In an era characterized by digital marketing dominance, “Out of Home Advertising” emerges as a formidable strategy, making a lasting impression in the physical world.

This comprehensive guide explores the dynamic realm of Out of out-of-home advertising, transcending the boundaries of screens and devices to reach consumers where they live, work, and play. From towering billboards that capture attention on busy highways to eye-catching transit ads that navigate urban landscapes, this article delves into the various facets of this impactful medium.

Join us on a journey that uncovers the power, versatility, and creative potential of out-of-home advertising in today’s marketing landscape.

What Does OOH Stand For in Advertising?

As the name suggests, OOH stands for out-of-home [advertising]. It is a marketing strategy to reach a target audience when they are not in their homes.

ooh advertising

OOH Advertising Examples

Mary Lister writing for Wordstream describes several modern examples.

  • Digital and traditional billboards and posters
  • Public furniture including bus stop shelter walls, kiosks, benches, poles
  • Public transit vehicles like bus walls, taxi wraps, subway, and train cars
  • Point-of-sale ads including sandwich boards, taxi cab windows, business front windows, building walls, gas pumps, and trash cans
  • Stand-alone advertisements like those on balloons and other inflatables, floats, and airplane banners

A Brief History of OOH Advertising

The Out of Home Advertising Association points out that OOH advertising dates back thousands of years. The first out-of-home advertising occurred when Egyptians used towering stone obelisks as a platform for informing the public of treaties and laws.

In the 1400s, Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press gave rise to handbills. By 1796, these advertisements had added eye-catching illustrations. Handbills led to bill posters. These larger advertisements were erected on structures where they could be read by passing vehicle and foot traffic.

The 1830s are believed by many to have launched roadside advertising. Merchants hand-painted signs and affixed advertising to building fronts and fences. These told walkers and drivers that their business was ahead. They often highlighted their wares.

In 1835, Jared Bell began printing large posters. These fifty-square-foot ads told of the arrival of the circus.

1850 brought advertising on street railways. However, the advent of industrialization in the late 1800s and early 1900s saw the formation of the Association of Bill Posters in North America. Later called the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, this organization aimed to promote a greater understanding of out-of-home media. This led to the standardization of billboards. There followed a boom on mass-produced billboard campaigns by such big businesses as Coca-Cola, Palmolive, and Kellogg’s.

The mid-twenties saw the first outdoor advertising company listed on the stock exchange. In the 1940’s the OBIE awards debuted. Coca-Cola’s “Yes Girl” billboard won.

As billboards grew in numbers, legislation arose curbing where they could be erected, how large they could be, and what they could advertise. In 1999, tobacco companies agreed not to advertise on OOH structures.

From billboards, OOH companies diversified into street furniture, cinema, and digital screens.

Today, some of the world’s largest companies lead the way in OOH advertising. This includes Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, McDonald’s, Amazon, HBO, and Coca-Cola.

what does ooh stand for

The Evolution of Out of Home Advertising

Out of Home Advertising has a rich and storied history, dating back to ancient civilizations. Over the centuries, it has evolved and adapted to the changing needs of advertisers and the dynamic landscapes of cities and towns.

Historical Roots

The origins of Out of Home Advertising can be traced to ancient Egypt, where merchants used painted advertisements on walls to promote their goods and services. This practice gradually spread to other cultures, such as the Roman Empire, where announcements were carved into stone tablets.

Print and Poster Era

With the advent of the printing press in the 15th century, the possibilities for advertising expanded. Posters and handbills adorned city streets, theaters, and public squares, offering glimpses into the consumer culture of the time.

Billboards and Outdoor Displays

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of billboards and large-scale outdoor displays. These eye-catching structures became synonymous with Out of Home Advertising, capturing the attention of travelers on railways and highways.

Digital Revolution

In recent decades, the industry has undergone a profound transformation with the introduction of digital technology. Digital Out of Home Advertising (DOOH) has ushered in a new era, featuring dynamic, interactive, and highly targeted campaigns.

Integration with Data and Technology

Today, Out of Home Advertising is seamlessly integrated with data analytics, allowing advertisers to deliver personalized messages to specific demographics. Real-time tracking and optimization have become essential tools in the OOH advertising toolbox.

Place-Based OOH Advertising

With real estate and OOH advertising, location is crucial. Place-based OOH media involves specifically locating advertising where a niche market will see it.

