Turning Out of Home Upside Down

The 2018 OBIE Awards highlight the intersection of digital print and our digital world.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has always had one primary goal: snag the attention of passersby. In an increasingly cluttered and preoccupied world, this goal may seem easier said than done. But fear not, PSPs: one could argue that it’s actually the best time to be producing OOH campaigns. 

Traditional out-of-home applications like billboards and posters are now joined by vinyl-covered street furniture, innovative transit wraps, breathtaking wall murals, interactive digital media, and much more. With upwards of 300,000 billboards, 100,000 street furniture displays, 1.5 million transit wraps, and 1.3 million place-based displays estimated to be installed in the US in 2018, OOH revenue seems destined for further growth, even after a record-high $7.7 billion in revenue in 2017. How can your shop capitalize on this ongoing expansion?

“OOH is growing because it complements digital media by priming search, mobile, and social engagement,” says Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) President and CEO Nancy Fletcher. Today’s campaigns leverage the best of digital print and the increasingly digital world; connected print allows smartphone users to access online content through print media, while digital signage lets consumers actually participate in a campaign through hashtags and photo submissions. And, of course, “Instagrammable” displays designed for selfies can spread far and wide through social media. A little creativity – and a lot of printed graphics – can go a long way.

The OAAA’s 2018 OBIE Awards reflect the growing and evolving OOH sector by honoring 60 winners across 18 categories, ranging from retail and entertainment to integrated multimedia and contextual. “When designing for OOH, it’s important to make it beautiful, have fun with it, and tell consumers something they need to know,” says OBIE Chief Judge Matt Murphy of ad agency 72andSunny, in a release. This year’s awardees took that advice to heart with stunning and inventive campaigns.

Here, we present some of our favorite OBIE award winners that prove out-of-home displays don’t have to be limited to a static billboard. (Though, as you’ll see, billboards still shine in this digital age!) Take a look, be inspired, and consider expanding your shop’s repertoire. 

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