In an era characterized by unprecedented political advertising spend and the intensification of electioneering efforts for the 2024 elections, a new study has cast light on the evolving landscape of political communication. Amidst the cacophony of traditional and digital campaigning methods, Out of Home (OOH) advertising has emerged as a trusted and influential medium in the political discourse, resonating strongly with voters across the United States.

Research commissioned by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), in concert with Morning Consult, reveals a significant majority of 68% of likely voters have recently engaged with political messaging through OOH platforms. Impressively, over half of those exposed to OOH political ads within the past year trusted the content to be truthful and accurate, spotlighting the medium’s credibility among the electorate.

The importance of OOH advertising, encompassing billboards, street furniture, transit ads, and digital out-of-home formats, has only grown in a political context. As Anna Bager, President & CEO of OAAA, articulates, OOH advertising uniquely aligns with voters’ desires for authenticity, employing advanced creative capabilities and data-driven strategies that foster interactivity.

This preference is underlined by the increasing political advertising spend in the OOH space, which has seen a substantial surge, doubling between 2014 and 2022. This boom reflects OOH’s effectiveness in reaching pivotal voting demographics, including younger and multicultural audiences, alongside voters from higher income and education backgrounds, who view these advertisements as notably influential.

Insights from a February 2024 study, polling 1,616 likely voters aged 18 to 64, demonstrate nearly half of the respondents find OOH political ads personally impactful, with younger generations—Gen Z and Millennials—expressing greater susceptibility to their influence compared to older cohorts. These advertisements not only inform the electorate about candidates and policy issues but also play a crucial role in motivating voter turnout. With over a quarter of voters acknowledging that OOH political content reminds them of the importance and value of voting, the medium’s capacity to drive electoral participation is undeniable.

Voters have cited multiple reasons for their affinity towards OOH political ads, such as their non-intrusive nature and high visibility, coupled with the ease of sharing this content on social media platforms. Moreover, compared to other media sources, OOH ads are more likely to be perceived as informative, ranking higher than AM/FM radio, social media, and even subscription streaming services.

As the 2024 election season accelerates, with the U.S. gearing up for presidential, senatorial, gubernatorial, and House elections in November, the political climate has left many voters feeling frustrated, disappointed, and anxious. In this context, the effectiveness and trustworthiness of OOH advertising stand out as beacons of information and influence, offering a stark contrast to the prevailing sentiments towards the current political environment.

The methodology of the survey, encompassing a representative sample of likely voters, underscores the rigor and relevance of these findings. Sponsored by The Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education, the research underscores OOH advertising’s potent role in contemporary political campaigns.

Given this backdrop, it’s evident that OOH advertising continues to punch above its weight, offering a critical channel for political messages seeking to engage voters authentically and effectively. As campaigns and advocacy groups navigate the complexities of the 2024 elections, leveraging the power of OOH advertising could be instrumental in shaping the outcomes of these pivotal races.