What Is Outdoor Mobile Advertising?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2018
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Outdoor mobile advertising is one of several forms of out of home advertising that help to expand the strategies used by businesses to reach consumers. Typically, this type of advertising strategy will make use of non-traditional methods that are beyond the scope of other forms of media advertising, such as stationary billboards or the radio and television ads that are used to reach consumers at home. With outdoor mobile advertising, the ads are encountered while consumers are driving or even engaging in activities at any type of outdoor location.

The concept of outdoor mobile advertising has been common since the early years of the 20th century. One of the first examples came to pass when airplanes began to be more common. By attaching banners to the rear sections of the planes, it was possible to fly over beaches, county fairs, and other outdoor events in order to advertise different products to consumers. In some cases, the pilot would also drop leaflets relevant to the banner ad, providing consumers with more information about where to buy the products advertised.


As road travel become more common, the idea of expanding outdoor mobile advertising to include mobile billboards painted on the sides of various types of trucks came into being. Essentially turning the sides of long haul transfer trailers into moving advertisements for various goods and services, these ads could be used to attract attention from passing motorists, and would usually include information such as addresses of stores where the goods could be purchased or even a telephone number to contact a seller for more information.

Today, technology has enhanced both these options of outdoor mobile advertising. Electronic banners that can be programmed with any message are often towed by small planes, providing eye-catching graphics that help to boost the sales of everything from a local ice cream shop to products offered by a large corporation. In like manner, the mobile billboards featured on trucks are often equipped with additional lighting and graphics that make it possible to view the ads even at night.

There is some difference of opinion regarding the use of outdoor mobile advertising. In some jurisdictions, the practice of dropping advertising out of a plane is not allowed, owing to safety issues, although those same jurisdictions may have no restrictions on the display of banners of any type by planes passing overhead. Regulations regarding the nature of mobile billboards displayed on trucks may also limit lighting and other features as a means of minimizing the potential for passing motorists to be distracted and possibly be harmed in an accident. For this reason, it is important to consult local authorities and get an idea of what regulations are in place that may limit how and when outdoor mobile advertising can be used.



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