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guide to out of home advertising OOH
May 23, 2023

The ultimate guide to OOH advertising

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Author Niyathi Rao

The typical consumer sees ads outside – signs on storefronts, cab toppers, bus shelters – the list is endless. While advertisers focus on targeting online audiences who spend time on their digital devices, it is important to also keep physical advertising campaigns in mind. With the benefits of technology, traditional outdoor advertising has transformed to offer more features in line with modern marketing strategies, and it is a mistake to ignore the channel. 

OOH (short for out-of-home) is a vital tool for businesses to communicate their message effectively. Whether a small startup or a large corporation, OOH can help reach the right people at the right place and time. OOH is more powerful and effective than ever before, thanks to digital out-of-home and location intelligence.  Thus, out-of-home advertising is another powerful tool to get your message in front of the right people and have a lasting impact. With the right approach, it can be a valuable part of any brand’s digital advertising journey. 

This guide helps explain what OOH advertising is, its types, how it works, and how to implement it. 

What is out-of-home (OOH) advertising?

Out-of-home advertising or OOH advertising is a form of advertising targeted at consumers outside their homes. Any ad that is not on mobile from park benches, billboards, or signage is some type of OOH ad. It could be signage at a bus shelter, a poster in a public space, or a digital display in an airport or subway. This out-of-home advertising allows brands to reach target customers with minimal effort. 

Types of OOH advertising examples

Some types of OOH advertising include buses and other street-level public transit, metro or subways, airports, billboards, posters, taxis, street signage, furniture, transit shelters, digital wall scapes, kiosks, POS displays, and (though not as common these days) telephone boxes. There are many types of out-of-home advertising that you can use to promote your business.

Billboard advertising is one of the most popular and effective forms. OOH billboards are potentially seen by thousands of people every day who are driving or walking in high-traffic areas where they appear.

Public transit stations, bus shelters, benches, or other forms of transit advertising also provide an opportunity for businesses to advertise their message to a large audience. The type of audience differs based on the location (such as subway advertising (everyday commuters) and airport advertising(targeting business travelers, for example). 

One can even make use of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising such as location intelligence mapping and augmented reality experiences. These forms allow you to reach a larger audience and create an immersive experience for your customers. With digital OOH advertising, you can even target specific audiences with tailored messages that will help increase brand recognition and customer loyalty. Some campaigns can change material on the fly depending on outside circumstances (such as the weather, time of day, local news, etc). 

Reasons why out-of-home advertising is effective 

The primary purpose of OOH advertising is to amplify brand awareness and encourage customers to take action. By providing an engaging message, businesses can draw attention to their products and services, prompting customers to make an online purchase or visit their website for more information or even visit a nearby physical location. Additionally, by tracking consumer behavior through powerful analytics tools, advertisers can gain valuable insights into their target market and improve the performance of campaigns accordingly.

Out-of-home advertising strategies are made up of ads consumers cannot simply skip, nor put their phone or device down, or turn off. When consumers wait at a traffic signal or for their train to arrive, they are a captive audience and have little choice but to engage with the advertisement in front of them. 

Another reason why OOH ads are effective is due to the increased time spent outside. Consumers are eager to spend time outside shopping, commuting, and traveling. This increases growth opportunities for out-of-home advertising. 

OOH advertising options are no longer old-school, for lack of a better term. They are digital, creative, and quirky; they’re based on the unique placement of each ad and the evolving needs of their respective audiences. Advertisers can also take advantage of digital programmatic options in their out-of-home advertising to make it that much more interesting. 

In areas of heavy traffic, OOH advertising or digital advertising makes it easy to send effective messaging through a cost-effective approach. Outdoor advertisements leave a creative impact on customers, especially in strategic locations. For example, a billboard about healthy restaurant options nearby could encourage the audience around surrounding health clubs and gyms to choose that venue for their next meal. 

Benefits of out-of-home advertising 

At a time when online advertising is seen as intrusive, OOH advertising can be viewed as more helpful in demonstrating value. Outdoor ad campaigns or digital advertisements can be a cost-effective method for high-profile exposure in areas of heavy traffic. Here are some of the advantages of OOH advertising. 


OOH advertising forms such as billboards and benches are often less expensive than CTV spots or large-scale campaigns. They can grab consumer attention easily. OOH marketing campaigns offer instant exposure to brands and also increase the average dwell time in areas of heavy traffic. Since it is a cost-effective approach, media buyers and planners are afforded more chances to increase the quantity of effective messaging on screens and billboards. 

Scope for creativity

OOH advertising allows for ambitious, creative ideas to be projected on the screen. Puns, stunning visuals, and other similar components can be used to deliver messages about the brand. From billboards to bus shelters, there is space for brands to have an impact with creative digital advertising. Instead of simple, static images, signage can include video messaging that resonates with audiences by saying more with action than ad copy. 

