Out of Home (OOH): Meaning, Types of OOH, Factors Affecting OOH Planning Decision, Advantages and Limitations

18th November 2021 1 By indiafreenotes

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced outside of the home. This includes billboards, wallscapes, and posters seen while “on the go;” it also includes place-based media seen in places such as convenience stores, medical centers, salons, and other brick-and-mortar venues.

OOH advertising formats fall into four main categories: billboards, street furniture, transit, and alternative.

The OOH advertising industry in the United States includes more than 2,100 operators in 50 states representing the major out of home format categories. These OOH media companies range from public, multinational media corporations to small, independent, family-owned businesses.

Digital out-of-home

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) refers to dynamic media distributed across place-based networks in venues including, but not limited to: cafes, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, health clubs, colleges, arenas, gas stations, convenience stores, barber shops, airports and public spaces. PQ Media defines DOOH by two major platforms, digital place-based networks (DPN) and digital billboards & signage (DBB); DOOH networks typically feature independently addressable screens, kiosks, jukeboxes and/or jumbotrons. DOOH media benefits location owners and advertisers alike in being able to engage customers and/or audiences and extend the reach and effectiveness of marketing messages. It is also referred to as digital signage.

DOOH includes stand-alone screens, screens on buildings, kiosks, and interactive media found in public places. The availability of inexpensive LCD screens with built-in media players has opened the door for companies to add interactive video messages in point of purchase (POP) displays. The displays allow consumers to get additional information at the moment of decision on a product or service. Growth in the DOOH industry has been increasing in 2009, with more POP manufacturers, advertisers, and content developers moving to digital. Technological improvements are holding down costs, and low-cost digital signage is making it easier to reach consumers on a larger scale. For example, beacons are small devices placed on out-of-home advertising structures that use Bluetooth technology to connect with mobile devices.


Aerial advertising: Aerial advertising includes towing banners via a fixed-wing aircraft as well as airships like blimps and other airborne inflatables above beaches, events and gridlock traffic.

Billboard bicycle is a new type of mobile advertising in which a bike tows a billboard with an advertising message. This method is a cost-efficient, targeted, and environmentally-friendly form of advertising.

Brochure Distribution: Information displays in public gathering spaces such as transportation centers, lodging facilities, visitor centers, attractions, and retail environments are targeted methods to distribute effective messaging to a targeted audience. This method is slightly different from traditional OOH as the consumer self-selects the messaging material, and can take that message with them.

Billboard: Billboards (or Bulletins) are usually located in highly visible, heavy traffic areas such as expressways, primary arterials, and major intersections. In the US bulletins are usually illuminated. The ad artwork, commonly digitally printed on large vinyl-coated fabric membranes, is often “rotated” by the outdoor plant operator amongst several locations in a metropolitan area to achieve the desired reach of the population as defined in the sales contract. With extended periods of high visibility, billboard advertisements provide advertisers with significant impact on commuters. This is the largest standard out of home advertising format, usually measuring at 14ftx48ft in overall size. Vinyl decals allowing use of windows, on a side and rear advertisement for alcohol on a Berlin bus

Bus advertising: Firmly establish brand awareness and generate quick recall with high-profile exposure near point of purchase locations.

Commuter rail display: Reaches a captive audience of upscale suburban commuters. Additionally, reaches lunch-time patrons, shoppers and business professionals.

ComPark advertising: ComPark is a device used for car park advertising, which is placed onto the parallel lines of a bay and is able to gain instant exposure from motorists that have parked their vehicle. The ComPark also serves as a guide to assist motorist in adhering to the parking bay size.

Gas Station Pump Top Advertising: Printed Signage is inserted into sign holder frames above the Pumps. These are called Pump Top advertising and are generally eye-level height. Average dwell time for customers to refuel their vehicle is 3-5 minutes which make this form of advertising very effective to reach automobile drivers.

Inflatable billboard: Similar to regular 2D billboard, but imposed on 3D object. Best used to market physical products rather than services. A cost-effective approach that is able to achieve high brand awareness and increase product purchases.

Lamppost banner advertising: Lamp columns are sited everywhere, allowing advertisers and events to use banners to target precise geographical locations and create massive promotional awareness.

Mobile billboard: Mobile billboards offer a great degree of flexibility to advertisers. These advertisements can target specific routes, venue or events, or can be used to achieve market saturation. A special version is the inflatable billboard which can stand free nearly everywhere. This product can also be used for outdoor movie nights.

Poster: Target local audiences with these billboards, which are visible to vehicular traffic, and are ideal for the introduction of new products/services. Marketers use posters to achieve advertising objectives and increase brand awareness by placing multiple units in strategic locations while lowering the cost per thousand impressions. This is a standardized poster format, typically measuring 12’3″ x 24’6″; formally known as a 30-Sheet Poster.

