Chapter Eighteen using out-of-home, exhibitive, and supplementary media

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Chapter Eighteen


To present the factors advertisers consider when evaluating various out-of-home, exhibitive, and supplementary media. Many advertisers use these media to either complement or replace print and electronic media, so it's important to understand how advertisers buy these media and the advantages and disadvantages of each. (p. 580)

After studying this chapter, your students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the pros and cons of outdoor advertising.

  2. Explain how to measure exposure to outdoor media.

  3. Describe the types of standard outdoor advertising structures.

  4. Detail the various options available in transit advertising.

  5. Identify the influences on the cost of transit and other out-of-home media.

  6. Discuss the importance of exhibitive media in a company's marketing mix.

  7. Explain the issues advertisers face when considering a change in packaging.

  8. Identify several types of supplementary media.

Teaching Tips and Strategies

    Students will be introduced to the final component of advertising, billboards, transit ads, and electronic ads. When I was selling television airtime, I used to envy the billboard salespeople. In my opinion, they have one of the easiest jobs, and most of the time customers come to you!

    As you know a couple of decades ago, you could be driving down the interstate and there was a billboard every couple of seconds (maybe not that bad, but you get the point). The government passed some laws that no longer allows billboards to be placed anywhere on the roads. In my opinion, this increased the value of the remaining billboards on the highway.

    It comes down to supply and demand as we have seen or heard about many times. For instance, if ten people want a house and there is only one seller what is going to happen to the price of buying that house? One of the nicest things about a billboard advertisement is that the driver/passengers will not be able to selectively block it out. As they can with Internet ads, television ads (flipping the channel), or radio (flipping stations). Exhibit 18-4 on page 587 depicts the cost of outdoor advertising in different markets. I suggest comparing and contrasting these costs versus other mediums.

    As more and more people travel, I think we will continue to see billboard advertising staying healthy. This chapter does a great job of explaining how billboard rates are set etc.

    On page 584 is the checklist for the advantages/disadvantages of outdoor advertising. Be sure to show the students the billboard ads for IMAX Theaters’ Shark Attack promotion on page 589. They are sure to get a kick out of the creative genius.

Lecture Outline

I. Introduction (p. 581) — "Angel in Red" billboard for Garcia's. With imagination, billboards can achieve excellent local reach, frequency, and continuity on a limited budget.

A18-1 Billboard Advertisement (p. 581)

II. Out of Home Media (p. 582)

Media that reach prospects outside of their homes is called out-of-home media. There are more than 30 different types of out-of-home media generating $5.2 billion in annual revenues in 2000. The most common out-of-home media are on-premise signs.

Exhibit 18-1 Breakdown of out-of-home media (p. 582) A18-2 (p. 582)

III. Outdoor Advertising (p. 583)

As a national and global medium, outdoor advertising has achieved great success. It is the one medium that carries a message 24 hours a day, seven days a week, day and night, and without interruption. It's never turned off, zipped, zapped, put aside, or left unopened. In addition, it's big. Some experts now refer to billboards as the last mass medium. In 1999, U.S. advertisers spent $4.8 billion in standardized outdoor advertising.

  1. Standardization of the Outdoor Advertising Business (p. 583) — Media that reach prospects outside their homes-like outdoor advertising, bus and taxicab advertising, subway posters, and terminal advertising — are part of the broad category of out-of-home media. In the U.S. today, there are approximately 390,000 outdoor ad structures maintained by some 3,000 outdoor companies, known as plants. Standardized outdoor advertising uses scientifically located structures to deliver an advertiser's message to markets around the world. Plant operators (outdoor advertising companies who own and maintain outdoor structures) find suitable locations, lease or buy the property, acquire the necessary legal permits, erect the structures in conformance with local building codes, contract with advertisers for poster rentals, and post the panels or paid bulletins.

Exhibit 18-2 Outdoor advertising spending 2000 (p. 584)

B. Types of Outdoor Advertising (p. 584)

Standardized structures come in three basic forms: bulletins, 30-sheet poster panels, and eight-sheet posters. Some companies use the nonstandard “spectacular” for extra impact.

Checklist “The Pros and Cons of Outdoor Advertising” (p. 584)

  1. Bulletins (p. 585). — Meant for long use, bulletin structures work best where traffic is heavy and visibility good; may be painted in sections at the shop, then transported to the site; are usually custom-made, larger and longer than posters (14 x 48 feet) normally illuminated; are repainted several times each year may be three-dimensional or have cutouts that extend beyond the frame (time and temperature units called jump clocks) can be justified financially by a rotary plan that moves the bulletins to different choice locations in the market every month or two.

A18-3 An example of a bulletin structure used in outdoor advertising (p. 586)

Ad Lab 18-A “How to Use Type and Color in Outdoor Advertising” (p. 585)

2. Poster Panels (p. 586)

a. The 30-sheet poster panel (standard billboard measures 12 x 25 feet) is less costly per unit. It is the basic outdoor advertising structure. It is first printed at a lithography or screen plant then assembled and hung by hand at the site.

b. Stock posters are ready made and available in any quantity at lower than usual cost for local advertisers

  1. Eight-sheet Posters (p. 586) — (or junior panels) offer a 5' X 11' printing area on a panel surface of 6' tall by 12' wide and are an excellent medium for point-of-purchase coverage and for pedestrian viewing.

  2. Spectaculars (p. 586) are giant electronic signs that incorporate movement, color, flashy graphics to grab attention in high-traffic areas; very expensive to produce and are found primarily in the world's largest cities, e.g., Tokyo, New York, Las Vegas.

A18-3 Examples of spectaculars used in outdoor advertisements (p. 586)

C. Buying Outdoor Advertising (p. 587)

When an advertiser needs to saturate a market to introduce a new product, outdoor advertising makes broad coverage possible overnight. The basic unit of sales for billboards, or posters, is 100 gross rating points daily or 100 showing; local and national advertisers pay the same rates— quoted monthly; rates vary considerably due to variations in property rentals, labor costs and market size. (See Exhibit 17-3 below).

D. Location, Location, Location (p. 587)

Location is everything. Increase GRP by increasing number of boards and using better locations. As a rule of thumb, the standard billboard costs $500/month — still the lowest cost per thousand (an average of $1.32 CPM) of any major mass medium. Exhibition 18-3 Billboard locations around San Diego that achieve at least 100 GRP’s each day for four weeks (p. 587)

Exhibition 18-4 Monthly rates for standard posters (12x25) in selected markets (p. 587)

E. Technology in Outdoor Advertising (p. 593)

1. Today, outdoor companies use global positioning systems (GPS) to accurately unite geographic position with market data for the best results.

  1. Digitized videos of each board’s environment are available in some cases.

  2. New technology will soon make 3-D images available (without glasses) on outdoor structures and other out-of-home media.

Portfolio: Out-of-Home Advertising (pp. 588-592)

F. Regulation of Outdoor Advertising (p. 593)

Highway Beautification Act of 1965 controls outdoor advertising on U.S. highways and other federally subsidized highways. Some states prohibit outdoor advertising (Maine, Vermont, Hawaii, and Alaska), but use it in other states to attract tourists.

Ethical Issue “Does Spillover Need Mopping Up?” (pp. 594, 595)

IV. Transit Advertising (p. 593)

Out-of-home media that include bus and transit advertising as well as posters on transit shelters, terminals and subways.

1. Good for reaching middle- to lower-income urban consumers

2. Popular with local advertisers.

A. Types of Transit Advertising (p. 594)

Checklist: “The Pros and Cons of Transit Advertising” (p. 596)

1. Transit Shelters (p. 594). A relatively new form of out-of-home advertising enjoying great success is transit shelter advertising. It reaches virtually everyone who is outdoors: auto passengers, pedestrians, bus riders, etc.; is extremely inexpensive and available in many communities that restrict billboard advertising in business or residential areas; an excellent complement to outdoor posters and bulletins.

