick in the mind for years. The best creative is inspiring and brilliantly condenses the message in visually branded form.
  • Shout it out: Research has shown that OOH advertising is the medium which leads to the most mobile searches and the one with the biggest word of mouth effect. This means OOH gets people talking, the more innovative and exciting your campaign, the more people talk.
  • Innovation: OOH media is changing the urban landscape, transforming the look of cities and allowing brands to expand into new realms. From the high tech to the tactile, outdoor utilises cutting edge technology to engage consumers in ever-evolving ways.

Some important terms to remember:

Flight a campaign: Flight or flighting refers to the placement of the printed advertising material for a certain timing pattern where the ad is scheduled to run during segments of time according to the flighting contract. The flighting schedule lets an advertiser know when their ad will run and for how long.

Frequency: refers to the average number of times a consumer will have the chance to see an ad during a specific period of time. This is calculated over a period of 4 weeks but it can be reported according to any campaign length.

Display period: this is the amount of time the individual ad will be displayed for on an outdoor media outlet, for example, as a billboard. This period is based on the contract agreed upon.

‘Reach’: is the percentage of unique individuals within a specified target market who are exposed to an OOH ad at least once over a certain period of time.

Where do I start if I want my brand to use OOH in our next campaign?

No matter what your marketing objectives are, for example, a product launch or brand awareness – outdoor advertising is one of the most successful ways to reach your consumers and start a conversation with them in the most effective way possible. The best thing for you to do is decide on what you need for your campaign, what is your target audience and what message you need to get out there. Once you have the small, important details outlined and if you have an exciting message with a dynamic campaign, then your next step is to get in touch with experts in outdoor advertising and let us help you bring your creative to life.

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