Outdoor or Mural Advertising

Outdoor or mural advertising is the oldest form of advertising and remains the most common media even today. It is also called wall advertising.. Outdoor advertising consists of a display of advertisements out of door which may be in the form of posters, painted signs, field signs, neon light signs, hoardings and posters carried by sandwitchmen. This is also referred to as mural advertising as posters consisting of a picture, are often placed on walls particularly a large one, printed directly on a wall or large photograph attached directly to a wall. Small playcards or posters placed outside or inside carriages such as trams, delivery-vans, buses, railway carriages etc. also come under this category.

The new form of advertising by using balloons, kites and smoke-writing in the sky is also a part of outdoor advertising. Outdoor advertising is not always argumentative but suggestive. The effectiveness of such advertising materially depends on its positions. Therefore, outdoor advertisements must be placed in such a way as can be seen by a large number of prospective customers with ample attention. The articles suited for such advertising are those which the masses can buy, such as food products, soaps, medicines, cigarettes, shoes, clothes and other domestic requirements.

Main Characteristics of Outdoor Advertising

1. It is a widespread popular advertising media which makes the goods and services of interest to mass appeal.
2. It has a comparatively longer life.
3. It has a high coverage.
4. Most outdoor advertisements are big and dominant so it is a very powerful eye-catching media.
5. It is a very flexible advertising media so that the advertiser can retain sites where he needs them most.
6. It is the oldest advertising media.
7. It also consists of suitable and popular slogans which can be easily remembered by the prospects.

Types of Outdoor Advertising

1. Posters
This is the most common and popular form of outdoor advertising. These are exhibited on a hoarding or on walls, roofs, fences, chimneys etc. A really commanding effect can be produced by posters which cost less than any other advertising media. Design is the basis of all poster-advertising. These mostly contain pictures. Advertising for a movie is done in this way. Even where no pictures are used, the proper arrangement of lettering is important. The posters should be simple, attractive and capable of telling its story at a glance. Posters also give considerable scope for the use of suitable and attractive colours. Humour can also be used with advantage in poster-advertising.

2. Advertising Board
These are also posters which are kept at certain fixed places especially at points where people frequently assemble, such as bus stops, railways, crossings etc. Generally these advertising boards are made of metallic sheet enclosed in a wooden frame and fixed with a panel having specified height at main junctions. These are fixed and well set with flood-lights.

3. Vehicle Advertising
It refers to moving advertisement. It consists of placing posters or playcards inside or outside vehicles such as trams, buses, taxies, delivery-vans, railway carriages etc. The main advantage of this system is the small space available for such posters. These posters are fairly sighted by the eyes and can be easily read. This method is a very common media and is considered to be very effective.

4. Electric Displays and Signs
Signs illuminated by electricity are today to be seen in large number in cities. This is the most modern and the most attractive form of outdoor display. It may consist of wooden letters studded with bulbs. Sometimes with a view to attract the attention, coloured bulbs are used and the colours are changed at short intervals. Another device used to attract attention is to turn on the light on each letter at a time to give the impression of the sign being written by an invisible hand.

5. Neon Signs
There are brilliantly coloured tubes available in various shades. These can be of the still or the flashing type. These signs are more attractive and interesting than the signs built up by a number of electric bulbs.

6. Sandwitchmen
They are hired persons and properly dressed who walk in the streets in a procession with boards, posters and notices placed about them. The idea is to attract the attention of the public. The cinema-theatres usually arrange this kind of advertising media when a new picture is released.

7. Stickers
It is also an important form of outdoor advertising. In this case, the advertiser enters in a contract with the popular players that whatever they will wear or use during the match will bear the sticker of the advertiser.

Advantages of Outdoor Advertising Media

1. It has a wide coverage.
2. It is capable of gaining more attention of the public.
3. Outdoor advertising is more useful for local dealers. Its results can be more readily secured by using this form of advertising.
4. In big cities and high traffic areas, outdoor advertising is the most effective form of advertising.
5. Outdoor advertising is more flexible.
6. It offers greater selectivity because it can be used locally, regionally or even nationally.
7. It can be easily remembered.
8. It is quite economical.
9. It has comparatively long life.
10. It is a very good media to stress brand names and package identity.

Disadvantages of Outdoor Advertising Media

The outdoor advertising media possess the following disadvantages, demerits or limitations and thus is subject to criticism :

1. It is subject to adverse reaction of the public on the ground that the walls of the houses are used for writing outdoor advertisement even without the permission of the owner of the house.
2. The message written under this type of advertising is too brief.
3. The exact effect created on prospects is difficult to measure.
4. The language used in writing on the wall advertising is usually defective and sometimes immoral too. It has an adverse effect on the public.


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