As clients began to embrace alternative media more enthusiastically and social media became a key element to campaigns, out of home advertising revenue continued to climb in 2011 despite the disappointing economic developments that threw the recovery of many media categories off course. In 2012 out of home will keep up that steady growth as digital options receive increasing attention and political ads on television pushes advertisers toward other media. "I think the biggest  development in 2011 was actually the economy," says Dana Burleson, senior vice president at Wilkins Media Co. "I believe continued pressure on advertising budgets forced agencies to do a hard reevaluation of all media types, which allowed out-of-home to be looked at with fresh eyes. I think that efficiency had to be approached more creatively and OOH was a big beneficiary.  I also think that an increasing focus on low-cost 'buzz' allowed OOH to showcase one of its best attributes." ZenithOptimedia, the London-based media agency, predicts that ad revenue will be up 4.3 percent, after rising 5.5 percent in 2011. UBS senior analyst John Janedis pegs 2012 ad spending growth at 3.5 percent. PriceWaterHouse Coopers experts evaluate a 8% change in outdoor ad revenues from 2011 to 2012. OOH is clearly in better position than other media, including newspapers, magazines and direct mail, all of which will see spending slide in the coming year. Buyers say that the 2012 presidential election should give out of home a boost. When inventory is tight on TV and radio, OOH picks up advertisers who can't get onto a broadcast media schedule. Like other media, the real future of OOH lies in digital platforms, which are expanding rapidly. The number of digital billboards in the United States has grown to 2,400 this year, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. Digital networks in locations such as doctors' offices and restaurants are also growing quickly. Buyers say that in addition to looking for digital elements to add to campaigns, advertisers are becoming more opening to buzz-generating alternative media stunts such as the Jay-Z Decoded campaign. Finally, social media will become a necessary element for every out-of-home campaign this year, be it a billboard, a poster or an alternative media stunt.  "It is the single most efficient way to extend the scope and the life of an OOH campaign at little to no cost," Burleson says.   Reference: