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Adults Notice OOH Ads with High Levels of Engagement

Date: April 18, 2016


Contact: Nicole Hayes
(202) 833-5566

Adults Notice OOH Ads with High Levels of Engagement

April 18, 2016 (Washington, DC)  – More than 90 percent of US travelers have noticed some form of out of home (OOH) advertising in the past month, according to a new study conducted by Nielsen. Roadside billboards are the most noticed ads, according to Nielsen's report, which offers a detailed examination of America’s travel habits and exposure to OOH ads. Eighty percent (80%) of adults surveyed have noticed a billboard in the past month, while more than 60 percent have noticed a digital billboard. 

The study found high levels of engagement with billboards in the past month, with 83 percent of adults noticing the advertising messages. More than one in three (37%) billboard viewers look at the messaging either all or most of the time. 

In the last year, more than one in five (26%) respondents have talked about an ad or product with others after seeing an OOH message, 23 percent have searched for advertiser information online, and 16 percent have visited the advertisers website. OOH ads are also prompting consumers to visit a restaurant advertised (21%), watch a movie in the theater (20%), tune in to a TV program (18%), and visit a store or business (17%), among other actions taken. 

“This detailed study highlights the effectiveness of billboards and other OOH formats as a highly engaging advertising medium," said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher. “Drivers and consumers are paying attention to OOH ads and responding, whether they turn to the internet to learn more about a featured brand, discuss a stand-out billboard with friends and family, or head to the movie theater to see the latest blockbuster.”

The report also revealed OOH’s ability to capture the attention of young people and connect with their smartphones. Travelers age 16-34 are more likely to recall seeing most varieties of OOH media in the past month, while one in four total OOH viewers who have smartphones have interacted with an ad through an NFC sensor or QR code, and one-third have searched for an OOH advertiser on their mobile device in the past year. Nearly 25 percent of smartphone users have accessed a coupon or discount, 22 percent have visited the advertiser’s website, and 13 percent have downloaded an app after seeing an OOH ad in the past year.

“Consumers today want the choice to connect with advertising. They want incentives to choose brands, and they want it all in the palms of their hands,” said Stephen Freitas, OAAA chief marketing officer. “OOH is the ideal medium to propel that interaction – driving attention from big screens on the street to the small screens they never leave home without.”  
Nielsen conducted 1,006 online surveys with a national sample of US residents age 16 or older, between March 2 and 9, 2016. Respondents were screened for having traveled on foot, in a car, truck, or other private vehicle, ridden as a passenger on a public bus, taxi, commuter rail, or subway, in the past month.

For more information and to request a copy of the Out of Home Advertising Study 2016, please contact Nicole Hayes at or (202) 833-5566.

OAAA is the national trade association for the out of home (OOH) advertising industry. Founded in 1891, the association represents more than 90 percent of the US industry based on revenues. OAAA is dedicated to leading and uniting a responsible OOH industry committed to serving advertisers, consumers, and communities. The OOH industry generates more than $7 billion annually in ad revenues and donates more than $450 million in space each year. For more information, please visit




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