It’s been 33 years since the first
Planning for Out of Home Media
was published. Each newupdate to the guidebook has been significantlydifferent than the one before, fea-turing fresh information, formats,and guidelines. If there has beenone constant over the years it hasbeen change.The last edition of the guide waswritten in 2000. There can be noargument the media environmenthas changed in the past decade.We’ve seen more change in theadvertising business in the past 10years than in the previous twodecades. Technology has radically altered theway people perceive and consume media and,as a result, how they respond to advertisingmessages on a daily basis.When the first guide was released in 1977, itwas easy to reach a significant portion of thenational audience by advertising on the threeprimetime networks. A 20 share for theevening news was common and the daily news-paper was a breakfast table staple. Agencieshad it easier: a few phone calls, a few milliondollars, and a buy was done.Today, is another story. A 10 share is consid-ered exceptional for a network primetime show.With the advent of digital video recorders, it’sno longer a certainty that a 30 second spot hasthe same penetration it once did. Newspapersare hemorrhaging readers. Magazines are look-ing to tablet computers for salvation whileradio is finding itself under siege from satellitechannels.Consumer behavior is changing, too.Americans spend far more time away fromhome than they did in the late 1970s. Theyhave longer commutes. They use more publictransportation. They live in an environment withoverwhelming media choices where the noise isconstant and ad clutter is unavoidable. Thereare almost as many ways to avoid advertisingtoday as there are ways to advertise.Through it all, out of home has adapted, grown,and prospered. No medium is better suited for21stcentury communications than out ofhome. It reaches consumers whenthey are mobile, actively makingbuying decisions, and cuts throughad clutter. It’s unavoidable and oneof the most cost effective ways toreach a mass audience.Through adaptation, the out ofhome medium has reinvented itselfand its formats. The backbone ofthe industry remains traditionalbillboards, but even these venera-ble advertising structures havebeen updated by going digital. Street furnitureoffers more sophisticated and stylish variationswith ubiquitous presence. Transit is seen bymore people, more often. New alternative for-mats continue to grow and evolve, often usingnew and innovative technologies. Cinemaadvertising is growing by leaps and bounds.The list goes on.The media planner’s job is far more complicat-ed today than it was when the first
Planningfor Out of Home Media
guidebook was pub-lished. It has been redesigned to help navigatethis changing landscape. While not an exhaus-tive compendium of facts and figures, thisguide is a useful primer to help new and veter-an planners understand media options avail-able, how those options can reach certain audi-ences, and how those audiences are measured.It acknowledges the need for integrated mar-keting plans and shows how out of home canbe a vital and useful part of nearly any cam-paign, either by itself or combined with othermedia.Out of home advertising has proved it hasstaying power and we look forward to the con-tinually growing and changing medium on thehorizon.
By OAAA President and CEO Nancy Fletcher & TABPresident and CEO Joe Philport