What’s out of doors promoting?

In our digital world, it seems like all marketing is done online. However, doing so would mean ignoring an incredibly effective strategy – outdoor advertising.

Out-of-home advertising (OOH) refers to the process of reaching consumers while, as you guessed, they are away from their home.

While this can evoke images of billboards in NYC Times Square, there is a lot of media that qualifies as outdoor advertising.

The best news is that these methods are very effective.

According to the Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America, 66 percent of smartphone users took action after interacting with an out-of-home advertisement.

Additionally, 74 percent of those who visited a business after interacting with an outdoor advertisement made a purchase.

These are some pretty compelling stats that you should think twice about adding outdoor advertising to your campaign's strategy playbook.

Not sold? Check out the infographic below which shows which promotional products consumers trust the most. See number five? Outdoor advertising outperforms search ads or sponsored posts.

Outdoor advertising as the fifth most trustworthy mode

In short, if you don't consider outdoor advertising, you are missing out on valuable leads.

Types of outdoor advertising

While we mentioned the NYC Times Square billboard, there is less ubiquitous out-of-home media out there. These include:

  • local billboards
  • free goods (t-shirts, mugs at sporting events)
  • Transit placement (bus stops, benches, kiosks)
  • POS displays (back of taxis, dining tables, flyers in grocery stores)
  • Airships

While your business is unlikely to sponsor an airship, there are plenty of options for marketers looking for new sources for attracting new consumers.

6 tips for a successful outdoor advertising campaign

Similar to any advertising or marketing campaign, your execution is only as good as your plan. There are six essential steps you can take to get your outdoor advertising campaign off the ground.

1. Research your location

Regardless of the goals of your outdoor advertising campaign, you need to do some research on the location.

Not only does this information tell you about the size and limitations of your ad, but it will also help you decide which locations are worth your budget and which are not.

Imagine you are in a local restaurant on a pedestrian street. Advertising your specialty beverages with a clever slogan on a board is much more beneficial than an advertising board with the same message.

On the other hand, if you're a car dealership that has year-end deals, a billboard is a much better strategy than a sign outside your building.

When it comes to location, you need to ask four specific questions:

  • Is that visible?
  • Who is traveling through this area?
  • What do passers-by want or need?
  • How can my products meet this need?

After you have answered these three questions, you can use these answers to develop your out-of-home marketing strategy.

2. Go digital

Just because you're advertising from home doesn't mean you have to be technology-free. Digital billboards are a great alternative to traditional billboards. In fact, there are three reasons why you should choose a digital billboard.

  • save money: Digital billboards are less expensive to install and remove than traditional billboards. If research shows that people are more receptive to your product at a certain time of the day, you will only be able to display your billboard during that time window.
  • Increased visibility: Digital billboards are always lit, but conventional billboards may not. The digital route ensures that travelers can see your billboard regardless of the time of day.
  • Variability: With digital billboards, you can change your content anytime, anywhere. With traditional billboards, construction and deconstruction are time consuming and costly, which limits your ability to exchange speech, images, or messages.

Here are three cool digital billboards.

The Economist created a nifty digital blackboard that turns on a lightbulb above a hiker's head and connects the idea of ​​wisdom shared through publication.

Tips for a Successful Outdoor Advertising Campaign - The Economist

Beloved US Baseball Team The LA Dodgers got excited about their upcoming games by using a countdown on their digital billboards that runs to the second.

Tips for a Successful Outdoor Advertising Campaign - Dodgers Billboard

Oreo used a recent event with the hashtag #oreoeclipse.

Tips for a successful outdoor advertising campaign - Oreoeclipse

Whether your billboard is reacting to current events or just highlighting your product's main value proposition, creativity is a surefire way to make outdoor advertising a success.

3. Use eye-catching displays

While the out-of-home advertising market is nowhere near as saturated as the digital advertising market, you can apply the same principles to ensure that your advertising stands out from the crowd.

Below are five strategies that your billboard can use to outperform its neighbors.

  • Use light colors: To get the drivers' attention, you need to use all the tools in your arsenal. Using bright colors that create a response is a great way to achieve billboard views.
  • Countdowns: Counting down to a product launch, event, or the end of a sale is a great way to get viewers to act. Consider using this strategy on your billboard to get potential consumers to act.
  • Simplicity: Do not try to include multiple pictures or messages on your billboard. You want to be short and sweet while being direct.
  • High contrast designs: At great distances, it doesn't pay to be subtle. Take this opportunity to use contrasting colors so that your ad can be seen from afar.
  • Be short and sweet: You only have a limited amount of time to make an impression. So make sure your message is short and factual.

