As options for consuming news and entertainment have expanded beyond traditional mediums (i.e., TV, radio, newspaper, and magazines)and into new media such as the Internet, podcasts, mobile devices, and others, advertisers find consumers more difficult to reach. The days of reaching a majority of America on one of the major TV networks is a fond memory. With audiences so fragmented, the challenge is to leave no stone unturned in finding mediums to deliver ad messages.
This challenge has led to the growth of new forms of out-of-home media. Out-of-home is a broad class of media that was once primarily billboards and transit advertising. Today, the category has grown to other high-traffic areas where marketers can reach their target audience. Malls, arenas, and even schools are targets of this form of advertising.
An advantage of out-of-home media is that advertisers often face less competition for the audience's attention than when using traditional media. It is an effective way to break through advertising clutter. However, a fine line exists between getting attention and being intrusive. Out-of-home media can be used to create brand awareness or keep familiar brands on the minds of consumers. This benefit must be balanced against the possibility of alienating people who might be put off by being subjected to ad messages in what have usually been "marketing free" zones such as movie theaters or public restrooms.
Link: The New York Times - "You Are Here (and Probably Seeing an Ad)"