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OOH Advertising

4 suggestions to make the most of your OOH budget

In every industry, most marketers have a common goal: to ensure their advertising spend brings in more revenue.

Tactics and strategies have to help drive actions and motivate buyers. But how do you know that you’re spending your advertising budget the right way? 

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is becoming relevant and innovative as ever, and it’s the only traditional format that continues to show consistent growth.

In this digital age, attention spans can be short and privacy concerns aren’t an issue, and OOH coupled with digital innovation can offer some very attractive offers for brands to reach out to audiences. 

But where do you start, and how do you know you’ll get your money’s worth out of OOH advertising? We offer a few suggestions on making sure you’ve covered your bases as you make your foray into this advertising channel. 

1. Create cross-platform ad campaigns and strategies

As with any marketing campaign, a solid advertising strategy is non-negotiable, and when it comes to OOH, your reach and effectiveness can be boosted by incorporating cross-platform campaigns.

The days of single-channel strategies and managing channels separately won’t yield the same results as a comprehensive cross-media strategy. 

Having an integrated strategy that links OOH to other channels can help you determine how well your campaign is performing. But it also has added benefits.

During the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, OOH advertising was one of the most trusted ways to relay important public health information, according to IpsosMRBI.

By creating cross-platform strategies, advertisers can use both OOH and the linked digital channels to quickly update messaging in real-time. 

Digital and OOH advertising have clear synergy and can be used together to plan campaigns. OOH campaigns are memorable, with up to 82% recall, providing a visual experience to target audiences.

Brands that exist mostly in the digital space can capitalize on OOH by encouraging engagement on digital (social media and more).

OOH is more important than ever, and you can maximize your advertising spend by creating cross-platform campaigns that maximize awareness and engagement. 

2. Find a one-stop-shop

Advertising can be a more seamless process when you partner with the right outdoor advertising agency that offers a one-stop-shop for all your needs.

An agency that has a full-service approach can provide support throughout the entire process, helping you choose the right type of advertising and drawing on their wealth of experience for locations, design, and nuances of the particulars of OOH advertising

Rather than spreading yourself thin with multiple suppliers who have to coordinate and work together, a full-service advertising agency will have experts who have experience working together and with clients in a wide variety of industries and different campaigns, and they can help you optimize your campaigns and maximize your results accordingly. 

Look for full-service agencies with years of experience specifically in OOH advertising.

They know the market and challenges you face, your preferences, workflows, and products and services, meaning you can build a long-term partnership with an agency that understands your business.

Their solutions will be customized to your particular situation and needs, and they’ll be able to share best practices with proven success. 

A one-stop-shop with a single point of contact will also save you time. One contract, one account manager,  A regular pain point is coordinating different vendors and connecting with them individually to get through the work involved in OOH advertising.

Full-service agencies may be able to offer better pricing deals, and coupled with knowledge of the area and market, may save you advertising dollars. 

As COVID-19 restrictions lift and people reconnect, socialize, play sort, and take up activities they were deprived of in recent months out of their homes, there will be an important opportunity for OOH advertisers to capitalize on positive feelings and the ‘new normal’.

Choosing a partner with experience who’s not afraid of innovating is crucial, as they’ll be able to help navigate and make the most of this opportunity.

3. Advertise where your customers are: find the right location

Getting your money’s worth out of advertising is about making the right decisions that target audiences in the right way…and the right location. OOH placements are highly location-specific, grassroots, and strategically chosen by the agency so your message can find its way to the audience you’re trying to engage. 

Location is carefully selected to target captive audiences, probably more than any other form of advertising. This allows companies to get a quick understanding of how many people were exposed to their ads and of the impact of their campaigns. 

This can be highly useful when testing advertising campaigns, which can answer questions about impact, audience segmentation response, and other performance metrics.

A smaller budget can be invested to test a message or tactic, and measuring results will allow you to iterate to improve outcomes and performance.

OOH is creatively versatile and reaches audiences regardless of the media they use. OOH can’t be blocked, skipped, or deleted. And while digital advertising audiences are fragmenting, OOH audiences are consistently increasing, and your audience is captive. 

Agencies with the right network can offer everything from grassroots, local, regional, and national media placement opportunities. This means brands can reach audiences at a national level for a highly competitive CPM. 

