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Case Study: Out-of-Home Advertising in Dublin

OOH Dublin - red

Out-of-Home (OHH) advertising takes place in public space, in every urban environment. It`s classified between static/ stationary (poster, billboards, etc.) and mobile (transport marketing on vehicles etc.). It can be print as well as digital (DOOH). Firms try to reach their specific audience by trying to catch their attention on their most regular used routes.

Through a little case study of outside advertising media in Dublin, you will get an idea of which firms are doing OOH marketing as well as in which sectors those firms placing ads, what visualization tendencies (colour, typography, used material) firms used and what in general you can mostly see on them. At the end of this article, you can find my personal advertising highlights. Sounds good?

Organizations have a wide range of marketing and advertising media: TV, Print, Radio, Online, Mobile, Dialog, Cinema, Pop-Marketing, Event, Public Relations (PR), Fair/ Exhibition, Promotion Items, Sponsoring, Guerrilla Marketing, Viral Marketing, Out-of-Home Marketing (OOH) and even more. In this article, you will find information about Out-of-Home Advertising and examples of OOH in Dublin.

Out-of-Home SWOT analysis

Strengths are that firms can reach the mobile audience in less time, high coverage with high contact density. Firms have the possibility to reach an exact regional or trans-regional audience. With OOH firms, have the chance for extensive visualization options to build a strong brand environment and product landscape. Through creative and concise design, the message can stick in one`s mind and become in the best case a viral hit. With OOH firms can reach a fast increasing of brand awareness/ brand recognition. And experience is partly controllable while a product launches.

Weaknesses are that, in comparison to other media (like online), OOH can be more expensive because it needs a long period of planning before (booking of the billboards, etc.), therefore it is not that flexible as other media; you can’t measure the audience awareness exactly.

Opportunities are that a firm can make the audience aware of your firm and/or product; interaction possibilities with the audience; and new technologies that can be used in connection with OOH.

Threats could arise through imprecise research of the wrong places, etc.; mostly no time for reacting of the latest news; the audience is maybe distracted through other things (like smartphones); firms have no knowledge about which advertising will be next to yours which could lead to an unfortunate situation.

Those are just a few examples.

OHH Advertising Dublin

Types of OHH advertising

The general types of outside advertising are:

  • Poster, Billboards, and neon signs (static, mobile, digital),
  • Transit Advertising (Buses, Cars, Bicycles),
  • Street Furniture Advertising (bus shelter, letterbox, bins, electricity box, lanterns),
  • Point-of-Sale Advertising (POS),
  • Construction Advertising,
  • and more.

But what else could be “and more”?
What is about a musician, who plays outside in public space, you can maybe find his pseudonym somewhere, maybe he as a sign with more information about him or you can buy directly a CD from him. What is about purchasing bags that have one`s firm logo and people use it again and again and walk with it in public? What is about Graffiti Art which is well-known in Dublin? Floor Media? Pop-up Advertising? Guerilla Advertising?

OOH Dublin - Collage
OOH Dublin – Collage

In this article is not everything covered. More to POS advertising you will find in the next article next week – stay tuned!

Background information to the case study
I went through the streets of Dublin City and took pictures with my smartphone of all ads I could find. The case study took place in Week Number 39 and 40.  The amount of different outside ads from different firms are 135. The results are not precise enough to make general claims about out-of-home advertising in Dublin, but they can give first ideas and provide may tendencies. In the following, you can find the results of the case study.


List of Firms which placed advertising in different categories below. Alcohol drinks got their own rubric, considering the bulk of alcohol advertising. The dashed line shows when a significant distinction had been made regarding the frequency of occurrence: the first tier means that those firms have placed the most ads in WN39/40; the second tier means that those firms have placed many ads; the third and last tier means that firms have placed ads but could be seen only rarely in comparison to tier one and two.

