Types of Outdoor Advertising

Estimated time: 60 minutes

Category: Outdoor Advertising


This module has been created to teach you about different types of Outdoor Advertising and the benefits of each. Those who want to learn more about different types of outdoor displays and decide which of these is useful for their business or client will benefit from working through this module.


Advertising is no longer an optional activity for businesses looking to grow and expand. producer, the traders, or the customer. Advertising is an important part of every successful marketing and customer acquisition campaign. Thus, it is important for brands to have an effective advertisement strategy because knowing what you are getting will help you make wise spending decisions.


By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand the meaning, medium of various sources of outdoor advertising
  • Analyzing the advantages of each and every kind of outdoor advertising.
  • Making a conscious decision about which medium of outdoor advertising can be used to reach to the mass.


  • Outdoor advertising and its types
  • Advantages for using outdoor advertising


Applications for Outdoor Media Channels

The goal of marketing advertisements is usually to achieve the highest conversion rate possible. Conversion means turning potential buyers into paying customers. Outdoor advertising especially a billboard is a medium which people see throughout the day so this medium could be used effectively to create a lasting impression about a particular brand – and eventually convert the right customers. Billboards, transit ads and bus shelter advertisements will enable your marketers to complement the investment in digital, print and radio with a consistent

marketing message that will be viewed multiple times and has the ability to reach an entire region/locality. Such integration means that it will be easier for your target customers to trust your brand and to make a purchase from you. Each form of outdoor advertising (transit, billboards, bus shelters, etc.) is unique in the sense that advertisers have the ability to use the space in unorthodox ways to create an extremely eye-catching message. All of the above factors combine to make outdoor advertising a powerful medium to spread your brand message.

Common Types of Outdoor Media Channels

The following are some common types of outdoor advertising channels:

Poster Advertising

These are usually pasted on walls. Such a method of outdoor advertising is also known as ‘Mural Advertising’. A poster can create a very good visual effect, regardless of whether you are displaying your ads in a closed intimate space or a public space such as a subway station. The benefit of poster advertising is that they are relatively cheap to print and distribute and can reach a large sizeable number of people for a lower cost if strategically placed. 

Vehicular Advertising

Vehicular advertising is part of the greater umbrella of transit advertising channels. With vehicle advertising, the advertising content may be painted both inside and outside vehicles such as vans, buses, trains and so on. These are great for targeting commuters and high density traffic areas. The benefit of vehicular advertising is that your brand message isn’t confined to a single locality or neighbourhood. 

Smaller Advertisement Displays

These are kept at certain fixed places where people frequently assemble like bus stops, railway stations, etc. In suburban stations, the passengers stay only for a brief while. They may not have enough time to look at the advertisement boards kept there. These days smaller boards are available in digital format too. The advantage with these boards is that they will fit into indoor space and also help you target the right customers geographically as well as according to behaviour( e.g. putting ads on the commuter train to catch early morning professionals, putting keto diet consultation posters in a yoga studio).


Many advertisers use advertising boards illuminated with colour lights these days – particularly in big cities and towns. While people still use traditional printed hoardings, there is a growing trend today towards the use of digital outdoor displays. Digital displays change colours in short intervals to attract the attention of those passing by. The creativity that advertisers and brands can show through digital displays is limitless. The advantage of using billboards is that you can spread your message far and wide. 

Sky Advertising

This type of advertising includes notices, pamphlets etc., that are dropped from aeroplanes / helicopters. Huge inflated balloons, bearing the brand name or brand mark of a company’s product, floated from tall buildings will also form part of sky advertising. The advantage of sky advertising is that they can be very eye-catching if done right. 

Expert Insights

  • Outdoor advertisements are the best medium to reach the commuter segment.
  • ROI can be significant as you are reaching many people at the same time.
  • It can be displayed at strategic locations to create an impact
  • Once an advertisement board is installed at a place, it usually remains there for a fairly longer period. Thus, it creates a lasting impression on the public and makes it more likely that they will remember your brand.
  • Pictures and paintings enhance the value of outdoor advertisements.


Imagine you are a marketing executive in charge of an upcoming music festival featuring a popular Rock Band. From your new understanding of outdoor advertising media including different types of outdoor advertising, make a list of at least three types of outdoor advertising media channels that would be appropriate for marketing your event. Prodive appropriate rationale as to why you would use these channels to market your music festival.

Objective covered: Analyzing the advantages of each type of outdoor advertising.


Imagine you are a brand outreach consultant for a popular retail clothing chain. The brand is about to launch their spring collection and the campaign strategy is to use a marketing mix of outdoor digital billboards, digital media, radio advertisements and magazine advertisements. Your objective is to reach the maximum number of people in large cities in a short period of time. In what ratio would you use the different marketing channels? Prioritize each marketing channels from most impactful to least impactful. Explain why. 

Objective Covered:  Making a conscious decision about which medium of outdoor advertising can be used to reach to the masses.


Check Your Understanding: 

Think of an FMCG product or service. You can use an existing product or service that you offer. Plan which advertising channels you will use for this particular product. Brainstorm a campaign strategy involving outdoor advertising. Prioritize the activities like you did in the above activity. Use the newfound knowledge from this learning module to design your campaign.

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