  1. Terminal Posters (p. 595). In many bus, subway, and train stations, space is sold for one, two-, three-sheet terminal posters. Major train and airline terminals offer a variety of advertising opportunities similar to outdoor spectaculars — usually custom-designed.

  2. Inside and Outside Cards and Posters (p. 595)

a. The inside card placed in a wall rack above the vehicle windows; cost-conscious advertisers print both sides of the card so it can be reversed to change the message.

b. Car-end posters (in bulkhead positions) are usually larger, vary in size, and cost more.

c. Outside posters are printed on high-grade cardboard and varnished for weather resistance and are placed on side, rear, and front of a bus.

RL 18-1 “Common Sizes for Outside Posters and Inside Cards” (Website)

d. Taxicab exteriors, used to display internally illuminated, two-sided posters positioned on the roofs, doors or rear of taxicabs.

B. Buying Transit Advertising (p. 596)

A18-4 Examples of transit advertising (p. 596)

The unit of purchase is a showing also known as a run or service. A full showing (or No. 100 showing) means that one card will appear in each vehicle in the system; half (No. 50) and quarter (No. 25) showings are also available. Rates are usually quoted for a 30-day showing and discounts are offered for long-term contracts. Cost depends on the length of the showing and saturation of the showing and size of the space. Advertisers supply cards at their own expense. Rates are provided by local transit company and Transit Advertising Association’s TAA Rate Directory of Transit Advertising.

1. Special inside buys — in some cities, advertisers can gain complete domination by buying the basic bus — all the inside space on a group of buses. For an extra charge, “take ones” — pads of business reply cards or coupons — can be affixed to interior advertisements.

2. Special outside buys — some transit companies offer bus-o-rama “signs”, jumbo full-color transparencies back lighted by fluorescent tubes and running the length of the bus. A single advertiser may also buy a total bus all the exterior space, including the front, rear, side, and top.

V. Other Out-of Home Media (p. 597)

A18-5 Advertisement read like a sign above urinal in men’s restroom (p. 597)

A. Mobile Billboards (p. 597)

Advertising on sides of trucks and signs on trailers

B. Electronics Signs and Display Panels (p. 598)

1. Big electronic screens in sports stadiums

2. Electronic display panels on subway cars

C. Parking Meters and Public Phones

Companies can now advertise on parking meters because of companies like American Parking Meter Advertising and American Telephone Advertising (ATA).

VI. Exhibitive Media (p. 598) includes product packaging and trade-show booths and exhibits.

A. Product Packaging (p. 598)

A18-6 Examples of product packaging (p. 598)

In 1996, U.S. companies spent more than $95 billion on packaging — as much as they spent on media advertising. Packaging is important since 70% of all buying decisions are made at the point of purchase. Packaging encompasses the physical appearance of the container and includes design, color, shape, labeling, and materials.

Packaging serves marketers in four major ways: protection, preservation, and promotion.

Designers consider three factors: the package's standout appeal, how it communicates verbally and nonverbally, and the prestige or image desired. Bonding brand images and brand personality are overall goals.

To sell well on shelves, packaging may use shape, color, size, interesting visuals, or even texture to deliver a marketing message, and reinforce the brand image.

Buying packaging includes two major phases:

1) Conceptual process involves input from five major groups: consumers, manufacturers, marketing intermediaries, consumer advocacy groups, and government agencies, and production.

Exhibit 18-5 Expectations and concern in packaging development (p. 599)

2) Production process (continued below under “Packaging Manufacturing”)

1. Environmental Issues in Packaging (p. 599). As manufacturers continue to produce environmentally safe “green packaging,” the marketer's cost of materials rises. With the public's growing concern for the environment, especially in international markets, recyclable tin-coated steel and aluminum packages are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Dense population makes European regulations more stringent than in North America.

2. Government Impact on Packaging (p. 599). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 imposed stricter labeling requirements for nutrition and health products.

3. Package Manufacturing (p. 600)

a. Packaging comes in many forms and varieties of materials, making package production the task of many specialists.

