Five thousand years and still going strong—you can’t say that about very many things, but it’s true about outdoor advertising. Also true: The oldest form of media also remains the most effective.
Outdoor advertising’s steadiness, longevity and effectiveness are only part of the story, though. We put together this list of the top 10 advantages of outdoor advertising to illustrate just how amazing out of home can be — and why you should start using it, if you haven’t already.
Top 10 Reasons to Use Outdoor Advertising
1. Visibility: You Can’t Miss an Outdoor Ad
Have you ever been driving down the highway and didn’t look at the huge billboard to your right? No, because that never happens.
Outdoor ads are unavoidable. You can’t ignore them. They’re on the street, in your rearview mirror, on the front of your bus, plastered around your subway station. Outdoor advertising surrounds everyone every day, no matter where they live or work. And we don’t become immune to it.
2. Effectiveness: Studies Show Outdoor Advertising Works
Indeed, studies show that out of home is among the most effective forms of advertising out there. It draws attention, sparks people to take action, and stays in their memory banks. In short: It works, and there’s evidence in the research. Consider these incredible statistics:
- 71 percent of people say they notice digital billboard ads more than online ads
- Almost a quarter of people say they notice billboards while they drive
- More than half say they’ve been “highly engaged” by a billboard they’ve seen in the past month
- Outdoor ads drive online activity more effectively than TV ads
3. Availability: Outdoor Advertising Is Everywhere
There’s no such thing as unlimited inventory for any medium—but outdoor comes pretty dang close. Inventory limitations are a drawback for most traditional media, like TV, radio and print. They contain a finite amount of space or time, and thus a finite amount of advertising. But outdoor provides ways around that. In addition to the number of billboards (and especially digital billboards) growing over time, outdoor also offers the unique ability to expand at will depending on the format.
Say you want to advertise in a high-demand area in New York City, but the most visible billboard and transit station inventory are tied up for months. No problem! You can essentially make your own outdoor display by sending your message out on a mobile billboard that drives around the area where you want to advertise.
For most advertising formats, you just can’t do that much to stand out. Search ads all look the same. TV commercials all look the same. Radio ads all sound the same. But outdoor advertisements look different.
Even when they utilize the same basic structure, they can stand out. For instance, you could:
- Put an attachment above a billboard to draw attention, such as a giant hand reaching out or a person balancing on a surfboard
- Tie in a social media element, like asking people to ⦁ identify the location of an image on the billboard
- Make a ⦁ mural three-dimensional by attaching dog toys
When you have enough imagination, you get unlimited possibilities — all of which will catch people’s eyes as they go by.
5. Always On: Outdoor Ads Stay Up and Stay on 24/7
You can’t turn off a billboard. Even the digital ones stay on all night. Whether the board is on a long and lonesome highway east of Omaha or outside the Hotel California, it will connect people whenever they walk or drive past.
Other media don’t offer that same always-on experience. You only see search ads when you hop on a search engine. You only hear podcast ads when you play a podcast. OOH is a constant companion, wherever you are.
6. Technology: You Can Purchase Digital OOH Options and Swap Them Easily
One aspect of outdoor advertising that has really improved in recent years is technology. Digital networks abound in new and innovative spaces, and switching in and out advertiser content has gotten way simpler.
You (well, the vendor) can post updated content with a couple clicks. That means seamless integration of ads with a time element (“Sale Runs Through Saturday!”) and the ability to do fun stuff, like incorporate a weather or time element into an advertisement.
7. Affordability: OOH Advertising Costs Less Than Other Media
While we made this list in no particular order, many people would list the cost of outdoor advertising as No. 1. It offers the most efficient buy on the market. The CPM (cost of reaching 1,000 consumers) is lower than every other traditional form of media, ranging from $3.65 for standard bulletins to $3.19 for posters to $2.18 for transit shelters to $7.50 for digital place-based media, according to PJ Solomon.
Now, compare that to primetime broadcast TV ($36), primetime cable TV ($19), streaming ($30), podcasts ($23) and newspapers ($47). Outdoor is an absolute bargain.
8. Freedom: Unlike Other Industries, Outdoor Isn’t Heavily Regulated
Regulation has always been a controversial and frustrating issue in media. Federal oversight governs where you can and can’t advertise and what you can and can’t advertise in many industries.
But in outdoor, you encounter fewer regulations. It’s not the Wild West — for instance, you can’t put up marijuana advertisements near a school, and a handful of cities ban digital ads. But the medium is largely “do what you want, where you want.”
9. Flexibility: You Can Use OOH for Branding or for Calls to Action
Some media work better for certain advertising focuses. But outdoor is fantastic for any approaches.
For instance, if you want to use billboards or wild posting to build awareness of your business, you can do it for a low price. And if you want to issue a call to action on your outdoor ads, you can track the results by deploying a QR code or offering an exclusive coupon code on the ad.
10. Variety: An Endless Number of Formats = Endless Amount of Possibilities
We’re going to use the “no other” card one last time—no other medium has such a range of advertising options. You can pick from billboards, digital billboards, mobile billboards, transit advertising, experiential, bus bench, wild posting and more.
We can help you explore your options. Reach out to us today to discuss an outdoor advertising campaign.