Quick impact

It is hard to miss, turn off, or eliminate ads on billboards. OOH advertising guarantees eyeballs as the consumer is captive, and has no choice but to process information seen in OOH ads. This advertising format also makes it possible to reach people without contact information (like their email addresses) or other data and ensures a creative impact. Billboard advertisements aslo have a greater impact in urban centers where shopping districts and malls and vehicular traffic are elevated. 

Building brand recall value 

With OOH advertising, there is a higher brand recall value. Consumers remember a brand easily and people process information clearly with its increased size and repetition. It is also possible to increase store visits, engage potential shoppers, and inform them about discounts or sales while they are near these destinations. 

Encouraging real-time purchases 

Billboards and transit ads encourage consumers to make quick decisions in real-time and encourage consumers to go and buy specific products based on this interaction and engagement. 


OOH attribution measurement and key metrics 

Out-of-home measurement and analytics provide invaluable insights into the performance of your campaigns. With OOH analytics, you can measure the reach, frequency, and effectiveness of your ads to ensure they are delivering maximum value. Additionally, by tracking consumer behavior and engagement with your OOH ads in real time, advertisers can gain valuable insights into their target audience and improve the performance of their campaigns accordingly.

Out-of-home attribution is how the success of each ad is measured. Tracking audience behavior is important to assess the scope for improvement or increased reach. OOH attribution reporting is based on some key metrics and performance indicators. 

Post-campaign analysis or OOH attribution is important. Data from multiple sources helps to understand and evaluate the campaign. Some of the key metrics involved in OOH measurement include: 

Footfall: Footfall defines the number of conversions made by tracking the number of consumers who viewed an ad online or in a physical store. 

Impressions: This is the number of total views an ad gets. Some viewers may see the same ad multiple times. 

Touchpoint conversions: This metric defines the customer’s journey. A billboard can help customers make a purchase immediately when they see it. Some customers may need more touchpoints like a digital ad before making a purchase. 

Digital out-of-home (DOOH)

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising is a powerful tool that allows businesses to reach the right target audience with tailored messages. This form of advertising takes OOH to the next level with location intelligence mapping and augmented reality experiences. With DOOH, businesses are able to capture attention with eye-catching visuals as well as provide interactive experiences that engage customers. In addition, businesses can use location intelligence mapping to better understand consumer behavior and create more effective campaigns. 

DOOH media is digital media that appears in public. For example – digital billboards, outdoor signage, and ad screens in malls, airports, roads, lobby rooms, and train stations. DOOH helps create grassroots awareness and delivers the messaging when the audience is offline. The expected DOOH market size is expected to be around US $49B by 2029. 

DOOH reduces complexity, increases campaign reach, and grows brand awareness. DOOH can also help increase footfall and overall in-store traffic. 

Programmatic DOOH allows for the automated buying and selling of digital signage, billboards, and screens. All decisions are data-driven and based on machine learning to target, place, deliver, or measure ads out of home. 

OOH advertising examples

Outdoor advertising is one of the oldest forms of mass media. It is the best way to reach someone who is walking down a street, waiting in a hospital, or commuting to work to name only a few specific examples. Digital ad placement in arenas, streets, bus shelters, and more allows for maximum brand exposure. 

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is a powerful tool for businesses to increase brand awareness and reach potential customers. Here are four examples of successful OOH campaigns that made an impact:

Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” 


This campaign involved placing digital signs near McDonald’s locations, prompting passersby to download the Burger King app and order a Whopper meal for only one cent. The creative campaign generated a lot of buzz, resulting in more than 1 million downloads of the app within two weeks.

Dove’s #BeautyIs 


Dove launched this street art project in Toronto to empower women around self-image issues. Street artists were asked to create murals featuring inspiring messages about beauty, which received widespread attention on social media platforms and increased visibility for Dove’s message that beauty comes from within.

 Bumble and Netflix


In 2023, Netflix partnered with Bumble to create a unique DOOH campaign. Bumble users could play an in-app game about their favorite Netflix shows. Based on the results, they could also find themselves on a date as well.  



KitKat’s phrase is so popular that one doesn’t need to think twice before saying it loud. In this OOH ad, they inserted a hammock in place of the word break. This encourages customers to think about the product and brand (and take a picture of anyone taking a break when they happen to see the display). 

These are all fantastic examples of how OOH advertising can be used to creatively engage audiences and promote products or messages in an effective way. By leveraging innovative strategies and tracking performance metrics, businesses can successfully reach their audience through a mix of DOOH and other digital marketing channels. Since many OOH ads are away from the digital screen, there is a lower chance of fatigue when a customer is looking. 

Final Thoughts 

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is an essential tool for businesses to increase their visibility and reach potential customers. To make the most out of OOH campaigns, businesses should consider using a mix of traditional and digital media to maximize success.