4. Don’t forget your loyal customers 

Getting value out of your advertising spend isn’t just about creating awareness or driving new sales. Too many marketers prioritize acquiring new customers over retaining customers, again according to Nielsen ( 41% of marketers rank acquiring new customers and 28% named increasing brand awareness as the top objective, compared to 13% for retaining customers). 

Unfortunately, this often means that you may be missing out on an opportunity. With customer loyalty dropping globally, brands can’t rely on previous exploits to keep their customers. They need to adjust their marketing techniques and tactics (and investment) to boost and recapture customer retention. 

Acquiring a new customer can be far more expensive than retaining an existing one, and if you believe research by Bain & Company and KPMG, among others, if you can increase customer retention rates by 5%, you increase profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%. This can be the biggest revenue driver. In fact, customer retention can mean the difference between companies that grow and those that stagnate. 

So when you’re determining your advertising budget, be sure to carve a space for campaigns that target existing customers. Diversifying your customer base is important, but so too is rewarding those who stay loyal to your brand. And if you can use OOH effectively to offer genuine, relevant content to your loyal customers, you’ll likely be rewarded and appreciated, especially during turbulent times like these. 

Over to You

Are you taking advantage of the strengths of OOH advertising to reach your ideal customers? Please explore our arena advertising opportunities or contact Rec Media today, so that we can help you make the most of your advertising budget.

And if you’ve enjoyed this post, please let us know by signing up to our email list!

OOH Advertising

Why emotional marketing works (and how you can do it, too)

Every picture tells a story…and good stories are seldom forgotten.

As we’re being flooded by advertisements on a daily—and constant—basis, advertisers that can stand out get our attention.

And how can they do that? By telling good stories that connect and engage us on an emotional level. And that can mean good business for advertisers!

Welcome to emotional marketing, the worst-kept secret in advertising.

Emotional marketing basically uses emotion to make you pay attention to a brand or message by making you feel empathy, happiness, fear, or anger.

Emotional marketing helps people remember your brand, but it does much more than that: it can help your consumers feel more loyal, share more, and buy more.

Emotions at the heart of decision-making

We like to think that we’re in control when we make buying decisions… but the opposite seems to be true. Several studies suggest that we’re driven mostly by emotions, personal feelings, or experiences rather than facts or features.

Our reaction to ads can be very emotional, and this can influence what we do next. In fact, ads that generate strong emotions can mean a 23% increase in sales, according to a Nielsen report.

Emotions can be the driving force behind half—that’s right, half—of our purchasing decisions. And if marketers want to engage their audience in their advertising, they need to tap into their emotions.

Psychology Today claims that “the richer the emotional content of a brand’s mental representation, the more likely the consumer will be a loyal user.”

In fact, in emotional marketing ads, we react better to the visual or emotional part of the ads than we do to text. That’s good news for out-of-home marketers.

It’s a science, more than an art. In fact, marketers are using results from neuro-imagery brain scans, to find out how consumers react and what they find more motivating or engaging. There’s even a special word for this—neuromarketing—and even an association dedicated to enhancing the field.

The power of four basic emotions

Tons of articles and marketers will tell you that there are basically four basic emotions that can make us connect and engage.

  1. Sadness creates empathy, and empathy leads to donations… or sales. Ask any charity organisation. When we care, we act on behalf of others.
  2. Happiness Bad news travels fast, but good news travels even faster. We share things that make us happy, and that brings more brand awareness.
  3. Fear It can be fear for our future, or simply FOMO (fear of missing out). How many ads have you clicked lately that were titled… “Find out what happens next”. We need to know. We need to know.
  4. Anger spurs action and inspires us. Anger is outrage, disgust, stubbornness. And stubbornness can mean more brand loyalty.

How to make them laugh (or cry)

You don’t have to be a giant brand to make use of emotional marketing.

According to Psychology Today, people react much better to the emotional parts of the ads compared to the linear texts. Ads that convey strong emotions are more likely to become viral and generate better results

We feel things when we see an emotional ad, and creative marketers can use channels like out-of-home advertising to have an influence on our subconscious mind, help us remember a brand, and influence our decision, in a matter of just seconds.

