Factors Influencing Recall of Outdoor Advertising

Naveen Donthu, Joseph Cherian and Mukesh Bhargava

As the dominance of television advertising decreases, and the importance of regional advertising increases, outdoor advertising is becoming an important advertising medium. The share of outdoor advertising is expected to double by 1995 (Woodside, 1990 Bergendorff, 1990). The outdoor advertising industry's revenue is now estimated to be over $1.5 billion. At the same time, outdoor advertising is a relatively under researched area (Chandler, 1983; King and Tinkham, 1989; Bhargava, Donthu, and Cherian, 1991).

The main advantage of outdoor advertising over other media is that its exposure frequency is very high, yet the amount of clutter is very low (Woodside, 1990). In broadcast and print media, clutter usually refers to the ad density or frequency. Here, in the case of outdoor advertising, clutter refers to the visibility of the billboard. Outdoor agencies have developed a product quality rating for each of their boards. These ratings basically measure the visibility of the message. Factors such as length of approach, angle of the structure, position relative to other structures, and speed of travel make up these ratings. Outdoor advertisements are usually placed such that this visibility rating is maximized (and thus minimize the clutter). The cost of outdoor advertisements is usually low compared to other media, yet the retention (or decay) has shown to be comparable to other media (King and Tinkham, 1989).