Almost two centuries ago, in 1835, Jared Bell created the first ever outdoor poster. The 9×6 foot ad was for a circus show in New York, a well-suited client for a medium meant to attract attention.
Since then, out-of-home or outdoor advertising has been a staple of the industry. With so many forms and spaces to choose from, the creative possibilities are endless. Even the most traditional platform can make a huge impact if it is used in an interesting way. Moreover, outdoor advertising can fit all budgets.
Here are some of the most popular formats along with a few eye-catching examples.
Billboards – The classic out-of-home application. They can be seen along major highways, expressways or principal arterials; the most famous being Times Square, Sunset Boulevard and the San Francisco Skyway. The most noticeable billboards go beyond the traditionally flat posters and bulletins and incorporate their surroundings.
Street Teams – If you need to temporarily promote a product or event, street teams might be your best option. By interacting with bystanders, street teams can draw a lot of attention, especially when giving away promotional materials and free products.
Guerilla Marketing – By utilizing low-cost unconventional means, brands can successfully promote a product or an idea. The objective of guerrilla marketing is to create a unique, engaging and thought-provoking concept to generate buzz and possibly go viral.
Pranks – A combination of street teams and guerilla tactics, pranks focus on audience participation and grab attention in a fun (and sometimes terrifying) way. Although the immediate audience may be small, a good prank will garner massive press.
Wraps – Think of bus and car wraps as moving billboards. Clever advertisers exploit the shape and functionality of the vehicle to maximize creativity, as demonstrated in the example below.
Digital – Nowadays everything is digital. Why should outdoor advertising be any exception? It can be as simple as putting a QR code on a poster to as complicated as facial recognition technology.
Challenger Brands can take advantage of out-of-home advertising as long as they spend wisely on the right idea and placement. Even one billboard can make a huge impact, so get out there and make Jared proud!