Outdoor advertising vs OOH advertising | Clear Channel

What is the difference between Outdoor Advertising and Out of Home Advertising?

12 Dec 2019 / Insights, New to OOH
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
An FMCG digital screen advert with motorbike and cars driving past

Billboards, rail displays, digital screens in supermarkets - they all advertise to an audience that’s on the go, displaying messages that we see outside our homes.

Generally, this form of advertising has the long-held name of outdoor advertising, or OA. However, recently the term out of home or OOH advertising has been on the rise, used by marketers and businesses alike. So, what do they each mean? 

Is there a difference between OA and OOH? 

Simply put, OA and OOH are the same thing.

To explain further, it all comes down to linguistics. Outdoor advertising (OA) is the old, commonly-used name, but this is slowly being replaced with the more specific term out of home advertising (OOH). The change has come about possibly due to the name outdoor advertising being a fairly narrow definition, given the fact that OA includes many indoor locations, too - the term OA made it almost seem like all the adverts were located literally in the open air. In actuality, OOH means anywhere not in the home - this can include shopping centres or other indoor public spaces outside of the home such as pubs. 

Which term should I use? 

Both terms mean the same thing: advertising media that is located outside someone’s home e.g. not on the TV or computer. Therefore, either term should be understood in the industry - and if someone questions your word usage, it’s a perfect talking point to discuss the industry.

Examples of out of home advertising 

The scope of locations for outdoor/out of home advertising is quite broad, and includes: 


Adverts can be placed on the side of taxis, planes, trains, and buses - creating a mobile form of advertising that covers a wide area on a daily basis. 

Street furniture

Kiosks, bus shelters and phone boxes are just some examples of street furniture that can be utilised for out of home advertising. These pieces of furniture are part of our everyday urban landscape, and are seen by all of us multiple times a day - this is what makes them all the more powerful for reaching the public and building a brand up in the subconscious of the public. 

Billboards and posters

The most traditional and long-established form of outdoor advertising - still enduringly popular because they really do work! Whether erected by a busy city road or placed on the side of a building, billboards and posters are known for being eye-catching, unavoidable and a bold way to convey a message. 


OA advertising is often highly dependent on location. For example, advertising a local sports club is best done through arena advertising, or can be planned in proximity to the sports club, while showcasing a new range of ice cream would benefit from a digital screen in a supermarket - especially in summer.

Due to the sheer variety of creative locations for advertising, it’s easier than ever to target the right people at the right time. Whether you call it outdoor advertising or out-of-home advertising, we can help you advertise your business in the best way for you. 

Clear Channel Direct are the UK’s leading network of out of home advertising spaces. We offer the maximum reach for affordable prices, and our clients include SMEs, public sector organisations, charities, education and more. With prime locations across the country, you can use our advertising search tool to find the best locations that will communicate best with your audience. Discover more by contacting our friendly team today.