The Main Types of Outdoor Advertising
Study after study has found that OOH advertising is incredibly compelling, leading to a high return on investment. The key is finding the right place and using the right creative to target the right audience. Here are the eight major types of outdoor advertising used in the United States.
Wild posting is papering loads of posters on walls, barricades or buildings in high-traffic areas to draw attention through sheer volume and repetition.BEST FOR
It is most popular among cannabis, entertainment and fashion brands to build hype and spark anticipation.COMMON DIMENSIONS
Wild posting takes many formats, so there’s no standard size. Some brands also prefer using stickers, which can be pretty small.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of a wild posting campaign in big cities like Los Angeles and New York City is a few thousand dollars all the way up to $10,000 or more.More Information
Traditional billboards you see along highways, expressways and other high-traffic locations.BEST FOR
Basically any brand that wants exposure to commuters, including cannabis, fashion, music, entertainment, legal, fast food, direct to consumer, sports and more.COMMON DIMENSIONS
Bulletin boards are 14 feet high by 48 feet wide.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of a billboard depends on the geographic area and location within the city. It can range from a few hundred dollars for four weeks in a rural area to up to $20,000 per month in NYC or LA.More Information
Another form of billboard posted on regular streets, not highways.BEST FOR
Basically any brand that uses out-of-home ads, from cannabis and music to entertainment and sports.COMMON DIMENSIONS
8-Sheets are 6 feet high by 12 feet wide.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of an 8 sheet varies by location, likely anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000 or more inside a busy city. It costs about $5 for every 1,000 people you reach (this is called the CPM).More Information
Kinda obviously, it’s ads on benches you sit on while waiting at the bus stop or in bus shelters.BEST FOR
Almost any brand, including legal, cannabis, direct to consumer, food, music, entertainment, restaurants and more.COMMON DIMENSIONS
Bulletin boards are 24 inches high by 84 inches wide.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of bus bench advertising is between $250 to $900-plus per four weeks, depending on the quantity and market.More Information
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Billboards on the sides of trucks or otherwise on wheels that travel all over town.BEST FOR
Entertainment and music brands and those targeting local audiences that want a more interactive element or maybe can’t afford prominent in-city billboards, like small business owners.COMMON DIMENSIONS
Measurements may depending on the size of trucks you use, but 10 feet by 20 feet is a standard.AVERAGE COST
A mobile billboard in NYC or LA starts between $1,800 and $2,000 per day.More Information
Commercials on the screen in a theater as well as signage outside the cinema.BEST FOR
Almost any brand, including movie studios, music, mobile, local businesses and more.COMMON DIMENSIONS
The size of the movie screen.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of in-theater advertising is about $5,000 for four weeks.More Information
Advertising made to amaze and astonish — think outrageous stuff you want to tell people about after you see it.BEST FOR
Brands that want to make a bold splash, like cannabis, automotive, mobile, alcohol, entertainment, music and more.COMMON DIMENSIONS
There’s no standard type or size of guerilla advertising, but some examples include chalk stencils, projections, experiential advertising campaigns and more.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of guerilla advertising is roughly $5,000 to $10,000 per activation.More Information
Digital signage, which includes billboards and other types of ads.BEST FOR
Any brand that wants a wide reach and has the money, including music, entertainment, cannabis, legal and more.COMMON DIMENSIONS
Digital billboards vary, but the standard bulletin is the same size as a traditional one — 14 feet high by 48 feet wide.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of digital billboards is about $2,000 to $5,000 more than traditional billboards.More Information
Experiential marketing by definition creates experiences for pedestrians and passersby, making them part of the advertisement. It engages the senses and gives people a firsthand feel for what it’s like to use a product.BEST FOR
It is most popular with fashion, music and hair and makeup brands or any brand that wants to gain social media traction from a splashy campaign.COMMON DIMENSIONS
There are few commonalities (and no dimensions) for experiential campaigns. Experiential marketing examples include anything from a vending machine popping out limited-edition cassettes to an ice cream truck giving away treats to a bold three-dimensional display on a city corner.AVERAGE COST
The average cost of an experiential marketing campaign can vary wildly depending on the city, approach and aims of the campaign. They can reach up to $20,000 or more, but you can also keep them very small and pull something off for a few thousand.More Information
Outdoor Advertising FAQs
Q. WHAT IS OUTDOOR ADVERTISING?
Out-of-home advertising, also referred to as OOH, includes all types of advertising available in public spaces outside the home. It encompasses everything from wallscapes to transit ads at subway stations and bus stops to digital boards atop taxis to roadside billboards on high-traffic highways.
Vendors sell the ad inventory, and agencies like us help everyone from big record labels to movie studios to small local businesses buy that space. You might use out of home for marketing campaigns focused on sales, new products or special events — anything, really.
Q. WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING?
The pros of outdoor advertising include:
- Exceptionally good value, with low-cost pricing well below most other forms of media.
- Huge growth industry, with spending on the rise year over year for more than a decade until the pandemic and bouncing back quickly after that small blip.
- Fantastic way to reach a narrow target audience that’s guaranteed to see your creative.
- Few limiting regulations to deal with when you use an agency that understands the industry.
- Proven results, with research showing that outdoor media engages potential customers and leads to conversions.
There are very few cons of outdoor advertising, but they may include:
- Some continued controversy over digital billboards and other DOOH.
- Several types of outdoor advertising lack apples-to-apples measurement methods.
Q. WHAT ARE THE BEST TYPES OF OUTDOOR ADS?
What generates success depends on your industry and your goals. You can never go wrong with a billboard. Digital billboards draw lots of attention, and mobile billboards can get to places that may be otherwise off-limits to advertising. Transit advertising hits commuters on the go. In-theater reaches a captive audience. There’s really no bad type of outdoor ad.