1) Second Phase of buying packaging: state regulation can differ from federal regulation. The production phase of packaging, may require the use of many packaging specialists: experts in package engineering (box designers, packaging materials consultants, and specialists in equipment configuration); graphic artists (designers, production/computer artists, illustrators, and photographers); label producers (printers and label manufacturers); die-cutters for custom packages; and package warehousing companies (wholesalers of prefabricated packages and package manufacturers)

RL 18-2 “The Packaging Production Process” (Website)

2) Agencies not usually involved in package decisions, but are consulted about design.

3) Packing should be kept simple: printing resolution not good on chalkboard, folding and die cutting is expensive, exact fitting hurts structural integrity.

4. When Should a Package Be Changed? (p. 600) There are many reasons to change a package: product alteration or improvement, substitution in packaging materials, competitive pressure, environmental concerns, changes in legislation, or the need to increase brand recognition. Designers often change packaging very gradually to avoid confusing customers.

B. Trade-Show Booths and Exhibits (pp.600-601) Trade shows are exhibitions where manufacturers, dealers, and buyers get together for demonstrations and discussion. Trade-shows are important. May be only time U.S. and global marketers can meet. The construction of trade-show booths and exhibits has become a major factor in sales promotion plans. When establishing an exhibit booth program, managers should consider:

1. Planning (p. 601) — Pivots around four major areas: the budget, the image of the company or brand, the frequency of the shows, and the flexibility of booth configuration. Planning factors include size and location of booth space, desired impression of exhibit, shipping, installation, and dismantling of literature, and pre-show promotion and advertising.

2. Budgeting (p. 601) — For trade shows and a booth budgeting may require an extensive review of over 60 factors. Cost to reach one prospect at a trade show now around $185.

RL 18-3: “Trade Show Budgeting Checklist” (Website),

3. Promotion (p. 602) — Marketers send out personal invitations prior to the show and have promotional activities (news releases, telemarketing) and materials (handouts, brochures, giveaway specialty items) to stimulate customer interest. Exhibit 18-6 How do customers learn about trade shows? (p. 602)

4. People (p. 604) — The company’s representatives staffing the booth personify the kind of service the customer can expect to receive. Studies show that 58% of visitors to a booth will not wait more than one minute.

Exhibit 18-7 How long a visitor will wait for a sales rep at a trade show booth? (p. 602)

5. Productivity (p. 602) — A company's trade show effort may be wasted if prospects' names are not properly collected. Develop lead list based on prospect’s readiness (A = now, B = 2 weeks, C = 6 months, D = never).

VI. Supplementary Media (p. 602)

A. Specialty Advertising (p. 602)

The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) defines an advertising specialty as a promotional product, usually imprinted with an advertiser's name, message or logo that is distributed as part of a marketing communication program. The premiums, which are also promotional products, typically are more valuable, but usually bear no advertising message, but recipients must buy a product or perform some action advantageous to the advertiser.

1. Consumer Specialties (p. 603) — Consumers tend to associate the quality of a specialty item with the quality of the company providing it, so companies lean toward more expensive gifts for consumers.

a. Items costing $3 to $5 are becoming the norm as opposed to cheap key rings and pencils.

b. Work best when integrated into broader marketing program and service strategy.

c. Some businesses, like financial institutions, are subject to government regulation of gifts.

2. Business-to-Business Specialties (p. 603) — Companies use more structured specialty promotions to improve their goodwill standing over competitors by 34 percent.

a. Gift recipients feel obliged to reciprocate business, but the value of the gift is not crucial.

b. Inappropriate specialty items can backfire no matter what the cost. See chapter 8 Ethical Issue.

B. Directories and Yellow Pages (p. 603)

1. Directories are published by phone companies, trade groups, organizations, etc.

2. Directories mainly serve as locators, buying guides, and mailing lists, but they carry advertising aimed at specialized fields.

Exhibit 18-8 Overall ad reach for media plus Yellow Pages (p. 603) A18-7 (p. 603)

3. U.S. has about 6,000 local telephone directories with a combined circulation of 350 million. Yellow pages is now the fourth largest medium, ahead of radio, magazines, and outdoor.

