Outdoor Advertising: What Are the Different Types?

Out-of-home or outdoor advertising (often abbreviated as OOH) consists of any visual marketing that you do outside of people’s homes. This typically takes the form of billboards and signs but there are many different forms of OOH that your company can use to improve your marketing campaign’s return on investment and how much exposure you’re getting.

This is a short guide to the different types of outdoor advertising and how to use them to improve the profitability of your company’s marketing campaigns.


Your customers are probably in transit all the time, either on the road, in taxicabs, on trains, in subways, or even on airplane flights. All of these places offer you opportunities to place your business in their line of sight.

Dedicated advertising in bus stations, subways, and airports has been proven to get a ton of exposure and ROI, also known as return on investment. The reason is that people don’t feel as though their personal space is invaded, as they might with a pop-up on their computer. As a billboard or bench sign, your ad is simply a part of their day.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to search for something on their phones that they see on a billboard than something that pops up on their computer.

Location-specific ads

The effectiveness of location or place-based advertisement depends on your area and who you intend your clientele to be. For some businesses, dedicated ads at arenas and stadiums, in resorts and health clubs, or even in restaurants can draw in customers that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

By placing your business in their line of sight at sporting events, shopping malls, or common meeting and recreational locations, you can make your company a part of many potential consumers’ everyday lives.

Digital billboards

Digital outdoor advertising is quickly becoming more popular. Flashy electronic billboards showcasing the latest movies or products are memorable and easy to transition to a search query on a phone when placed in a populated area.

This also applies to ads on the screen at the movie theater, where you have a captive audience absorbing your company’s products and goals.

Online integration

Digital marketing has hit a snag in recent years. With the rise of ad-blocking applications, more and more people are ignoring pop-ups on their computer or denying them access to their screens altogether. As a result, the ads that do get through are often seen as a nuisance and aren’t trusted by the potential customers that see them.

For fear of viruses, almost no one clicks on these ads anymore. This means that even if customers do see them, they won’t make the crucial step of actually visiting the site afterward.

To make the world of modern search engine technology work for your business, you need to be integrated with digital marketing, rather than dependent on it. This means giving your outdoor advertisements clear avenues to make use of search engines. Including keywords or even websites on outdoor marketing materials can convince people to make the crucial jump from seeing your ad out in the world to searching for your site on their phone.

The Takeaway

Outdoor advertising has many different types. Each has its advantages depending on the clientele that you want to attract. Location-specific advertising has been proven to create a greater return on investment when used in tandem with digital marketing than just using online ads alone.

By taking advantage of the different types of outdoor advertising, your marketing team can increase its ROI and function better in the modern advertising age.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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