If the Internet is first, what marketing medium do you think is showing the second-highest growth? Is it mobile technology, like SMS? Certainly not print or radio, right? TV? With the likes of American Idol…maybe.

But in fact, out-of-home is the second-fastest growing medium. Yes, OOH!

According to this post:

Outdoor ad spending rose 11.4 percent in March, making it the fastest growing major ad medium next to the Internet, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Why? you may ask.

“Brands are investing more heavily than we anticipated,” Freitas explained. “I think we’re starting to see an acceleration in ad dollars moving from other traditional media to out-of-home.” Asked why this might be so, Freitas mused: “I think there continues to be uncertainty concerning the future vitality of other media formats, and there’s a lot of interest in using out-of-home to reach consumers when they’re ‘on the go.'”

Beth Gray, of Foote, Cone & Belding, said she’s seen an uptick in outdoor ad spending too–pointing to the advent of new technologies, including digital billboards, as a way to “cut through the clutter.” “I believe it–especially because in some markets people are buying and creating premium outdoor ads, not just regular 30-sheets. You can just look in Times Square–people are really starting to get into LED displays, and it’s driven by the desire to create something that’s truly impactful.”

Some marketers, however, are going a bit overboard with the medium. Witness the latest debacle of the Mission: Impossible III marketing ploy, other than the obvious debacle of having Tom Cruise star in the movie:

A newspaper promotion for Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible III” movie was off to an explosive start when a California arson squad blew up a news rack, thinking it contained a bomb.

The confusion: the Los Angeles Times rack was fitted with a digital musical device designed to play the Mission: Impossible theme song when the door was opened. But in some cases, the red plastic boxes with protruding wires were jarred loose and dropped onto the stack of newspapers inside, alarming customers.

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