We’ve Entered the Out of Home (OOH) Advertising Renaissance

April 22, 2021

I’m finally starting to emerge from my COVID cocoon. Half-vaccinated and having completed every season of every television show ever, I’m slowly re-entering society. I’ve dined al fresco, attended outdoor yoga and cycling classes, and walked through museums capped at 30% capacity. Out in the world again, I’m seeing the city through a new light, including OOH advertising.

OOH Advertisers

I find myself looking around more — paying closer attention to the colors and sounds of nature, the wind in the trees, the beauty in the flowers. I stop to read signs on the community board in the park and actually talk to people face-to-face! In the infamous words of Kylie Jenner, 2021 is my “year of realizing stuff.” 
There’s even a new appreciation for the advertisements in my neighborhood. Many of these ads share messages of hope, even from the big, national brands. They serve as a reminder that everyone who looks up to read a billboard is united in their experiences of the last year. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising can expose brands to people beyond those who fit their original, niche demographic. As one of the OG advertising platforms, OOH’s current boom is due to both its simplicity and scale, but also its community-building and desire to explore again.

Traditionally, OOH advertising is where creativity shines.

It includes a bold visual or line, often printed large on a building or above a highway, meant to quickly attract our attention. In the past decade, advertising’s focus has shifted to smartphones and digital screens, with content targeted to specific audiences. But after a year locked in our homes with only our devices to keep us company, we want to put the screen down.  

OOH brings messages into shared public spaces, making context matter. A brand shows up, literally, on someone’s drive or during an event they’re attending. These real-world moments can build meaningful connections in light of the past year’s restrictions.

Marketing has long positioned OOH advertising as strictly an awareness and branding tool. Billboards became local landmarks, “take a left at the Eat Mor Chikin sign.” Today’s consumers are much smarter and well informed than they were 30 years ago. Therefore, merely repeating a message or logo isn’t a viable strategy for return on investment. In 2021, along with a great website design, Google SEO, and content creation, advertisers will need to incorporate technology and customer preference in their advertising.

Here are some trends we expect to see as part of the OOH advertising renaissance:

  • Multichannel integration: This ensures that the message delivered across all mediums is coherent and consistent with the brand’s image.
  • Digital billboards: Not only are these easier to move than traditional billboards, but multiple ads can run a single screen.
  • Storytelling: Using this strategy, brands create OOH ads that only tell a part of the story, which makes the audience wait for the next ad in the storyline.
  • New spaces and places: In addition to billboards, brands are advertising in airports, waiting areas, playgrounds, and even on blank walls.
  • Data science: Just like digital marketing technology, beacons, and radio beams can be used to analyze OOH interactions.
  • AI implementation: “Smart ads can predict the user profile of those who interacted with it through sensors, facial recognition software, and other AI features.

OOH Advertisers

If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. 7 Sales Tips Guaranteed to Uncover More Leads
  2. 3 Reasons Sellers Should Leverage Social Demographic Data for Prospecting
  3. Why Are There So Many CMO Shifts Right Now?

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