Think OOH Blog

#TBT: 5 Ways OOH Media Has Changed

Posted by Jennifer Seickel on May 12, 2016 7:58:43 AM


Because #TBT is for more than just embarrassing grade school photos.

Did you know that Out-of-Home is the oldest form of advertising? According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), “OOH advertising can trace its lineage back to the earliest civilizations. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians employed tall stone obelisks to publicize laws and treaties.” But OOH as we know it didn’t start until the 1830s, when a man named Jared Bell made large-format posters to promote the circus.

OOH media planning and buying has come a long way since then. Here are five ways it’s has changed over the years:


  1. The Birth of Digital: Obvious, but important. The digital era has revolutionized how we consume everything from news to ads. Heck, it’s even changed the way we consume food! But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: Media professionals still rely on OOH as a tried and true method of advertising. In fact, OOH is projected to be the second fastest growing advertising media from 2014-2019, with only digital media growing faster.


  1. Blame the Train. In all seriousness, people are using public transit more than ever, and OOH is always at home where people are going to and from their homes. According to, “Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation [in 2013], the highest annual ridership number in 57 years,” and “from 1995 through 2013, public transportation ridership increased by 37.2%—a growth rate higher than the 22.7% increase in U.S. population and higher than the 20.3% growth in the use of the nation’s highways over the same period.” That means even more eyes on ads!


  1. Let’s Get Creative. Anyone who’s watched an episode of Mad Men can probably see how advertising creative has evolved from then to nownot just with how ads visually look, but when they are being shown. One example: Rather than developing static pieces, media and ad agencies are leveraging the latest technologies and data partners to time the right creative at the right moments using real-time inputs such as traffic conditions.


  1. Show OOH the Money. Remember when we said that OOH is projected to be the second fastest growing advertising media from 2014-2019, with only digital media growing faster? Yeah, well, unfortunately, this means that more and more companies are diverting more of their ad spend to digital. But like every cloud, this, too, has a silver lining. Media professionals must now work smarter to get the best results, benefiting companies and consumers alike. Which brings us to our last point…


  1. It’s Getting Smarter. Important changes in the measurement of OOH media are taking shape that will help shift the focus from strictly measuring OOH advertising inventory (think: billboards, transit advertising, bus shelters) to measuring and analyzing audience behavior, location, and how and when people interact with OOH advertising in their daily lives. For example, the 2016 TAB/OAAA Big Picture conference, the Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB), the leading source of OOH ratings in the US, announced it would soon change its name to Geopath™. It highlighted the company's enhanced focus on consumer insights and incorporating new data sets that would help power OOH ratings. What's the main idea here? Better OOH measurement must start with a deep understanding of people + location, not just an understanding of the media.


Has this #TBT made you want to implement OOH IRL ASAP? Learn more about it by clicking below:

2016 Ad trends Report

Topics: NEWS

Present Media that Matters

OOH Pitch offers differentiated, full-service out-of-home media solutions for clients and agency partners

375 Hudson Street, 7th floor
New York, NY 10014
0: 212.356.0160

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts