Guide to planning an outdoor ad campaign

The sky’s the limit when you take your advertising to the great outdoors.

Anywhere – When you think of outdoor advertising campaigns, billboards are probably the first thing that comes to mind. But while billboard advertising is a great way to get your message out, you should also take advantage of the numerous other types of out-of-home advertising that can pay off in big ways.

A well-planned outdoor campaign can:

  1. Inform consumers about products, services or events.
  2. Reinforce your brand with repeated exposure.
  3. Influence buying decisions in real-time.
  4. Provide a cost-effective advertising campaign that goes where the customers are.

Action Steps

The best contacts and resources to help you get it done

Explore all of the possibilities

Billboards and airplane banners have been around for decades. More innovative out-of-home advertising media include painting graffiti on the side of a building (legally, of course), ‘wrapping’ buses, showing ads in movie theaters, placing signs on top of taxicabs and running ads on digital and interactive kiosks. ?? I recommend: Discover the many types of outdoor advertising available by clicking on ‘outdoor media search’ at the Great Outdoor Network.

Find and compare outdoor advertising companies and solutions

The outdoor advertising industry divides itself into categories such as general, street furniture, transit and alternative outdoor media. ? ? I recommend: The Outdoor Advertising Association of America(OAAA) has lists of solution providers by category, with company name, location and product type.

Make it work together

An outdoor campaign using several different types of media requires a healthy dose of coordination. Even if you’re planning on running a single ad with a single message across a number of media, you’ll need several versions of the ad to fit the various sizes of the outdoor media, and you’ll need to negotiate with a number of vendors. ? ? I recommend: Consider hiring an advertising agency to keep your campaign consistent, to find the best media for your campaign and to negotiate with various vendors. Search for advertising agencies by specialty and location at the American Association of Advertising Agencies .

Decide on a theme

For the best results, your campaign should have a theme, whether it’s promoting the quality of your products, your impeccable customer service or your low prices. You can vary the message of individual ads but they should all relate to the theme. ? ? I recommend: Review case studies of outdoor advertising campaigns, including Starbucks and Mini Cooper , both of which tapped into a variety of outdoor media. Other good case studies on varying the design and message within a campaign theme are available at kristofcreative.com .

Tips & Tactics

Helpful advice for making the most of this Guide

  1. Think outside the box, but also keep your target market in mind. Graffiti artwork in an artsy area of town may be appropriate for some businesses, but ask yourself if that is your target market.
  2. Make sure your company logo is on every ad placed to help brand your company.
  3. Measure your results in every campaign. Ask customers where they heard about you. If one type of outdoor advertising is catching their eye, that is where you might want to increase ad dollars on your next campaign.

Billboard Connection

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