While many forms of electronic advertising exist today, there is no evidence that outdoor advertising is less effective at attracting consumers to a number of products and services. It has continued to be a profitable way to market to the public, allowing for sales that make the use of the advertisements worth both the time and the investment.
One of the first things people should understand about outdoor advertising is that the application goes beyond the simple posting of billboards on the highways around the nation. In fact, this type of advertising includes several methods that do not involve the billboard at all. One example is the use of sandwich boards that are often found outside restaurants and cafes. Positioned on sidewalks, this form of advertising catches the attention of people walking by, enticing them to come inside for a special being offered by the establishment. Park benches are another place where ads can be placed, as are the sides of buses and taxis. In metropolitan areas with subway and trains as means of public transportation, advertising space is often sold inside the cars.
The key to effective outdoor advertising is in the fact that these forms of marketing are constant visual reminders for the people who see them every day. In this sense, products are being marketed to a captive audience. No matter how often the advertisement is seen, each encounter helps to reinforce the awareness of the good or service that is being marketed. The end result is that an individual may see outdoor ads for an extended period of time, and one day determine that the item being advertised meets a need. There is no question about where the person can go in order to meet that need.
Outdoor advertising is often placed in locations that are in close proximity to the business. As with the sandwich boards in front of restaurants, the marketing tool helps to draw in business from people who see the ad and decide they want to purchase the product right now, rather than later. The quick turnaround in recognition and customer purchase helps to keep the method of advertising a profitable means of doing business.
This type of advertising can also help to reinforce other forms. As an example, billboards may help to build name recognition for a business, so that when a circular for that company arrives in the mail, consumers are more apt to actually read through the printed matter. Many companies choose to include outdoor advertising as an important part of their overall public relations campaign, simply because it helps to improve the measurable results from other forms of advertising.