Combine Mobile and Outdoor Media Buying for Ads That Engage

Industry experts predict that out-of-home advertising will exceed $40 billion by 2018, primarily due to more digital integration. Part of this expansion comes from marketers who are finding innovative ways to combine mobile and traditional outdoor media buying.

Their work is connecting with consumers in entirely new ways and creating compelling out-of-home advertising experiences. Read on to learn how combining mobile advertising and an outdoor buy could offer your company similar opportunities.

Making a Call on Mobile and Outdoor

Digital advertising on mobile devices gives marketers several advantages:

  • It’s popular right now among a wide variety of demographics. More than half of consumer time spent on the Internet is spent on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
  • As media buyers, mobile gives a more accurate way than traditional advertising to measure and quantify marketing effectiveness for our clients.
  • Mobile advertising can be a less expensive way to reach prospects than a traditional media buy.

Buying outdoor media offers benefits as well. Research shows consumers trust and take action on traditional advertising even more than with digital. It’s probably one of the reasons that companies are still buying outdoor advertising and that outdoor is still managing year-over-year growth while other ad platforms are starting to decline.

Despite the differences in the experience they offer, mobile and outdoor media are similar in several ways:

  • Lower cost. They are both typically available at a lower CPM cost than television.
  • More targeted geographic reach. Outdoor ads can be placed geographically to reach consumers close to or at the point-of-sale location. Mobile campaigns can use geofencing and near-field communication to transmit marketing messages to smartphone users within a specific area.
  • Amplification. When used in conjunction with other advertising, both mobile and outdoor media can reinforce other advertising efforts. A billboard can direct consumers to a special online promotional opportunity just like a QR code can.

Integrating Mobile and Outdoor Media

Combining mobile and outdoor creates value beyond what either medium offers alone. It lets consumers interact in a new way with the type of ad space they have seen on every road and highway thousands of times in their lives. These interactions may help an audience create a personal and memorable connection to a brand. Also, the right mobile / outdoor integration can produce a viral effect. If you’re a consumer and your tweet appears in Times Square in ten-foot tall letters, it’s something you may want to share with friends.

Consider some creative examples of how outdoor and digital media buying can attract consumers.

Cross-Platform Advertisements

Clear Channel Outdoor used opt-in NFC technology to transmit information to its audience’s phones when consumers got within a certain distances of an outdoor structure, such as a billboard, kiosk, or sign. Google, Disney, and McDonald’s are among the brands to use this technology in shopping mall kiosk campaigns. A variation involves sending text messages to consumers, which allow them to participate in contests, view trailers, and more.

Outdoor Media and Social Media

Old Navy partnered with Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote Old Navy’s new flip flops via a vending machine that gave away free footwear in exchange for tweets. The campaign yielded 9,000 tweets for the both the brand and the late night show (not to mention 9,000 pairs of happy feet.)


McDonald’s enticed customers to win food prizes by using their phones to play a gigantic game of Pong on a large digital billboard. The campaign drew attention to its outdoor advertising while also getting customers into McDonald’s stores.

The opportunities for integrating mobile and outdoor media range in complexity and expense. As these examples show, however, even the simplest implementation can create something that is memorable and effective for your company.

Capitol Media Solutions is experienced in both traditional media buying and digital advertising. Contact us so we can craft an innovative plan for your business.

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