Outdoor Advertising Trends To Expect In 2019

by Nigel Webster
on 2nd January 2019

With 2019 just beginning, it’s time to look ahead to the coming months – a new year means a fresh start and new opportunities, but also the development and maturation of existing outdoor advertising trends that will likely become even more en vogue.

The outdoor advertising industry is moving as fast as ever, and 2019 is sure to bring new openings, challenges, technologies and changes. What can advertisers and marketers expect to see as the year develops? We have some predictions…

Digital advertising will create more opportunities for printed media

Production PressOn Ceiling Graphic

Much has been said about the rise of digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, with some in the industry wondering if traditional media advertising might start to fall by the wayside as a result. The truth is that because of new technologies, physical printed media will continue to be increasingly in demand as a component of wider multi-channel campaigns.

Digital advertising strategies today are increasingly paired with print adverts on billboards, newspapers, vehicle wraps, hoardings, and other traditional marketing materials that compliment one another to create complex and holistic advertising campaigns – a trend that we expect to see continue throughout 2019.

The case is often also that digital OOH solutions are often accompanied by printed borders or graphics as a part of the installations themselves, and often these two contrasting mediums are presented together.

And on the subject of digital…

Digital advertising alone may not be enough to reach Generation Z in 2019

Students using a computer

According to a report by AdAge and UNiDAYS released last summer, Generation Z – the generation born after the mid-90s – are, perhaps surprisingly, somewhat more immune to digital advertising than their Millennial and Gen X seniors.

Having grown up with digital technology and viewing it as simply a normal part of the universe, they are more adept at tuning out some of the noise of online advertising, and in many cases actually prefer the physical versions of activities such as shopping.

Some key findings of the report included:

  • 56% of Generation Z-ers don’t click on website ads
  • 64% don’t listen to podcasts
  • 64% use their smartphone for browsing only (not shopping)
  • 74% don’t watch streaming video shows

But possibly most telling?

  • 84% pay attention to outdoor advertising

These findings might sound unlikely, but they are strongly corroborated with the results of another study by ICSC earlier last year that also reported the following surprising statistics, among many others:

  • 84% of Generation Z-ers favour brick-and-mortar stores when shopping for health and personal care supplies
  • 77% percent prefer physical shopping for clothing and footwear
  • 63% choose physical stores when looking for electronics
  • 76% agree with the statement that real-world retail affords “a more well-rounded and enjoyable shopping experience than online shopping”

It seems clear that social media, influencer marketing and so on are going to struggle to have a drastic impact on the younger generation in 2019 and beyond. Advertisers and marketers looking to target this demographic won’t be able to lean on the innovative and cutting-edge appeal of these channels any more, and will be increasingly focusing on billboards, printed graphics, and other traditional media to get their attention.

Online sales will drive vehicle advertising

Outdoor advertising statistics

UK online retail sales by year (in £billions)
Source: Statista

With programmatic display advertising on the horizon, a staggering 69% of media planners have included DOOH in their plans when there is an option for combining it with mobile for retargeting, measurement and dynamic creative. As a result, with the nation spending more and more on e-commerce websites with every passing year, companies like Amazon are putting more delivery vans and lorries on the road than ever before.

A trend that has been growing in recent years is the sale of advertising space on the sides of logistics vehicles – it’s increasingly the case that the branding on the outside of a truck may not have any relevance to the cargo it actually carries.

With some analyses suggesting that a vehicle advertisement in a busy area might be seen by 3,000 people per hour, truck advertising is a very cost-effective marketing strategy – unlike a billboard for which the outlay buys only a limited window of exposure for the business in one specific site, truck graphics are a one-time expense that can literally last for years and be displayed in multiple locations.

Increased online retail sales will mean more lorries and vans on the road to distribute parcels in 2019 – and more opportunities than ever before for effective advertising on the sides of those same delivery vehicles.

Another effect of e-commerce on the world of vehicle advertising will be seen on taxi advertising. As online retailers are generally unable to install advertising in traditional brick-and-mortar shopping centres and malls, due to concerns around causing a conflict of interests with the physical retail outlets located there, an increasing number of online shopping companies are turning to the clever strategy of branding fleets of taxis which can then be seen in the surrounding area.

An increase in events-based marketing

A report by BrandMuscle last year surveying 2,700 local marketers revealed that an increasing number of advertisers are turning to in-person events to spread the word about their clients’ brands.

Whether it be hosting their own events, or attending existing gatherings (for example, by establishing a booth at a fair, trade show or convention), marketers are increasingly finding they get impressive results from speaking to the public face-to-face and sharing the message in person – to the extent that the advertisers in the study reported that hosting their own events was the single most effective marketing tactic out of everything they did in the past year (including online ads, social media, email marketing, radio, and television).

Outdoor advertising trends graph

Coloured bars represent the spend for each marketing tactic, grey bars represent the effectiveness.

Source: BrandMuscle

Of course, the rise of in-person event marketing will also provide a boost again to traditional outdoor advertising media in the coming year, as most events and booth presences will involve large-format printed signage and banners to promote and reinforce the branding.

New advances in technology

In addition to coming trends, there are also technological advances that we expect to see become more prominent in the coming year – perhaps the most notable of which being the fabric box banner.

Here at PressOn, we have been offering the tension fabric system printing solution for some time. An eco-friendly and economical technology, the tension fabric system consists of a lightweight aluminium frame with printed fabric stretched and fastened across it to create an attractive, reusable graphic that can be attached to a wall, hung from a ceiling or displayed as a free-standing piece.

Technology never sleeps, however, and the tension fabric system now has a more advanced successor in the shape of the fabric box banner. (pictured below)

fabric box banner

Essentially a tension fabric system in three dimensions, a fabric box banner allows the advertiser to create a very large, very lightweight 3D shape with artwork on every face.

With sustainability on the tip of everybody’s tongue in the modern world, the ecological friendliness of the box banner will make it a popular choice with marketers throughout the coming year. In addition to having no paper or vinyl components, these fabric boxes are completely reusable and can be repurposed for any number of different campaigns or rebrands.

With a variety of shapes available including cubes, cuboids and cylinders, we will expect to see a lot more outlandish three-dimensional physical outdoor advertising in 2019.

In conclusion, 2019 looks to be a very promising year for outdoor advertising professionals, with many new openings and trends to explore. With both digital and traditional printed media continuing to go on from strength to strength with new advances in technology and opportunities to communicate marketing messages, advertisers this year can expect to be busy and prosperous across the board.


Author Info
Nigel Webster Managing Director

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