Outdoor Ad Industry Redefining As Out Of Home

April 30, 2012 by Dave Haynes

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America has its big annual conference this week in Miami and one of the big activities is the launch of a new branding effort to broaden the understanding and usage of the term Out Of Home.

The Take Another Look campaign is intended to change the common handle from outdoor advertising (ie billboards) to OOH, arguing the industry’s advertising is located in endless indoor positions. The OAAA says OOH has more than 100 formats, and expressly says digital place-based is one of them.

The initiative involves booked advertising as as well as social media, such as a Facebook page.

“We spent a year and a million dollars to get here,” OAAA president and CEO Nancy Fletcher told the New York Times in a Sunday piece.

Although the industry’s advertising revenue has continued to grow, its “brand needed to be sharpened,” she added, to help “transform the medium into a stronger competitor.” Ad revenue last year totaled $6.4 billion, according to the association, up 4 percent from 2010.

The initiative will promote out-of-home advertising on attributes like “innovation, ubiquity and creative impact,” Ms. Fletcher said. The association is working with two consultants, Consumer Dynamics and Via Partners, she added.

Fletcher said they are even looking at a name change, dropping outdoor and using out of home. “We’re going to be conducting extensive research” in the coming year on that question, Ms. Fletcher said.

So the whole thing gets murkier …

We have the OAAA doubling down on OOH and, by extension, Digital OOH. We have PQ Media using an umbrella term of Digital Out-of-Home Media, with subsets of Digital Place-Based Networks and Digital Billboards & Signage (the OAAA’s outdoor stuff). And we have the DPAA going hard on Digital Place-based as THE handle for the sector. Then there are the efforts to call this stuff TV, and slurp from that giant ad bucket instead of the smaller OOH/outdoor/namethisweek bucket.


So it digital place-based or digital OOH, or both?



  1. Chris Heap says:

    We face the same problems of defining the sector we work in every day. I found that rolling out several definitions to help explain what I did lowered customer confidence, confused them and I found it a tedious task to define multiple variants of essentially the same thing…

    Now I simply refer to it all as “Screenmedia”, and I can then chose how it applied and any sub-definition according to whom I’m talking to. It works a treat. Customers are clearer on its relevance to them, it feels more confident and its certainly easier for me to convey.

    My flag is firmly planted!

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