Skip to main content

How Does Out of Home Media Compare?

When most businesses consider forms of advertising that may be the best for their company, television, radio, newspaper, magazines, and the internet are typically the first types of media that come to mind. While each of these advertising outlets does have its advantages, it’s Out of Home Media that is generally thought of the least, even though outdoor advertising actually reaches nearly every American, and still does not get a proportionate share of ad revenue.

In the chart below you can see on the left where most businesses are spending their advertising dollars. Television and print advertising pretty much takes the cake. But on the right, you can see the amount of time Americans are actually spending each week using or interacting with each of these forms of media. Interesting how Outdoor only receives a 4.4% share of spending money, but the return and average time spent outside is greater than every other form of advertising with the exception of TV.

Below are some benefits and disadvantages of each of these forms of media, and why we feel Out of Home Media is not only the most unique form of advertising but most effective. How Does Out of Home Media Compare?

Television Benefits:

• Wide geographic coverage & broad audience reach (appeals to most demographics)

• Perceived accountability with well-accepted audience

• Relative ease of buying and post-buy maintenance

• Proven Success record for promoting mass consumer products (infomercials)

Television Disadvantages:

• Audience share is generally declining due to fragmented audiences

• Increasing use of DVR’s diminishing the impact of commercials (people can record their shows and skip the commercials)

• Typically high CPM costs and rising production costs (most expensive)

• Many television shows skew older and lower income

• increasing ad clutter as commercial pods lengthen (people don’t want to watch commercials because they are taking more time away from their shows)

How Out of Home Media Compares, or Can Help:

When viewers are away from the TV they are spending a fair amount of time outside; whether that be commuting to and from work, going out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or just leisurely enjoying the outdoors. Out of Home Media can reinforce television messages while people are away from their TV and going through the course of their day to day activities.

Out of Home Media gives businesses the ability to target an audience geographically, actually minimizing the wasted coverage spent on such a broad range of viewers through television. Because television is so expensive, this cuts down on ad spending tremendously and improves the efficiency of a TV campaign by driving down CPM costs. Lastly, Out of Home Media reaches a unique classification of television viewers that are younger, mobile, and more affluent than heavy TV users.


(Buffalo Wild Wings – Windsor, Connecticut Sponsor Panel)

Radio Benefits:

• Has targeting capabilities

• Inexpensive compared to other traditional broadcast media

• Builds frequency quickly (commercials are replayed throughout the day/evening)

• Branded promotions offer advertisers appealing community involvement opportunities

• No seasonal listener erosion

Radio Disadvantages:

• No visual component

• Advertisers must buy multiple stations and formats to accumulate audience reach

• Peak listening is during morning and evening drive times with relatively low audiences the rest of the day (driving to and from work)

Because radio advertising does not provide any type of visual component to listeners, Out of Home Media can be the answer to offering a balance between sight and sound. Just like television, radio messages are susceptible to channel surfing, whereas Out of Home Media can maintain a strong brand presence after listeners have changed the channel.

Since the people that generally listen to the radio are a mobile audience (driving to and from work in the mornings and evenings), Out of Home Media can reinforce the frequency required by radio broadcasting to increase the reach of a radio campaign to mobile listeners.

Newspaper Benefits:

• Broad reach within a defined marketing area (i.e. business, sports, shopping section – newspapers often have special advertising sections as well)

• Geographic selectivity is available in small towns (local papers)

• Marketplace for competitive price shopping (promotions & coupons)

Newspaper Disadvantages:

• Decreasing market penetration and readership with many newspapers reaching less than 50%

• Low Younger audience readership (people between ages 18-24 are not reading the newspaper)

• Cost frequency medium

• Some ad recall studies show less than 50% of readers even note seeing ads in the newspaper

• Ad clutter (i.e. Classifieds, Sunday Paper Advertising)

Newspapers tend to have a very short shelf life. Out of Home Advertising can extend the life of a newspaper campaign by presenting those same messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to targeted areas that newspapers may not be able to reach.

While studies have shown that newspaper readership is declining and will continue to decline due to the increasing numbers of alternative news sources, Out of Home Media is an alternative option that is unavoidable and impacts the consumers that are lost in the clutter.

Magazine Benefits:

• High degree of selective targeting based on demographics, product affinity, or lifestyle (women’s vs. men’s magazines, children’s magazines, etc.)

• High production quality (images and full-color printing)

• Focused editorial environment

• Regional editions offer localized targeting capabilities

Magazine Disadvantages:

• Specific issue audience data is not typically available

• Magazines produce minimal short term (daily/weekly) reach

• Broad market reach is difficult to achieve because of niche readership behavior

How Does Out of Home Media Compare? Just as it does with other advertising mediums, Out of Home Advertising helps to strengthen an overall magazine ad campaign by providing a constant presence in the targeted marketplace.

How Does Out of Home Media Compare? All advertising mediums have benefits and disadvantages, including Out of Home Media. However, as businesses begin to plan out their advertising budgets for this upcoming year, we hope that many will see the growing benefits to Outdoor Advertising vs. some of these other more traditional forms of advertising.

As we have mentioned in our previous post Strategic Uses of Outdoor Media, we have found that the Adopt A Highway Program falls into a very unique category of outdoor media and provides the maximum benefits to you and your business for the least amount of time and money.

For more information about The Adopt A Highway Program call today 800-200-0003!

Leave a Reply