What is “Out of Home” media and why is it very relevant for today? (3 min read)

Out of Home (OOH) media has been around for a while but it is only over the last few years that it has really started to shine.

Out of Home media can best be described as advertising and branding that you see around you when you leave the home, and it has a very simple but powerful attribute going for it, and that is, you typically don’t need to do anything to see the advertising and branding, because it kind of just comes to you. This might go some way to explaining why it is performing so strongly right now in New Zealand and also globally.

Some examples of where we see Out of Home media these days are, back of buses, poster billboards, all the sites that the various Out of Home media networks are located in (which tend to be high foot traffic or long wait times sites such as cafes, doctors waiting rooms, gyms, service stations etc sport centres etc), then there are those digital screens that you see at shopping malls and airports, and we also have Cinemas.

So OOH media is all around us, but the unique and simple thing about OOH media is that the branding is just there, we don’t really need to go searching for it. It’s not on page 42 of a magazine, it’s not on another channel, and there are no ad blockers. In many ways it is just good old fashioned branding that connects with people everyday. Sure people can look away, but if it is interesting, inspiring or funny, it is pretty easy to engage with.

While that is one part of the reason for the success of Out of Home media we probably need to dig a bit deeper and remind ourselves how much things have changed.

Thanks (or maybe not thanks) to the internet, we now live in the age of information and we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to just wanting to know stuff. Whether you are a newshound junkie, love music, love cat videos spend too many hours on the ever changing hip social media sites (which one is even cool these days, I forget) or just watch Youtube videos, the possibilities are endless.

So while all this is fun in that we are never short for entertainment or information, a lot of people might go as far as saying it has just opened up a whole new set of problems.

The two obvious ones especially for business owners are that there are now over 30 ways to promote your business, brand or message, and secondly, everyone is now time poor, because we have all been sucked into the gravitation pull of the internet, and the social media site or online information source you spend time on, could and most likely is, completely different to your best friend, sister, dad or work mate.

This tells us one thing very clearly, everything has become so fragmented, oh yeah and we now we have a lot less time on our hands.. a lot less. Because we have less time there is now pressure on us to take information on board more quickly, so we now want to absorb our information in bite size chunks (give me the top 3 bullet points please) and if it doesn’t meet our needs we discard it very quickly.

In short our behaviour patterns have changed and the way we consume our information today has also changed. We also know age brackets play a role in the way we consume information but even that is changing. 

We assume that people that might fit into the elderly bracket might still read regional papers, but do Millennials (born 1981 – 1996)  or the Post-Millenials (Gen Z born 1997 – present) pick up regional papers, and who is listening to the radio compared now and who is choosing to listen to music through their iphone, Spotify, or other streaming services, are we buying and reading magazines as much as we used to, or do we now simply get our fix or inspiration from online sites? This totally explains why there are so many options to promote our brands or messages.

The key take out is that as business owners or brands we can’t advertise 30 different ways, so we need to be looking at mediums which are relevant for today and where possible can engage and reach a large audience in easy to digest ways.

Which is one of the reasons why the simplicity of Out of Home media is so appealing. It reaches a huge target audience, it crosses a wide range of age and social demographics and more importantly it promotes the branding or message in a visual format, and retention and recall of advertising and branding delivered visually is widely acknowledged as performing the highest when it comes to achieving brand awareness and connecting with consumers and helping to build that trust.

It’s not perfect and no one medium is but OOH media is a very strong medium that is very relevant for today, and being relevant is what advertising and branding has always been about, and with the wide reach across all demographics OOH media can play a very important role in any companies marketing strategy, and when it is combined with a few other simple strategies the results can be very powerful.

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