Billboards and Beyond: The Outdoor Connection

Look beyond posters and, too often, outdoor prompts jokes about take-away lids and toilet seats. But this report shows it is an effective way to reach mass and defined audiences.

Outdoor provides an enormous opportunity for brands wishing to reach out and connect with consumers - unlike any other medium, you do not have to turn it on, tune it in, dial it up or turn over a page to see it.

Nor do you have to look too far for a persuasive business endorsement of the effectiveness of outdoor - the continued growth in advertising revenue. In 1998, 83 per cent of the UK's top 100 advertisers used outdoor and by 2004 this had increased to 94 per cent. Since 1998, and despite the demise of Maiden Outdoor, the sector's revenue has grown by 51 per cent.

So much for the stats. This supplement is not for outdoor boffins. In these pages, the veteran Campaign contributor Alasdair Reid offers analysis and insight for planners, account managers and creatives to make sure they get the best out of a medium that, because of its size and diversity, can appear confusing to Campaign's audience.

You can read Billboards and Beyond straight through if you wish, or keep it for reference and dip in and out of the bits that interest you the most. Spending five minutes getting to know the territory using the sector overviews (pages 5, 13 and 23) is well worthwhile. After that, detailed pages provide nuggets of data and case studies that will not only help you to understand the outdoor medium better, but also help win other people's support for your ideas. Everything is covered inside, from the quirky (postcards, lampposts, phone kiosks) to the mainstream (airports, supermarkets, rail, cinema).

Enjoy the read.

- Caroline Marshall, executive editor, Campaign.

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