Markets like the OOH media advertising sector are poised for major growth. Globally, digital OOH advertising hit $14.8 billion in 2021 but is expected to take off in the coming years. By 2027, it’s estimated this figure will reach $33 billion. Why is this? The benefits of OOH advertising are undeniable. 

Out-of-home marketing is a wise investment — it’s the perfect way to connect your brand with your desired audiences where they live, work, and play. 

With seemingly limitless opportunities to explore out-of-home (OOH) channels, this medium may be daunting at first for some advertisers. However, it’s a channel that’s worth exploring, thanks to the potential for advertisers to leverage unique formats and creative messaging to grab the attention of their audiences. Successfully navigating these unique, creative formats allows advertisers to grab the attention while they’re “on the go.” 

When properly executed as part of a Smart Media strategy, OOH advertising can have a tremendous impact on future campaigns and expand the ways consumers engage with your brand. 

What Is Out of Home Media?

The name “Out of Home Media” may be fairly self-explanatory; it’s simply everything consumers see when they are outside of their own homes. However, it’s important to get a full understanding of what OOH media really means to grasp the full scope and impact this channel can offer.

Today, the OOH medium presents all kinds of new technologies, formats, and storytelling methods for brands looking to share their messaging. With new digital tools, lighting, materials, innovative practices, and audience ratings systems for analysis, OOH media has taken on a whole new meaning. 

According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), “OOH reaches consumers no matter what their media consumption habits are. It goes where most other media can’t go to surround and immerse consumers out of home, where they spend 70% of their waking hours.” It can be a blank canvas that brands can use to connect with consumers everywhere they go. 

What’s more, OOH media can take on a number of roles. This media can take nearly any form, and be located anywhere, at any time. This means:

  • Any kind of platform, including billboards, kiosks, bus wraps, and more
  • Any location, including city streets, highways, airports, malls, and other high-traffic areas
  • Any time, including early mornings and late evenings, since OOH media is always on display

For example, static outdoor billboards deliver:

  • Constant 24/7 communication with consumers on their commute
  • The ability to reach every demographic simultaneously—or target a specific audience
  • A large format with an eye-catching and lasting impression of your product or service
  • Increased frequency of consumer exposure, with drivers getting multiple brand impressions over multiple days
  • Increased effectiveness of other media buys such as television, radio, or digital ads because of expanded brand awareness
  • An undeniable “Wow Factor” that’s customizable with extensions, inflatables, and other embellishments

If you are an advertiser interested in investing your media dollars into an exciting, highly creative OOH campaign, here are 9 OOH benefits to consider:

1. Build and Expand Top-of-Mind Awareness

No matter when, where, and how audiences consume their media, OOH advertising has the potential to reach almost everyone. Unlike other formats and media channels that compete for attention, OOH media is practically unavoidable. After all, consumers see media everywhere and interact with it almost constantly. In fact, the average consumer spends a weekly average of 19.6 hours surrounded by outdoor advertising, according to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

From bus wraps to posters, OOH creates the “illusion of discovery.” Brand messaging seamlessly becomes integrated into everyday activities and remains at the forefront of consumer minds through numerous touchpoints. 

Brands can combine a high frequency of placements with memorable, creative, and clear messaging to create a positive impact, generate strong recall, and resonate with their target audience.

Outdoor advertising is the leading awareness medium today. Even the rise of ad blockers, connected TV, streaming platforms, and policies like Apple’s new privacy measures cannot stop this outdoor platform from reaching the right audiences.

2. Use a Channel with High Favorability Among Consumers

Many consumers enjoy watching, listening, and digesting their favorite content without interruption. As it stands, The Trade Desk reported that 57% of consumers shared that they would “tolerate some ads” when watching or listening to their favorite show or song. However, these same consumers stated that if there were too many ads, they would definitely take their viewership elsewhere. The takeaway? Consumers only have limited tolerance for ads.

OOH advertising is certainly preferable compared to pop-up ads, which seem to be universally unpopular. In April 2021, Statista reported that 58% of consumers stated that pop-up ads that “negatively impact user experiences” were the most frustrating kind of digital ad.

OOH can play a key role in boosting brand favorability—simply because it’s one of the least intrusive forms of advertising. While the reach of OOH media is widespread, it’s not an interruption. Facts and figures compiled by the OAAA reveal that print and outdoor advertising are tied at 55% for consumer favorability among U.S. adults, while TV loses just some of these consumers with 49% favorability.

OOH media is favorable for two reasons:

  • Its emphasis on high-quality, visual branding
  • The fact that it’s less intrusive compared to other media

Because it has such potential to connect with a wide audience in such an unobtrusive way, sharing your latest ad campaign via OOH channels is a smart move. 

3. Leverage a Channel That’s Rapidly Growing Compared to Other Media

Some very popular advertising channels are shifting, evolving, and becoming increasingly fragmented. Take for example television commercials. Yes, there were multiple channels and networks to choose from, but there were fewer outlets for advertising. The problem? The cable industry loses 14,000 customers every day. While many of these consumers are making the switch to online streaming and connected TV, it’s harder to “catch” them where they are. Are they switching to ad-free Netflix? Are they streaming via Hulu or Amazon Prime?

While certain channels of media are becoming more fragmented—making it harder for marketers to reach the masses—outdoor ads remain constant. 

MAGNA confirmed that the OOH growth rate in 2019 was 6.3% compared to other forms of traditional media, many of which had negative growth rates. 

4. Become a True Offline “Influencer”

Step aside, Instagram — OOH media is the truly superior offline platform for influencing consumer behavior. While channels like Instagram ads and influencer marketing are making waves online, one of the strongest offline influencers available to brands today is OOH media.