Exhibit 18-9 Top Yellow Pages publishers (1999) (p. 604)

4. User friendly directories include indexes by alphabet, brand name, and subject. Also, have maps and telephone “audio text” services. Some feature coupons.

5. Yellow pages are often the sole advertising medium for local businesses, and nearly 87 percent of Yellow Pages revenue is derived from local advertisers.

6. “Ride-along programs let regional and national marketers deliver coupons and examples with the directory.

7. Difficult to verify the amount of business the ads attract.

C. Emerging Media (p. 604)

As traditional advertising media become more expensive and audiences become more fragmented, many advertisers seek new ways to reach their customers. Several types of alternative media are:

1. Videotapes (p. 604) — Placing ads on videocassette boxes or on a video brochure are not as intrusive as a commercial placed directly onto the beginning of the video film.

2. Cinema advertising (p. 605) — is a growing but controversial practice. Slide shows before movie begins (theater prohibit filmed ads). 77% of viewers recall theater ads the next day (only 20% for TV).

3. Product placement (p. 605) — Another way to reach movie audiences is to pay a fee to have the product written into the movie.

A18-12 BMW advertises in conjunction with James Bond Movie (p. 607)

4. ATMs (pp. 605-606) — Automated teller machines (ATM) are commonly found money devices with captive audiences. Retail coupons are printed on back of receipts. Electronic Data Systems Corp. puts full-motion video ads on ATM screens.

AD LAB 18-A “How to Use Type and Color in Outdoor Advertising” (p. 585)

1. Which outdoor ads in this chapter use color the most effectively? Explain.

Students’ answers will vary.

Answer guidelines:

The use of red in the Garcia's Irish Pub billboards in the chapter opening story are both eye-catching (particularly against a blue sky), but also reinforces the concept of the persona in the ad (Angel in Red).

2. What outdoor ads have you seen that don't use color effectively? How can they be improved?

Student answers will vary.

Answer guidelines:

Billboards need to be read and understood in seconds. The proper use of color helps the eye distinguish type, a subject from its background, and differentiate fine details. See Ad Lab 17-A “How to Use Type and Color in Outdoor Advertising” (p. 584). In addition, color carries an emotional message, e.g., blue = sad, purple = royalty, and more — see Ad Lab 11-A “Psychological Impact of Color” (p. 379).

The improper use of color can kill the emotional feel of the billboard.

ETHICAL ISSUE “Does Spillover Need Mopping Up?” (p. 594-595)

1. Do you believe the goal of protecting children justifies banning advertising for legal products? Which products specifically?

Sample Answer: Yes. If images and language are upsetting to adults, imagine the impact they will have on children (who do not have a framework honed over time by which to evaluate and categorize information that is often considered “adult”). Children need protection from certain information and images until their minds are physically ready to deal realistically and practically with what they’re shown.

2. Should ads in spillover media be censored for sexually explicit content? If so, who should the censors be, and what specifically should they prohibit?

We are a nation governed by laws. In addition, the law judges some segments of the population (children, the mentally ill, and convicts) to have fewer freedoms than other segments. It’s understood that to grow, people will make mistakes. Thus, children — a group less physically developed than the remainder of society — are allowed to make mistakes without being judged as harshly. Similarly, they are denied certain freedoms until they are physically prepared. Although city officials may censor some activities, they are elected by the people to follow and enforce the laws. Thus, government is the proper censor, and there is ample legal precedent for denying children access to material that is intended for adults.

3. What alternatives might be available to fight teenage smoking, drinking, and sexual promiscuity besides banning advertising for legal adult products?

Although having a proper home life is the greatest factor in curtailing self-destructive behavior, education as to the risks involved in smoking, drinking and sexual promiscuity can also help. Part of the education is better control of what children experience — and this includes advertising.

Review Questions

1. What is the difference between out-of-home media and outdoor advertising? (pp. 582-583)

Out-of-home advertising is a broad category that includes individual types of advertising: outdoor advertising (billboards and posters), on-premise signs, and other media that reaches prospects outside their homes (e.g., bus and taxicab advertising, subway posters, and bus and airport terminal advertising).

