What Is Outdoor Advertising?

Outdoor advertising, also known as outdoor media, means any ad campaign that publicises your business’s products and services and is done outdoors.

Now that we have cleared the main term, several other specific outdoor advertising terms can seem confusing or complicated. That’s why we’ve compiled this list to assist you. Feel free to bookmark and refer to this outdoor advertising glossary whenever necessary as we’ll be adding more definitions down the line. Let’s begin!


A-boards are free-standing, double-sided outdoor signs often used by businesses to promote offers, discounts and new products. Also called sandwich boards or pavement signs, these are generally located in high foot traffic areas close to a business’s entrance to catch the attention of passersby and attract new customers. Versions of a-boards include black chalkboards and wooden frames as opposed to metal.


What is a banner? Better yet, what is a banner in advertising? Outdoor advertising banners refer to usually large-scale and eye-catching outdoor displays made from vinyl. They can be found on the side of buildings or attached between two posts, with a logo, slogan or other types of advertisement.

Brand Awareness

What is brand awareness? Brand awareness means the familiarity consumers have with a brand image and how they recognise a particular brand’s products subconsciously.

Campaign Advertising

What is a campaign in advertising? Campaign advertising refers to a set of planned promotional activities that revolve around a singular brand message. This can involve several different mediums and promotional efforts across a length of time based on one strategy, either to raise brand awareness, drive sales or generate leads.

Digital Out Of Home

What is Digital Out of Home? Digital OOH, or Digital Out of Home, is advertising which is seen outside the home. The most common examples of Digital OOH are electronic billboards or anything that is seen “on the go”. 

However, Digital Out Of Home is specific to anything seen on screen or anything digital rather than just print. The digital projection mapping for MediaCity UK outdoor event is an example of Digital OOH.

Display Period

In advertising, the Display Period refers to the exposure time during which an individual advertising message is on display. When it comes to outdoor advertising specifically, the Display Period means the interval of time when an OOH advertising campaign is run and viewed.

Dwell Time

What is Dwell Time? Dwell time, also known as ‘read time’ in outdoor advertising terms, is the interval of time the audience spends viewing an outdoor advertising display or billboard. 

For example, a digital bus stop ad would have a dwell time of as long as people typically wait for a bus, whereas a highway billboard would have a dwell time of around 15 seconds.

Guerilla Advertising

What is Guerilla Advertising? Guerilla Advertising is one of the less conventional forms of advertising but can be one of the most successful. Rather than a poster or billboard to promote a business, businesses use unconventional mediums to advertise a product or service. 

An example of Guerilla Advertising is this KitKat bench. To promote the chocolate bar and emphasise the tagline “Have a break… Have a KitKat” KitKat used public benches with their chocolate bar and wrapper on them. This out of the norm marketing goes beyond physical objects, like benches and buses, it includes flash mobs and other types of unique campaigns.

Head-on Display

In outdoor advertising terms, head-on display refers to a billboard or other form of advertising display that an audience (whether that is a motorist or passerby) will face directly, and therefore cannot be missed.


What is a Lightbox? Lightbox is a type of signage that uses light. Most commonly seen as “on-air” signs, Lightboxes have grown in popularity over the years and brands have begun to use them as a more attention-grabbing way to promote their services or products. 

In recent years, interactive ads on the Google Display Network have been coined ‘lightbox ads’ since they share the same goal of traditional lightbox signage to quickly capture users’ attention, in this case with multiple images, videos, or a combination of both


What does OOH mean? OOH stands for out of home advertising and it includes any form of visual advertising media a consumer might come across outside their home. From billboards and transit ads to bus wraps and signage, these are all types of OOH displays.

Out Of Home Media

What is Out Of Home media? Out Of Home media falls into the OOH advertising category, and it is any medium used in campaigns outside of the home. Meaning, TV, radio, or online are all excluded from Out Of Home media. 

Instead, OOH media includes traditional out of home displays, such as billboards, posters and transit advertising, as well as non-traditional media formats, such as drink coasters and keychains. Out Of Home media also includes more experimental types of media that are highly engaging, such as 3D Projection Mapping and unique pop-ups.

POS Advertising

What is Point Of Sale advertising? Point of Sale advertising or POS is an in-store marketing campaign, often used in retail. It’s a noninvasive marketing campaign that can create brand awareness, provide a positive customer experience and can increase sales. 

POS is often confused with POP or Point of Purchase. Where Point of Sale usually takes place near the end of the sale and often near the checkouts, Point of Purchase refers to one of the first stages of the customer visit.

Reach in Advertising

What is reach in advertising? In outdoor advertising terms, reach refers to the percentage of people within a target audience that will likely be exposed to an ad during the campaign period.


What is Signage? Signage is a type of advertising that is used for a business to interact with its target audience and can consist of any kind of graphic display. This includes on-site banner signs, traditional billboards, among others.

Signage can take place indoors or outdoors, and it also includes both digital and print mediums. An obvious example of signage is the large electronic billboards in Piccadilly, London. 

Target Audience

What is Target Audience? Also called demographic, target audience in advertising refers to the demographic profile of people for which a specific ad was intended to target, as they are most likely to have an interest in the service or product being advertised. 

Traffic Count

What is traffic count? In outdoor advertising terms, traffic count refers to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic passing a given point to determine the number of potential impressions that an advertising message can reach.

There you have it: some of the most common outdoor advertising terms explained. If you would like to see real-world examples of this outdoor advertising glossary, take a look at our Outdoor Advertising Case studies.

Elevator Shaft 01
Black Perforated Dual Color Signage Application For Old Navy