Outdoor Digital Signage – Engaging Out of Home Advertising

Linda J. Dodson

Outdoor digital signage is the use of modern flat screen TVs used for advertising, branding and out of home promotion. While static outdoor advertising is still relatively commonplace, it has is fast becoming a dominate force in the out of home sector.

Getting an outdoor sign noticed is perhaps the biggest challenge of out of home advertising. There a lot of competition in the outdoor advertising sector with signs, posters and out of home advertisements in all sorts of locations.

Billboards, posters, bus shelter advertisements and retail signage are just a few traditional methods of out of home advertising but all outdoor digital signage is slowly replacing these. Nearly one in eight out of home advertisements are now digital, but why?

Outdoor digital signage has many advantages over traditional forms of advertising. Firstly, as we are all now familiar with modern interactive media, moving images and content on outdoor screens is far more engaging than static signage.

Secondly, unlike static signs that require physical change of content, requiring technicians to travel about and replace adverts, while outdoor digital signage allows remote uploading of content.

Displaying multiple adverts from different providers is also permissible with outdoor digital signage. Each screen can have perhaps six to eight advertisements on it, maximizing revenue from one advertising location.

Another advantage of it is the ability to manipulate and schedule content. This is a great boon for particular advertisers like restaurants and fast food eateries who can target lunchtime commuters and shoppers.

Of course, all these advantages come with a few disadvantages too. Outdoor digital signage is certainly initially more expensive with the cost of screens, media players and protection making up the initial investment. Once installed though, it can start to save money by not only being more successful than static signage, but also eliminating the costs of manually replacing content can soon add up.

Another downside of it is the need to keep it protected from the elements. Erecting modern TVs, like LCDs and plasmas outside, requires protection. Protection from rainfall and other weather elements is essential, as is protection against the variable temperatures of an outdoor location which can cause overheating during warmer months and freezing during winter.

Another form of protection worth considering in outdoor locations is defense against vandalism and impact. Many outdoor advertising screens left unsupervised can become tempting targets for vandals so ensuring the protecting the screen will prevent costly repairs, maintenance or replacement.

LCD enclosures are a simple solution for outdoor screen protection. These steel cabinets allow the use of standard LCD and plasma screens as outdoor digital signage systems. LCD enclosures provide all the weather and temperature protection required, whilst also providing a solid steel barrier against impacts and vandalism.

Many LCD enclosures are fitted with shatterproof screens and contain climate systems to cope with even the most severe ambient temperatures.

While the cost of screens, LCD enclosures, networking, installation and content creation for outdoor digital signage can be costly, the advantages of using a digital signage display for out of home advertising means it is still a worthwhile and viable form of advertising.

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