2. Why is outdoor advertising sometimes referred to as the last mass medium? (p. 583)

Outdoor advertising is the one medium that carries a message 24 hours a day, seven days a week, day and night, without interruption. It’s never turned off, zipped, zapped, put aside, or left unopened. In addition, it's big. For that reason, some experts now refer to billboards at the last mass medium

3. Which advertising objectives are the outdoor media mostly suitable for? (p. 584 “The Pros and Cons of Outdoor Advertising”)

Outdoor media are most suitable for reach, frequency, and impact of a simple, dogmatic message at low cost.

4. Is outdoor an effective advertising medium for a local political candidate? Why? (p. 584)

Outdoor advertising is an excellent medium for a politician. More than anything else, a politician's name has to be known. Nine out of 10 people reached with a 100 GRP showing receive an average of 29 impressions each over a 30-day period. In addition, politicians usually have tight budgets, so the low CPM across a broad spectrum of voters is highly efficient.

5. How do gross rating points for outdoor media differ from GRPs for electronic media? (p. 587)

Answer guidelines:

The major difference is that billboard GRPs reflect a daily message weight whereas in TV, the GRPs reflect coverage for the entire period the commercials run.

Another difference is that billboard GRPs are based on an area’s population while TV GRPs are based on TV households in an area.


The basic unit of sale for billboards, or posters, is 100 gross rating points daily or a 100 showing. One rating point equals 1 percent of a particular market's population. Buying 100 gross rating points does not mean the message will appear on 100 posters; it means the message will appear on as many panels as needed to provide a daily exposure theoretically equal to the market's total population.

6. What are the principal categories of transit advertising?

(pp. 593-596)

Transit advertising is a category of out-of-home media that includes bus and taxicab advertising, as well as posters on transit shelters, terminals, and subways.

7. What is a brand train and what advantages does it offer over less expensive forms of transit advertising?

A brand train is an advertiser’s purchase of all of the cars that run in a particular corridor. Clothing designer Donna Karan's DKNY line, for example, bought a 10-car brand train that runs under Lexington Avenue on Manhattan's East Side. It stops right under Bloomingdale's, where DKNY recently opened its "supershop". The brand train costs advertisers from $65,000 to $85,000, depending on the number of cars in a train and the length of the run. National advertisers like it because it gives them exclusivity.

8. Which are the exhibitive media and why are they called that? (pp. 598-600)

The exhibitive media include product packaging, trade-show booths and exhibits. They are called exhibitive media because they are designed to display or show off the product — to bring customers eyeball to eyeball with the product — often at the point of sale or close to it.

9. What is the principal benefit of trade shows and exhibitions? (pp. 600-601)

Every major industry sponsors annual trade shows — exhibitions where manufacturers, dealers, and buyers get together for demonstrations and discussion. Trade shows are also very important for global marketers, since they may be the only place where an advertiser can meet the company's major international prospects at one time.

10. How does specialty advertising differ from premiums? How could a local computer store use these media, and which would be better for the store to use? (pp. 602-603)

Specialty advertising is a promotional product usually imprinted with an advertiser's name, message, or logo, which is distributed free as part of a marketing communications program. Premiums are also promotional products but they are typically more valuable and usually bear no advertising message; recipients must buy a product, send in a coupon, witness a demonstration, or perform some other action advantageous to the advertiser.

A specialty-advertising product is always given free as a goodwill item. Some specialty items may be kept for years and serve as continuous, friendly reminders of the advertiser's business. Because the cost of goodwill items is high, perhaps offering a premium of “so many” blank discs for the purchase of a computer would be the best media choice for the local computer store.

Exploring the Internet

The Internet exercises for Chapter 17 address the following areas covered throughout the chapter: outdoor advertising (Exercise 1) and specialty advertising (Exercise 2).

1. Outdoor Advertising

As you have learned in this chapter, out-of-home advertising and communication has been a mainstay in consumers’ lives for quite some time. The outdoor advertising industry certainly makes up the largest portion of such advertising. Although often overlooked in advertising and media decision-making, outdoor can have a powerful effect as a supplemental medium to broader print and/or broadcast campaigns. Now, find out more about this side of the advertising business by visiting five of the websites for the outdoor advertising organizations below and answer the questions that follow.

