The Evolution of Out Of Home Advertising

bus-shelterThe OOH advertising can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where government and ruling tribes used to publicize their rules, protocols and agreements. While we live in an age of technology, we cannot forgo the fact that our ancestors devised this brilliant advertising concept that developed throughout the years and only became more refined and effective.

Short for out of home, OOH advertising, since its conception has been not only been a source of information, but also entertainment. The live commercials or ads that we nowadays get to see and interact live outside are called as out of home advertisements. The concept of this advertising mainly targets on the consumers, especially when they are outside their homes. This increases the communication level by bridging the gap between a brand and the customer.

Let’s take a look at the evolution of OOH advertising in brief:

  • Structurally, out of home advertising was brought into solid existence in the year 1450, after Johannes Gutenberg created a movable type printing. Lithography was refined in 1796 after posters were created, which led to the creation of bill posters.
  • In 1830’s the same posters took a huge canvas, and that’s when billboards were originated when people painted on large signs to display information for various purposes.
  • In 1860’s, the American Industry embraced the initial leasing of the billboards and small companies came into existence who painted the posters.
  • In 1890’s, OAAA, i.e. Outdoor Advertising Association of America was formed that managed the several advertising companies throughout the USA.


After stepping into 20th century, the outdoor advertising started changing ever since the year 1900, when companies such as Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Palmolive, out of others started using billboards to market their products. It was this concrete marketing strategy that helped these brands become a giant now.

Although the advertising sector was affected during wars, the industry never stopped doing the business. Later on, after 1925, the OAAA combined with several associations to serve a general category of outdoor marketing sector that included billboards, posters, etc. Many changes were brought in the organization to reflect newer strategies that helped many businesses flourish during that time.

Out of home advertising thoroughly succeeded when marketing campaigns where run by companies to inform one and all about their products and services. By the time we reached 21st century, the normal billboard had expanded itself into digital era and it was in the year 2005, when world’s first digital billboards were put into use.

Out of home advertising is almost 200 years old and is still focused and thriving on nothing but innovation, technology and consumers.

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