All Articles Marketing Media Speaking the language of OOH advertisers in 2021

Speaking the language of OOH advertisers in 2021

AdQuick’s Matthew O’Connor offers a refresher on about 20 terms often used in out-of-home media. It’s a look that’s helpful whether you’re a newbie or a veteran in the OOH industry.

6 min read


Speaking the language of OOH advertisers in 2021

Dennis Maliepaard / Unsplash

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As we kick off the new year and people begin returning to their offices, the race to reclaim out-of-home media space is on. Consumers are fatigued from a year in quarantine and seeing a tsunami of digital ads. As the world opens back up and people begin spending more and more time outdoors, advertisers have an opportunity to deliver their messages in a new way that feels fresh to consumers. It also means media buyers have their work cut out for them.

Before embarking on your next OOH media buys, it’s time to brush up on the lingo of OOH advertising and go over a few things to keep in mind when booking your next OOH campaigns:

Beginner OOH

30-sheet and 8-sheet Billboards: When people picture billboards, it’s often of large posters on the side of a building or interstate. But billboards actually come in a variety of styles that are aimed to target different messages and customers. In print or digital form, the smaller 30- and 8-sheet billboards are ideal for advertisers with smaller budgets who are looking for decent coverage in a targeted area or demographic. Think heavily traveled and small, non-residential streets alike.

Eco-Flex Vinyl: Diving further into billboard lingo, these are environmentally friendly, recyclable vinyl posters that can be attached as a single sheet to structures of all shapes and sizes.

Glamour Shot: No, we’re not talking the soft-light, big-hair photography of the 1990s. This term has been adopted to describe snapping a beauty shot of an ad. On photo sheets (also known as ride sheets or photoliths) you’ll see glamour and approach shots that depict an ad’s quality and location.

POPs: Proof-of-performance, more commonly known as POPs, are sent to advertisers within hours of their ad going up. In the past you might have received a photo of your billboard or other display ad. Today, companies have the capability to dispatch drone pilots to collect fly-bys of locations and POPs.

Ride Along: Also known as a Market Ride, this is an actual spin around town to view billboard locations. The ride along of today can be an entirely virtual experience where you can view high-resolution, drone and HD-video images of a global board inventory from your office or home.

Spectacular Billboards: These are the grander OOH displays you’ll see along every US highway and in dense commercial areas, from Times Square to the Sunset Strip. Super-sized and unique in scope, these are a powerful, dominant advertising tool designed to captivate viewers.

Street Furniture: Picture street-level ads on transit shelters, bike share stations, information kiosks and the like that catch the attention of pedestrians, riders and drivers where they live, work, commute, and shop. Think back to the last time you took public transit or requested an Uber. What did you look at while you waited? Did you pull out your smartphone? This downtime translates into impactful brand engagement when consumers have time to search for a product or brand.

Tri-Vision Billboards: For cost-effective, eye-catching advertisements in high-traffic areas, look to these rotating, three-message billboard signs to reveal your brand and make a big impact.

Wild Postings: Let’s call wild postings the sophisticated cousin of fly postings – a guerilla style of marketing that you may know by its other names: bill postings or wheat pasting. It’s an effective and inexpensive way to strategically bring a brand or message to high-traffic areas.

Advanced OOH

Attribution Analysis: Who gets credit for a customer conversation? Attribution analysis (of both online and offline events) provides a framework for determining which touchpoints or marketing channels get credited with a click, sale, or lead.

Audience Reach Measurement: While easier to quantify in the digital ad realm, there are proven, reliable methods of calculating OOH advertising’s audience reach. With billboard, transit, street furniture and wallscape advertisements, metrics are typically measured by traffic counts that quantify the number of people passing a given OOH advertising campaign.

Behavioral Targeting: People are creatures of habit. We follow certain patterns in our day-to-day lives. Utilizing data built off of people’s movement patterns, behavioral targeting allows you to understand not only a consumer’s interests, but also their in-market buying behavior.

Causal Impact Analysis: Think of this as a bird’s eye view evaluation of an advertising campaign’s real-world impact that uses a time series analysis — based on a number of comparable control groups or markets — to forecast a series of baseline values.

Dwell-time: This term references how long people are stuck in traffic and have more time to view the ads around them. This is something to consider, especially in cities like Chicago or Los Angeles, where traffic jams make for high dwell times.

Geofencing: This refers to setting a virtual boundary around a geographical point or area in which you want to show ads to a nearby audience. Many adtech companies make it possible to define custom polygon geofences in order to easily identify OOH inventory that fits your geographic ad buying criteria, such as ads that fall within your delivery zones.

Halo Effect: This describes the impressions one marketing channel receives from others. By integrating Google AdWords, Google Analytics and social channels, adtech companies can quantify the positive halo effect OOH advertising has on a brand’s other channels.

Lift Studies: These are advertising follow up studies that gauge your consumer-brand interaction. Simply put, they measure the effectiveness of a campaign. Integrating targeted lift analysis can help you better understand your true ROI.

OOH Retargeting: The convergence of mobile and OOH advertising allows you to use real-time exposure data from your ad campaigns to retarget your customers in other marketing channels.

Programmatic Ad Buying: Simply put, this is technology that automates the ad-buying process, from rate negotiation and campaign set up to optimizations and actualizations. One of the primary advertising buying tools available is a demand side platform that places digital OOH inventory at your fingertips and allows you to launch campaigns in minutes while viewing impressions, projected pacing and costs in real-time.

Whether you’re a seasoned media buyer or new to the field, OOH media can uplevel your advertising efforts with things like audience-based targeting, place-based targeting and multi-channel retargeting. Partnering with the right ad partner ensures you’ll have access to data sets, filters and indexes. It also means you’ll be able to prioritize data-led planning now and in a post-COVID-19 world.


Matthew O’Connor is the co-founder and CEO of AdQuick, a technology company building software for the out of home advertising industry. Brands and agencies of every size use the software to plan, purchase and measure OOH campaigns.