The History of Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is the oldest form of advertising dating to ancient times. In America, outdoor advertising was the primary way that merchants and manufactures promoted products and services. Outdoor advertising also became a key way to get information and ideas to the public around the country (show old posters, etc.)

Outdoor advertising has been an important of the American experience.  From promoting products to providing messages that inspired us during wars, depressions, good times and bad times. (example)

After WWII outdoor advertising played a pivotal role in promoting the unprecedented economic growth enjoyed by our country (show old advertisements like “the American way”, etc.)

Outdoor advertising continues to be a local oriented, immediate advertising source. Local advertisers continue to make up the lion share of all advertisers displayed throughout the state.  That was true then is continues today.

As mass media continues to fragment audiences, outdoor has continues to be the only true “mass medium”.

Numerous studies have proven that a wide majority of citizens find outdoor advertising to be essential in identifying the goods and services they need. Consumers have indicated the outdoor advertising is trusted in the selection of goods and services. 

Small and medium sized local businesses continue to choose this medium as their advertising vehicle due its cost effectiveness.

New technology and techniques have helped outdoor become more responsive to advertisers’ needs.  In the early days, billboards were hand painted.  Now they are printed on durable recyclable vinyl coverings.  And, in this world of digital transformation, some billboards have been converted to this high tech application making it possible to change messages instantly.  Throughout all of the changes the industry has endured, one thing has been constant: service to advertising clients.  And service, create the sales of goods and services which creates economic impact for the state of Texas and its cities. 

Regulated on the federal, state and local levels, the placement of outdoor advertising structures has been kept to commercial/industrial areas where businesses need exposure and helping to protect pristine scenic areas. 

Now, with the advent of digital technology on Texas roadways, public service campaigns have been taken to a whole new level.  Digital billboards provide instant communications for emergency messages and Amber Alerts.