1. Know your audience

Harvard Business Review suggests using a great marketing strategy to build up a picture of what your customers care about, and what motivates them on an emotional level. Check out their High-Impact Motivators, from “confidence in the future” and “a sense of belonging” to “protecting the environment” and “being the person I want to be”, and how you can leverage those emotions in advertising.

2. Make it likeable

According to the blog writers of the online applied psychology program at the University of Southern California, the ‘likeability’ of an ad is a good predictor of how well the ad will perform in terms of sales.

Children, cats, dogs, babies, smiling people, friendship, families… all these are traditional storytelling elements that can inspire immediate empathy. But you can go further, and refine the tone of your ad, the setting, the story.

3. Add excitement

Neil Patel suggests “pinch of emotion and a dash of thrill.” Authenticity, positive connotations, and creativity are key to creating an engaging and emotional story.

4. Lead with colour

Colours can influence our emotions, and the psychology of colour has long been used in branding and advertising. Studies have shown that the right combination of colours in digital ads, for example, can increase conversion rates. 

Out-of-home advertising, especially in family or community contexts, have an advantage, as their audience is already ‘primed’ for emotion and their large formats can make the most of bright colours.

5. Tell a good story

Storytellers know how to fire up emotions, and if you have an understanding of what makes your target audience tick, you can create stories that evoke any of the emotions mentioned above. Emotional marketing is all about making your story relatable and engaging.

Brands that use emotional marketing really well

Want to be moved? Check out these campaigns from some famous brands to see how they use emotional marketing:

Why not consider emotional marketing for your next campaign? Just remember that money doesn’t buy emotions. And a little humour never killed anyone.

Please explore our arena advertising opportunities or contact us to discuss the possibilities for your next campaign. Did you enjoy this post? Sign up to our email list to get the next one in your inbox.

Sports & Families

Sharing the Glory: Benefits of Team Sports for Children

If you’ve ever found yourself bored and miserable pumping iron in the gym, you might be missing out on a much more gratifying way of getting exercise: team sports.

Many of us end up at the gym by default instead of enjoying the benefits of organized sports introduced to us as kids. From a young age, taking part in team sports (such as hockey or soccer) teaches us about health and working together while improving our physical coordination and athleticism.

Organized sports have several advantages over individual sports, though any form of exercise is beneficial. Studies show that kids (and adults) involved in organized sports:

  • Enjoy being part of a team and have more fun than in individual physical pursuits
  • Have better mental health and lower stress levels
  • Do better academically
  • Learn more about teamwork, sportsmanship, and self-esteem

Team Sports Pave the Way for Athleticism: Long-Lasting Benefits

We already know that children who are involved in sports are much more likely to have better mental health and have less incidence of depression as adults.

Psychology Today tells us that part of the reason why kids love playing in organized sports is, simply, because it’s fun playing as part of a team. We want to be both competitive and collaborative – and team sports offer us this duality, where individual sports don’t.

Team sports allow children to compete against themselves as part of a group. But they also win or lose as a team, which means they learn to value and have empathy with the group rather than focus solely on themselves.

And the advantages don’t end there. Children who play team sports learn more about communication, loyalty, social skills, leadership, self-esteem and working together than by practicing individual sports.

In fact, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation, there are even more benefits for girls playing team sports: higher self-esteem, lower sexual risk-taking behavior, and lower anxiety and eating disorders.

Team sports also provide variety: a child can start in one role on the team and move on to another, learning skills they can transfer to other sports.

Socially, children have access to a network of friends (sometimes outside of school), helping them feel less shy or isolated.

From Court to Boardroom: Benefits of
Team Sports as Adults

Team sports really are the gift that keeps on giving. Kids not only do better academically as a result of participating in team sports, but the benefits extend to their adult life.

Through organized sports, children gain an understanding of sportsmanship – being able to acknowledge wins for others and deal with defeat. Having a coach as young teenagers can set them up to value mentors who can help them later on in life.

Beyond using the skills we learn from team sports, even following organized sports offers professional advantages. Team sports are an international language that can help us find commonality with colleagues and bosses. Women especially who take an interest in team sports can participate more fully in the many corporate or networking events that revolve around sports.

Team Sports Build Communities – We Did It!

There’s no doubt that team sports build communities. Families, neighbors, fans rally behind teams to cheer them on and help push our athletes further.

