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These Are the Pros and Cons of the Various Outdoor Advertising Tools



Just because the world has shifted to being online, that doesn’t mean that the offline world no longer exists. That’s the funny thing about reality. It doesn’t care how many things you digitize, reality will always be here. And it’s not going anywhere, ever. We will always have physical bodies that need physical accommodations. We have to eat real food and drink real water. We have to put real clothes on our real bodies. Meta’s obsession with the metaverse is little more than a distraction at the moment. We need real stores at which to shop. And those stores need real advertising.


There is still a place in marketing for paper business cards, flyers, and pamphlets. It is not all apps and smartphones. Despite the pandemic, people still make assessments of who they are dealing with based on handshakes and polished dress shoes. It would be a massive error to forget about the world where printers and ink are still a going concern. You are going to need some form of outdoor advertising. It is just a matter of knowing the pros and cons of each kind. While there is no space to discuss everything on offer, here is some advice about the most important options

Transit Advertising

The world of Out of Home advertising is vast. It helps to start by learning about some of the available OOH marketing options. Here is a short list:

  • Transit advertising
  • Billboard advertising
  • Mural advertising
  • Bulletins 

Transit advertising is great because it is a little bit of everything under a single umbrella. It’s the display ads for racking up impressions. And it is also informational because inside of buses and terminals, passengers have a lot of time to read and interact with ads. People often do what they can to escape advertising. But in places like waiting rooms, good advertising is interesting content. It is exactly the kind of distraction people enjoy when they are left with little else to do. The key is to be entertaining so that people gravitate to it voluntarily.

The downside is that travelers are not without other distractions these days. Cell phones do not only have their social media cued up and ready to go, they also carry traditional TV and movie entertainment. The people who can afford to buy what you are selling are highly distracted by their high-tech devices. The key is to provide some type of interaction such as a QR code for them to scan. It can be associated with a small discount or another perk. This type of advertising can be a gold mine if done right.


We see billboards more often on freeways as people are driving by quickly. But a billboard is in view of the driver for a surprisingly long time. This is especially true near rest stops and city limits where people are actively scanning the skies for literal signs of restrooms, snacks, and gas. 

It could be that memes and GIFs are the future of your brand. If so, billboards might be a great place to promote that brand. Thousands of people per hour will potentially see your meme and have an emotional response to it. The obvious downside is that display advertising is a slow and expensive way to build an audience. It is easier to gain a customer than to secure your brand. However, securing your brand will gain you many more customers over time. You want to do it alongside more direct marketing.

Location-Based Advertising

A bus bench is an example of location-based advertising. So is a mural painted on the side of a store. The idea is to get your advertising in front of everyone who passes by. It is hard to not see a wall-sized ad. The downside is locations are not static. They change over time. That bus bench might become so broken and vandalized that you wouldn’t want your business associated with it. You wouldn’t want your business associated with a store that gains a bad reputation, or that is in a high-crime area that drags your reputation down with it. 

Transit advertising, billboard advertising, and location-based advertising are all great options for the right person who understands their strengths and can minimize their weaknesses.