OUTDOOR advertising is a growing category — not just billboards, but increasingly, weird publicity stunts that often go awry.
“Advertisers are being pushed to creative extremes, partly because
it’s just so difficult to get consumers’ attention these days,” said
Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of Nielsen Online Digital
Strategic Services, which advises clients on managing their online
reputations. “It may just be a flash of brilliance that everyone pays
attention to, and it gets that huge return, but it’s very difficult to
replicate on a regular basis.”
Advertisers spent $7.3 billion on
outdoor ads last year, a rise of 7 percent from 2006, according to the
Outdoor Advertising Association of America. About 16 percent of that
fell in the “alternative” category, which covers ads that were not on
billboards, bus shelters or the like.