The holidays are fast approaching, and campaign planning is in full swing.  Here at AdQuick, our team of out-of-home (OOH) experts is busy building custom media plans to help our customers reach their Q4 goals.

Often, people will ask us how it’s done – what goes into planning OOH media?  We recently shared an article outlining the 10 steps to planning an OOH campaign.  And today, we thought we’d provide a breakdown of a real-life holiday campaign – complete with the costs, counts, and rationale.  

So without further adieu, here’s an in-depth walkthrough of the hands-down, one-and-only, absolutely perfect holiday campaign...  

Just kidding.  Of course there’s not one perfect campaign for every brand and every objective. But we do think this is a pretty good one that strikes a nice balance between impactful reach and efficiency.

Read on to get your strategic & creative juices flowing!

The Campaign Overview

This campaign is designed for a B2C brand planning a big holiday push – and seeking to drive awareness of promotional messaging as well as real-time sales from on-the-go consumers. Accordingly, it prioritizes high-visibility, eye-level placement with high dwell-time, and value.

Here are some of the ad formats included:

  • Airport Inventory - The winter holidays are peak air travel season – and 2021 will be no exception – so we’ve included place-based ads at airports to reach holiday travelers and locals alike (after all, despite the growth of ride-hailing apps, most of us are still schlepping loved ones to and from the airport). Importantly, selected inventory covers both arrivals & departures.
  • Street Furniture - Street furniture makes it possible to reach consumers at eye-level in high profile and highly trafficked urban areas – all at an affordable price.  It’s well-suited to influencing consumers in the midst of their real-world customer journey – i.e., those on a shopping trip – or generating website traffic via mobile devices. And, since QR codes have returned with a vengeance, marketers can simply pop a QR code into their creative to facilitate instant interaction, engagement, and sales.
  • Wallscapes - Wallscapes are massive, eye-catching ad units affixed to hotels and other large buildings in urban centers – that can even become landmarks in their own right.  Because of their sheer size, they are visible from great distances and they provide countless creative options.

By balancing a variety of strategically-selected ad formats, this sample campaign provides high-impact reach without sacrificing efficiency (OOH is the most cost-effective traditional medium, after all!).  Specifically, it delivers over 235M impressions at a cost of less than $1.2M – yielding a super-efficient aggregate CPM of $5.04.

The flight dates span November 8th through January 2nd, providing sufficient time to build awareness and consideration before Black Friday leads into the busiest shopping days of the year (which almost all occur in December).

For brevity, the campaign includes the top three DMAs: Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.  Though we'd generally also recommend extending buys to include smaller, lookalike markets (which can generate more bang for your buck), we'll save that for a future blog post.    Let’s review the recommended ad units in each market in more detail…

The Los Angeles Buy

Los Angeles is the 2nd most populous city in the U.S. and among the leading out-of-home ad markets in the world. Home to over 17 million people, Los Angeles welcomes 47 million-plus visitors annually, and has the 3rd largest economy in the world. LA has been called the glitz capital of OOH – representing the latest in culture through outdoor media. It’s a premier location for brand awareness-oriented ad campaigns and direct response initiatives alike.

Here are some of the recommended LA ad units included:

  • Digital screens throughout LAX, ​​the 3rd busiest airport in the world.
  • A high-impact wallscape on the most highly traveled freeway in the country: Interstate 10.
  • Wildposting to reach pedestrians and drivers throughout Venice Beach and West LA – a prime area to reach influencers and generate buzz.
  • Wallscapes located in the heart of Venice Beach, reaching consumers on the boardwalk, bike path, and on the beach itself – providing a unique mix of both urban setting and beach destination.
  • Billboards in affluent Brentwood, home to high end shopping, the Getty Center, and Skirball Cultural Center.
  • Billboards on popular commuting routes throughout Los Angeles.
  • High-impact bus wraps traveling along customizable routes – an ideal format to reach Angelinos stuck in LA traffic.
  • Digital screens on free-to-use, public EV charging stations in the best retail venues in the US.

In total, the Los Angeles buy includes almost 107M impressions, at a cost of $495k. This amounts to a highly efficient aggregate CPM of $4.64.

The New York Buy

New York is the most populous city in the U.S. and one of the most prosperous cities in the world. It’s home to over 18 million people, the average NYC worker earns 1.7x the national average, and one out of every 21 residents is a millionaire.  As a leading global travel destination, New York City welcomes over 60 million-plus visitors annually.   New York is among the leading OOH ad markets in the world and a foundational market for brands looking to build awareness.

Here are some of the recommended NYC ad units included:

  • Ads positioned in or near baggage claim in both LaGuardia and JFK airport – the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America.
  • Premium wallscapes strategically positioned in Lower Manhattan, Midtown West, and SoHo.
  • Seven large and striking digital newstands in Times Square.

In total, these ads deliver over 34M impressions at a cost of $319K and an aggregate CPM of $9.35.

The Chicago Buy

Chicago is the third largest city in the US and a global business hub with among the most diverse economies in the nation.  Its HHI income is 14% above the national average, and – with over 200 colleges and universities – its population is among the most highly educated in the country. The Chicago metro area is home to almost 9.5M people, and the city receives over 55 million visitors annually.

The recommended ad units in Chicago include:

  • An airport package in Chicago O’Hare International Airport – the 3rd busiest airport in the US – that reaches 100% of departures in specific terminals.
  • Premium billboards in Wicker Park (one of Chicago's hippest and most eclectic neighborhoods, and a main attraction for tourists and Chicagoans alike) and on a major north/south arterial in the city of Chicago.
  • A 75-unit street furniture package, strategically positioned in high-traffic areas, including near Wrigley Field, and throughout Downtown Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier (one of the premier shopping and tourist destinations in the Midwest).
  • High-impact wallscapes on ​​I-290, which runs westwards from the Chicago Loop (the second largest commercial business district in North America), and in the River North area – home to top restaurants and trendy bars.

With well-over 94M impressions at just $372k, this Chicago buy delivers a highly efficient aggregate CPM of $3.94.


Want a similar plan to help promote your holiday campaigns?  Want an entirely different campaign to meet entirely different campaign KPIs?  Either way, our team of OOH experts has you covered.  Schedule a free strategy session today!