4. Make it shareable

The real litmus test of a successful marketing campaign is action. If your outdoor advertising gets people talking about or sharing your advertisement, consider the ad a success.

Brainstorm ad ideas that encourage response to get maximum audience interaction.

Looking for inspiration? Check out these out of home promotional ideas that got people talking to each other.

CVS caused a sensation with its #BeautyUnaltered campaign.

The digital billboards encouraged viewers to upload their unfiltered selfies to join the companies' commitment to using unedited photos of models.

Tips for a Successful Outdoor Advertising Campaign - CVS for Digital Billboards

The Ad Council's "Out There for Us" campaign ran off-house ads thanking frontline workers with real quotes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ad asked viewers to tweet their thanks using the hashtag #OutThereForUs, encourage interaction, and then share these quotes on.

Tips for a Successful Outdoor Advertising Campaign - Ad Council Billboard

5. Research the competition

Before venturing anywhere, check to see if your competitors are using similar strategies in similar locations. What works in their ads? What are they missing?

Use these answers to capitalize on what you missed.

Remember that placing an outdoor advertisement near the lower prices or better quality of your competitors can work for you, but it can also have unintended consequences. (Like a price war.)

6. Set quantifiable goals

When entering the world of outdoor advertising, be sure to follow the basic principles of any marketing campaign.

Regardless of digital or conventional, your campaign must have clear, quantifiable marketing goals in order to evaluate success.

Do you want to:

  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Deliver a call to action?
  • Share knowledge with your viewers?
  • Marketing a new line of products?
  • Reach a new population group?

Make sure you set SMART goals to be sure that your campaign is achieving its goal. This acronym refers to specific goals that can be achieved over time. These goals should be:

  • Specific
  • measurable
  • reachable
  • relevant
  • Time bound

By adjusting your goals within these constraints, you are setting goals that are quantifiable and not nebulous.

3 examples of great outdoor advertising

Great outdoor advertising doesn't happen overnight. It takes strategy, research, and a real understanding of your audience. Below we share our three most popular outdoor advertising campaigns of all time and what made them so successful.


Pepsi wanted to cause a sensation at the Super Bowl 2019. Super Bowl LIII didn't happen anywhere, however – it took place in Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola.

By participating in an outdoor advertising campaign, Pepsi saw three percent growth in the first quarter of 2019, not to mention the numerous reactions and interactions on social media with the hashtag #ColaTruce.

Examples of great outdoor advertising - Pepsi bus kiosk
Examples of great outdoor advertising - Pepsi bus

While your budget may not be quite as high as Pepsi's (the beverage brand's budget was $ 1.7 million), you can still take inspiration from this campaign that saw outdoor advertising work in your favor.

Dallas Cowboys & AT & T.

2019 was a good year for outdoor advertising.

In September, the Dallas Cowboys launched out-of-home marketing and launched interactive “Pose with the Pros” kiosks in their stadium.

This interactive campaign enabled fans to capture images with virtual similarities between the players.

After taking the photo, users can share the picture on social media or email it to themselves or others.

On the surface, this campaign was just plain fun for Dallas Cowboys fans, but it had a different motive as well.

Thanks to the outdoor advertising campaign operated by AT&T, the company was able to demonstrate its skills in the field of 5G technology.

The result, AT&T CMO claimed, "We've been able to create experiences that let people know how fundamentally 5G is different from LTE." Not to mention some pretty happy Cowboys fans.

Examples of great outdoor advertising - Dallas Cowboys pose with the pros


When you think of running, don't necessarily conjure up the Reebok logo.

That changed, however, when Reebok ran an outdoor advertising campaign in Sweden asking passers-by to run at 10 mph in exchange for a free pair of the brand's ZPump 2.0 shoes.

Examples of great outdoor advertising - Reebok Sneaker Kiosk

The campaign started and received more than 300,000 views on YouTube and more than 30,000 shares on social media. The next time someone interacts with this billboard, they always think of Reebok.


Whether you want to add to your existing digital marketing strategy or move to OOH entirely, there are plenty of media you can use for innovative advertising.

From billboards to park benches, the advertising options for on the go are endless.

However, OOH advertising should be viewed as a long-term campaign. You are unlikely to get the same immediate success with your digital campaigns.

But don't be discouraged. The return on investment for your OOH campaigns is definitely worth the wait.

What's the best OOH commercial you've ever seen?

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