Out of home (or OOH for short) advertising is advertising that reaches consumers while they are out of their homes. This can include billboards, bus stops, train station platforms, taxis and so on.
The great thing about out of home advertising is that it can’t be turned off; it’s always there. If you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work you are bound to notice that massive billboard beside the road. And whether you’re waiting for a bus or just walking past, you will always see the advertising on the side of the bus stop. In this way, OOH advertising can have a very powerful effect. It offers amazing reach; just think of how many people drive past that same billboard or bus stop every day.
OOH advertising can reach your ideal customer while they are travelling, commuting, shopping, waiting at a train station, drinking coffee in a cafe or even making their way through an airport to catch their flight. It is the fastest growing traditional medium in the UK, with billboard advertising being the highest. Unlike other forms of advertising which can be avoided, anyone who leaves their home will see out of home advertising at some point—it reaches everyone! Add to this the fact that we as a nation now spend up to 70% of our time out of home, and you have what could be the perfect advertising campaign for your brand.
Previously the time we spent outdoors was mostly spent getting from A to B but with mobile phones, 3G and now 4G, there is a massive opportunity for potential customers to interact with advertisers. You will often see OOH advertising displaying a QR code for people to scan, but also they will list Twitter handles, hashtags and Facebook profiles to encourage people to interact with them. And when you’re bored waiting for a train or killing time in a queue for a coffee, you’re more likely to do something like that – because there’s nothing better to do!
If your target audience is teenagers or twenty-somethings, it’s worth bearing in mind that this age group will often head to town with their friends just to look around the shops. Teens especially will spend a lot of time just hanging around, which is perfect for out of home advertising as while they’re walking around town aimlessly, they might see your ad several times in different locations.
OOH advertising is great for brand awareness; people walk or drive past the same billboards every day, and while it might not cause them to rush to a shop to buy your product immediately, it helps to keep your name at the forefront of their minds so that when they are looking to buy a product, your name pops up first. This also helps to build brand loyalty. Think of the iconic United Colors of Benneton ads of the 1980s; none of them showed the brand’s clothes, but they worked wonders in building brand awareness and loyalty among people who liked the advertisements.
OOH advertising is the last true broadcast advertising media. While it’s possible to create advertisements that people can scan or use to reach you on the internet, the advertising is still broadcast. It’s also the most public and universal. Whether consumers like it or not, they cannot avoid out of home advertising.