4 tips for designing engaging outdoor advertising in 2022


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Outdoor Advertising (OOH) allows brands to meet people where they are in the real world and push them to take action. Although down in number in the last year since so many Americans spent an unusually long time at home, OHO recovered quickly in 2021. Recent figures from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) revealed that outdoor advertising revenue rose 38% – or $ 1.75 billion – in the third quarter of this year compared to spending in 2020.

With OHO poised to continue growing, what’s the best way for brands to grab their audience’s attention and engage them effectively? It starts with being strategic and creative. Here’s how to do it in 2022:

1. Think beyond the billboard

Billboards may be the quintessential OOH format, but they’re just one part of the vast outdoor advertising inventory. Don’t feel like you have to limit your brand to advertising on billboards only when the possibilities of the medium are endless. Instead, consider using a wide range of outdoor ad formats to build brand awareness, share eye-catching calls to action, and get consumers to visit websites, apps, and storefronts.

In the traditional outdoor media catalog, you have street furniture, kiosks, transit wrappers, wall landscapes, and wild displays – to name a few. But lesser-known options should also be on your radar. Try to make your message fly by taking advantage of airships, sky writing and drones. Another way to get noticed, especially at events, is by showing your ads on the streets through digital mobile billboards. Or, spread your brand’s message on local waterways in the spring and summer with floating billboards.

2. Consider various points of contact

There is no such thing as a fact when it comes to OOH. Advertisers should use multiple types of display advertising in their target market to connect with consumers. Creating multiple touchpoints ensures that your audience will remember your brand. It also increases the likelihood that they will take action. The frequency and diversity of what they see is the key to making an impact.

Let’s say you’re looking to amplify event marketing, whether it’s a conference, concert, parade, or trade show. Your audience’s first point of contact for travel begins at the airport. You can then take advantage of taxi toppers, transit wraps, and mobile digital billboards to connect with attendees moving through the local market. Next up: localized advertising to engage visitors to events at restaurants, attractions, retail stores, etc. With OOH offering low costs, you can stretch your marketing budget by working in a mix of ad formats to connect with audiences at different points in their journey.

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3. Remember: design and strategy go hand in hand

The design process doesn’t start with illustrations; it starts with strategy. First, ask yourself: does the design match your purpose? Second, does the design make sense in the context it is placed? To be effective, OOH ads must focus on a specific goal or immediate action. So while you initially have a blank canvas to work with and endless creative opportunities, the direction needs to be clear. Would you like consumers to sign up for an app? If so, make sure that a clear call to action is posted prominently.

As for the context, think about how your post informs your media and vice versa. For example, a QR code might work well for a transit station or wild signage, but not a billboard next to a highway. OOH can fit perfectly into its surroundings, but creativity is what makes it effective or not. When it’s time to plan your design, keep your ads simple and easy to read. Go for eye-catching, contrasting colors, whether it’s on a billboard above or a wild display at eye level. And always consider your goals, contextual relevance, and target audience.

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4. Integrate calls to action and QR codes

Truly creative OOH ads engage audiences and inspire them to take action. One way to do this is to incorporate clear calls to action on highway and highway billboards, wallscapes, and other large-scale OOH formats. Make sure to include your website URL in your creative or create short, memorable custom URLs for campaign-specific landing pages (i.e. www.brand.com/sale or www.food.com/coupon).

For eye-level outdoor ad blocks, leverage QR codes to create multi-channel experiences that effectively drive customers to visit your brand’s website, app, social media accounts, and storefronts. Interactive QR code campaigns in digital and static street kiosks, bus shelters, city signs, point-of-sale signage and more, reach consumers on their way to purchase. With the flexibility of QR codes, you can create multiple landing pages with certain goals and actions in mind for specific placements and promotions.

OOH advertising lends itself to some of the most impactful creative ideas out there. Keep these tips in mind for launching eye-catching outdoor campaigns that engage your consumers and drive results for your brand.

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