Ask someone to name a form of out of home media and they will likely mention billboards or digital signs. Billboards may come to mind first because they have been in use for such a long time. In America, billboards were first used in the 1830’s, but today there are many other types of out of home media. The OOH advertising industry has organized these different types of media into six categories: billboards, street furniture advertising (also referred to as street advertising), sports advertising, transit advertising, wallscapes, and alternative advertising. Each of these OOH media categories includes its own set of subcategories.
Billboards may have had all the glory in the past. They were big and often colorful with little other competition in the world of outdoor advertising. Lengthy, popular campaigns such as “Marlboro Man,” and the Wonderbra campaign with Eva Herzigova, were largely featured on billboards. However, with the massive technological advances that have been made in recent years, billboards have taken second place to new wonders.
Wallscapes and sports advertising may now be capturing the limelight with their shear size. Transit advertising in the shape of wrapped buses and other vehicles are also impressive sights. Advertising street signs are now modern, digital, sometimes interactive, and occasionally 3D. Kiosks, benches, trash bins, and transit shelters are all forms of street advertising signs, and are becoming increasingly more evident in our surroundings. It now seems that wherever, and on whatever, an advertisement can be placed in view of a steady stream of pedestrians or passing traffic, the OOH advertising industry will find a use for it.