Cheering for a local team brings people of diverse backgrounds together for a common goal, and it does so with a real sense of camaraderie and belonging that’s not available through individual

In fact, team sports help build and shape our cultural identity – they’re a source of national pride. Whose heart doesn’t skip a beat when our national team wins at championships?

Whether we choose team sports or individual sports, by far what’s most important is that we enjoy the activity and feel better about ourselves, physically and mentally. And with childhood obesity and diabetes threatening our youth, the best thing we can do is introduce our kids to the benefits of team sports!

A final word

Do you want to support your community athletic centres that make team sports possible for our children? Why not promote your business while you invest in the health and well-being of the kids in your community? Contact us today to find out about our advertising opportunities.

OOH Advertising

5 great reasons to add OOH advertising to your marketing mix

Think static out-of-home (OOH) advertising is a marketing medium of the past? Think again.

OOH is actually the fastest-growing advertising medium of the last few years, showing consistent and steady growth while other forms of media are declining.

All the elements of a marketing mix influence each other, and a healthy balance can lead to a thriving business. But are you giving OOH enough attention?

Adding OOH to your marketing mix is a chance for small and large businesses to up their game and stay in the league. Here’s are five great reasons why:

The reason OOH complements digital and traditional media so well is thought to be because OOH is seen to be a more credible medium that boosts brand trust, according to industry experts.

In addition, advertising associations report that OOH is a strong sales activator and action motivator, key to the “last window of influence”, that critical time before a primed consumer takes action or makes a purchase.

1. OOH boosts your other channels

In fact, OOH especially boosts digital channels by up to 31% for online advertising, 56% for paid-social, and 80% for search, according to the Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Management Bureau (COMMB). That’s pretty impressive for a simple billboard.

Adding OOH to your marketing mix can amplify your other media channels and drive consumer action or sales.

Other triggered actions after seeing OOH advertising include using a search engine to search for something advertised in an OOH ad or visiting or posting a message about it on social media, among many others, according to Nielsen OOH Advertising Study.

2. OOH effectively builds brand awareness

Even digital didn’t win the war on creative advertising when it comes to OOH.

OOH continues to offer great opportunities for strong, bold, and creative advertising that drives brand awareness.

Adding OOH advertising to your brand awareness campaigns is a smart move that can elevate your brand and familiarise consumers
and target audiences with it.

As we’ve mentioned previously in this blog, consumers are more receptive to and trusting of this type of advertising than other mediums, which makes it perfect to build and solidify a brand.

Strong graphic design and simple, creative concepts help create effective brand recognition in consumers who are otherwise inundated with advertising clutter. The right message at the right time and to the right people can cut right through the noise and provide far better brand memorability.

COMMB studies show that we’re 33% more alert when we’re outside our home, while its American counterpart the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) reports that OOH can boost brand esteem and fame by 62%.

By placing ads in other mediums, you risk your ad getting diluted by other messaging, as other brands vie for consumer attention. But place some rink boards in the middle of an ice-hockey rink, and you’ll be one of very few large, attention-drawing ads.

3. OOH delivers mass reach quickly

OOH is highly effective in reach large numbers of potential consumers quickly for a broad, in a format that’s hard to miss, with a narrow focus.

With OOH advertising in parks, indoor and outdoor arenas and sports venues, you have a chance to reach a captive audience that can otherwise also be hard to reach, both in urban and rural markets.

And when it comes to OOH advertising at Rec Media, you already know the audience based on the venue, which means you have more chances of creating advertising that connects with or speaks to them. You’ll also have a fair idea of the numbers of people reached by the nature of the location of the OOH ads. 

Thousands of people will see your ads, without the option of dismissing or ignoring your ads, as is frequently done on mobile and desktop ads. You can’t fast-forward the ad, skip it, or even pay more to avoid it.

There’s more impact for longer periods of time, and with our decreasing attention spans, OOH advertising can only be a good thing for the memorability of an ad or brand.

This means that if you focus on strong creativity, relatability, and impact, you have a chance to truly connect with your audience in a meaningful and memorable way.

4. OOH is here to stay… and is

It’s one of the oldest forms of advertising, but it’s as relevant as ever. Despite it being a digital-savvy world, OOH is having a moment.