For example, when consumers are in “drive time,” or going about their morning commute via public transit, advertisers can easily grasp attention while their minds are wandering or when their eyes are on the road. This provides an exclusive opportunity for persuasion not found through other media channels. 

The Nielsen 2019 Out Of Home Study revealed that of the consumers exposed to OOH:

  • 66% took action by using a mobile device
  • 42% used online search to find the advertiser
  • 33% accessed a coupon or discount code

The same study also confirmed that OOH led to significantly increased in-store traffic. 20% of OOH viewers visited a store immediately after viewing an ad; 74% of those visitors made a purchase.

5. Create an ROI Ripple Effect

Outdoor advertising alone has an impressive average ROI of $5.97, according to a 2019 Benchmarketing report. This would be enough to sway many brands to implement an OOH media strategy. But brands can eke out even better returns on their investment when they partner OOH channels with other media. OOH combined with other media is highly successful in boosting ROI across other media—specifically digital search and print.

OOH campaigns boost brand awareness and sales growth, which are driving factors in this ROI ripple effect. For instance, digital search ROI increases after users are directed to visit the brand’s website for more information. Direct response CTAs on billboards, bus wraps, and more encourage users to visit other platforms and increase engagement with branded content.

6. Make the Most of Improved Attribution Capabilities

Monitoring outdoor attribution has become easier than ever. Since 95% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone, many brands are opting to use OOH media to drive consumers to pick up their phones and take action—which means advertisers can see, in real-time, how their campaigns are performing. 

By connecting OOH media to other channels with an offline-to-online strategy, advertisers can track mobile IDs and locations, and accurately monitor KPIs including impressions, store visitation rates, and analyze behavior patterns. 

For example, RaceTrac partnered with MBI’s media strategists to launch an OOH campaign while running an attribution study to monitor campaign performance. The results?

  • They experienced a 244% lift in visitation among those who saw the billboards
  • They tracked that 60% of consumers visited a RaceTrac within two days of initial ad exposure
  • They discovered that 26% were more likely to visit multiple times within a 7-day window

Many OOH vendors, such as Lamar and Clear Channel, will partner with attribution vendors to provide accurate KPIs that ultimately inform future decisions for brands and media strategists. The use of augmented reality (AR)—and other forms of emerging tech—combined with digital OOH formats is another direct way to effectively measure campaign performance.

7. Offer Chances for Creative Customization

An experienced creative agency knowledgeable in both traditional and digital OOH channels will be able to offer countless opportunities for brands looking to stand out among the competition. Digital outdoor formats specifically provide unparalleled customization and relevance. 

Take for example the Ad Council’s #OutThereForUs campaign, which provided valuable advertising space during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign displayed messages of thanks to essential workers like healthcare workers, grocery store employees, delivery drivers, first responders, sanitation workers, and more. 

The Ad Council invited Americans to share messages of gratitude on their favorite social platforms using the #OutThereForUs hashtag, and these messages were shared in digital OOH (DOOH) ad space strategic locations: Outside grocery stores and hospitals, in major cities, and in other locations where these essential workers would be sure to see them. 

Digital out of home billboards in particular deliver:

  • Instantaneous full market reach with frequent messaging
  • Update messaging in real-time
  • Time-sensitive communication
  • Prime locations
  • Limited production cost
  • Multiple brand messages offer the option to rotate various products and services
  • Messaging specific to a time of day, like morning and evening commutes
  • Update ease, with the power to change your ad with no additional production cost
  • The option to run your DOOH ad like an RSS feed with dynamic messaging, date, time, and temperature, plus the latest news, sports, weather forecast

These kinds of creative strategies provide advertisers with the ability to optimize the ad messaging or creative in real-time based on consumer needs relative to the time of day, weather, proximity, and consumer-generated content. If you’re looking for creative inspiration, visit the OAAA’s Creative Best Practices Guidelines.

8. Enjoy Amplified Exposure When Integrated with Other Formats

Much like the ROI ripple effect, any OOH in combination with other media leads to powerful amplification across consumer reach and engagement. With an OOH strategy, buyers can effectively and efficiently add to an existing media plan or drive awareness to an online campaign.

According to a study by MRI/Simmons, an OOH mixed-media strategy can boost reach on other media by more than 90%. Additionally, OOH media is proven to drive engagement with digital and video by 100%. An integrated media strategy allows your brand to cover more ground and develop messaging that resonates with the consumer at the right place and time.

By implementing a multi-media channel approach, our campaigns yield higher ROI compared to placing OOH media alone. 

9. Market Globally…Execute Locally

How does OOH help you to craft your messaging, allowing your product to best connect with local consumers?

OOH marketing offers the chance for hyperlocal marketing. OOH gives advertisers the chance to master local adaptation. Out-of-home marketing is the perfect place to plan global campaigns and execute them on a much more local level with personalization that gives customers the impression that even the biggest brands are part of their community. 

National retail and brands are localizing—and fast. Out-of-home marketing offers broad, nationwide name recognition along with a hometown community feel. OOH allows for tailored messaging to each geographic audience, while still maintaining global brand standards.

MBI OOH Advertising: The Hard-Working, 24/7 Medium

Billboards. Aerials. Street furniture. Transit signage. Planes, trains, and automobiles. These are just a handful of available touchpoints to share your next ad campaign with a broader audience while they are out and about. MBI will help you access a national inventory of OOH channels that are focused on local execution. 

With so much happening in the world of OOH media in the next few years, our team at MBI wants to help you maximize your outdoor impact, connect with your target audience in fresh, engaging, and inspiring ways, share your brand story with the world, and achieve your media goals. We won’t just help you make the most of your media dollars, we’ll make the process simple and easy. 

Amplify your brand. Go big! If you’re looking for OOH experts to fully streamline the process and maximize your media budget, then connect with an MBI media strategist today!