table of content

Sometimes it seems like advertising has its own language, and that’s especially true for out of home. What are reach and frequency? How do you calculate a gross rating point? Why is it called a wallscape?

If you struggle to follow the terms in outdoor advertising, we can help. We’ve compiled a list of common OOH terms. Use our glossary to find answers next time you have a question.

A

ALLOTMENT

How many units you need to reach the gross ratings points you desire for a campaign.

ALTERNATIVE MEDIA

Also referred to as experiential media, it encompasses most OOH that isn’t billboards, including dynamic special events staged in public.

ANNUAL AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC (AADT)

The average amount of daily vehicle traffic that passes a highway at a certain point.

APPROACH

The direct distance between where you start being able to see a billboard or other outdoor advertisement and where you can no longer distinguish what the text on it says.

AUDIENCE DELIVERY

How many people see an outdoor advertisement. You can measure it via:

  • Reach and frequency
  • Ratings
  • Impressions

AUGMENTED REALITY

Uses interactive technology to superimpose imagery or sounds on what we see before us. Can be employed in a range of OOH displays, such as transit shelters.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality Bus Stop

 

AWARENESS

Recall of ads, which may depend on the size or originality of the creative.

B

BILLBOARD

We trust you know what a billboard is. It’s the most popular form of outdoor advertising, accounting for the largest share of advertising. They come in several different sizes.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Billboard Sizes
Billboard Sizes

BULLETIN

The second-biggest type of billboard, ranking behind only spectaculars. Usually freestanding structures on the side of a freeway. The come in three sizes.

BUS BENCHES

Not sure you can get more self-explanatory: Advertising on the bench you sit on to wait for the bus. It reaches you at street level.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Bus Bench
Bus Bench

 

C

CAMPAIGN PERIOD

How long an out of home campaign lasts.

CHARTING

Selecting the location and duration of your outdoor advertising campaign.

CREATIVE

What goes on your out of home display. Usually graphics, often containing text. It’s the attention-grabbing part of the ad.

D

DIGITAL OUT OF HOME

Includes any type of screen or otherwise digital content deployed in outdoor and indoor advertising spaces, such as digital billboards and OOH video networks.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Digital Billboard
Digital Billboard

DWELL TIME

Length of time someone spends near an out of home advertisement.

F

FACE

The area where an outdoor ad is placed, such as the “face” of a billboard.

FLIGHT

How long an outdoor ad campaign runs. For billboards, flights typically last four weeks.

FREQUENCY

How many times someone sees an outdoor ad during a predetermined length of time.

G

GEOPATH

Formerly known as TAB, Geopath measures OOH advertising.

GROSS RATING POINT

A single rating point equals 1% of a market’s population. A gross rating point is the total in-market impressions your campaign delivers divided by the total population.

I

IN-MARKET IMPRESSIONS

People within a market who see your campaign. Impressions are the total number who see the campaign who reside anywhere.

INDOOR ADVERTISING

You can probably guess what this is — it’s the opposite of outdoor advertising, in that it appears inside bars, restaurants, transit stations and so forth. But it’s still considered out of home.

L

LOCATION LIST

All the locations you have in an outdoor campaign. You may also hear references to a location map, which maps out those locations.

M

MALL DISPLAYS

The backlit ads with two or three sides that you see at shopping malls.

MARKET

The geographic area where your campaign takes place — for instance, Los Angeles.

MESSAGE DURATION

How long a digital OOH ad lights up the screen.

MOBILE BILLBOARD

Appear on the sides of trucks or buses, or are towed behind them, creating a billboard that can move all around a city.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Mobile Billboard
Mobile Billboard

O                                                                                                    

OAAA

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America, a group that advocates for the industry.

OBIE AWARDS

OAAA’s annual awards program, which recognizes outdoor’s most outstanding, most creative campaigns. (Hey, is that us on this year’s list of finalists? Yep.)

OOH VIDEO NETWORKS

Video networks at different places, such as doctor’s offices, gas stations and more, that include advertising and editorial content.

OVERRIDE

Extending the run of an OOH campaign beyond the initial period. This is provided by the outdoor vendor and doesn’t cost extra for the advertiser.

P

PLACE-BASED MEDIA

Out of home displays at places, such as grocery stores, stadiums, movie theaters and more.

POLYETHYLENE

The plastic used to make many types of bulletins and posters.

POSTER

Also called 8 sheets, they’re posted along surface streets and are smaller than bulletins. You’ll see them walking around neighborhoods in cities.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Poster
Poster

PROOF OF PERFORMANCE

Outdoor advertising companies provide this certification that services have been delivered satisfactorily.

R

REACH

How much of your target audience sees an ad during a campaign.

REPOSTING CHARGE

A fee the advertiser pays to change creative before the campaign term ends.

RIDE

Traveling to and looking at the inventory you want to buy, such as visiting a billboard to see what sort of condition it is in and how much visibility the highway offers.

S

SPECTACULAR

The biggest type of billboard, supersized and only found in rare locations, like Times Square. Usually measure 60 feet wide.

STREET FURNITURE

Pieces at eye level that you can see from the street that carry advertising. Examples include fountains, memorials, bus benches and barriers.

T

TARGET AUDIENCE

The people you want to reach with your advertisement.

TRADITIONAL MEDIA

This is a catchall term for non-digital media, and it includes all non-digital out of home, like billboards, street furniture and transit advertising.

TRANSIT DISPLAYS

Ads displayed on forms of public transport, such as:

  • Buses
  • Trolleys
  • Subways

TRANSIT SHELTER

A structure where people wait to catch the bus or other public transportation, usually located near the curb.

W

WALLSCAPE

The biggest form of outdoor advertising, wallscapes appear on the sides of buildings — or, you know, walls. They’re gigantic, sometimes hundreds of feet tall.

OOH A-Z Glossary of Terms - Wallscape
Wallscape

WILD POSTING

A large number of posters plastered in the same area, catching people’s eyes and making a big splash through sheer volume. Usually placed on the side of construction sites or buildings.

Have questions about any of these terms, or want to implement some of them in your next campaign? Contact DASH TWO to learn more.

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