Fastest-Growing Cities in America: Where to Advertise Next With OOH

Oakland, California skyline

Did you know that an estimated 83% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas? By 2050, this number is projected to grow to 89% of the U.S. population. Urbanization is a global trend reflecting the growing population of the world. Some of the top reasons why people are moving to big cities are due to lifestyle, education opportunities, and a better job market. Unsurprisingly, rich culture and diverse population, combined with the booming economic potential emerging from top colleges/universities and financial districts are what makes city life so attractive to Millennials and Generation Z.

For advertisers, this means that there’s no better time than now to invest in out-of-home (OOH) advertising in these metropolitan areas. This article will give you a glimpse into some of the fastest-growing cities in America which show promising prospects for you to hit a home run with your next OOH campaign

Austin, Texas

Mural advertising Austin, Texas. Ad reads, "Greetings from Austin, Capital of Texas"

First on the list is none other than the “Live Music Capital of the World”. Austin is known for its outstanding food, live music venues, scenic landscape filled with lakes and parks, emerging tech culture, world-class museums, and for housing the Texas Capitol building. With countless activities to do and landmarks to visit, it’s no wonder that the state capital receives over 30 million domestic visitors annually

In terms of its population, Austin has reached nearly 1 million residents as of this year, making it the 4th largest city in Texas and the 11th largest city in the U.S. The median age for consumers is 33 years — meaning Austin is a go-to city for advertisers looking to target Millennials.

One major way advertisers can make an impact in Austin is by capturing the attention of their target market when they’re in the moment and having fun. Take this campaign Dell did a while back at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport:

Billboard for Dell. Ad reads, "So you came here to start something ibg? So did we."

Billboard for Dell. Ad reads, "Look no further. 4 of 5 top search engines worldwide are powered by Dell. Let us find the solution for you."

As the largest company in the Greater Austin area, Dell did a fine job of welcoming visitors to the city. Besides touting its own company, Dell showed that it’s proud to do business in Austin, which is especially evident in the one billboard that says “So you came here to start something big? So did we.

Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida skyline.

Next on the list is one of South Florida’s premier vacation destinations, with beaches, great weather, history, culture, sports, and entertainment. 

One of the reasons why Miami is such a great OOH hub is that it is one of the sunniest cities in America! Out of 365 days, Miami gets on average 248 days of sunshine—43 days more than the national average. The favorable weather in Florida offers three key advantages for advertisers: tourism, cheaper billboards, and greater visibility. In 2019, the sunny city attracted a record number of 24.2 million total visitors, which contributed $17.9 billion to the local economy.

And whether you’re visiting Miami for an overnight stay or you’re staying for multiple days, you can’t miss out on going to the beach. A truly innovative way that OOH advertisers are captivating the attention of beachgoers is with floating billboards. Ballyhoo Media, a start-up based in Miami, installs LED billboards on a boat that sails up and down from the shoreline of Miami Beach. The company has quite literally brought ‘Times Square-style’ billboards into the beaches.

Billboard on boat advertising Wynwood near the shoreline of Miami Beach.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington skyline

Seattle is famous for its coffee culture, grunge music scene, the Seahawks, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, headquarters of a lot of the tech industry (including both Amazon and Microsoft), hiking, kayaking, and general outdoors lifestyle.

The Evergreen State has had large influxes of money to its economy in recent years. Firstly, like most other places on this list, Washington has tourism as one of its major industries. Tourism generates over $21.4 billion in annual spending and contributes to $1.8 billion in state and local taxes in Washington. In addition to that, Washington has seen a surge of VC money (totaling over $4.6 billion), as venture capitalists are looking to the area to produce the next great company.

All of this is to say that Seattle, and Washington in general, have been experiencing a major economic uplift, and the best way you can capitalize on the economic activity is to get your name onto the minds of consumers. From walls capes to digital networks, bulletins to billboards, there are many OOH formats to choose from in Seattle. 

Henderson, Nevada

Billboard advertising the Las Vegas Raiders.

From its historic role in World War II to its Tree City status to some damn good sushi, there’s plenty to love about this famous ’burb.

