Out of home (OOH) advertising can be defined as any type of advertising viewed by an audience outside of their home environment. At Christmas time, brands are often drawn to advertising through the mediums of television, digital and radio, and although these are vital components within your overall marketing mix, OOH can be a very effective tool to drive visibility and footfall directly off the high street and on to your products and services.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of including out of home advertising in your business marketing plan during the Christmas period.

Reach More Customers

During the festive period there is always a lot of hype and excitement around television ads, with the main contenders such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s to name just a few competing for the top spot.

However, out of home advertising has proven itself to be a powerful tool to hit a wider audience at a time of the year when people are typically more receptive to marketing, and in greater numbers. “Footfall on our high streets and shopping malls is 25% higher in December, compared with the rest of the year,” notes JCDecaux. Accordingly, by placing your ads in prime locations you can target an increased amount of people who are already close to or at the point of purchase.

It Pays To Plan Ahead

It’s a running joke that Christmas seems to start earlier every year, with Selfridges opening their Xmas shop as early as August! However, it is essential to plan your festive campaign well in advance, with a careful strategy behind when you should start advertising.

According to Marketing Week, almost half of mobile shoppers complete their shopping in November, and in recent years companies are increasingly having mid-season sales and discount evenings, often months before December. This includes Black Friday, one of the most popular American shopping traditions, which has now been adopted in the UK and throughout the rest of the world.

Black Friday originated in the US as a day of huge discounts which fell the Friday after Thanksgiving, and by falling at the end of the month, it often hits many people on their last pay check before Christmas. This huge trend is almost a celebration in itself, which many people will prepare for well in advance, so your advertising needs to be ready to make the most of this key shopping date.


OOH advertising comes in many different forms and styles. From billboards and transport to digital displays, and even including experiential elements, the only limit is your imagination when it comes to designing your outdoor Christmas campaign. Below, we will explore some of our favourite campaigns from previous years and how they incorporated different styles of out of home adverts.


Often, when people think of out of home adverts, the go-to medium is billboards. These large-scale print ads are typically seen on streets, attached to buildings or on the sides of roads. They’re a fantastic tool to capture many pairs of eyes, often from a long distance away. With plenty of space to fill, there is ample room for bold graphics, clear messaging and a strong call to action.

A great example of this is the billboard for the film Arthur Christmas, with their OOH campaign in the winter of 2011. This eye-catching billboard has made great use of the space, exceeding the classic rectangle shape with the movie’s characters and fairy lights around the edge.

The campaign took this one step further, incorporating experiential elements, including a real-life Arthur and elves standing on the billboard, wishing people a “Merry Christmas” and involving passers-by directly.

This fun installation really brought the campaign to life, with extra attention to detail including wrapping the poll in Christmas paper.

Public Transport

Another popular location to place adverts out of the home is on or around public transport such as trains, tubes and buses. As many people may be travelling for an extended amount of time, these areas are great for targeting a large amount of stationery people of all demographics.

Food delivery company Just Eat are well known for their comical OOH adverts, and this Christmas campaign was no exception. By incorporating a witty festive slogan, featuring a popular product they provide, they were able to bring a smile to the faces of many commuters across London’s tubes.

McDonalds also placed festive adverts on bus stops promoting their seasonal menu. Although there is very minimal text and no call to action, through imagery it sparks curiosity, mystery, humour and of course festivity. This is a fantastic example of how to include creativity in your outdoor adverts, and how simplicity can be more powerful than a busy, text-filled advert, while still telling the audience what the product and the brand is quickly and effectively.


Digital out of home (DOOH) has grown increasingly popular across shopping centres and high streets in recent years. With touchscreen displays and often animation or moving graphics, these digitalised advertisements can be used in a variety of ways to promote your brand and intrigue customers.

In the example above, Universal and Sony aimed to boost sales of their DVDs with an interactive DOOH campaign where members of the public could browse film titles which were available at retailers within the shopping centre. Inspiring people to become ‘gifting heroes’, it allowed viewers to choose who they were buying for and narrowing down a choice of six titles. From these you could text this list to your mobile phone, along with where to buy them from.

Digital outdoor campaigns can be hugely beneficial to businesses, with the ability to update quickly and easily, for varied, longer-form advertising and incorporating first-hand public interaction.


Out of home advertising can take form in a multitude of ways, allowing your brand to design a bespoke and unique campaign to a wide audience in targeted areas. If you haven’t already started, now is the perfect time to get into the festive spirit with your marketing and attract high-quality, targeted footfall directly to your products and services.

For more information on campaign creation and OOH marketing, contact Identity today at 01323 469111 or email letstalk@identitygroup.co.uk.