With Super Bowl LIII in our rear-view, once again we’re left reflecting on the phenomenal amount that brands are willing to spend on mere seconds of advertising during the big game. This year, brands shelled out an estimated $5.1 million per TV spot, which is said to have reached roughly 98.2 million viewers.

A recent article published on Digiday discussed this very topic and how the brands who bought Super Bowl spots could have made better use of their ad spend on digital media. Well, while everyone thinks digital is inexpensive and gives you so much more for your money, out of home is pretty competitive, too. Here are our recommendations for everything in out-of-home you could afford instead of a $5 million single spot.


Traditional Out-of-Home

Traditional OOH advertising offers brands the ability cast a wide net, in very public spaces, with huge (literally) creative capabilities. Instead of a $5 million Super Bowl TV spot, you can reach those same people in more targeted ways outside of their home. Formats include everything from large billboards to strategically placed small signage.

1 billion impressions from bulletins

You could buy 1,000 bulletins and get 1 billion impressions. That’s to say, you could run a campaign of 50 bulletins in the top 20 markets for a month, or 30 bulletins in the top 10 markets for a whole quarter.


EMC Outdoor Blog - Chobani - Billboard Bulletin


1.4 billion impressions from posters
Posters provide slightly more locally targeted, but still very broad reach. A 10,000 poster campaign could deliver 1.4 billion of these localized impressions.

532 million impressions from transit shelters
Urban and suburban centers are hotbeds for people traveling on foot and using public transportation. A transit shelter ad typically costs around $850 and delivers over 90,000 impressions. So, $5 million could buy a package of 5,850 transit shelters that deliver 532 million impressions.

800 million impressions from wrapped buses
Speaking of reaching people on-the-go…a $5,000 wrapped bus displays an ad in large format and moves the messaging around a market, generating 800,000 impressions. Running 1,000 wrapped buses in top markets around the country will deliver 800 million impressions.

990 million impressions from rail posters
The nation’s largest rail systems carry millions of daily commuters (especially those attending athletic events and watch-parties). A rail poster campaign costs about $300 for 60,000 impressions; therefore, $5 million could purchase 16,500 rail posters and deliver 990 million impressions.


Lifestyle Media

Lifestyle media is out-of-home that reaches audiences in specific locations as they move throughout their day, without disruption or distraction. That’s right, location-based ads and branded items that don’t disrupt…or interrupt, like a TV ad.

Kiosk campaign in every mall in America
Instead of a $5 million Super Bowl TV spot, you could purchase 5,900 mall kiosks that deliver messaging to broad audiences—from tots and teens to senior citizens. That’s enough for a 4-kiosk ad campaign in every mall in the country!

2.9 billion impressions from gas station ads
Gas stations ads run at about $300 per location and provide 180,000 impressions. $5 million could buy 16,600 gas stations ads and achieve 2,988,000,000 impressions.

2 billion impressions from wrapped rideshares
As Uber and Lyft grow in popularity, they have also grown as a key advertising tactic. You could run 10,000 wrapped vehicles in a market for a month that would garner 2 billion brand impressions.


EMC Outdoor Blog - Wrapped Uber Lyft


44 million impressions from door hangers
Find your way into households across the country with something tangible. Buying $5 million worth of door hangers could reach 14,578,000 households and deliver 44 million impressions.

255 million impressions from branded coffee cups
Put your brand in the hand of the consumer with coffee cups and sleeves. You could buy 85 million cups to deliver up to 255 million impressions.



Now more than ever, people are seeking experiences as the preferred way to interact with a brand. Experiential marketing—the most personal alternative to the very impersonal $5 million TV spot—allows you to share your brand with an audience in a deeply engaging way. 

75 immersive events
Instead of a $5 million commercial, you could create 75 brand immersive events. Whether it’s brand build-outs, fabrications or footprints, you can reach your audience in-person by creating an environment, like a miniature Mt. Rushmore in Chicago’s Millennium Park!


EMC Outdoor Blog - Travel South Dakota - Mt. Rushmore


A food truck every weekday for a year
Ditch the commercial and give your audience something they need—food! With $5 million, you could activate a branded food truck for 260 days. That’s every weekday for a whole year!

365 pop-up events
Run a pop-up shop, gallery or event for 365 days, in one market or as a tour. Give consumers an opportunity to interact with you and your product in a low-pressure, high engagement environment.

50 2-D projections
Take the guerilla approach and project your ad on walls and buildings in a busy urban area. $5 million could buy you 555 nights of projection or, better yet, 50 projections in the top 10 markets.

90,000 brand ambassador hours
Instead of a Super Bowl TV spot, which some viewers might not see or remember, you could buy 90,000 brand ambassador hours of 1-to-1 brand engagement with your target audience.

Out of home ad spends can be extremely valuable and stretched to gain big and high-quality impressions. With so many media options and levels of engagement, OOH campaigns can be tailored to meet any brand’s specific goals and successfully reach its target audience.

If you’d like to talk about getting the best strategy and value for your ad spend, contact us below!


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