Outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home advertising, is advertising that reaches consumers when they are outside their homes. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America says that’s where consumers spend 70 percent of their time.
The most commonly known type of outdoor advertising is the billboard. Common forms of outdoor advertising today fall into three categories:
1. Billboard Advertising
Most people are familiar with billboard advertising, regardless of where they live or travel. Billboards are placed next to high-traffic highways as well as along less-traveled roads in non-urban areas. Drivers see them almost anywhere because they are an efficient and cost-effective means of communicating information that is geographically important – the location of the closest chain fast food restaurant on the route, the nearest motel, or campgrounds at the next exit.
2. Street Furniture
A bit of a misnomer, “street furniture” applies not just to bus or park benches but also to bus shelters, newsracks, and telephone kiosks, among others.
Ads on the sides of busses are the most common form of transit outdoor advertising, but outdoor advertising is common in subway stations and within subway cars, in taxis, along airport walkways, and wrapped around vehicles – one of the newer trends.
Advertising seems to follow consumers wherever they go – in supermarket shopping carts, in sports arenas, and in health clubs. They can be high-tech – think digital – or low tech – think personal-computer generated mini-posters offering dog-walking services pinned to a coffee shop bulletin board.
Also known as digital signage, digital outdoor advertising is a specific type that uses electronic technology to change what’s displayed on a screen. Digital billboards feature messages from a handful of advertisers that rotate every six to eight seconds. Other digital signs might be free-standing on an urban sidewalk or courtside at a college basketball game.
The most important outdoor ad for any small brick and mortar business is its built-in outdoor advertising: exterior signage. Business owners want crisp, clear signage that communicates well from a distance. While it should convey the company’s brand image, it should also help the business get discovered and found.