table of content

Here’s a collection of out of home terms and insights which are organized alphabetically.

A – Awareness

The recognition of an out of home advertising message by an individual or audience. Awareness is influenced by creative copy and by the number of billboards purchased in a market.

B – Bulletin

The largest standardized out of home advertising format. 14′ by 48′. The rectangular shape is easy on the eye.



Cost per thousand. The cost of delivering 1,000 impressions from individuals who notice advertising in a market. A useful way of comparing out of home advertising with other forms of media. Out of home has a compelling CPM versus most other forms of media. Take a look at this chart.


Source: Peter J Solomon, The Media Monthly, August 2017

D – Daily Effective Circulation (“DEC”)

The historical out of home advertising audience measurement system. The average number of persons, in cars or other vehicles, passing and potentially exposed to an advertising display. Gradually being displaced by Geopath impressions data. See impressions.

E – Extension

An area of copy made as a cutout that falls outside the basic outline of a bulletin or poster. A great way of making an ad stand out.


F – Flight

The length of an advertising campaign. Typically expressed in weeks, e.g. a 4 week flight, an 8 week flight, a 12 week flight.

G – Geopath

A non-profit organization organized by advertisers, agencies and out of home companies to audit the circulation of out of home media. Formerly known as TAB. The owner of a cool new logo.


H – Highway Beautification Act of 1965 (HWBA)

Federal legislation sometimes referred to as the Lady Bird Johnson Act which mandates state controls on our of home advertising on interstate highways.

I – Impressions

The total number of times people will notice an out of home advertising ad at a specific location. Computed by Geopath had taking traffic volume and speed data and adjusting it based on a billboard’s height, visibility and proximity to roadway.

J – Junior Poster

A small billboard. Typically 6′ by 12′. Formerly known as an 8 sheet.

K – King size bus poster

A poster fixed to the side of a bus with a copy area 27″ high by 141″ wide.


L – Location Map

A mad of an out of home advertising market showing the location of the displays for a specific showing.


M – Market Ride

The physical inspection of the units that comprise an out of home campaign in a market. Necessary to avoid wasting money on a billboard like this.


N – Net Reach

The total number of people within the target audience exposed to the advertising schedule, often expressed as a percentage.


O – Out of Home Media (“OOH”)

All media formats designed to advertise to consumers outside of the home. Formerly called outdoor advertising. Now called out of home advertising or OOH in recognition that lots of advertising takes place outside the home but inside. This is OOH too.


P – Place-Based Media

OOH media used to create advertising targeting specific consumer audiences. This includes advertising in arena and stadiums, health clubs, gyms, bars, movie theaters, and shopping malls.

Q – Quintile mapping

A map of a specific market indicating a certain consumer group broken out by quintiles. Each fifth of the population would be indicated by a different color or pattern.

R – Reach

The percent of a target audiences population who notice an advertising message at least once a week during an OOH campaign.

S – Snipe

Not a bird, but an adhesive strip that is used to cover a portion of copy displayed on an OOH unit. This snipe advertises breakfast on a Chick-fil-A billboard.


T – Trivision

An out of home advertising using which allows three different copy messages to revolve at intervals. Used to show multiple ads in cities and municipalities which prohibit digital billboards.


U – UV Coating

Ultra-violet cured coatings are applied over inks printed onto advertising substrates and dried by exposure to UV radiation. UV coatings are used to prevent color fading on advertisements from sun exposure or other ambient light.

V – Vinyl

A single sheet substrate on which an advertising message is put by computer. Comes in three forms: polyethylene which is recyclable; polypropylene which is cheaper to make but less durable; and polyvinyl chloride (“PVC”) which is heavy and durable and most commonly used.

W – Wall Mural

An ad painted or directly attached to the exterior of a buildings. Wall mural painters are known as wall dogs.

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