Here are some examples:

  • Wall ads, posters, furniture ads, and kiosks at airports, bus, and train stations
  • Display racks, bulletin boards, posters, and wall billboards at universities, colleges, and school campuses
  • Billboards near restaurants, health clubs, gyms, arenas, movie theaters, and nightclubs.
  • In-store ads on store shelves, shopping carts, checkout stands, and storefronts
  • Shopping mall kiosks, wall displays, store doors,
  • Display panels  on truck stops, trucks, interstate travel stops
  • Special events promotions
  • Interactive, specialized media

Getting Started

If you have decided OOH advertising is an effective marketing tool for your company, first decide who you want to reach. Next, choose an effective location. Where will your niche market see your ads?

Select the message/idea/product you wish to showcase.

What is the best format for your message?

The most effective messages are sharable. Consider bold colors, creative digitals, slogans that will get shared on social media increasing target audience engagement.

Look at the OOH advertising of your competitors. What spaces are they using? What format have they selected? Check out their social media. What content is getting the highest reaction? What do their potential buyers like? Have they integrated adverting modes? An analysis of your competition, you can get good information for your OOH strategies.

Think about your message. Is it clear? Is it creative? Is it engaging?

Out-of-home advertising must have a simple message that can be absorbed by passing motorists or pedestrians in a few seconds. Keep the text limited to a few compelling, easy-to-read words. Consider the power of an image. Your core message has a lot more chance of being shared if it is creative and brief. Your best return on investment comes with it being talked about across media channels.

ooh stands for out of home advertising

Why Consider OOH Advertising?

Studies have shown that 70% of drivers and walkers notice what is being marketed on out-of-home advertising. Thirty percent say they’ve purchased products or services they’ve seen advertised on out-of-home ads the very same day they were exposed to them.

Where TV and radio ads are seen or heard once, pedestrians and drivers see out-of-home ads repeatedly on their way to and from work.

Studies show that out-of-home ads are the best return on investment of any marketing program.

Unlike radio, TV, newspaper, or magazine ads, you can’t skip OOH ads. They are in your face and get noticed. Nielsen surveys found that nearly 50% of adults who searched online for a product had first seen it in an OOH ad.

Thanks to technological improvements, the versatility of out-of-home advertising will continue to grow. With the rise in digital ads, new capabilities and increased effectiveness of OOH ads have resulted. Digital OOH media has brought brighter colors, animation, and convenience in ad production. Multiple images and ads geared to specific demographics have proven that OOH ads will continue to be profitable marketing tools.

Notable Examples of Out-of-Home Advertising

Apple’s “Shot on an iPhone” billboard invites customers to send in photos shot on their iPhones. Outstanding ones were turned into billboards.

Clarin’s interactive campaign at Hong Kong International Airport lured viewers to enter their emails or scan a QR code on the screen with the offer of codes for discounts and free samples.

CVS Beauty Mark’s social media campaign encouraged users to upload their selfies to the hashtag #BeautyUnaltered. Every ten seconds, a different unaltered selfie celebrated real beauty on a Times Square digital billboard.

Acadia SUV, GMC used facial analytics to create engaging digital signage. Cameras in the digital display detected audience demographics including age and gender. Based on these data, one of thirty possible video ads was shown to the viewer. Passersby stopped to interact with the kiosk out-of-home ad that harnessed digital out-of-home power to personalize content for maximum audience engagement.

McDonald’s weather-sensitive ads are another example of digital out-of-home advertising. The campaign featured McDonald’s frozen drinks. When the temperature rose to a level that made a cold drink appealing, the campaign played a cold drink. When the temperature became hotter, the ad automatically switched to a frozen drink.

Lasik explored whether elevator riders who wear glasses can be identified. Then, their OOH ad delivered a creative ad targeting those who were candidates for laser eye surgery. The ad’s message changed based on the type of eyewear the rider was wearing. The ads delivered eleven million targeted messages to riders who wore glasses, personalizing the message for age and gender.

Google’s “Make the Most of Summer” used responsive, data-driven digital OOH. The advertising focused on summer experiences in the area where it was placed. The ad engaged viewers through the presentation of dynamic, full-motion sites.

To showcase its new 5G technology, AT&T encouraged viewers of their interactive ad to “Pose with the Pros”. Dallas Cowboys fans could select up to five of their favorite Cowboys to pose with them at a kiosk in concourses at the AT&T Stadium. Their virtual group picture could be emailed to themselves, and/or shared on social media.

So, what does OOH stand for in advertising? Well, it’s more than just your reaction to captivating and compelling billboards – it’s the abbreviation for what you’re looking at, outside.

How Can bMedia Group Help?

Our media service boasts over three hundred out-of-home advertisements in Puerto Rico. We provide our valued customers with a wide variety of effective OOH formats.

Our skilled designers, fabricators, and construction staff members know how to take your design needs and turn them into effective billboards, posters, and other out-of-home advertising. We are proud to have the highest consumer traffic on the island.

For more information regarding how we can increase your brand recognition contact us.