The history of ‘Billboard’ outdoor advertising is dated back to late 15th century -where typical lightweight wall-posters were made of papers and printed using flexible relief plate called flexography —— in those days such posters were widely adopted throughout Europe as a marketing and advertising technique. In 1796, Alois Senefelder – German author and actor invented Lithography, a less cost moderate printing technique – this Lithography made the posters look more real. The first art poster was designed by Fredrik Walker in 1871 — in 1872 the year after that, International Bill Posters Association of North America was formed, now it is known as Outdoor Advertising Association of America. For the first time, a 24-sheet billboard was exhibited in the year 1889 at the Paris Exposition and then at World’s Columbian Exposition in the year 1893.
On 1st October, 1908 Ford Motor Company launched its first affordable automobile the Ford Model T a.k.a. Tin Lizzie, leaping Lena, jitney or flivver — this Model T made middle class Americans’ car-travelling dream come true, and this resulted in a drastic rise of Americans accessing highways -eventually billboards made their roadside appearance. The large building size billboard was firstly installed by Glico -Japanese candy company in the year 1919. In 1926, a brushless shaving cream brand of America ‘Burma-Shave’ posted rhyming poems – humorous one liners on series of small sequential roadside billboards of U.S. Highway 65 -this outdoor campaign strategy is noted as a major advertising technique in history. In the year 1960, a Japanese restaurant chain ‘Kani Doraku’ (popular for its specialities in seafood) installed the first mechanised billboard -a six-and-a-half meter crab moving its eyestalks and arms as a facade of its restaurant at Dotonbori, Osaka.
The year 2007, OOH media industry replaced paper posters with single-sheet plastic posters — and in many countries flexible PVC vinyl was replaced with polyethylene (an eco-friendly plastic). In the year 2010 ‘Bloom Grocery Chain’ installed the first scented billboard at NC 150 near Mooresville, North Caroline emitting black pepper and charcoal odours. In the same year, AR Augmented Realty technology entered in Outdoor Industry, and was applied for the first time in Berlin’s ‘Transmediale Festival 2010’.
Around the world, OOH Industry will witness many technical updates, innovations, and integration in the 21st century -smart outdoor advertising mechanism with face recognition software will provide realtime demographic data of audience interaction, or OOH campaign linked with mobile advertising or across digital media integration will definitely serve a brand remarkably for its seamless omni-presence.