How to advertise to Millennials with OOH | Clear Channel

How can you advertise to Millennials with Out of Home Advertising?

01 Mar 2018 / Insights
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
New World Payphone featuring Adshel Live advertisement on a busy road at night

A big benefit of marketing to millennials is that many have grown up with digital media. Younger generations are used to viewing and interacting with digital platforms, and can do so with ease.

On the flipside, millennials may also have a “seen it before” mentality that demands a more fresh approach to advertising that will pique their interest. 

In this article, we explore the common traits of millennials and suggest ways that you can tailor your OOH advertising campaigns to appeal to them. 

What’s different about millennials?

The definition of a millennial isn’t set in stone, but is widely thought to refer to those born between 1981 and 1996. Simply put, millennials are likely to live, think and buy differently to other generations. It’s important to understand how these differences could influence buying habits, and how you can appeal to the millennial patterns of purchasing behaviour. 

While it’s impossible to fairly label an entire generation, some common traits of millennials could include: 

  • Internet-savvy 

  • Use mobile devices

  • Highly independent 

  • Flexible working schedules or remote working

  • May be looking for new experiences 

  • Are responsive to visuals 

How can OOH advertising appeal to millennials?

Because millennials have grown up surrounded by digital and online advertising, they may be more weary of it and therefore it may take much more to pique their interest. Traditional advertising may not attract them as much as, say, a graphic digital billboard – and that’s where out of home advertising can help. 

So, what’s the key? 

6 Ways to Advertise to Millennials


People like to see that you, as a company, understand them and their needs. Therefore your campaign should relate to the millennial lifestyle in some way. Because they might be slightly more cynical than other generations, they need to feel like you’ve taken the time to understand them. 

Nail the location

Out-of-home advertising gives companies the flexibility to choose from a wide range of advertising locations. Companies like Clear Channel Direct have a vast network of OOH advertising spots, located throughout the UK. Prime positions can include shopping centres, on the side of roads, and in bus shelters. Millennials may often be on the go, and so these out-and-about locations are the perfect way to reach them while they live their busy lifestyle. Outdoor advertising ultimately provides the visibility, exposure and visual touch that millennials respond to. 

Visual is key

As mentioned before, millennials are from an era of bold graphics, photography and moving media, and are often looking for a visual experience. They aren’t as likely to respond to the written word as other generations, and would rather see something than read it. If you can, try and make your adverts as visual as possible. In other words, try and show your story rather than tell it – and digital billboards are the ideal platform to convey impactful visual media. 

Mobile engagement

Mobile technology is a universal cultural phenomena, and especially so in the millennial generations. From tablets to mobile phones, it seems almost everyone has a mobile device to keep them up to date with the world, 24/7. When it comes to outdoor advertising, utilising the popularity of mobile devices could come in the form of encouraging an app-based action, or scanning a barcode, or another form of mobile interaction with the digital billboard or advert. 

Try to make a social contribution

A study conducted by the University of Southern California’s School of Applied Psychology revealed the startling figure that 87% of millennials were influenced to purchase something based on whether that company had made a social contribution. So, whether that’s highlighting your green credentials or partnering up with a charity, millennials are impressed by, and willing to have loyalty to, companies who really care.         


As mentioned before, millennials may be more wary of advertising and its sales techniques, having grown up in the digital revolution. Therefore, conveying authenticity in your marketing campaign can go a long way to engage with them. An extreme example of this is Oasis’s “Refreshingly Honest” campaign, which voices clearly the weariness surrounding advertising and sales targets… within the advert itself! We’re not saying you have to go to these lengths, but a touch of authenticity is a sure way to warm millennials to your brand. 

In summary

It’s not an exact science to appeal to millennials, or indeed to any other type of group. It’s all about creativity and examining what other companies are doing to appeal to this market. Perhaps you might even want to conduct your own research or pose a question to your social media followers? Whatever you do, out of home advertising is sure to stand you in good stead. 


Searching for prime advertising spots to make a big impact? Here at Clear Channel Direct, we have a vast network of affordable digital billboards, screens and outdoor advertising spots across the UK. Regardless of which sector you’re in, whether a small family business or an international conglomerate, we help you reach an audience that’s right for you. Simply contact us today to discover how we can help.