Skip links
Published on: Advertising

OOH Advertising – The Ultimate Guide

OOH or Out-of-Home advertising is probably the oldest advertising channel and has been around since the earliest days of advertising. OOH refers to any media channel that targets consumers when they are on the go, outdoors or in public places, the most common examples of these are transit advertising, street furniture and shopping centres.


What is OOH Advertising?

OOH advertising companies vary in size from public, international corporations to small privately held agencies and independent family-owned businesses. The largest markets in Europe are the United Kingdom and France, first and second respectively.

According to Outsmart (formerly the Outdoor Media Centre), shows that digital out-of-home (DOOH) grew at a 29.7% CAGR from 2009 to 2014.[2]

Billboards are one the most popular OOH advertising formats that have experienced a notable growth grown thanks in part to its digitalization.

In China and the USA, over 4900 digital billboards have been fixed in recent years. Street furniture advertising comprises news racks, phone booths, urban shelters…

Another OOH format is transit advertising which typically involves anything that is on the move such as buses, subways, trucks – it could be bikes, motorbikes or even planes too, basically any means of transport.

Under this label, it also falls other spaces such as bus stations, airports… It is very effective to address users while travelling.

All in all, street furniture, transit advertising and alternative formats account for 34 % of total OOH revenue in the United States
Statistic – Fact

In the United States, there are over 2000 providers and dealers that cover all the major OOH advertising formats.

The largest provider of OOH space in the world is the French corporate JCDecaux whose revenue surpasses 4 billion dollars annually, it is followed by another giant Clear Channel Outdoor that grossed over 2 billion dollars in 2018. In the graph below, you can see the top 9 OOH advertising media companies in the world and their annual revenue according to Statista.

Types of OOH Advertising

OOH advertising is mainly focused on targeting customers when they are in public places and transit and its formats usually fall into the following six categories:

Billboards have been traditionally considered as an expensive medium only accessible to large advertising budgets. But this is a myth as billboard advertising can be as cheap as 25 pounds a day.

For example, a company such as JCDecaux billed for a two-week contract just about 800 pounds. Below you can see an estimate of the billboard advertising cost on major providers.

Billboards advertising is very effective locally but it can be done nationally too as long as it aligns with the marketing campaign.

Usually, the minimum terms are two weeks but for optimal results, a billboard campaign should run from 6 to 12 months to increase the awareness levels.

Transit advertising refers to all the marketing material located on means of transport; taxis and buses are the most common locations but it could be found on planes, trams.

Transportation areas such as train stations should also be considered as transit advertising formats. This is ideal to reach commuting and travelling audience and makes a great spot for transportation companies, holiday bookers or similar businesses.

Transit can be a great way to promote services or products but it is important to do it wisely and to take into account different factors such as demographics.

By its very nature, transit audience is hard to define and in most cases really broad. So any successful campaign requires thorough research of transit audiences.

In general transit, advertising is a great way of advertising as it is hard to ignore and provides with high visibility.

Street furniture applies to any marketing material attached to fittings, furnishings, fixtures and moveables located on the streets or any publicly accessible location.

Street Furniture refers to any public amenity that is in close proximity to pedestrians.
Statistic – Fact

For examples, kiosks, street panels, news racks, convenience store panels, benches. In general, it refers to any public amenity that is in close proximity to pedestrians.

It can be a very cost-effective way to promote your company locally by placing ads on shelters, subway walls, kiosk stands, information booths, or public clocks. It is important to take into account many aspects when advertising on, ensure you are targeting the right areas where your potential buyers live or drive around.

Street advertising requires to keep track of all the relevant zip codes or neighbourhoods and advertising spots to ensure maximum effectiveness.

A great copy and bold design and a creative and engaging ad will attract pedestrians attention ensuring higher levels of awareness.

Larger ads tend to perform better for obvious reasons and it is also crucial your ads are visible from the distance and attract attention from nearby drivers.

Aerial advertising refers to any form of marketing that involves drones, aeroplanes, balloons… basically any aircraft or aerial objects such as parachutes, parasailing and kite systems.