  • Burkhart Advertising (

  • Edwards Outdoor (

  • Eight-Sheet Outdoor Association (

  • Eller Media (

  • Gallop & Gallop Advertising (

  • Gannett Outdoor (

  • Lamar Outdoor Advertising (

  • Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc. (OAAA) (

  • Poster Publicity (

  • Sign Business magazine (

  • SignCraft magazine (

  • Steen Outdoor Systems (

  • Wilkins Media Company (

a. What organization sponsors the site? Who is the intended audience(s)?

b. What is the purpose of the site? Does it succeed? Why?

c. What services (if any) does the organization provide advertisers?

d. How important do you feel this organization is to outdoor advertising today and in the future? Why?

Sample Answer:
Wilkins Media Company

a. The Wilkins Media Company site is intended for current and potential clients. The site is also a great resource for anyone interested in learning about the out-of-home industry.

b. The Wilkins Media Company site’s purpose is to detail the operation of the network, including rates, planning/buying services and information, as well as network and company news. The site also houses in-depth descriptions and examples of the various types of out-of-home media, including the elements of good outdoor creative and the requirements/processes required for out-of-home media production.

c. The company provides advertisers with out-of-home media planning, buying, production, and placement services for national and local advertisers, alike. The services can be summarized as follows:

  • Proposals

  • Negotiations

  • Contracts

  • Production

  • Traffic

  • Consolidated Billing

d. Wilkins Media Company, and companies like it, is a very important organization to the out-of-home industry and advertiser. It not only assists with the myriad details of planning, producing, and placing outdoor media, but also furthers the industry with its educational and consultative efforts.

2. Specialty Advertising

Promotional specialty items are, perhaps, one of the oldest forms of media. Though consumers do not always think of these items as “advertising,” they most certainly are – being clearly composed, nonpersonal communications by an identified sponsor. Many organizations and firms are involved in specialty advertising and the industry is still growing today. Peruse some of the websites below and learn more about the products, processes, and promotional power of specialty ad items. Then answer the questions that follow.

  • ADCOLOR, Inc (

  • BCG Creations (

  • Bells Advertising (

  • Corporate Graphics, Inc. (

  • Cowan Graphics Inc. (

  • Image Pointe (

  • LogoZ (

  • PromoMart (

  • PROMO’S (

  • Promotional Product Association International (PPAI) (

  • Promotions Online (

  • S-N-T Graphics (

a. What is the focus of the organization sponsoring the site?

b. Who is the intended audience of the site?

c. What services (if any) does the organization offer?

d. What is your overall impression of the organization and its work? Why?

Sample Answer:
Image Pointe

a. The focus of Image Pointe’s business is solely on advertising specialties – from T-shirts and screenprinting to engraved specialty ad items.

b. As a somewhat small, mid-western firm, the intended audience of the site is current and potential customers. The “no-frills” site’s main purpose is to showcase the firm’s various products and services, provide detailed information via catalogues on these items, and supply the necessary pricing and ordering information.

c. The company offers a range of specialty advertising services, including both screenprinting/ embroidery and imprinting/engraving. In general, the company provides:

  • Specialized garments (hats, t-shirts, etc.)

  • Promotional items (e.g. mugs, pens, key chains)

  • Industry specific items (e.g. for schools, hospitals, agriculture, etc.)

d. For a mid-sized company, Image Pointe is doing quite well. Its products meet the needs of a broad market of specialty-ad-item consumers. Overall, the company is smart to post the website and engage in online commerce.

