Outdoor Advertising: Why It’s The Next Move for Businesses

Image Credit: Needpix.com

In today’s digital age, outdoor signs would not exactly be the first thing that would come up during brainstorming for new promotional ideas. But as they say, first impressions last. The right signage can quickly and easily catch the attention of the audience, may they be the target or not. 

More than that, the right signage can be one of the most powerful tools. As a business owner, one of the main goals is to, of course, stand out against the competitors. Having a unique and eye-catching sign is one way to do just that. It can serve as the first sales representative that could catch the consumer’s attention. The use of signage can also make it convenient for the customers to know more about the company and its services. Furthermore, below are other reasons why they still work.

Why Outdoor Advertisement Works

People spend most of their time in front of screens. May it be their phone, tablet, or laptop, being online and on gadget has been the norm. But because of it, these same people are now so used to pop-up banners and other various online advertisements that they tend to ignore and neglect those very ads. 

Having real-life ads now, more than ever is much more effective. Although digital and email campaigns can offer better and more specific targeting, whenever consumers see a street sign, they would take the time to look. It wouldn’t matter to them if it was a billboard, a laser cut metal signs, a random street sign, or just another striking object, people will take the time to look and understand what it is they’re seeing. For small business owners, or for those who are just starting, that moment, even if it was just a few seconds, could make all the difference. 

When businesses make use of outdoor advertisements, it can effectively motivate their online users. In return, it would create engagement that could even result in a purchase and brand loyalty. 

Tips On How To Make Catchy Outdoor Signs

It is not an easy task to think of a catchy outdoor sign as it requires a long ideation process backed up with researched data. You should know answers to questions like “Who is your target audience? What do you want to achieve with the signs? and “How much budget is allocated to that?”. After, you can proceed to brainstorm creative options not only among signs but also among other outdoor items. Nowadays, very popular creative options are branded promotional inflatables and 3D designs that are good examples of outdoor advertisements to improve your brand awareness and bring visible results.

However, success will rely heavily on how business owners would proceed to do it. They would have to make the most of the advertisements by making it attractive and catchy. Here are a few tips that will help explain how to create effective outdoor signage.

  1. Get Inspiration from Other Industries and/or Businesses.

Just by going out and observing, one can already see different brands from different industries making use of outdoor advertisements. Creatives will be able to see all the trends and approaches each company is utilizing. With this, one can take inspiration and apply it depending on what the company needs, now making the idea theirs. 

According to the former expansion manager from Instacart, he’s worried about the decreased effectiveness of an online advertisement. In order to solve this problem that the company encountered, they looked into subway posters and billboards for inspiration. Though this change in advertising approach was a challenge, especially in measuring how effective and efficient this new platform is, the increased number of subscribers spoke for itself.

  1. Make an Eye-Catching Visual and Message.

When making a campaign, the decision-maker has to be considerate of the target audience, their different characteristics like their age, gender, and so on. Creating an outdoor advertisement has the same approach. They would have to pay attention to what the brand wants to highlight and what message needs to come across to the audience. 

Be observant of what different creative ways can be used to make the viewers engaged with the advertisement. One can’t just create any poster and then look forward to magically having customers.  It is important to make sure that it is something that could attract attention. Whether this may be through the visuals or the messaging of the ad, it needs to be something engaging. A good example of this is the outdoor advertisement from Times Square in New York, USA. Some of it comes to life through the use of cameras and hashtags. They use this method to react to their audience in real-time.

  1. Take advantage of the commute.

According to Investor’s Business Daily report, two of the most significant digital brand giants, namely, Netflix and Amazon, actually spend their marketing budget more on advertising offline. If these brands could benefit so much on outdoor advertising, then there is no reason for a smaller scale business not to do the same. 

From something as routine as a morning commute to an adventure like a cross-country road trip, most consumers spend their time on the go. Seventy percent of our waking hours are spent away from homes, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.  With this, outdoor signs, subway ads, and billboards fight for the attention of the commuters wherever they may go. It can go from something simple, or to something like a laser-cut metal design, but these different companies are competing to catch the attention of their consumers. 

So another thing to take note of is the different travel behaviors of the target market, and how the company can utilize this data and meet the needs of the consumers.

  1. Choose the right location.

One of the most important things to consider in doing an outdoor advertisement is the location. Make sure to place the signages as close to the busy highways as it can be allowed. Standing out is a must, whether in color, size, or shape. It is critical to make sure that nothing is obstructing it from being seen. To make sure that the decision-makers know which location will work best, consider driving by different places to know what the best option is.

  1. Keep the message concise.

It is vital to make sure to keep the message concise. An average person can read about two hundred fifty words per minute or four words per second.

Think of the message the brand would like to convey to the consumers and make it short but sweet. Avoid using abbreviations unless necessary, and keep the headlines to a five-word maximum.


Outdoor advertisements still work simply because people can see them. There is always a way to modernize.  Even though Outdoor Advertising isn’t the first thing that a company will consider, it is still an effective way of reaching out to the consumers. It can even be the foundation for the brand identity.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.