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Innovate and adapt: How the world of outdoor advertising has evolved

The world around us is constantly changing - a process that's been accelerated by the development of new and exciting technologies. In terms of outdoor advertising, we've come a long way since the first billboards were created to attract travellers on long and winding roads. Advertising is one of the oldest industries around, and yet it remains as relevant today as it was decades ago.
Innovate and adapt: How the world of outdoor advertising has evolved

So, what’s the key to outdoor advertising success? Some would argue it’s the ability to innovate and adapt to changing consumer needs and behaviours. It’s about leaving a lasting impression in some of the most outlandish ways possible and attracting people's attention when they're on the go. From hand-painted posters to interactive 3D digital ads, we're taking a look at how the simple concept of outdoor advertising has changed since its initial inception.

Let’s start at the beginning

Everything has to start somewhere and, when it comes to outdoor advertising, the first-ever billboard is believed to have been created in the 1800s. The idea for this larger-than-life advertising tool stemmed from the success of simple posters. But, as with most things in life, bigger proved to be better. After all, why have a tiny poster when you could have a beaming roadside billboard attracting the attention of anyone passing by?

Even more impressive is that, because computer and digital printing was yet to be invented, the first outdoor advertising billboards are suspected to have been hand painted by hopeful artists. Of course, as time went on, it would eventually become a printed practice before finally making use of powerful digital technologies.

Things soon started moving

While stationary billboards were doing the job of getting people's attention, those in the advertising game wanted more. This is when outdoor advertising went mobile by attaching ad posters to trains, wagons and, in years to come, even cars. Instead of simply waiting for foot traffic, outdoor ads now had the ability to reach an even wider audience. Think of this as the earliest form of ad targeting.

Fast forward a few decades and you’ve got blimps and planes with banners and screens to share messages with the world. There are also trucks and cars that feature magnets with eye-catching ads or even digital screens that make sure their messages are shared far and wide.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing

Outdoor advertising took a dip in the '80s with the introduction of television as the most popular pastime. This meant ad industry experts had to re-think how and where they reached customers. Fortunately, they were quick to adapt with targeted TV ads and, as the years went on and we saw the invention of the Internet, they even got the hang of online advertising.

This soon led to the development of digital advertising platforms that weren’t limited to your living room. Instead, the same technology used to supply home entertainment would be used to reinvent the world of outdoor advertising.

The power of digital signage

No longer limited to static printed billboards, outdoor advertising flourished with bold, colourful digital screens that command your attention. With a custom outdoor digital ad, you can create anything from interactive product displays to engaging videos to keep consumers captivated. LG's premium range of Outdoor Digital Displays feature the latest technology to bring content to life, whether it's at a shopping centre, sports stadium, or transport station. Looking at these innovative outdoor options, it's crazy to think how far we've come in a relatively short space of time.

Finding the golden thread

Any successful marketing strategy – be it online, outdoor, or on television – requires a plan.

If you’re selling running shoes, your online advertising would target athletes. Your in-store marketing would be directed towards the areas of the mall where you know active individuals will be. And, when it comes to outdoor advertising, you need to anticipate where the right people will be and how to go about getting their attention. Fortunately, there are bold and innovative solutions at your fingertips. Who knows where the next step in the outdoor advertising evolution will take us?

27 Oct 2021 07:49