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From Traditional to Digital : The Evolution of Out-of-Home Advertising


What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when we say out-of-home advertising? If you literally just go by the name, then it obviously means outdoor advertising, that includes billboards and posters you would very often than not see on a busy street. The concept of out-of-home advertising is not new, in fact one of the first OOH advertisements was done back in the 1800s.

But clearly, it has evolved and how! Advertising has grown into much more than a large printed cut-out. The ever growing technology has challenged OOH, and it is now infused with technology to create engaging and interactive digital content that is not constrained to a poster or a billboard. This advancement is digital out-of-home advertising or DOOH.

Let’s explore this remarkable growth and understand the shift that went from printed statics to digital visuals.

Traditional billboards – The foundation of OOH

We’ve all seen billboards, and it has always had a presence in both urban landscape as well as rural areas. It has been a primary medium through which advertisers usually market their brand, as it is cost effective and does the job of garnering attention.

From bustling city streets to scenic highways, these static displays have always played a vital role in helping brands reach their audience in high-traffic areas, with ease.


  • Research by the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) suggests that billboards in India generate millions of impressions daily, making them an effective medium for brand visibility.


Everyone remembers the iconic campaign of “Surf Excel – Daag Acche Hai” by Hindustan Unilever. They put billboards across the country to convey their message of cleanliness. Needless to say, it worked like a charm, as the smart tagline caught the attention of its audience and they managed to leave a significant impression.

The Digital Revolution in Indian OOH Advertising

In recent years, digital technology has revolutionised the OOH advertising landscape in India, ushering in a new era of innovation and creativity. Digital screens offer advertisers unprecedented flexibility and versatility, enabling them to deliver dynamic, targeted, and engaging content to consumers in real-time.


  • Studies indicate that DOOH campaigns in India are 2.5 times more likely to be noticed by consumers compared to traditional static billboards.


Amul is one of the best examples here, as they went from setting up traditional billboards to utilising digital space in the best possible way. Their “Be More Milk” campaign featured a 15 second that was also played in Times Square, New York.


The future of OOH advertising

As technology advances, the consumer behaviour changes, which in turn determine how advertising would work on them. The future of OOH advertising looks dynamic and digital with trends like AI, programmatic advertising and machine learning take centre stage. This also means advertisers now have more opportunities to reach a wider audience, compiling the benefits of both traditional channels as well as the digital ones.


In conclusion, it’s safe to say that the evolution of OOH advertising, from traditional billboards to digital screens represent a shift in the way brands approach their potential audience.

As we are surrounded by technology and overwhelmed with options, choosing channels can get a little tough. But with right guidance and expertise, it becomes manageable.

If you are interested in making the most of your brand’s outdoor advertising campaigns, then let’s connect!