Despite being one of the oldest forms of advertising, outdoor advertising is one of the most effective channels for publicizing brands and products. One factor that has majorly contributed to the effectiveness of this channel is the fact that it has a wide reach and maximized exposure over an extended period of time as compared to other forms of advertising i.e. traditional media. The fact that outdoor advertising cannot be turned off guarantees both reach and exposure to advertising brands.

The effectiveness of outdoor advertising can be attributed to a number of aspects starting with the creative freedom offered by outdoor advertising. For an outdoor advert to be noticed, it needs to have elements that are out of the ordinary and extremely creative grabbing the attention of the audiences whilst delivering a brand message in the shortest time possible. This has led to brands going all out in their creative executions displaying adverts that are not only on brand but extremely memorable too sparking curiosity while at the same time increasing brand awareness, consideration and ultimately sales/revenue. This creative freedom has also allowed brands the opportunity to tailor made different adverts for different audience segments making this a personalized experience for the consumers. Guerilla advertising has experienced a growth in popularity as a result of this aspect.

Outdoor advertising is one of the most cost effective forms of advertising yielding a high return on investment for any brand that uses it to achieve marketing objectives. The reach to a wide audience base as well as repeated exposure to brand messaging, in comparison to online adverts and those running on traditional media, makes outdoor advertising a highly effective and impactful channel at relatively low costs. Outdoor advertising offers an opportunity for brands to tap into an already existent audience within a specific location. This does away with the cost incurred when researching on audiences and how best to reach them as well as other costs such as those of internet access.

Research shows that in most cases, outdoor advertising plays a key role in impacting audiences to actually make a purchase. Take for instance mall branding, a consumer walks into a shopping complex that houses both eateries and retail stores. The consumer came to the mall for a specific item from one of the retail stores but on seeing an advert to an eatery she’s been meaning to try out; she is convinced to pop in and give it a try once and for all because why not? It is actually within the same premises as the retail store she was visiting and this satisfies a need she had. Seeing the advert in the right place at the right time gave her the final push she needed to make a purchase. This also bears witness to the importance of carefully considering where outdoor adverts are placed. The nearer they are in proximity to a point of sale, the higher the chance of conversion and return on investment. One could be tempted to say that outdoor advertising encourages impulse buying; I do not dispute this sentiment.

Over time, outdoor advertising has proven to be a great support for adverts running on other channels. A print advert will make more sense once a consumer hears it on radio; a radio advert becomes more interesting once the consumer sees it on TV; a television advert is suddenly quite catchy and interesting on a billboard (or any outdoor advertising channel). The synergy in these adverts on the different channels guarantee higher consideration in the consumers’ mind and ultimately leads to sales. Just as mentioned earlier, outdoor adverts in most cases are that final push that a consumer needs before making a purchase.

Increased efficiency, effectiveness and numerous benefits offered by this form of advertising has led to an increase in uptake by brands as well as the diversification of outdoor advertising solutions offered worldwide.