It can dynamic, digital, a static banner or audio. Its beginnings can be traced back to WWI and the aviation revolution.

Aerial advertising is not a very common practice due to its limitations, it is mainly effective to address large audiences gathered at one location.

Balloons, skywriting, and banner towing are usually strategically located. Aerial advertising is very much regulated by local and governmental authorities due to privacy and aesthetic reasons.

OOH advertising statistics and figures to make you a pro

75 % of travellers and commuters have seen a digital billboard in the last 30 days
Statistic – Fact

Billboards are actually one of the most effective advertising channels thanks to them. It actually remains as effective as it was 20 years ago. It is an iconic channel that is adaptable and with the rise of digital OOH billboards will be powerful as ever before.

71% of consumers said that digital billboards stand out better than online banners.
Statistic – Fact

Digital billboard will eventually take over almost every single space, thanks to its versatility- unlike static ones, these allow video and more control over exposure and screen times – it has returned more engagement than its paper counterpart.

25 million – place-based screens in the United States
Statistic – Fact

Small size billboards usually located in shopping centres, train stations have notably increased within the last few years. Currently, there are over 25 million of those across the United States alone.

Over 7,800 digital billboards are currently active in the US
Statistic – Fact
5 % of ad budgets go to OOH
Statistic – Fact

In spite of being one of the most effective formats, OOH advertising does receive as much attention as other channels such as digital, one of the main reason is that it is harder to measure its effectiveness.

OOH is 382%– more effective at driving online activity as opposed to television engagement rate
Statistic – Fact

OOH advertising is much more effective at getting customers online than television. It is actually almost 4 times more engaging. Television capacity to drive viewers to the digital world is much more limited than out of home ads, which might come across surprising to many but OOH advertising effectiveness is still as high as 3 decades ago.

OOH’s rank, behind digital, in the fastest-growing forms of advertising worldwide – picture st the top
Statistic – Fact

Currently digital is dominating the advertising scene, therefore most of the budget is dedicated to digital channels. However, OOH, one of the oldest advertising media, takes the second position when it comes to ad spend.

$3.79 ROI for retailers per every $1 spent on Out-Of-Home advertising

For every dollar spend on Google ads, companies make an average of 2, surprisingly OOH advertising can return a higher ROÍ even in a digitally-driven economy. OOH has been one of the most effective media channels for retailers and still maintains its power.

The future of OOH advertising

Many think that with the rise of technology and consumers using the internet and digital technologies to discover new products, OOH is less relevant than it used to be and has less impact on consumers however OOH advertising will be around for a long time and it is surprisingly effective. Actually thanks to the digitalization of the industry, OOH advertising is becoming more accessible, easy to monitor and implement.

There is no doubt that in the future out-of-home advertising will be dominated by digital screens rather than statics boards and panels. Digital OOH advertising will be seen everywhere and when that happens, it is effective will increase so will its demand.

OOH Advertising Regulations

Local planning authorities operate three special rules regulating the placement of ads which I have just highlighted below, for more information take a look at the government ooh advertising guide.

1. Specially Controlled Areas

Many governmental organisations reserved the right to exercise special control over areas or location which due to its special beauty, natural value or architectural and historical heritage, are considered of extraordinary value. Therefore these locations usually have restricted advertising control and it is extremely regulated.

This means that due to the very nature of the ad and the circumstances surrounding its shooting, it could be posing a safety hazard If special circumstances apply, deemed consent can be removed by the local authority.

This may be because it has been decided that the ad in question is spoiling the view or posing a safety hazard.

3. The discontinuance of a particular advertisement or the use of a particular ad site.

Under some circumstances, the government or the Secretary of State might issue a discontinuance notice. This could mean that an ad violates new laws or it is in a discrepancy situation with another one.

At Top Media Advertising, our team is passionate about OOH advertising whether it is digital or traditional, we always aim to deliver a positive ROÍ. Check out our OOH advertising services and our digital advertising.

Leave a comment

  1. Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.