In a world where digital marketing seems to be taking over, it is easy to forget about the traditional avenues that businesses have relied on for years. However, these traditional advertising methods have withstood the test of time for a reason—simply put, they work. Outdoor advertising has held strong as a very viable traditional advertising method for reaching a large and diverse audience.
The History of Outdoor Advertising
Modern outdoor advertising has been around for nearly two centuries. In the 1830s, a man named Jared Bell created some of the very first modern billboards. These boards utilized unique features and promotional elements to advertise the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus in New York City. At this time, there was no system for selling outdoor ad space, so merchants painted signs and posters to hang on walls and fence posts to capture the attention of passersby.
The 1860s saw a major shift in billboard advertising with the introduction of monetization. Businesses were able to purchase outdoor space to utilize for billboard display. Soon enough, advertisers began taking advantage of the new laws and regulations, setting up different billboards and experimenting with their own methods and creatives. They were often hand-drawn or hand-painted and labor-intensive. From there, the practice grew into what it is today. While the premise of a billboard has not changed, the scale and capabilities certainly have. Now billboard companies are taking over areas like Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip, both of which have thousands of people traveling through daily. The industry has even begun to adapt to the digital age, with digital boards available in most major cities.
Outdoor as a Complement
Outdoor advertising can be a great complement to other media channels. Take broadcast television, for example. Outdoor advertising can boost a television message when viewers are away from their homes by keeping the message present while they are on the move. Or, what about radio? Outdoor can be a great accompaniment to radio by reaching that mobile consumer on the go with a visual message that matches one they may have heard. Print? Absolutely! Newspapers tend to have a shorter shelf life with the consumer, so an outdoor presence can extend the life of your print advertising campaign by keeping your message front and center.
Outdoor does not only enhance your other traditional campaigns—it can do the same for digital strategies! Utilizing consistent branding and messaging on your outdoor boards and online banners can help increase brand awareness and really drive your point home.
Outdoor Advertising as a Stand Alone
If you must choose just one traditional advertising strategy, outdoor is a strong advertising medium all on its own. Why? Because it exists in an interactive environment. People spend so much time in front of screens now that real-life advertisements have more power than they used to. Online browsers are masters at ignoring pop-up ads and banners. However, when consumers see a billboard, street sign, or other eye-catching object, they take a moment to look. For companies, that moment makes the difference between irrelevance and interest. Additionally, outdoor ads reach consumers while they are away from their home, which is very important. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America reports that most consumers spend 70%of their waking hours away from home. Billboards, posters, bus and subway ads, and other signs grab the attention of commuters and travelers everywhere they go.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
So, how to do you go about putting together an outdoor campaign that serves your needs? There are many factors that need to be reviewed. Make sure you are looking at geographies that make the most sense to your demographic. Look at the cost of the board, but also take into consideration production costs, especially if you are a first-time advertiser.
Not sure where to begin? Contact Media Venue and let us help you. We support clients across the country with traditional and digital media campaigns including outdoor advertising. In addition, we can use your product and market area to determine the perfect board for you! We can also work with you on creative, timeline, and the other key components of an outdoor campaign. Enhance your marketing investment with Media Venue!
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About Our Blogger
Carolyn Drury’s vast experience in media buying has exposed her to a wide array of clients in both size and scope. Her background in national, regional, and local media buying lends itself well to curating a full scope of traditional marketing on campaigns of any size. As she continues to provide the top analytical and researched information for her clients, her insights of media planning, negotiation, and buying take her campaigns to the next level and create true branding success for her clients.