While TV, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising have all been on the decline in recent years, OOH advertising has been growing since 2017 and is billed to show continued, steady growth through to 2023, as latest figures of the OAAA show.

Other forms of advertising are on the decline in reach and consumption, especially with younger generations, but OOH has built on its strength in the last 10 years—and reaches those younger audiences in ways online and TV ads don’t.

Imagine your family at a soccer game, where impactful OOH ads can be seen all around the field, with every move of the teams. There’s no doubting the power that OOH ads can have by comparison to the ads your kids will skip, dismiss, and forget on their smartphones.

Not convinced yet? Consider this: OOH is forecast to continue to grow steadily over the next few years, with no indication of slowing down.

5.  OOH delivers consistently high ROI

OOH is thought by many to be the golden goose of advertising these days. It’s highly effective—but it’s also cost-effective in comparison to other ad mediums.

The OAAA and Outdoor Media Association report that OOH advertising delivers more activity per ad dollar spent than print, TV, or radio ads, and for each one of those dollars, there’s an average profit of $5.97.

Not only that, COMMB states that OOH advertising outperforms TV ads in relation to undiluted recall levels, and connects and engages with consumers effectively.

OOH simply yield a higher return on investment. The higher the investment, the higher the return.

So what’s the point? OOH shouldn’t be overlooked or be an afterthought in your marketing mix: allocated sufficient budget so it can drive your advertising and provide bottom-line impact. You can reach more people (the right people) in the right place at the right time, which should be a prime consideration in today’s competitive market.

Over to You

Are you taking advantage of the strengths of OOH advertising to reach your ideal customers? Please explore our arena advertising opportunities, or contact Rec Media today, so that we can design an effective OOH campaign to meet your marketing objectives.

And if you’ve enjoyed this post, please let us know by signing up to our email list!


How to advertise to millennial parents

Millennials. The generation every brand wants to win over.

Millennials are unique, they’re tech savvy, highly educated and they’re currently the largest generation in Canada, representing 27.5% of the population, or 10 million people, according to Nielsen.

They’ll dominate Canada’s future (and future purchasing power).

With the oldest nearing their 40s, Millennial Moms and Dads are redefining the role of parents and breaking down stereotypes; and just as they’re changing the roles and expectations of their generation, marketers should also adapt the way they communicate with millennial parents.

In this post, we offer some insights on the millennial ‘voice’, break down some typical stereotypes, and show you some brands who are
doing it right when it comes to advertising to millennial parents.

The Millennial Voice

1. We’re not all the same

The term ‘Millennial’ was first used by authors William Strauss and Neil Howe in Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, to describe people who would be entering the workforce around the year 2000.

Millennials are also called Generation Y, and were born somewhere between 1980 and 2000. Because there’s some flexibility around those
dates, this generation spans people in a variety of life stages, from students entering post-secondary education to young professionals, parents, and homeowners.

In Canada, this generation represents the most diverse generation in our history in terms of ethnicity, religion, and nationality, but also in terms of lifestyle and values. Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the single biggest generation in the workplace. They’re changing company culture as well as traditional consumer habits.

Some millennials make more money than their parents, but the difference in income between rich and poor is greater than it was in
previous generations. Younger millennials may still be living with their
parents, while older ones are parents themselves.

The Environics Institute argues against lumping an entire generation into one single group, and rather segments millennials into smaller groups—‘tribes’—with specific social values (and consumer interests).

Marketing to smaller sub-segmented groups makes sense given
the wide range of life stages this generation can be in and their typical tribe persona.

2. We’re not your typical parents

Parents make up more than 40% of the millennial generation, and break down stereotypical gender roles as parents. Dads are more involved than ever, just as active as moms, and take active steps to learn to connect with their children, watching more parenting-related videos on YouTube, for example.

Millennial women have a more level playing field and are working in more traditionally male-dominated industries. Moms aren’t just parents; they’re also working professionals who engage in hobbies and passions.

According to Google insights, parents:

  • Prefer more intimate and less hierarchical parenting roles than their own parents
  • Want an open dialogue with their children
  • See their children as their best friends
  • Involve their children in household decisions
  • Incorporate their kids into their passions and hobbies

3. We look for authenticity

The ‘parenting’ label is just one part of a millennial’s identity. Millennials are tech-savvy and seen to be individualistic, craving meaningful and authentic experiences at work and at home.