Important TERMS

advertising specialty, 602

basic bus, 597

booths, 601

bulletin structures, 585

bus-o-rama sign, 597

car-end posters, 595

cinema advertising, 605

directories, 603

eight-sheet posters, 586

electronic signs, 598

exhibits, 601

exhibitive media, 598

full showing, 596

global positioning system (GPS), 593

inside card, 595

mobile billboard, 597

100 showing, 587

out-of-home media, 582

outside poster, 596

packaging, 598

premiums, 603

product placement, 605

showing, 596

spectaculars, 586

standardized outdoor advertising, 583

stock posters, 586

take-ones, 597

taxicab exteriors, 596

terminal posters, 595

30-sheet poster panel, 586

total bus, 597

trade shows, 600

transit advertising, 593

transit shelter advertising, 594

video brochure, 604


Activities & EXERCISES

Watch your mail and choose a direct-mail package that contains a letter as well as a brochure, business reply envelope, or other items. Bring the package to class, along with answers to the questions below.

1. What is the purpose of the direct-mail piece you have chosen? Is it to obtain a sales lead, make a mail-order sale, and obtain a charitable contribution? Alternatively, is it intended to accomplish some other purpose?

2. What kind of letter is included? Is the letter fully printed, printed with a computer fill-in, or fully computer typed?

3. Is there anything distinctive about the outer envelope in which the literature arrived?

4. How many and what kind of enclosures (supporting pieces) are there? For example, is there a brochure, order card, or letter with tantalizing copy? Is the company name included?

5. What, if anything, held your interest?

6. Are the messages in the letter and on the supporting pieces believable? Do you feel it is truthful?

7. What is said in the letter and on the supporting pieces to try to motivate you to respond? (Note especially the closing lines of the letter, e.g., Act now! Send your order today!)

8. From your perspective, what is the most important reader benefit offered?

9. Is an unusual format used? Are there eye-catching graphics?

Debatable Issue

Should Outdoor Advertising Be Severely Restricted?

In response to growing public concern, the federal government and many cities have enacted legislation, which limits both the number of outdoor advertising signs allowed in given areas and their formats. Members of the outdoor advertising industry claim that these laws are discriminatory. They maintain that, under our free enterprise system, they should be allowed to operate without restriction.


Outdoor advertising should be severely restricted because...

Our nation's once beautiful and scenic countryside’s are being polluted by billboard blight. Billboards have replaced open spaces. They are a distraction and a public eyesore.

Billboards are a visual hazard for motorists. They interfere with concentration and have been known to contribute to accidents.

Our nation's freeways, highways, and streets are a precious limited commodity, just like the airwaves. Thus, their use should be protected by the government to assure that it is in the best interest of the public.

The vast amount of energy used to illuminate outdoor advertising signs is a waste of a valuable and rapidly dwindling national resource.


Outdoor advertising should not be severely restricted because...

Private enterprise should be allowed to operate without government interference. Over the years, the outdoor advertising industry has provided jobs and income for countless thousands of workers.

Outdoor advertising can be a boon to travelers. It provides directions, distance readings, and guides them to rest stops and other conveniences.

Outdoor advertising aids consumers by helping to keep product costs down. It does this by promoting consumption, which is essential in our mass-production economy.

Outdoor advertising has long been an important and cost-efficient way for advertisers to promote and sell their products. It reaches audiences not always obtainable through other advertising media.

Advertisers should have the right to advertise how and where they wish, as guaranteed under the First Amendment. Similarly, outdoor advertising companies should not be subjected to undue and unusual forms of discrimination not levied against other advertising media.


1. What additional arguments can you make in support of each point of view?

2. Which side do you feel has the strongest arguments?

Images from the Text

Images are available as color acetates through your local McGraw-Hill/Irwin sales representative.

A18-1 Angel in Red billboard (p. 581)

A18-2 Exhibit 18-1 Breakdown of out-of-home media (p. 582)

A18-3 Outdoor spectaculars example (p.586)

A18-4 Example of transit advertising (p.596)

A18-5 Men’s urinal advertising (p.597)

A18-6 Example of product packaging (p.598)

A18-7 Exhibit 18-8 Overall ad reach media plus Yellow Pages (p. 603)

Reference Library

Located on the McGraw-Hill

Contemporary Advertising website:

RL 18-1 Common sizes for outside posters and inside cards

RL 18-2 The package production process

RL 18-3 Trade show budgeting checklist

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