Premier panel: Premiere panels combine the frequency and reach of a poster campaign with the creative impact of a bulletin.

Premier square: Bright top and bottom illumination on a premiere panel provide extra impact after dark.

Street advertising: The use of pavements and street furniture to create media space for brands to get their message onto the street in a cost-effective approach.

Taxi advertising: Taxi advertising allows advertisers to highlight their products, whether brand awareness, or a targeted message, directly to areas where people work, shop, and play.

Wallscape: Wallscapes are attached to buildings and are able to accommodate a wide variety of unusual shapes and sizes. These billboard advertisements are visible from a distance and provide impact in major metro areas.

Aircraft Advertising: Aircraft advertising includes product or service branding inside and outside the aircraft. This includes wrapping the aircraft with printed SAVs, baggage tag branding, boarding pass branding, tray table branding and more.

Walking Billboards: These billboards are strapped on to the human shoulder and are carried along the targeted geographic area. These billboard advertisements are also visible during night.[citation needed] It helps the local advertisers as it is very cost effective and can be geographically targeted to a particular area.

Other types of non-digital OOH advertising include airport displays, transit and bus-shelter displays, headrest displays, double-sided panels, junior posters and mall displays.

Factors Affecting OOH Planning Decision

  1. Plan a budget

Budget is the base of all your advertising plans, it can range from small to very large and is dependent on the type of marketing you want for your product. Making a proper budget plan for the advertisement helps you select the right media and locations you will be using for your outdoor advertisement.

  1. Know the target market

Identify your target consumer and start advertising from there. For example, if you are selling clothing for working women, start from those areas which have most of the offices of the city. Outdoor advertising companies will advise their clients about the geographical facts that can decide a successful marketing campaign. Advertising a product on a very large scale yet still unable to find an increasing demand in the consumer market? This is usually the result of neglecting to analyze where your target market is and missing the opportunity to best to communicate your message to the targeted, potential consumer.

  1. Collect information about your competitor’s strategies

Find out who your competition is, and who’s already advertising a similar product or service that may have the same appearance as your brand. Then research and analyze them to get useful information. What outdoor advertising strategies are they using? What kind of messages are they conveying? Are these messages precise or are they suggestive? What types of illustrations and visuals and are being used? Understanding your competitors will help you boost the effectiveness of your outdoor advertising campaign.

  1. Consider offering promotional incentives

Offers that announce discounts or prizes can be likely to get more attention. Examples include offering prizes for the first few customers, discounts for repeat customers, or cash-based referrals for referring a friend or neighbor. Always be cautious when using this technique though as not to “cheapen” your brand.


Outdoor advertising offers a number of advantages as depicted as under:

  • Frequency: Because purchase cycles are typically for 30-day periods, consumers are usually exposed a number of times, resulting in high levels of frequency.
  • Wide coverage of local markets: With proper replacement, a broad base of exposure is possible in local markets, with both day and night presence.
  • Geographic flexibility: Outdoor advertising can be placed along highways, near stores, or on mobile billboards, almost anywhere that law permits. Local, regional, or even national markets may be covered.
  • Ability to create awareness: Because of its impact (and the need for a simple message), outdoor can lead to a high level of last minute awareness and reminder of a product.
  • Creativity: Outdoor ads can be very creative. Large prints, colours, and other elements attract attention.
  • Efficiency: Outdoor usually has a very competitive cost per thousand measures when compared to other media.
  • Production capabilities: Modern technologies have reduced production time for an outdoor advertising to allow for rapid turnaround time.
  • Effectiveness: Outdoor advertising can often lead to increased sales, particularly when combined with a promotional program.


  • Limited message capabilities: Because of the speed with which most people pass by outdoor ads, exposure time is short, so messages are limited to a few words, and/or an illustration. Lengthy appeals are not likely to be effective.
  • Waste coverage: While it is possible to reach very specific audiences, in many cases the purchase of outdoor advertising results in a high degree of waste coverage. It is not likely that everyone driving past a billboard is part of the target market.
  • Wear out: Because of the high frequency of exposures, outdoor advertising may lead to a quick wear out. People are likely to get tired of seeing the same ad every day. Moreover, because of the severe weather conditions, the life of the outdoor banners and posters is generally very short.
  • Measurement problems: One of the more difficult problems of outdoor advertising lies in the accuracy of measuring reach, frequency, and other effects.
  • Cost: Because of the decreasing signage available and the higher cost associated with inflatable, outdoor advertising can be expensive in both an absolute and a relative sense.
  • Image problems: Outdoor advertising has suffered some image problems as well as some disregard among consumers. People do not consider this medium a very authentic and prestigious. So, most of the renowned companies do not use this medium for advertising their products.
  • Legal constraints: This medium also confronts lots of legal problems from time to time.