Research shows millennials don’t like being the target of advertising but respond to brand authenticity and direct, simple ads. They respond to brands that reflect their values.

This gives marketers a chance to be creative, encouraging
engagement with millennial parents, establishing trust, and building bridges between their brand’s values and those of millennials.

4. We like a helping hand

Millennial parents want to do things differently than their own parents; they’re more open to advice and getting help from experts and thought-leaders. Millennials are loyal brand shoppers, and welcome branded content, if authentic and relevant to their values.

Brands can take advantage of this by providing answers and guidance to young parents in their advertising and establishing themselves as experts in their field.

5. We keep in touch through social

Millennial parents were the first generation of early adopters of digital technology, and heavily embrace social media. In Canada, 91% of millennials in 2018 had at least one social media account.

For this generation, communicating with smartphones, apps, and social media is second-nature, as is buying online. According to Hubspot, millennial parents are more likely to be influenced by blogs or social media sites than advertising. 

Brands who want to reach out to this generation can make
themselves more accessible and trustworthy by using social media and linking digital marketing or traditional advertising to social media campaigns.

6. We like to share

Millennials, with their dependence on social media, trust their peers and share what they love: 90% of them will share their favourite brands with their peers or buy a product after hearing about it from friends.

If a brand can establish good credibility with millennial
parents, there’s a good chance they’ll be influencing more than one family.

7. You can reach out to us through out-of-home advertising

It may seem counter-intuitive, but reaching out to millennial parents over through out-of-home (OOH) advertising makes perfect sense.

Traditional TV, radio, and digital ads are becoming less effective in reaching millennials, who are increasingly canceling their TV
subscriptions, streaming their music, and blocking their browser ads.

OOH isn’t as intrusive as other ad mediums. OOH ads can’t be blocked or muted online advertising. With brief attention spans of millennials of a mere 12 seconds, OOH can also deliver a powerful punch, relying as they do on brief, clear messaging.

According to a recent study, OOH is the favoured medium for advertising for millennials, beating television, radio, and newspapers. 

OOH allows brands to build direct-to-consumer engagement, building credibility with authentic advertising that resonates with Canadian millennial parents. Effectively using a blended strategy with OOH advertising gives brands a chance to rise above the noise and see their ROI increase with millennial parents.

This is particularly true if you’re advertising in locations with a high dwell time. Case in point,  a 2016 Study conducted by the Strategic Marketing Council showed that 84% of people spend approximately 30 minutes in the arena watching hockey or on-ice activities.

So if you’re purchasing Rinkboards from Rec Media – or any of our arena advertising products – your audience will be exposed to your ads for an extended period of time.

Who’s doing it right with millennial


Check out  Dove’s Men+Care campaign—which made headlines—of a compilation of real videos of men finding out they’re going to become fathers.


Audi’s #DriveProgress ad hit a note with viewers of the Superbowl, aligning their values with their target audience’s.

American Eagle

American Eagle gave up photoshopping in lingerie ads in a bid to show more authenticity, and sales increased as a result: #AerieREAL

Over to you

How about you? If you’re marketing to millennials, how is that going for you? Have you found our tips helpful? If you need a little more guidance on reaching millennial parents when they’re outside their homes, we’d love to hear from you.

And if you found this post helpful, please let us know by signing up to our email list.

OOH Advertising

10 Tips for Designing an Unmissable Out-of-Home Ad: Creative OOH ad design that boosts results

They’re big, bold, and unstoppable. You can’t skip them, block them, or avoid them. In fact, you can’t even ignore them. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is having a moment, and for good reason.

We may live in a digital age, but out-of-home advertising is—not surprisingly to industry experts—a genuine growth market. OOH advertising is seeing consistent ad revenue growth and is delivering significant business results.

So how do you make the most of this form of advertising and reaching your audiences when they’re outside their homes?

Creating an OOH campaign or ad isn’t the same as designing a magazine or digital ad. A solid OOH campaign is driven by creative design that engages with your audience in ways that other advertising channels don’t.

Competition is high for attracting the eye of the consumer, so smart concepts and good graphic design are key to standing out. OOH ads have to be persuasive. They have to be bold. And they have to be spot on.

