Myths and Misconceptions About Out-of-Home Advertising 

Blank OOH Billboard

In truth, out of home advertising gets a somewhat downbeaten rap. But don’t believe the hype. Out-of-home advertising (or “OOH advertising,” as it is sometimes called), is changing with the times. Like other forms of marketing, it is evolving to meet the current needs of current consumers. 

So, don’t be fooled by traditional lines of thought. OOH is here to stay and can potentially do wonders for your business. The key is to understand its potential and to free yourself from its misconceptions. 

In this article, we’ll define what OOH is for modern audiences. We’ll also dispel some of the more common myths about out-of-home advertising. This way, you can decide for yourself if OOH is right for your business. 

What is Out of Home Advertising? 

As the name implies, OOH is advertising that a target audience can see outside of their home. Unlike traditional advertising, which requires an ad buy on television or radio, OOH is a physical ad placement. It can take many forms, including:

  • Roadside billboards 
  • Transit placements 
  • Placements on street furniture such as city benches, bus shelters, and other permanent structures 
  • Banners in airports, malls, and other communal spaces 
  • Point of sale displays 
  • And more. 

Common Misconceptions About Outdoor Advertising 

Misconception 1: It’s Old-Fashioned 

When you think of the great American road trip, you probably imagine a roadside billboard for something like, “Grannie’s Pies – 25 miles”. 

Sure, this type of traditional OOH billboard ad has been around since the dawn of the automobile. But it’s hardly the only kind of billboard that exists today. 

In truth, lots of modern businesses use billboards to advertise more than just their mere existence. And many capitalize on the throngs of would-be customers who take the impression. Consider the impact of these two scenarios:

  1. A business that has placed just a single billboard on the roadside of a major interstate. 
  2. A business that has placed multiple billboards promoting the same campaign around a city. 

With scenario one, all bets hang on that one ad’s placement and effectiveness. If a consumer passes it and doesn’t take notice, the ad buy has potentially failed. 

Contrast that with the more modern approach to billboard campaigning in scenario two. This is a case in which different billboards in a targeted area work together. Differing taglines, models, calls-to-action, and more can be deployed. 

In either case, the total impressions may be smaller, but the potential for engagement is larger. With a modern billboard strategy, consumers can be delighted and your messaging can be made effective. Grannie’s Pies this is not. 

Misconception 2: It’s Just for Local Businesses 

As we mentioned above, lots of OOH ad buys get bought up by hyper-local businesses like law firms, restaurants, and radio stations. But this doesn’t mean they are the only kinds of businesses that can benefit from OOH. 

Consider how major tech giants have used OOH to staggering effect. Google, hardly one to need advertising, launched “Make the most of your summer” in London. This campaign deployed digital billboards meant to reflect the current weather and happenings around the area. 

The result was a stunning, city-wide campaign that did as much for Google as it did for the city’s residents. 

Misconception 3: It’s Not Effective 

It’s easy to misconstrue an OOH placement as something to ignore. But consider this: Gen-Z and Millennials often actively take steps to block digital ad content. In turn, many of these same generational members actually prefer out of home advertising like billboards and posters. 

So, while digital placements might benefit from the immediacy of a click, so what? All that is lost when customers outright decry it as an ad method. 

Misconception 4: It’s a Shrinking Market 

You may be surprised to learn not only is OOH not dying, but it’s actually growing. By 10% year-over-year, specifically, when you consider out of home advertising statistics. 

Misconception 5: It’s a Limited Medium 

While yes, a static billboard comes with the limitation of having to be everything to everyone, that is but one kind of OOH ad. These days, digital has taken over the OOH space, with dynamic, easily changeable ads. These benefit from more modern technology and campaign tools. Consider the Google campaign we mentioned above as an example of this. 

And there are countless others:

  • In-taxi and rideshare ad screens 
  • Point of sale screen placements 
  • 3-D billboards 
  • And much more. 

Truly, out-of-home advertising is as broadly possible as it gets. And out of home advertising companies are smart to capitalize on it. 

Launch Your OOH Campaign 

At AllOver Media, we are equipped to launch your OOH campaign right. We love partnering with clients to devise concepts that delight and campaigns that work. See how AllOver Media can help