Future of Outdoor Advertising

By on July 27, 2013

In this post our guest blogger, Darren Leach talks about the future of outdoor advertising.


Outdoor advertising continues to be an effective medium in the advertising industry. The use of outdoor advertising has been around for a very long time as the first billboards began to show up around the late 1800’s. The reason outdoor advertising has stuck around as an effective means of marketing is because it continues to evolve and adjust along with the social changes and technological innovations of the world surrounding it. As things continue to change and technology continues to progress, the future of outdoor advertising will surely continue to be reinvented and developed in new and exciting ways.

Guerilla Marketing Campaigns

I believe much of the future of outdoor advertising lies within guerilla marketing campaigns and strategies. As an audience with an increasingly short attention span continues be bombarded by advertising in an already saturated market; that audience is becoming more adept at blocking out this external noise. This means that it is becoming much more difficult to reach a target audience with a marketing message and marketers must come up with creative and different ways to reach their audience.

Guerilla marketing offers a way to reach an audience in new and different ways. One aspect of guerilla marketing that I believe will be part of the future of outdoor advertising is the idea of trying to reach the audience in unconventional places. As people continue to become better at blocking out ads it will become progressively more important to try to reach them in unexpected places. By targeting people in places where they are not used to seeing ads an advertisement will be much more likely to make an impression. This is why I believe guerilla marketing tactics will be a major part of the future of outdoor advertising as outdoor marketing offers the opportunity to reach many of these areas where the target audience is not accustomed to seeing ads.

Future of Billboards

While I do believe that much of the future of outdoor advertising lies with unconventional guerilla marketing tactics, this does not mean I think there won’t be any use of billboard marketing. As mentioned before, billboards have been around for a very long time and they continue to be used. There is one simple answer for this and that is that billboards work.

However, I do believe that billboards will have to continue to advance and change to remain effective. This means more creative uses of billboard space and more dynamic billboards. I believe we will start to see more billboards that incorporate the surrounding environment or interact with it. I also believe we will see a shift in billboard marketing towards a strategy that focuses more on supporting other campaigns, such as billboards that drive traffic to websites or social media campaigns.

Augmented Reality

Finally, I believe the development of augmented reality will add an entirely new element to outdoor advertising. As this technology continues to develop we will begin to see marketers take note. Things like Google Glass have the power to completely change the advertising industry. From virtual billboards to banners that pop up when potential customers are in a certain area; the possibilities and opportunities available to marketers will be virtually limitless.

As with any predictions for the future, there is the possibility that I will be wrong on much of what I say here. However, judging by the state of the outdoor advertising industry currently and the direction it is heading; I believe that the ideas mentioned here will play a large role in outdoor advertising moving forward. One thing that we can be sure of is that as long as people continue to buy and sell things there will be advertising; and outdoor advertising, in some form, will continue to have a role.


Darren Leach is a media planner who specializes in outdoor advertising and billboard marketing. He currently writes on behalf of the outdoor advertising company Billboard Source. When he isn’t writing about the outdoor advertising industry, he enjoys practicing on his guitar.

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