In this article, we’ll walk you through 10 tips for designing great creative for your OOH campaign.


Identify and pursue your target audience

Before coming up with a winning ad, you have to know who you’re trying   to reach. Get to know and understand your target audience and what        makes them tick, so that you can ensure your ad layout, images and copy resonate with them.

Know your goal

Your OOH ad should tie back to your marketing/promotion campaign and other marketing and advertising tactics.

Have a specific goal for each OOH ad. Knowing what you want to achieve will drive the direction of your creative concept. Do you want to:

  • Create more brand awareness
  • Generate a call to action
  • Educate your viewers
  • Advertise a new product line
  • Try new demographic, market, or geographic area?


Use compelling copy—but keep it brief

Print or online ads can be packed with lots of information and small print that viewers can read at leisure. With OOH, you have to help viewers digest the information in just a few, simple lines.

Messaging is vital in OOH advertising, and it can be a challenge to convey that message in just five or six words.

Keep it simple, and use a single memorable contact method, like a shortlink, hashtag, or just your company name. Smart, short taglines and punchy copy work really well and will help you reap rewards in OOH ads.



Lead with a hero image

With magazine or editorial ads, you have flexibility in design and can create complex images to make readers think, but OOH advertising is different. OOH is essentially a visual experience, and a simple, relevant hero image should be central to your messaging.

Imagery is often more important than text in OOH advertising. Choose a single image or graphic element that:

  • Captures the attention
  • Conveys your message
  • Is high resolution
  • Is memorable, entertaining, or emotionally compelling

OOH ad design tips Lead with a hero image



Roll out the red carpet: use bold colours

Colours are really important in OOH advertising. While magazine ads have to ‘fit’ in to the publication’s ‘look’, OOH background and font colours have to be bright and high-contrast to help with readability.

White space can be really effective in media print ads, but too much of it in OOH ads can dilute or distract the message.

By using contrasting colours, you can attract the attention of your audience and place emphasis on certain parts of your ad, making it easy to read at any time of day.


(Kalvin Taylor/Goodall Media Inc)


Tell a story

To cut through visual noise (and so few words), you have to tell a story and give meaning to your message.

Design your OOH around a central story: does it solve a problem, satisfy a need, evoke an emotion, compel them to take an action?

Your company brand story will help you find a strong visual direction for your ad for an aspirational, bold concept that will influence viewers. OOH It’s a big space. It’s no time to think small!


Consider your location when you design your OOH ad

Out-of-home advertising is always in a fixed point in space. Consider using the location where it’ll be displayed as part of your ad use it as a springboard for a clever message.

People’s memories are better when they’re connected to a physical location, so OOH advertising is ideal to create brand awareness.

To optimise the retention of your ad, stay consistent with your design choices and branding in other channels: keep logos, colours, fonts, hashtags, and messaging consistent.


Test your ad

OOH ads have slightly different testing techniques than regular print ads. Sometimes the hardest thing is conceptualising the distance and scale of the ad’s images and text.

Visualise what your artwork will look like from across an ice surface or playing field, and test it:

  • Print it as business-card sized, and hold it at arm’s length away from you.
  • (You can also reduce it (minimise it on your screen) so it measures approximately 1” high.)

You have just a few seconds to get your message across: does it work? Can it be read from one foot away? If not, go back and refine your design, and test again.



Use our OOH ad design specs

You’re nearly ready to send in your OOH ad. Here’s a few last                              recommendations:

  • Keep the messaging clear and simple
  • Save your artwork as an editable high-resolution PDF
  • You can use spot colour (Pantone) or process colour (CMYK)
  • Make sure text and graphics must be within the Safe Area and at least 1” from the trim
  • Don’t use borders for rinkboards because the bleed will be trimmed at different heights for each facility
  • Make your text at least 6” tall (bold and readable)
  • Text should be large enough to read at a distance of 80+ feet
  • Any text or graphics that are difficult to read should be enlarged or removed

Over to you

Are you trying your hand at out of home advertising? Have you found our tips helpful? If you need a little more guidance about planning your next OOH advertising campaign, please explore our arena advertising opportunities or contact us today.

And if you found this post helpful, please let us know by signing up to our email list.





Rec Media |Where the community has always been

At Rec Media, we connect companies & brands with audiences in athletic recreational facilities, by aggregating media space.

