Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is designed to gain attention and create a memorable impression very quickly. Choosing the proper OOH vehicle to communicate your brand message allows agencies and media planners an even deeper level of engagement with consumers that are on the go.
Any successful outdoor campaign begins with signage location. Since you never get a second chance to make a first impression, amplifying a brand’s message with the right OOH media product has become ever more important.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of out-of-home advertising? Billboards! Let’s take a deep dive into the grand-daddy of all OOH advertising along with two of the “new media” out-of-home formats that have been around the longest.
People tend to use the term “Billboard” to refer a family of large signs, including Bulletins, Poster Panels and Junior Posters. Fun Fact – for the first forty years of our company’s existence, BPGraphics’ name was Billboard Poster Company.
Bulletins – among the largest and most impactful of all OOH media, bulletins range in size from 10’ x 30’ up to 20’ x 60’ and beyond, with the most common size being 14’ x 48’. Traditionally, these were hand painted – by true artists using a paintbrush and pallet – directly onto wood panels, which were then installed onto the bulletin structure. With the advent of digital printing techniques, these are now printed on flexible vinyl media which is stretched tight over the face of the sign frame. Some locations have even moved away from printed graphics and use giant LED displays to change the graphics every few seconds.
Poster Panels – when full market coverage in urban areas is key, 10’ x 22’ poster panels provide the reach and economics to saturate the market with your message. Originally called “30-Sheet Posters,” they were printed in sections on paper and then installed like wallpaper on the structures by “bill posters.” Starting in 2008, the industry began moving away from multi-section paper posters and adopting the SSP or Single Sheet Poster. These posters are digitally printed on recyclable, lightweight polyethylene and then installed onto the poster panel using several different methods. Known colloquially as “Eco Posters,” “Poster Flex,” and sometimes still “30-Sheets,” this workhorse of the outdoor advertising industry is a great way to target your audience.
Junior Posters – similar to standard poster panels, only one-quarter the size at 5’ x 11’, these posters (historically called 8-Sheet Posters) are still printed on paper and are installed using glue. Most commonly found in densely populated urban areas, this media offers a great cost effective choice when larger formats are not available.
Transit Shelter – among the “oldest” of the more recent innovations in out-of-home advertising, transit shelter or bus shelter posters are found in just about every major market in the country. These panels, traditionally a little smaller than 6’ x 4’, (usually 2 per structure) can be found alongside heavily trafficked roadways at public bus stop locations. Transit shelters are often backlit and encased in glass, providing day/night exposure to pedestrian and automobile traffic 24 hours a day.
Bus Posters & Bus Card – keeping with the theme of public transportation, bus side or transit advertising is popular wherever public buses run. For exterior advertising, the most common sizes are Bus King Posters at 30” x 144”, Bus Queen Posters at 30” x 88” and Bus Tail Light Posters at 21” x 72”. Sizes for the Queen and Tail Light posters tend to vary by market but the size of a Bus King is fairly standard nationwide. Printed on self adhesive vinyl, such as FLEXCON BUSmark, the posters are typically applied directly to the side of the bus, below the windows. Other popular exterior sizes in larger metropolitan areas include Full Bus Backs, where the entire backside of the bus is covered in a graphic, along with “King Kong” or “Ultra Super King” posters, which span the side of the bus from wheel well to wheel well. To reach passengers inside the bus, car cards printed on cardboard (typically 11” x 22” in size) line the interior above the window.
What’s next – we’ll explore full vehicle wraps
(such as buses and trains) along with other OHH products that can reach consumers at airports, hotels, convention centers, sporting events and shopping malls. These options create visibility to vehicular and pedestrian traffic that makes your brand message relevant, present and effective!
About the author: Peter Fradin is a 25 year industry veteran and a display solutions print specialist with BPGraphics. BPGraphics is a nationally recognized screen and digital graphics printer offering large, wide and grand format print solutions for 55 years. From fabric to vinyl – to rigid substrates of all kinds – big or small, BPGraphics’ knowledge and experience in the industry is unparalleled. You can reach Peter at 602-272-7907 or firstname.lastname@example.org