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Outdoor Advertising

The Outdoor Advertising History

Outdoor advertising is considered to be one of the oldest methods of advertising that date back to Egyptian merchants who placed their sales messages on stone tablets along public roadways (Hartman). Later, after about 1500, the development of paper and the printing press made billposting in Europe. While in the 19th century, lithography, which was a printing method, expanded the creative possibilities of advertising design and further in the late 19th century posting "bills" made on the wooden boards gave birth of the term "billboard" (Hartman).

The Evolution in Outdoor Advertising

Nowadays the outdoor advertising not only includes the billboard, but also among other sites are "car cards" in-store displays; public transportation; displays in airports, sports show grounds, transport shelters, and ski areas (Hartman). Today, one of the big outdoor advertising companies is "The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA)." It is the industry trade organization, founded in 1891. The OAAA has treasured a great deal of records of its work along with its numerous member companies that provides a comprehensive look at the outdoor industry for more than hundred years (OAAA, 2000).

Growth in Viewers' Exposure

The definition for outdoor advertising has dramatically changed as the industry has developed new ways for outdoor media designs according to the needs and requirements of advertisers (OAAA, 2000). Now days, outdoor advertising not just mean billboards; but also includes outdoor advertising on the street furniture as well as transit advertising along with other varied designs and layouts (OAAA, 2000). For instance, advertisers in the year 2001, spent $5.2 billion on outdoor media and now more people are weekly exposed to Outdoor & TV than other media (OAAA, 2000):

Television ~ 94%

Shopper Papers ~ 38%

Billboards ~ 93%

Sunday Newspapers ~ 72%

Cable TV Networks ~ 75%

Radio ~ 89%

Daily Newspapers ~ 74%

Weekly Newspapers ~ 39% (OAAA, 2000)

Furthermore, the advertising audience for outdoors has also grown significantly:

Drivers expanded three times more as against the United States population growth.

75% of trips and 76% of miles are accounted by single occupant travel.

Since 1983, the travel time to work increased to 14%, due to congestion.

Daily vehicle trips and miles quadrupled population growth.

Traveling vehicles rose six times higher than population expansion.

Since 1983, traveling miles increased to 37%, due to suburb development.

Household Vehicles rose at six times then the population growth rate.

Drivers drive an average of 1 hour 13 minutes daily. (NPT Survey, 1995)

Print Advertising

Regardless of a growing number of electronic attractions, advertisers still cast their ads with newspapers (Tony, 2001). According to Ogilvy & Mather, creative director Chris Wall:

Newspapers provide the kind of touch points for people to get the depth behind the broad premise laid out in other media. Creative people have always liked newspapers. And newspapers have gotten much better technology in the last 15 years." (Tony, 2001)

For example, the improved technology has made possible to woo national advertising in the year 2001, to be on track of reaching Groves' predicted 8.4% increase. Furthermore, since the mid-1990s, the spending of national advertiser has risen gradually, along with the consumer goods that have entrusted large amount of their budgets to newspapers (Tony, 2001). However, few cases, such increases come at the expense of other media, particularly cable Television and broadcast (Tony, 2001).

There are several reasons why many advertisers are either sticking to or returning to newspapers; just to name few are positive displays, streamlined ordering and billing, extensive and broad reach, enhanced color reproduction and zoning potential (Tony, 2001).

According to Stuart Redsun, VP advertising for computer giant Gateway:

The thing we really see in newspapers is the immediacy. With Gateway having 300 stores in local markets, newspapers are really a way to get the message out quickly, a targeted message for a given amount of time. We see traffic after we run an ad in newspapers." (Tony, 2001)

Finally, it is also vital as to how well readers grasp and understand the ad messages. The Newspaper Association of America and the American Society of Newspapers commissioned a study, according to which, newspapers are used as people's primary advertising source for a variety of products (Tony, 2001). Furthermore, the study participants reported that the percentage of using newspapers for information on new cars is fifty two percent as compared with fifteen percent for those who seek information through television. Moreover, those in the market for a home appliance also have 53% against ten percent television. Those shoppers who look for personal computers make thirty seven percent, vs. eight percent of television viewers (Tony, 2001).

Cases in Point

Non-Profit Social Organization

Many NGOs like HOPE (Health Oriented Preventive Education) are funded by the developed countries to work for social welfare in the third world countries. The image of these organizations can be marketed through proper utilization of media and print advertising. For instance, by producing a documentary on their works and the benefits yielded thereby, the target audience can be made aware of the organization's role as a socially responsible entity. Such documentary can be run on different channels of the country at prime time for effective image marketing. Similarly, advertorials can be placed in leading national newspapers on the welfare activities of the company to create mass awareness.

Profit-Based Organization

The example can be taken of Procter & Gamble. With leading brands like Pampers, Pringles, Crest, Tide, Olay, Actonel, and Vicks etc., the corporate giant conducts its marketing through brand-related advertising, as well as corporate advertising. In the former, the company promotes the respective brands on the basis of their unique characteristics, usage and advantages, while in the latter, the company markets its own image by telling people how Procter & Gamble touches and improves lives of people worldwide. The company makes best use of the Internet, electronic and print media for its purpose. In addition to advertising, public relations is also used as a major tool to of marketing to supplement the cause (Procter & Gamble).

Conclusion

As discussed in the marketing principles, marketing revolves around the synchronicity between the marketed product, its market placement, set price, and promotional technique. Through the best matching of these ingredients, the foundations of effective marketing are laid. However, promotion remains the most crucial aspect of the process as advertising involves high risk (high costs, high returns). It is very important for the marketers to select the appropriate medium of communication for advertising, with respect to their product type, target market, consumer behavior, anticipated response and the advertising cost involved. Second to this, they should coin a message that best describes the marketed product to their target market through the respective medium.

It is most advantageous to utilize related market researches that are conducted on the product and its promotion before entering the advertising arena. This can prove to be cost and time effective, saving marketers from the experimenting phase and providing them a single focus for product marketing and advertising.

References

Cohn, Tim. Marketing Definition. Advanced Marketing Consultants, Inc. 2002. Marketing

Principles.com. www.marketingprinciples.com

Gary Davis Media. Radio vs. TV: Radio Advertising vs. Television Advertising.…