Remnant ads are a rarely discussed option in outdoor advertising. Inventory is primarily available for billboards, 8 sheets and bus bench ads which are popular forms of outdoor ads. But the availability of outdoor remnant ads is erratic and unpredictable. Nevertheless, for those looking for a last minute bargain with the ability to move quickly and flexibly, remnant ads are a great opportunity.

The biggest reason to purchase outdoor remnant ads is the heavy discounts which can be as much as 50 to 75% off normal pricing. A particularly tasty example is that of Coachella. A week before Coachella 2017, on the last day possible for printing and posting billboards, outdoor ad vendors dropped prices by 60%. It’s the kind of opportunity almost anyone would desire yet only a few are prepared to seize.

Outdoor remnant ad inventory is typically available in one of three cases:

  • Inventory that doesn’t sell;
  • Last minute cancellations;
  • Periods when not everything is going to sell.

Inventory that doesn’t sell and last minute cancellations are similar in that they are totally unpredictable so one can’t plan on running a normal campaign utilizing such ads. However a particular event, such as Coachella, can be worth keeping in mind. In such cases, when budgets have some flex or inventory is desired no matter what, one can do a form of contingency planning if one is able to act with little advance notice.

Seasonal quiet periods, such as midsummer and the first few weeks after New Year’s, are more predictable in that excess inventory is likely to be available. These periods open up options for campaigns focused on branding or those in which an alternative release or premier strategy is in the works. Though notice of specific inventory will still be last minute, planning for a discount can be made with more assurance than at other times of the year.

In addition remnant ads may only be available in less desirable locations. So bear that in mind when considering what’s available.

How best to take advantage of this last minute opportunity?

During busy periods keep last minute cancellations and unsold inventory in mind when planning an over-the-top campaign or an opportunistic outdoor intervention. Be prepared to seize the day.

An alternative strategy would be to plan for quiet periods in advertising, midsummer and the beginning of the year, which are also quiet periods for media people. Grabbing attention during slower moving times can offer unique exposure opportunities combining media coverage and outdoor remnant ads.

Interested in being kept in the loop about outdoor remnant ad inventory for billboards, 8 sheets and bus bench ads?

Dash Two typically receives short notice of such inventory and pitches it to likely clients. Let us know if you want to be informed when outdoor ad inventory is available for specific events, locations or times of year and we’ll be happy to alert you when such inventory is available.

Rodolfo Queiroz

Rodolfo Queiroz

Rodolfo Queiroz is an expert in the Out-of-Home world and is based out of Los Angeles, CA currently working at DASH TWO. Rodolfo has worked closely with clients primarily in the lifestyle apparel and music space, such as American Apparel, CoverFx and Interscope Records. Part of an agency, Rodolfo works with clients to help develop outdoor campaigns that reaches audiences through brand awareness and support their respective business objectives. He is responsible for the expansion and organization of client brands’ OOH strategy.

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