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4 Cool Trends in Out-of-home Advertising at the Halfway Point of 2019

Posted by Chris Murch on July 18, 2019

Out-of-home (OOH) is seriously crushing it right now. Not only is it everywhere and offering some of the highest visibility you can give your business, but it’s also growing fast. According to Magna Global, worldwide OOH ad spend grew 4.6% in 2018 with projections for 2019 looking even stronger in the US. Magna also states that OOH was the only traditional ad medium to show growth last year, while eMarketer states that the UK OOH market will grow 1.2% in 2019. If you are looking to get a big word out about your company and be truly innovative in your messaging, OOH is the way to go. 

Via Lamar Advertising, 80% of consumers noticed out-of-home ads this week, according to a 2019 Neilsen study. TV buys, print ads, direct mail, and texting campaigns are still around for in-home, but if your business really wants to make a memorable splash, OOH is the best option. The beauty of OOH? It adapts better than any other type of advertising media. You can be extremely original in what you do, and the possibilities are endless. 

Let’s take a look at four cool trends in out-of-home advertising so far in 2019.

Nostalgic Takeovers/Activations 

Nostalgia is an asset that is gaining steam. Nostalgia sells really well. Look at shoe companies like Nike, Jordan and Adidas that constantly re-release old sneaker drops. Netflix capitalized on this with a Stranger Things Season 3 themed takeover of the Tower Records block of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Dubbed the “Starcourt Mall Experience,” (named after the mall in Stranger Things), individuals were transported back to 1985 with old school cans of Coke, pictures taken with old skateboards and bikes, a “Scoops Ahoy” ice cream parlor and actors dressed in 80’s garb. While the experience coincided with the release weekend of the Netflix show (July 4-7), the takeover’s art and billboards are still up. They also erected a carnival at the Santa Monica Pier, which was so popular that the pier was overwhelmed by fans, and the event had to close early.

Stranger Things

Photo credit: Kevin Winston of

Stranger Things

Photo Credit: Alyse Wax via

Not to be outdone in the nostalgia category, Nickelodeon opened up a Good Burger pop-up on July 10 that features branded logos everywhere, an All That game room, employees dressed exactly like Ed and Dexter (who say the “welcome to Good Burger” line as you walk up to the counter) and a specially concocted “Ed’s Sauce,” just like the movie. Tickets go for $30 per person and will be running through mid-December. Not only will this pop-up more than likely be very profitable, but it’s also a good way for Nickelodeon to capitalize on an OOH activation with nostalgia.

Photo credit:

Interactive and Engaging 

Interactive and engaging OOH is one of the better marketing practices you can do. And you can do it in many ways. Spotify made news for using data to tell stories in their marketing via OOH billboards in Times Square and in other cities. This brought eyeballs, laughs and ultimately major brand exposure because of its engaging narrative, relatability and the stories told.

Via Spotify

While it is usually restricted to bigger companies because of the cost to procure the space necessary or the tech needed, smaller businesses can get involved via smaller interactive digital displays in major cities or by utilizing smaller spaces or products. A good example is Tyrolit’s use of rust to show off how their knives stay untarnished.

Via Heimat

Greenpeace used bags from already purchased items to tell a cool story and have a striking image. It doesn’t take too much to have this interactive advertising done in an OOH space. It’s all about originality and innovation. In 2019, those two things go a long way with consumers who have already seen every form of advertising under the sun.

Via Pinterest


Car sales are going down. Car prices are going up. Cities are becoming smarter and easier to travel in. Thus, ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft and Via are obtaining more and more users every day. Taxi services in cities like NYC and LA are still extremely popular as well. Your company could be missing out on a golden opportunity to advertise to consumers who will be in a vehicle, or surrounded by them, on a daily basis. 

With a company like Firefly, which partners with rideshare companies and taxi companies to place digital advertising on top of vehicles, or Surf which places devices inside personal rideshare vehicles, there are a multitude of ways to get your company out there now with vehicles. This is an especially smart choice for companies that have a big presence in big cities.


Photo credit: @firefly_cities on Instagram


Live Digital Countdown Billboards

Digital countdown boards are a great way to cultivate hype for a product launch or release. Having a digital countdown billboard is a really good piece of a marketing mix, especially when you utilize social media. Whether you are counting down the number of days until a product launch, the number of hours before an album release or even counting up for the number of smoking deaths around the US like they have in Los Angeles, the ability to get the word out can be massive with digital countdown boards.

What countdown billboards also provide is another route to interaction. Fans of the product or curious consumers will post to social media or check out the call-to-action to see exactly what is being launched when the clock strikes zero (or racks up a large number). This brings eyeballs and notoriety to your business immediately and adds a mysterious vibe to your messaging, which will in turn provide you with clicks from consumers wondering what’s going on.


Via ClearChannel

Those are just four ways you can maximize your OOH initiatives. To learn more about what you can do with out-of-home, contact Five Tier.