Comparing OOH Advertising and Radio Advertising

What Does It All Mean? 

Advertising refers to the process of promoting your product or service to the marketplace. When it comes to driving successful sales, it is vital to make sure your product and its core benefits are known to your target audience(s). Where marketing involves the groundwork of branding and researching the needs of your target market, advertising is the process whereby you actually communicate with your target market.

Advertising campaigns can be communicated through numerous venues, billboards, OOH, television, radio, or online. Part of your marketing research will be identifying the most effective venues for your target audience. Here we discuss the power of radio and OOH advertising. 

Radio advertising:

Just like advertisers pay for the commercials you see on television during your favorite show, some advertisers also choose to focus their marketing dollars on radio advertising. That is, buying commercials, frequently called spots in the radio industry, to promote their products or services. Advertisers pay commercial radio stations for airtime and, in exchange, the radio station broadcasts the advertiser’s commercial to its listening audience.

There are some popular radio advertising:

        Live read: A format where you can hear commercials read in real-time online by a radio announcer, a type of            commercial also known as a live read.
        Sponsorship: Many radio stations implement sponsorships for certain types of radio segments, such as                    traffic, weather, or sports scores during the halftime of a big game.
        Produced spot: A produced spot can either be a straight read of your advertising message or a read that                  incorporates multiple voices, sound effects or a jingle.

For more information, this article by Grant Christian of Absolute Marketing Group outlines the basic elements, properties, rewards, and misconceptions about radio advertising today. 

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising:

Outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home media or outdoor media, is advertising that reaches the consumers while they are outside of their homes. Out of home advertising solutions include billboards, advertising posters, walls, bus and rail media, street furniture, specialty signage, digital, mobile billboards, sports media, ambient and more, which all offer unique characteristics in their given platforms.

Advertising on the radio and on OOH is often a part of a multimedia marketing strategy. Keith Loria of BXP Magazine says that, “from pre-purchase to post, a marketing strategy that engages shoppers can create loyalty, evangelism and unparalleled connections” (Loria 2017). This is important to put into place because buying and committing is a process, and sometimes a lengthy one, but with a stellar multimedia marketing strategy the product will stay in the minds of consumers for years to come. Both types of advertising have pros and cons. It is important to know if your budget requires you to choose one over the other. Identifying which type of media your target market is most likely to pay attention to is key in deciding which one is best for your marketing needs.

Great OOH advertising tells a story and highlights key qualities about the product


Unlike other advertising mediums, consumers don’t really have a choice as to whether or not they see OOH ads. Because OOH ads are part of the environment, and can’t really be ignored, they offer much more impact for your campaigns and for a longer period of time. The longevity of OOH is substantial, while it can also be taken from the physical environment to social media by way of consumer documentation. People enjoy capturing photos and videos of a successful OOH and then sharing that to their social networks, in so doing attracting more potential clients. But radio ads are ephemeral: you hear them, and then it is gone. If you have lost a phone number or any other details mentioned in the notice, you’ll have to wait for it to be advertised again.


If you’re trying to reach a broader audience, OOH is an effective marketing platform. Because of where they live, these ads can reach those who may otherwise be hard to reach, like busy travellers and low-income consumers. OOH has the power to drive consumers to search a brand, interact with it, and make a purchase.

Interacting with OOH is a memorable experience for the consumer

On the other hand, if a radio ad emerges after a popular song then that’s instant promotion. But what if the spot comes in amid expanded block ads – ads that direct listeners to change the station after a couple of minutes? The stations that advertise 30 or 45 minutes of nonstop music offset by long chains of trade, those messages may get lost within the station as the listener will most likely tune out during the commercial break. 

Cost Effective:

In a recent study, the Outdoor Media Association found that OOH delivers a high ROI in all categories. And the higher the budget spent on OOH ads, the larger the return.

It simply costs less to reach 1,000 using OOH. For instance, online ads can cost over $15 for one thousand impressions, magazines can cost over $20 per thousand, and a spot on cable broadcasting can cost between $22 and $25 per thousand. Compare that with OOH’s $3 – $9 per thousand impressions and you see how effective your ad spend can be when spent outdoors.

With TV and radio, you have to consider the spike in prices during peaks times to advertise (rush hour traffic or popular shows). Overall, it is clear that OOH impact is gaining more and more pull on consumers who want to be a part of an advertising experience tapping into more of their senses, rather than just their ears. 



Christian, Grant. (21 February, 2012). The Essence Behind Radio Advertising. Absolute Marketing Group. Retrieved from:

Loria, Keith. (7 October, 2017). How multimedia marketing can deliver better brand experiences. BXP Magazine. Retrieved from:

2017. Every OOH Ad Dollar Generates $5.97 in Sales. Outdoor Media Association. Retrieved from:

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