DEFINITION:Campaigns that tend to capture the customer’s attention when they are outside their home, is known as OOH or Out of Home or Outdoor Advertising. Marketers buy ad spaces in busy traffic areas or commercial locations to display their brands. Mediums like billboards, drop downs, hoardings and poster wraps on vehicles helps them to reach out to thousands of customers at a time.
OOH advertisement made its first appearance in ancient Egypt. Egyptians started curving laws on stones in order to publicise them. Over the years it gradually developed into bill posters and has been evolving ever since.
Outdoor media includes various forms. Billboards and hoardings are the most widely used outdoor formats. As technology developed, marketers too started to make proper use of it. Billboards were eventually digitized and ushered in a new era of OOH marketing. Digital screens made it easier for marketers to promote numerous ads through one billboard at a time. The outdoor is an umbrella term. There are numerous other forms that marketers use to capture the attention of daily commuters. Here a list of few of the categories that advertisers generally use.
Static mediums like brochures, posters, wall paintings, mobile billboards and hoardings fall under this category.
Billboards and hoardings are nothing but huge static posters used to promote brand awareness and services. Marketers design beautiful and vibrant pictures with short catchy taglines and information that are hard to miss. These gigantic structures are generally placed on busy traffic areas with maximum visibility. Sometimes they are illuminated with lights so that they remain visible even in the dark. They create deep impact on the daily commuters.
Mobile Billboard is referred to the advertisements that are placed on the sides of vehicles that move around a certain fixed route. In many cases these trucks carry product samples for demos. In India marketers place large and illuminated hoardings on the sides of the trucks that move around the city capturing attention of people living and working in a specific demographic area.
This advertising medium is quite similar to the mobile billboards. Only in this case advertisements are displayed both in and outside the public vehicles like bus, tram, taxis, trains and subways. These vehicles have some niche audiences whom the marketers target. This form is comparatively cheaper but no less impactful. Transit advertising mainly increases brand awareness and brand visibility. Transit advertisement can be divided into two categories – indoor and outdoor. Big and small posters placed inside the vehicles are known as Indoor Transit Advertising. These adverts can either be in the form of posters and boards or video and audio forms played on digital screens. The outdoor form is where advertisements are wrapped around the outer surface of the vehicle. They are mostly in the form of posters and small boards, but some developed countries and states also use digital screens to display the ads.
Advertisements that are placed on bus shelters, mall kiosks, bollards, phone booths, street lamps, traffic light poles, benches or poster poles are typically known as street furniture advertising. Marketers identify the busy traffic areas and places the advertisements on an eye-level position so that they can easily capture the attention of the commuters and drivers. Street lamps, traffic light poles, benches, kiosks, bus stop shelters, unipoles, phone booths and bollards are referred to as street furniture. They serve as ad spaces for marketers. They use furniture to display their brands by buying spaces on them for a certain amount of time. These advertisements can be both digital and static and are placed at busy traffic areas.
Walls that surround large buildings are also used as advertisement space. Boards and posters are put up on these walls to increase the brand visibility.
Imagine sitting at the airport waiting for the boarding that will start some half an hour later and suddenly a very interesting commercial starts playing on the LED screen in front of you. That’s digital OOH for you.
Digital billboards or digital signages are LED screens used to display advertisements. These screens are set up by advertisers and location owners in various places like the airport, street sides, retail shops, gas stations, railway stations, stadiums, malls, kiosks, bus-stop shelters, restaurants. They also use unipoles and other street furniture on which they install these digital screens. These digital screens allow marketers to display multiple ads at a time. Changing the content is also easier when it comes to DOOH. Digital billboards are highly engaging and can easily attract crowds on the roads.
Marketers identify their niche audience. The locations of the campaigns are then selected accordingly. They can purchase screens for a specific time (maybe a couple of week or even a month) and reach out to thousands of potential customers while monitoring the entire campaign. At home people can avoid watching commercials by switching through channels. In fact, with the introduction of Netflix, HULU and Amazon, an ad-blocking option has been made available for the viewers. They can now easily block advertisements and watch their favourite shows without any interruption. But in the case of digital outdoor content, they do not have that option.
Digital OOH that started in 2005 has now become a 40% of the entire OOH industry. Nearly $16 billion is being spent on these digital screens around the world. Marketers mostly use video content to grab the eyeballs of the people who are otherwise busy scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Technology widened the horizons of innovation and marketers immediately joined the bandwagon with creative and engaging content to convey their brand message. New York’s Time Square is an amazing example of how glorious Digital Billboards can be. Countries like England, China and Japan too are investing heavily and successfully on DOOH.
Although India is still at a very basic stage of DOOH advertising, market researchers suggest that it will undergo rapid growth in the next five years. Nearly sixty thousand digital screens have been installed in cities around India. Marketers are trying in every possible way to capture customer attention with this considerably new medium. Digital billboards are also pretty cost effective since it is easier to change content on these digital screens. This feature saves a lot of time and money to the investors.
Although in India digital billboards are a considerably new medium. It hasn’t flourished here as much as it did in the American or European countries yet. But marketing experts are extremely optimistic about its growth. Digital screen are being installed in different stated across the country. More space will be created in airports and subways for marketing through digital billboards in the next five years. In fact the Indian Government too have taken measures for the development of DOOH in India.
Researches show that people spend 70% of their time outside their houses. In fact majority make their purchase decision when they are outside, commuting to their work or simply shopping in some commercial area. OOH, although a conventional medium is still highly impactful since it possesses the power to reach out to thousands of customers at a time. The huge colourful structures of billboards and hoardings become a part of the environment and therefore, hard not to notice.
Social media has made a phenomenal change in marketing industry. Brands are investing billions of dollars to reach out to the netizens and why not! Since almost half of the planet’s population if caught in this new frenzy, the emergence of digital marketing was inevitable. But it had its fair share of disadvantages too. And that is precisely the reason why Outdoor remains a relevant marketing strategy till today,
By 2024 OOH advertising is estimated to have a market size of $55.9 billion (according to a report by IMARC). By the time the market will grow at a CAGR of 4.9%. In India the growing infrastructure will also help the Outdoor market to grow with considerable ease. The Indian government’s recent allowance to install digital screens across the country is like a cherry on the cake.
What began as stone obelisks have now become gigantic television screens that have the intelligence of real time interaction with the onlookers. The world maybe plagued by the social media phenomenon but OOH never stopped playing a crucial role in the marketing industry. With the digital update, out of home advertising has become even more impactful. If the right locations are identified, outdoor media can bring immense success to the brands and the marketers.