Outdoor Marketing: How to get your message across

Outdoor advertising is a highly effective way to promote a product or service and influence potential customers. It allows advertisers to take advantage of extended engagement with audiences in ways other mediums simply cannot match.

As the majority of us own a mobile device, it provides people with the ability to act instantly on advertising messages that they see be it by visiting the company’s website or interacting with the brand on social media. This makes outdoor advertising more relevant and meaningful now than it has ever been, putting marketers in a position of real strength in the media and marketing landscape.

So what are the benefits of using outdoor marketing?



Outdoor marketing can be done in a range of places and platforms. Adverts can be on phone boxes, on the side of buildings, at train stations, bus stops, as well as on public transport. Essentially it allows you to advertise where people are going to be meaning that you are guaranteed an audience.

Railways for instance have 1.68 billion passengers a year, providing businesses with  massive potential target audience. With 2.5 million people using trains to commute to work everyday, this makes noticeable and engaging adverts a great way to try and influence and interact with people.

Buses are also a prime opportunity to advertise to 5.2 billion passengers per year, with 6.5 million of daily bus journeys covering 86% of the top urban areas. According to the Department for Transport, in the past 24 hours more people have seen bus advertising than visited a social networking site.

A particular advantage of using advertisements on transport is that people tend to find it a welcome distraction. Millions of people everyday may look at adverts to pass the time whilst commuting. For instance according to Transport for London, on the London Underground (which serves 1.3 billion passengers a year), commuters on average have a three minute dwell time when waiting on a platform, and spend 13 minutes absorbing adverts inside the tube carriages.


Always on

An advantage of outdoor advertising is that it is always on. These adverts are there to see 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning that brands are able to achieve  constant exposure. Exposure to outdoor advertising feels less invasive than other forms of advertising such as internet pop up adverts and television adverts which can feel more of an inconvenience and a nuisance. For instance 27% of rail passengers are likely to say that internet adverts annoys them, according to an Office of Rail and Road, TGI and National Rail Passenger Survey.



Often these outdoor adverts tend to rather large, meaning they are much more noticeable maximising their potential to be seen by potential customers. This makes it incredibly important to make an advert creative and expressive to ensure it attracts the attention of passers by. In today’s always-on society, consumers are confronted with an overload of information. It is essential then that businesses help consumers make sense of this chaotic landscape by using simplified messages and streamlined experiences.

In 2007, creative software giant Adobe created an interactive mural installation to launch Adobe CS3. The mural used sophisticated programming and tracking hardware to track people’s movements past the mural and translate it into an animated mixed-media show which mirrors the creative capability of the software it was advertising.


Target audiences

Outdoor advertising doesn’t just engage audiences, it engages the right audiences! In shopping areas, posters and billboards are a great place to advertise retail products. These adverts are often a last window of influence for shoppers. According to an Outdoor Media Centre survey, 92% of shoppers say they had been exposed to an outdoor advert 30 minutes before purchasing. Compare this to 4% doing so after reading a newspaper, and 36% after hearing an advert on radio (which is the second highest surveyed media advertiser), this really puts into perspective how hugely influential using outdoor advertising can be.

Where you place an outdoor advert can also be very effective in reaching a target audience based on factors such as age, wealth and needs. Adverts placed in ‘upmarket’ areas of town, where people are more likely to have more disposable income, are a great place to advertise more high-end products and services. Another example is how two in three rail passengers are aged 18-34, meaning trains are a great opportunity to advertise products/services aimed at consumers in that age bracket.


Cost Effective

People worry that spending money on outdoor advertising is expensive and a waste of money. However, according to the Outdoor Media Association, the return on investment in outdoor advertising is high, and there is a correlation between a high budget and return on investment. The ability to visually influence people and educated them about your product or service helps improve sales.


Here at r//evolution, we’ve helped our clients secure outdoor advertising slots across the region - it’s always great to see one of our adverts over the central motorway in Newcastle on our morning commute or while we’re shopping on Northumberland Street - we’ve even had our faces plastered on the back of buses for a media campaign!

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you attract and engage consumers with creative outdoor advertising - get in touch with our design experts who will be only too happy to help.

Get in touch

Tags: r//evolution

Posted by Beccy Gregory
on May 8, 2017