As the name suggests outdoor advertising is a method of advertising that is done beyond the four walls of any interior environment. There are several types of outdoor advertisements which can be seen every day. They include billboards, bus benches, exteriors and interiors of buses and signage that is posted on the outside of a business establishment. It is a very effective way of advertising a business and also a great way to attract the attention of the masses. The impact that is created by a huge billboard in a metro cannot be overemphasized. Even to the vendor of a billboard in prime location and a client who is using it to advertise his wares it will give a moment of pride to see the billboard brightly lit with an advertisement. Even though the location of a billboard or any outdoor advertising tool is important in a way, a well made billboard will anyway command the attention of the people regardless of its locations. That is the potential of outdoor advertising.
The sign which is hung over the door of the establishment at the premises is the most important sign that the potential customer sees. It should be bright but not garish and must command attention. A person who sees your advertisement in a newspaper and has come to avail of your services must be able to easily see the board that you place over your establishment. Most importantly the sign should be consistent in design and matter with what has been displayed elsewhere. In order to understand the importance of location and how it can be used, it is usually advised to just drive around town and see the various ways in which outdoor advertising tools and displayed. There may be some that do not capture your attention whereas there may be some that literally jump out at you. Take notes as to the differences between the two and then make an informed decision about how to create an outdoor advertisement campaign.
Depending on the business in question a billboard is most effective when it is located closest to the place where the business is carried out. This is especially relevant in the case of business establishments like restaurants that can only serve customers at a particular spot. In the case of services like taxi service, small banners and hoardings can be put up across the city with the relevant information that allows the customer to contact the service. Bus bench advertising is a very good medium of advertising because it is as visible as a billboard. Since it is located by the side of the road people who travel in slow moving traffic can see the advertisements without much effort. It is perhaps an outdoor medium that can afford to include more than one message. Due to the captive nature of the audience the message will be fully conveyed. On an average a bus bench advertisement can be seen by 4000 to 5000 people in a day.
When it comes to choosing the location for an outdoor advertisement tool, you need to realise that unless you have your own premises in a very prominent part of the city, you are more or less at the mercy of the availability of the media. In order to book a billboard of your choice you need to drive around the city and find out spots that are the best and those that offer the most visibility for your product. The information about the owners of the media will be posted on it. Boards will be owned by companies or individuals. They can be contacted to know about the contract period of the present user as well as the cost and other details. Do remember that you need to start scouting for billboards or outdoor advertising tools at least eight months before you plan to actually start your campaign. There are service providers like Platooh that allow you to plan your advertising campaign well in advance.
There are a few things that you need to remember when choosing locations. Choose a spot that has the most visibility. If there is a tree or another billboard that obstructs the view of the hoardings, it will not have any visibility despite its size. You will end up paying more money for outdoor advertising real estate and not get any benefits out of it. There are also some hoardings that could be situated just at a corner and it will not allow passing public to get a proper view. You must avoid all such hoardings. Hoardings that are rounded around a corner that have been built so as to wrap around a building are all practically useless when it comes to visibility. The best locations are usually purchased well in advance and in some cases are owned by the advertising party. Do not wait until the last moment to book a billboard. You will have to settle for something that is second best.
Billboards do cost a lot of money. If you have a cash flow problem you need to make sure that you are getting the most out of your money. If you have just enough for one large billboard, you can wait for a longer period and save some money by starting your advertising campaign just before you need to. But you will need to book it in advance. Another strategy that can be employed is to book different billboards in different parts of the city for shorter periods of time. By moving the campaign to different parts of the city you can ensure that you reach more of your target market than by using one large billboard in one single location. There are certain social obligations that you must keep in mind when advertising on outdoor advertising media. If you are a liquor brand and want to have a billboard, you might want to make sure that there are no schools of places of religious worship nearby. It not only looks out of place but also will make you lose market because of the insensitivity that you are displaying.
In conclusion, location is undoubtedly the most important criteria when it comes to OOH marketing. Even the size of the hoarding does not matter as long as it is placed in a spot that attracts the attention of the maximum number of people. But there are many things that need to be remembered. People who do not have the cash flow of MNCs and large corporations can alter their strategy and have month long campaigns in various locations thereby increasing the coverage of the campaign. They could also opt for smaller size hoardings and also opt for advertising on buses or other public transportation. But most importantly there is an element of social responsibility that needs to be adhered to. Manufacturers of products like liquor, cigarettes, contraceptives etc should have the decency to stay away from places of worship and academic institutions. It will not only look out of place but also act as negative publicity.
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