Make light work of advertising industry terminology with our simple guide to some of the most frequently used terms and acronyms in outdoor advertising.

Audience

The group of people that an advertising campaign will reach.  An audience can be defined by gender, age, income, location or ethnicity, amongst other factors. 

Awareness

Knowledge about a brand or business and its products or services. 

6-sheet

Measuring 1.8 m x 1.2 m, 6-sheet sites are often seen at bus stops, shopping malls and railways stations.

16-sheet

Portrait display billboards which measure 3.048 m x 2.032 m.

32-sheet

The same height as a 16-sheet at 3.048 m x 4.064 m but adverts are typically wider.

48-sheet

These measure 3.048 m x 6.096 m and can be landscape or portrait in design. They’re usually located at the sides of busy roads well above ground level.

96-sheet

The biggest platform of its type measures 3 m x 12 m and often seen at busy road junctions, on motorways and near large car parks. 

Backlit

As simple as it sounds, backlit refers to advertising which is illuminated from behind to provide greater visibility.

Banner

Large vinyl banners that can be attached to lampposts or the side of buildings.

Bleed

A printing term that refers to the display area where the image extends beyond the live copy area, to the edge of the panel frame or finished size.

Billboard

A large and highly visual advertising platform generally found on busy roads and high-traffic areas to target and attract motorists and pedestrians in a specific area.

Brand awareness

When consumers become familiar with a brand image and subconsciously associate it with the brand’s particular products or services.

Campaign

A promotional strategy which can involve several different media channels and advertising messages to raise awareness and communicate a product or service within a specific market.  

Captive audience

A group of people who have advertisers undivided attention, as they have no option but to watch or listen to ads because of their current situation - such as when in a queue; in bus or railway stations; in hospital waiting rooms; in an airport or listening to the radio whilst travelling by taxi, car or public transport.   

Coverage

The percentage of the population who can be reached by an outdoor advertising campaign.

CPT

Cost per thousand. A term used to calculate the cost of reaching 1000 people via a particular advertising medium.

DOOH (Digital Out-of-Home)

Digital Out-of-Home can include screens or any digital medium which can offer video or static imaging with or without audio.  Digital technology can change the advertising content displayed as required, and advertising screens are often placed in areas of high footfall such as bus and railway stations, hospitals or shopping centres.

Display Period

The amount of time that an advertising message is viewable.

Dwell time

The period of time that a person is in proximity of and viewing an outdoor ad.

Exposure

This measures the potential opportunities for an outdoor advertising message to be seen.

FOC

Free of Charge.

Hoarding

Another term used for ‘billboard’ (see above).

Impacts

The number of times that a campaign is seen.

Lightbox

A poster site which is lit from the back, generally in either 48 or 96 sheet formats.

OOH (Out-of-Home)

Any advertising which is intended to reach consumers anywhere outside their home. Also referred to as out-of-home advertising, outdoor media and out-of-home media.

Panel

Another term often used for a poster site.

POP

Point of Purchase

POS

Point of Sale advertising is within a retail environment, including supermarkets and shopping malls.

Poster

Posters come in a variety of sizes and are measured by the number of sheets (see sheet references above).

Reach

The number of people who will be exposed to an advertising message at least once during the lifetime of a campaign.

Signage

The use of signs for marketing purposes to communicate messages and images.  

Target Audience

The demographic of people that are the most likely to have an interest in the service or product being advertised.

Traffic Count

The is the measurement of pedestrian or vehicular traffic that will pass along a particular road to determine the number of potential impressions that an advertising message can reach.

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