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Auld Lame Sign

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by T.S. Tothewind
anonymous guest writer for OOH Today.




Auld Lame Sign


Happy New Year everyone. I want to congratulate the industry on the best year I can remember regarding growth, media attention and huge tech advancements on both the supply and demand side. Kudos should be given to the industry organizations and individual companies who have made it their mission to upgrade our status and get the word out about Out of Home media.

But lest we forget, there is still work to be done.

We like to think that everyone thinks of outdoor as the hot new channel, hip, relevant, adaptable. We like to plaster our websites and pitch decks with photos of Times Square, double-decker buses, real-time Twitter wallscapes, airport takeovers. And as much as those campaigns are happening, and it’s unique and newsworthy at times, we must remember to take a step back, and think about how we are still unfortunately viewed from outside our echo chamber.

the cool kids at the party

In the advertising community or even the smaller slice of the pie of just media buyers, we are not the cool kids at the party. We’re not TV, with their star-studded upfront parties, or radio with their concerts and crazy access. For years, we were seen as old school, boring media that only demanded a small piece of the budget. Now, a lot of these stigmas are fading; definitely with the agencies and clients I deal with. We are starting to move up off the floor of the pitch meetings, to have a seat at the table.

That’s great news.

But what about the rest of the world that’s not as plugged into #OOH trends, and daily visitors of OOHToday.com? We have to change their minds too.

I recently came across a post on Reddit discussing laws banning billboards in their state. A lot of the comments were, of course, anti-billboard, but what I found interesting was being reminded of how traditional Outdoor is used in the lower ranked DMAs that I am less familiar with.

the biggest advertisers across I-70 are Jesus and Lamar (advertising their own billboards)

Some of the comments below reflect what people still affiliate with out of home, and it reminded me of my impression when I thought of billboards before being indoctrinated, and not being able to avoid it.

Now, with the influx of location data and folks starting to plan and buy, by audience over location, there should be more reason to have national clients pushing into these more rural areas. Eyeballs are eyeballs.

Eyeballs are eyeballs.

My wish for OOH in 2019 is to keep up the momentum and keep killing it. It’s great to have visions of digital dollars dancing in our heads this time of year, but just keep in mind, we have a lot of old thinking to change before the cash starts seriously rolling in.


T.S. Tothewind, guest writer for OOH Today. T.S., is well-known in the Out of Home business. Like many who work for one of the Big 3 OOH Owners or Big 5 Agencies. They fear speaking out. Their non de plume, T.S. Tothewind.





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