Outdoor advertising, the second oldest profession in the world?

Everyone knows what is generally considered the world’s oldest profession… Well, we like to think of outdoor advertising as the second.

One theory explaining the purpose of cave drawings made by early modern humans in the Paleolithic period, was that they were the means by which to communicate to others, for example the type of animals found in the area.  For us this holds a certain satisfying alignment with modern-day restaurant advertising!

As our cave-dwelling ancestors evolved, so did their means of communication. Cave drawings became Petroglyphs, or rock carvings. Taking their signs and symbols from the cave into more detailed carved images outdoors, where they had a larger potential audience. Even back then, the power of putting messages out into the public domain was clear.

cave-drawings_outdoor_advertising _back_in_the_days

Fast forward to today and you’ve probably noticed that communication is infinitely more complex. As media audiences become diluted by the sheer amount of choice out there, it becomes increasingly important to think carefully about how to get your message out there.

Here’s why we believe it’s so effective to advertise outdoors. On a daily basis, most people make regular, recurrent journeys. Going to work, taking the kids to school, going to the supermarket, visiting friends and family, hitting the gym, going out for dinner etc. This exposes an awful lot of people to outdoor advertising.

You might be thinking “but I get the bus every day, and I don’t notice advertising on bus shelters”. You may think that is the case, but we humans are instinctively aware when something in our environment changes. If you stand at or drive past the same bus stop on your way to work every day, I am willing to wager that you notice when it’s different. It could be as basic as “that was a red poster last week, now it’s blue”, but chances are, you’re just as likely to have the passing realisation that it was a Colgate poster last week, and now it’s for O2.

Look at the types of company that use it, to get an understanding of the power of outdoor advertising. TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, websites, movies, and many others all use outdoor advertising to communicate with their current and potential viewers, listeners and readers.

For this reason, outdoor advertising is often referred to as the last true broadcast medium. And now you know it was certainly the first.

Oh and if you don’t know what the “world’s oldest profession” is, look it up. But don’t do it at work or in front of your children!

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