List of Firms in Categories - OOH Dublin
List of Firms in Categories – OOH Dublin

Firms/ Products that are doing a lot OOH advertising at the moment are Captain Morgan, Burger King, Just Eat, Olympia Theatre, the new movie “A Star is born” and Ulster Bank. Dublin City Council is doing a lot too; noticeable own a lot outside media (like LCD screens).

List of Firms in Category "Other" - OOH Dublin
List of Firms in Category “Other” – OOH Dublin


The main colours used in OHH are the following, listed in order from most to less used: white, blue, red, black, yellow, green, brown, lilac, pink, orange, golden, only in black/white, very colourful (so that not only one or few colours could be chosen as the main colour), cyan.

Red and blue are, besides white and black, the two main colours that have been used in the outdoor-advertising. Blue was mainly used as background colour but often dominated the entire ad.

Outside Advertising Collage Blue
Outside Advertising Collage Blue

Red is also often the background colour but even more, it is used to marker something special, like a special price.


In typography one tries to create the best possible readability and functionality, within the typography also for OOH advertising should match to the overall Corporate Design Strategy of one`s firm. With a look at the current typography implementations, we may get an idea about where the trend will go.

Typography Results - OOH Dublin
Typography Results – OOH Dublin

Results of the case study are that companies mostly use for OOH advertising only one font style: serif or sans serif. In doing so, the majority chose a sans serif (without any serifs). Serif fonts are known as good readable fonts for long texts as in a book because they help us to follow the singular letters. But for headlines, organizations chose likely more sans serif fonts because it is mostly easier to read it from a certain distance (the sans don`t get blurred).


For the visualization, the information has been organized into pictures, drawings & pictogram or none. Pictures can be photos of human beings or of products, landscapes, etc.

Visualisation Results - OOH Dublin
Visualization Results – OOH Dublin

When pictures were used, firms showed most human beings to 63%, followed by items (their products, other items) with 53%. If they showed people, mostly male ones (59%). Women are to 41% in outside advertising.

A closer look discovered that especially middle-aged and in advanced-age male people are in outside advertising. Women in outside advertising are mainly in a middle age, tendency 25-years upwards. The contrast between male and female ages are significant: women in an advanced age can be rarely found, in comparison to men in advanced age with 38 percent. Also, interesting that there is a drift to more young men/boys with 17% (in contrast to girls with 10%) and a slight tendency that more grannies (10%) are accepted (in contrast to granddads with 4%).

Gender in OOH Advertising Dublin - Results
Gender in OOH Advertising Dublin – Results

Advertising Highlights

My personal outdoor advertising highlights – stickers. Be honest, have you ever really spent one thought about a sticker? I haven`t. Till now.
And I have to say – I´m impressed! I had no idea how fascinating messages behind stickers could be, especially as it seems behind lantern stickers!

Sticker - OOH Dublin
Sticker – OOH Dublin

My favorites here:

  • The fully independent magazine for Arts, Culture and Style: fac magazine. Interviews with Artists and Designers, great articles about the latest releases and more.
  • Have you seen painted bees now and then? I saw them a lot and I have often asked myself if they maybe have a deeper meaning. The answer is: YES!
    Artist has set himself the goal that he wants to make art that “bring some positivity around the town”. Great idea, great goal!
  • Through one sticker I learned about PrEP – it`s a movement which tries to emphasize the need for accessible HIV prevention. As the Daily Edge wrote PrEP is “PrEP is a safe and effective way for HIV-negative people to prevent HIV by taking medication before and after sex. Taken daily, PrEP provides nearly complete protection against HIV. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that PrEP be available to anyone at risk for HIV.” Do you want to know more? Click here.
  • Make my way campaign, which tries to show how difficult a life in a wheelchair can be when nobody cares how accessible ways and streets are. You can find another great article about it here at RTE.

What I love since I moved to Dublin – the creative electricity boxes. What I missed a little bit has been interactive and engaging advertising but I´ll keep my eyes open and keep you up-to-date.

All graphics were created by me, all photos shot by me.

Feel free to write questions, comments or post OOH advertising that you have seen below 🙂

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