Outdoor Advertising Terminology

Our Glossary offers a comprehensive list of the most common outdoor advertising terms and formats

New to outdoor advertising?
Outdoor advertising terminology – Our Glossary below offers a comprehensive list and guide of the most common outdoor advertising terms and formats.

48 Sheet – This is the most common in outdoor advertising terminology. A 48 sheet form of billboard, a large format advertising display intended for viewing from extended distances. 20ft x 10ft in size

96 Sheet – A form of billboard and twice as large as a 48 sheet. 40ft x 10ft in size.

AR – Augmented Reality – a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view

Audience – Any audience reflecting the most desired consumer prospects for a product or service, defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity or income; or their combinations for any geographic definition

Awareness – A measurement of knowledge of the existence of a brand or its advertising. Measured spontaneously or prompted.

Backlit – Describes a poster display in which the advertising message is illuminated from behind

Billboard – Large format advertising displays intended for viewing from extended distances. Billboard displays include, but not limited to: 48 sheets, 96 sheets, portrait sites or Golden Squares.

Campaign – A promotional effort based on the same strategy and creative idea

Cost per Thousand – or CPT. The cost of delivering 1,000 impressions from individuals who notice the advertising on displays in a market

Coverage – The number of people who will see a campaign at least once

Cycle – Outdoor advertising operates in 2 week bursts i.e. a cycle. This is the length of time an outdoor campaign is in-situ for. Multiple cycles can be purchased to extend the length of a campaign

Digital Out-of-Home – or DOOH. Any OOH display that can change its advertising content using digital technology

Distribution – The strategic placement of OOH units across a market. The distribution of units will impact the reach of the campaign and the demographic profile of the audience that is delivered

Duration – The amount of time that a panel of a given size can, from its moment of visibility, stay within the audience’s vision

Dwell Time – The interval of time when a consumer is in close proximity to an OOH ad

FOC – Free of Charge

Gross Rating Point (GRP) – The total number of in-Market impressions delivered by an OOH schedule expressed as a percentage of a market population. One rating point represents impressions equal to 1 percent of the market population

Head on – When a poster site is facing oncoming traffic or pedestrian flow

Illumination – Lighting a poster either from above or from behind

Impacts – The number of times a campaign is seen

Lightbox – Poster site, most often a 48 sheet or 96 sheet, which is ‘back-illuminated’

Media Owner – A Media Owner is a company or individual who has the right to sell outdoor advertising space

NFC – Near Field Communication – a short range wireless technology. It is meant for applications where a physical touch, or close to it, is required in order to maintain security

OTS – The average number of times an individual notices an OOH advertising message during a defined period of time

Outdoor – Generic name for external poster advertising

Out-of-Home (OOH) – All types of advertising intended to reach consumers outside the home

Panel – An alternative name for a poster site

Parallel Poster – A poster which is positioned parallel to the main traffic / pedestrian flow and as such is visible traffic / pedestrian flow in both directions

Pedestrian Count – Counting the movement of pedestrians past a given point

Performance – Evaluation of a campaign’s achievements after the event, often in terms of coverage and frequency

POP – Point of Purchase

POS – Point of Sale

Poster – An advertising site located outside the home, they come in a variety of standard sizes, measured by the number of sheets

Poster Specialist – A company that plans and buys an outdoor campaign on behalf of a client often using sites bought from a number of different outdoor media owners

Posting Date – The date when a poster program is scheduled to commence. A three day leeway is customary

QR Code – Quick Response Code – a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone

Reach – The approximate percentage of a target audience’s population who notice an advertising message at least once during an OOH campaign

SMS – Short Message Service / text message

SOV – Share of Voice – The percentage of advertising activities for one brand within the total advertising activity for an entire sector or product type

Traffic Count – Counting the movement of vehicles past a given point

VAC – A visibility adjusted contact or VAC is the audience rating for an advertising panel. It is not a measure of quality but simply one of the scale of the audience

Wastage – The proportion of an advertising campaign’s expenditure or advertising weight which is not seen or heard by the specified target audience

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Don't take our word for it,
Here's what our clients say about us


Jenny Pearce
Diverse Abilities


After working with Matt for a few years now, I can honestly say it has been an absolute pleasure. His billboards are in fantastic spots and at very competitive rates, plus his customer service and professionalism is spot on. He always makes sure we receive the best service and the whole process, from booking to delivery, is perfect. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.

Hayley O’Shea
Talbot Heath School


I have worked with Matt for a few years now. His customer service is excellent often going beyond the call of duty. He has some fantastic prime spots at very competitive rates. His poster printing service is very reasonable & makes the whole process of booking & managing outdoor media seamless.

Matthew Lawrence
Urban Guild


We’ve been working with Showcase for a couple of years principally to promote our Christmas parties. As a local business with 4 restaurant and hotel venues in the town it’s great to support another local business and still achieve the reach and exposure that outdoor advertising offers. Matt’s a total pleasure to deal with and I would recommend asking him about your next marketing campaign.

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