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Definition and context

Street Furniture, Transport Advertising and Billboard are the three main areas in Outdoor Advertising. For several years Outdoor Advertising has outperformed the wider advertising market.

Three main sectors

Outdoor advertising consists of three principal segments: advertising on Street Furniture ("Street Furniture"), advertising on and in public transportation vehicles, stations and airports ("Transport") and advertising on billboards ("Billboard"). Other outdoor advertising activities, such as advertising on shopping trolleys or in gas stations, are grouped together as "Ambient Media".

Billboard is the most traditional and continues to be the most utilized form of outdoor advertising. The most recently developed is advertising on Street Furniture: bus shelters, free-standing information panels (2m2 MUPI®), large-format advertising panels (Senior® 8m2) and multi-service columns.

Outdoor Advertising’s place in the advertising market

In 2014, outdoor advertising spending worldwide was approximately $34.8 billion, or 6.8% of worldwide advertising spending, which was estimated at $513 billion (source: ZenithOptimedia estimates, December 2014). This average market share results from variations in penetration rate in different countries.

An increasingly relevant communication channel

In recent years there has been a major shift in the media landscape occasioned by the growing ubiquity of digital platforms and devices. This has led to people using the digital platforms to use media in entirely new ways. This structural change has for most major traditional forms of display media caused a decline or a fracturing of audiences. For press this has mostly caused a strong readership decline. In the case of television, although audiences have not always declined overall, the new digital platforms have increased choice. The balance of audiences for the mass delivery options has swung towards target groups less desirable to advertisers. Conversely, the audience to out of home is structurally increasing as the world’s population becomes increasingly urban in nature.

Additionally, digital technology has contributed to outdoor advertising becoming a more relevant and flexible communications channel than before, while retaining its broad reach of the population. The nature of outdoor advertising also means that it fits well into the changing patterns of consumer interaction with advertisers’ messages. Unlike most major media the growing audience means that this relevance and interaction comes at a low cost per contact. The outdoor industry has also invested in meaningful tools of accountability with respect to audience and return on investment. This has generated interest in tools from advertisers and their advertising agencies allowing them to quantify the contribution of the medium. In a new socially connected world, outdoor emerges as the last mass medium best positioned to work in collaboration with an increasingly urban, mobile and digitally enabled audience. 2013 was a pivotal year in the development of new interactions between a burgeoning mobile marketing sector and outdoor advertising vehicles.

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