Why Outdoor Advertising Works in a Digital Age

There’s a common misconception that society’s growing use of technology means the end of traditional outdoor advertising methods. What’s actually happening is a shift towards outdoor print AND digital campaigns that are more likely to generate leads and sales. Here’s why outdoor advertising works, even in 2018.

outdoor advertising works

Even in the age of smartphones, laptops and tablets, outdoor adverts are successful. 98 percent of the population will see some kind of outdoor advertising this week and 26 percent of customers have immediately visited a website in response to an OOH (Out of Home) advert.

A lot of the time, we’re seeing outdoor adverts without even realising. On the sides of buses, around construction sites and even on the floor. We’re constantly being advertised to without having to actively do anything.

This is what makes outdoor advertising so successful. Whether you’re seeing them on your way to work on the tube or out of the office window, we’re subconsciously absorbing information from brands.

These are just the simple adverts that are designed to promote brand awareness and help you to build relationships with specific companies. Adverts that are creative, innovative and eye-catching grab our attention and are more likely to lead to an active response.

When done correctly, print adverts like building wraps, hoardings and floor graphics can start a conversation or attract new customers. It’s all about using traditional methods in modern, unusual ways.

This series from IBM, for example, took simple posters and turned them into useful additions to a city’s streets.

(#13 – https://digitalsynopsis.com/advertising/creative-billboards-outdoor-ads/)

Not only do they challenge what we expect from an outdoor advert, their practical use made them a hit online. You’ll notice that the posters include a link to a website, an emerging trend when it comes to OOH advertising.

People are now encouraged to use their mobiles or computers to go to a particular website or app. The print advert has grabbed someone’s attention and the website pushes them into a sale, showing how print and digital can not only coexist but lead to campaigns that thrive.

print and digital outdoor


It doesn’t have to be one or the other. They complement each other and when used effectively, they can be successful.

First, like IBM you can create an outdoor print advert that has some kind of online link. It might be a voucher code to use on a food app or a hashtag to join the conversation on social media.

Print adverts usually have to be brief and to the point, especially if you only have a few seconds to get your message across. By using an online campaign, you can expand on the content and give the user more information about your brand.

Secondly, there are print adverts that use technology in some way to stand out. Whether it be with LED lights, a digital screen or even a beer tap, as Carlsberg did, technology can help your advert to get its message across.

(#11 – https://digitalsynopsis.com/advertising/creative-billboards-outdoor-ads/)

There’s only one way this trend is moving. The outdoor advertising industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing advertising channels and brands are seeing just how innovative they can be when it comes to technology.

projection mapping

Projection mapping is just one of the cutting-edge ways that businesses can promote their products or services. It involves projecting images, video and motion graphics onto buildings (or any other 3D objects) to make it look as though those surfaces are moving and changing.

Here’s a quick demo if you aren’t quite sure what we mean:



Projection mapping literally gives advertisers a whole new dimension to work with, allowing them to take still 2D images and transform them into moving adverts that just can’t be ignored by anyone who sees them.

Samsung used projection mapping on the side of a building in Holland to promote the launch of a new 3D TV. The outdoor advert worked as part of a wider digital marketing campaign to raise awareness. Watch the video below to see how by the end of the campaign, around three million people had seen or heard about the TV:



This is just one example of how outdoor advertising can be used within digital marketing to create a comprehensive campaign that attracts and converts customers. Gone are the days of one billboard being enough. Similarly, one Facebook campaign won’t do the job either.

Outdoor adverts are just one branch of a marketing strategy. Print and digital marketing techniques work in tandem to grab the attention of consumers and lead them towards your desired goal.

get more help from our guide

We help clients with all kinds of large format prints that are perfect for outdoor adverts and we’re always looking to utilise the latest innovations, like projection mapping. If you’re in the planning stages of an outdoor sign or advert, download our guide for useful tips and expert advice. It’s packed with everything you could ever need to know about outdoor adverts.