It seems like advertisements bombard us from every direction, every minute of every day. We look at our televisions and see ads. We look at our devices and see ads. Computer screens? Ads. Podcasts? Ads. Radio? Ads. Digital media surrounds us; even TV and radio, long the domain of analog ads, are all digital now. If there’s one thing the internet seems to have revolutionized, it’s how many ways to put an advertisement in front of a consumer.

Of course, traditional, real-world advertising existed long before digital advertising overtook it. And even in an age when it seems like a digital algorithm serves up every ad, there are tried-and-true advertising methods that still rack up the wins for the companies that use them… all the more potent when digital advancements are used to enhance them.

Ads that are served up outside the comfort of your own home (and screens) are referred to as “Out of Home” (OOH) advertisements or media. This can include transit shelters and street furniture such as kiosks; rail and subway areas; taxis; airport media; cinemas; buses; and the ever-classic posters and billboards.

On the one hand, OOH sometimes only accounts for 4-7 percent of an advertiser’s total media budget. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a multi-billion dollar industry when you scale it up. OOH ads can offer returns as high as nearly $6 for every $1 spent. That’s why corporate giants like Google, Facebook, and Netflix are still dropping money on things like billboard ads.

Done well and placed correctly, out of home ads remain one of the most effective routes to getting noticed. Let’s take a look at our seven best ways to utilize out of home media.

1.Living Large

If you’ve ever noticed a billboard (and who hasn’t), you already know that out of home advertisements are often large. Despite this, the messages are often very visual and short on text. Why? Because the advertiser knows that they only have a couple of seconds to make it count. By the time you’ve glanced away, you’ve already taken in what they want you to take away.

2.Creative Outlet

For the same reason as #1, out of home advertisers have to bump up their creativity. Even if the ad isn’t as large as a billboard, the challenge of getting the message across quickly doesn’t change. It has to pack a real punch to be memorable and impactful. Using data and interactivity in the out of home advertising space is only going to add more tools to the kit.

3.Location, Location, Location

When looking to make the strongest impact possible, you can’t overlook location. Advertising a luxury sedan in a working-class neighborhood is one obvious way to miss the mark. The addition of digital marketing tools has made it easier than ever for OOH advertisers to customize messages in real-time. It’s not that different from how digital marketing uses insights and analytics, just in a new form.


Speaking of the digitization of out of home advertising, another way it’s changing the game is by shortening the time between purchase and viewability. This makes an advertisement much more versatile and able to be adapted at a moment’s notice. Pairing OOH advertising with digitization is an area of active growth, leading many marketers and advertisers to embrace this new hybrid model.

5.Share and Share Alike

Want to kick your out of home advertisements into overdrive? Pair it with social media marketing to make your message shareable. A well-developed campaign with both an OOH and social media hook will reinforce your message and drive up your impact.

6.Less Is More

Buying massive numbers of billboards is a surefire way to lose… if you aren’t placing them in a strategic, calculated manner, that is. Remember the “luxury car in a blue-collar neighborhood” example from before? Turning that from one into 10 poorly-placed billboards is probably not going to move the needle in your favor. A single well-targeted, high-traffic site will carry you a lot further than just buying up the cheapest locations.

7.Keep It Short

With only a few precious seconds to get your message across, your out of home advertisements can’t be overly wordy. You want striking visuals to get their attention and a short, memorable message that will stick with the viewer. You’ll only have their attention for a few seconds at most, so keep it concise and punchy.

Media With a Winning Track Record

Even though it’s the oldest form of advertising, out of home media is only becoming more effective. It comes with real-world experience, and tried-and-true methods, and is embracing the new digital landscape to become even more relevant. In a digital age, a well-executed OOH campaign only benefits from the newest marketing developments, bringing the best of both worlds together at last.

By Swati