Henderson is the second-largest city in Nevada, after Las Vegas, with an estimated population of 320k in 2019 (an increase of 24.6% since 2010). Named as “One of the Best Cities to Live in America” by Bloomberg Businessweek and one of the Top 10 “Safest Cities in the United States” by the FBI Uniform Crime Report, it’s no wonder that many families are making their way to Henderson.

The highways servicing Henderson offer effective advertising opportunities. By placing billboards along State Route 582, State Route 564, Interstate 515, or Interstate 215 you’re sure to gain high traffic and exposure for your business.

Denver, Colorado

Denver Colorado skyline

With a large, educated, young, and growing population, great weather, captive consumers constantly stuck in traffic, and its vast array of OOH options, Denver is becoming — if not already — a major advertising hub.

The city also currently employs the 9th-most number of tech professionals in the U.S. With one of the highest nationwide year-over-year growth of tech-related jobs, Denver is being heralded as a tech community on the rise. Companies, such as Facebook and Netflix, have already established headquarters in the city which presumes that more companies will soon follow suit. Due to this, more people than ever before are moving to Denver from San Francisco – home of Silicon Valley, the global center of technology. 

Like many other cities, the number of OOH options in Denver is astronomical. Contrary to most cities though, the prices aren’t. Aside from typical static billboards, there are also many options for digital billboards. As an increasingly tech-centered city, digital OOH is a growing trend in Denver. Some of the many benefits of digital OOH include: easy updating-no tearing down and pasting up of new billboard content, data analytics baked in, and imp[roved audience reach. According to Sabercon, “70% of surveyed Americans aged 12 and older recalled digital videos within one month…Of that 70%, nearly half (47%) recall the content of what they saw.” That is an impressive recall rate! As well, there are other forms of OOH available – such as bus shelters and truck-side advertising.

If you’re interested in making an impact on the Denver OOH scene, check out this article, which talks more about why it’s such a great market.

Oakland, California

Image from Pexels

Oakland, California is the most ethnically diverse major city in the nation and a fantastic location for outdoor advertising. The “Bright Side of the Bay” is home to three professional sports teams and the fifth busiest port in the US, as well as several major corporations including Kaiser Permanente, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, and Clorox. 

In terms of its consumer market, in 2018, Oakland, CA had a population of 429k people with a median age of 36.8 and a median household income of $76,469. 

One notable billboard campaign from Oakland is one that New Balance did last year during the NBA Finals Season between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors. Less than 24 hours after the Raptors beat the Warriors in Game 1, New Balance erected a foreboding billboard featuring Kawhi Leonard above a major highway.

Billboard from New Balance in partnership with Kawhi Leonard. Ad reads, "The King of the North is coming." and crosses off the cities, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is home to the world’s busiest airport, more than 30 colleges, and universities, and 200 of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies—including Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz, UPS, Home Depot, and AT&T Mobility. Advertising with OOH in the ATL means that you’re reaching the eyes of important business executives in addition to over 5.8 million residents and over 50 million annual tourists.

One key factor to consider when considering OOH advertising in Atlanta is the terrible traffic congestion. Traffic congestion in Atlanta is so bad that drivers experience a 22-51% increase in driving times. conducted a study in 2018 and found that Atlanta commuters spend on average 484 days of their life in traffic. 

To capitalize on consumers’ wandering eyes in their cars, many companies have turned to OOH transit advertising. In particular, truck-side mobile billboards offer the benefits of a large-format medium with greater eye-level visibility.

Take this campaign Koch Industries did earlier this year:

Mobile billboard advertising for Koch Industries in Washington DC.

With the help of truck-side advertising company, Movia, Koch launched a high-impact and sustainable mobile OOH campaign in Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Georgia. In light of the recent global push toward climate action, Koch Industries wanted to spread the word about their sustainability efforts, but with a medium that matched their message. Using the third-party delivery trucks that Movia partners with — which were already on the road for other purposes — the campaign created net-zero emission pollution. Over 14 weeks and using only 10 trucks in each market, the partnership generated more than a whopping 112 million targeted OOH impressions. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to launch a new franchise location or cater to a new market, OOH is a great way to help your brand make a strong first impression. OOH generates reach quickly, delivers targeted and mass impressions, delivers high ROI, and connects brands with active and alert consumers. 

Updated February 22, 2022

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