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Outdoor advertising is made in such a way that it can attract the attention of a large number of prospects. Outdoor advertising usually takes several forms.

Broadly, following are the important media of outdoor advertising: 1. Posters: Posters are usually sheets of papers containing messages which are pasted on the walls of buildings or frequently visited and distinctly observed places. These posters are exhibited at public places, well-travelled streets or roads, so that it can be seen by a large number of people. Sometimes, posters are pasted on cardboards or metallic sheets and exhibited at public places. Thus, one can see film posters on walls, and hoardings located at various places like bus stop, railway station, market place and other frequently visited important places of a town or city. To erect posters at important public places, the right has to be purchased or hired from the owner of the places by the advertiser. Depending upon the size and location of such posters, different rates are charged. The messages conveyed through posters are usually very brief.

Bright and attractive colours are used to attract the attention of passers-by. Posters may contain pictures of the products with prominent colours or may contain brief sales messages or may have humorous cartoons or messages. Poster is one of the most flexible of all outdoor media. It can be changed at any time according to the need and requirement of the advertiser. Further, change can be incorporated within a very short time span. Above all, poster is one of the least expensive media of outdoor advertising. 2.

Painted Displays: Painted displays take the form of painted bulletins and wall paintings. Painted bulletins are metal sheets or wooden sheets, rectangular in size and usually erected at a height. Their sizes are not standardised but generally they are larger than posters. Usually such bulletins are painted by professional artists in order to attract the attention of the passers- by. Bulletins are seen in the prime locations of the towns, cities and at busy junctions. Painted bulletins are expensive form of advertising; therefore such bulletins are erected in a few selected places. Thus, unlike posters which can be displayed in many places, painted bulletins can be exhibited in some select places only. Wall paintings are found in cities, towns and villages and are more durable than the posters.

The surface of painted walls may be bricks or wood. The space for such painting is to be hired from the owners of respective sites. Usually, repainting of such wall paintings are done at longer intervals. Depending upon the requirements of the advertisers, the message can be changed or modified while repainting. 3. Electronic Board and Neon Signs: Another important outdoor advertising medium is electronic board and neon signs.

This medium of advertising has gained much popularity in recent years. This form of advertising is especially undertaken during evening and night time. Glass or fibre boards are illuminated with the help of electric bulbs or electronic circuits for the purpose of advertising. Neon signs are glass tubes or signs with electric wiring made in the form of letters or figures which present the advertising message, the company and the product or service.

The message in such advertisements usually remains very brief. These electric and neon signs are placed on highly placed fixed structures specially built for them. These advertisements are illuminated after sunset in order to attract the attention of the people. Very often they change colours at frequent intervals in order to attract the attention of the passers-by. They are so alluring that one is made to stop and look at such advertisements.

Electronic and neon signs are usually put at important junctions, busy crossings, railway stations, bus stops, market places, etc. This form of advertising is an expensive one and therefore, financially well-to-do companies only can afford such advertising. Though there is no limit or restriction on display of electronic and neon signs, the message in such advertising is usually very brief, sometimes limited to only a few words. Further, these advertisements are exclusively undertaken during night time. Therefore, only places with heavy night traffic should be chosen for such advertising. 4. Travelling Displays: Otherwise known as transit advertising, travelling displays are painted on metallic sheets called as car cards. These car cards are usually fixed inside buses, taxis, trams, trains, etc.

for attracting the attention of the passengers. This car card advertising is also known as inside advertising. Car card advertising is an important form of advertising.

Passengers travelling in buses, trams and trains see and read these advertisements. Thus, this medium of advertising has the advantage of repetitive value and it creates a lasting impression on the viewers. Travelling displays can also be made outside, such as, advertisements painted on the front, back and either sides of the buses or other transport systems. Sometimes vehicles meant for product distributions are painted with manufacturer’s name, logo, products it deals with and selling message. Outside travelling display has a larger audience in comparison to inside travelling display. In case of outside travelling display, both the rider (passengers) and non-riders (passers-by) can see such advertisements. Normally, outside travelling displays are exposed to all weathers and are subject to rapid wear and tear. Therefore, such displays or advertisements are made of durable materials.

Like car cards, this medium has also got a repetitive value. 5. Sky Writing: This is a modern form of outdoor advertising. It may take several forms. Messages can be written or attached to balloons which are floated in the air, banners are released from airplanes. Sometimes, pilots with their airplanes draw the image of the product or write the sales message either in the form of lighting or smoke in the sky. These messages can be seen by a large number of viewers over a vast area. Sometimes large sized kites are also sent to the sky with messages written on the same.

The most common form of skywriting advertising is the revolving search light of circus. However, this kind of advertising is done during night time only and that too when the sky is clear. 6. Sandwich Board Men: This is one of the oldest forms of outdoor advertising. Sandwich men are hired persons carrying two boards with which they walk up and down the streets. These sandwich men sometimes dress up funnily and shout slogans in favour of the company’s products. Similar use is made of men-on-still to attract the attention of passers-by.

However, usage of sandwichmen as a medium of advertising is gradually declining with the advent of new methods of advertising. Merits of Outdoor Advertising: There are several advantages of outdoor advertising. Following are some of the important ones: 1. Most of the outdoor advertising is able to attract the attention of passers-by immediately.

Because of attractive colour, big size, bold design and strategic locations such advertisements are able to attract the attention of the prospects easily and make a lasting impression on the viewers. 2. Outdoor advertising can be concentrated in those localities where the selling possibilities are high. Thus, undoubtedly this can be one of the best media of local advertising for manufacturers. 3. Most outdoor advertising are durable and economical. The painted and travelling displays last for longer periods.

People who happen to pass important areas and busy localities are able to see the displays again and again. 4. Outdoor advertising helps in covering the ugliness of the walls. Bad and damaged walls get a face-lift when attractive posters are pasted and alluring paintings are made on such walls. 5. Outdoor advertising is able to attract the attention of a large number of people. Paintings, neon signs, can be used for a pretty long time and the selling message can reach the maximum number of people.

6. Outdoor advertising also helps the manufacturer by reminding the prospects about their products and services. Thus it is able to supplement other media of advertising.

7. Outdoor advertising is considered less expensive since it is able to attract the attention of a large number of people. Limitations of Outdoor Advertising: There are certain limitations of outdoor advertising. They are: 1. One of the major drawbacks of outdoor advertising is that it remains brief. By no way can outdoor advertising messages be made in detail.

Therefore, it can be treated as an introduction to advertising but not a full-fledged advertisement. 2. Outdoor advertising is a costlier form of advertising. Media like sky-writing, use of balloons, etc. cannot be repeated very frequently. 3. The effectiveness of outdoor advertising cannot be measured easily. There is every possibility of wastage in such advertising.

4. It is often argued that outdoor advertising like posters; wall paintings, etc. make the walls ugly.

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