We offer a wide range of traditional and innovative media opportunities  in indoor ice arenas, indoor and outdoor soccer fields, outdoor athletic parks and ski resorts – providing brand engagement at grassroots level!

We go where the community has always been.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can get your brand in front of the right audience at the right place, at the right time.

Contact Us


Sports & Families

Benefits of Sports for Children

Kids need exercise. Whether it’s hitting the slopes, playing soccer, going for a ride, or playing hockey. Whatever the sport they play, regular physical activity benefits youth in many ways. It builds muscles, maintains healthy joints, and controls weight and blood pressure.

Exercise can also benefit children academically. Research has suggested a positive association between sports and enhanced concentration, improved classroom behaviour, and improved academic performance.

What’s more, high school athletes are more likely to attend college and get degrees than non-athletes.

Studies have shown that adolescents who play sports are 8 times as likely to become active young adults. Young adults with higher self-esteem, stronger leadership skills, and a lower risk of depression than youth who were not as active.

Community recreational centers are the hub where many of these beneficial sports activities take place.

If you want to support your local community centers while giving visibility to your brand, contact Rec Media today. And if you liked this post, please let us know by signing up for our email list.

Canadian families

The Modern Canadian Family


Canadian families are changing with the times. The modern Canadian family has a new profile, shaped by changing trends in marriage, same-sex families, minorities, immigration, religion and more.

The Modern Canadian Family Whiteboard Video

In this whiteboard video, we’ll take you through key trends impacting modern Canadian families.

The Modern Canadian Family Infographic

If you prefer to pore over our statistics on the modern Canadian family at your own pace, we invite you to peruse the infographic below.

Connect with Canadian Families

At REC Media, we pride ourselves on our connection with Canadian families. Do you want to get your message out to Canadian modern families where they spend quality family time? Contact us today.

And if you liked this post, please let us know by signing up for our email list.

Sports sponsorship

Sports Sponsorship Benefits for Small Businesses

Have you ever wondered just why Nike is investing so heavily into golf champion Rory McIlroy? Or how basketball giant Kobe Bryant or NHL legend Sidney Crosby make their millions?

The answer is simple: sports sponsorship.

Sports sponsorships is big business. And with sports increasingly in the media spotlight (and in our lives), more is being invested every year: US companies are now spending up to $20 billion, according to McKinsey & Company.

There’s no doubt that sports sponsorship is effective and a key element in any marketing strategy. But you don’t have to be a large multinational to get in on the benefits of grassroots sports sponsorship: family and small businesses can profit, too.

Champions for Life: the ROIs of Sports Sponsorship

There are many reasons why grassroots sports sponsorship is a win-win for the athlete or team, the sports and the company. By nature, sports sponsorship is an authentic way of creating a personal relationship with consumers by showing that you care about the sports, the team, and the community.

Here are a few more benefits of sports sponsorship and advertising:

1. Differentiating yourself

There are more advertising opportunities than you can shake a stick at. But how many of those will cut through the noise by bringing us close to something we feel strongly about: our local sports teams and the sports we love? Sports sponsorship sends a message that you care about what the fans care about – and that can be an incredible force. You’re creating a relationship with consumers, not just advertising to them.

2. Audience

Marketing is about knowing your audience, and you already have a pretty good idea of who’s seeing your messages at sports games and venues: young people, their families and friends, and by extension, the audience of any media covering sports events. Best of all, they’re a captive audience, and will be seeing those messages repeatedly. You’ll also reach rival teams that come to play the local teams –doubling your exposure with a brand new audience at every game.

3. Receptiveness

Research shows that people respond very positively to sponsors and are more receptive to advertising at sports events. Sports families realize that your role as a sponsor is important, and are more likely to support you, in turn, over a competitor.

4. Brand awareness

Sports sponsorship is a great way to increase brand awareness, especially considering that brand strength is a contributing factor for 60-80% of overall sales. It can improve your company image and prestige while associating your brand to events that your target market finds attractive.

5. Loyalty

 Sports sponsorship has always had potential to create long-term positive partnerships between the brand and the sports. It’s more about quality over quantity, but most of all it’s about loyalty. Fans are loyal to their teams, and athletes and sports families have a tendency to be loyal to their sponsors. Over time, you’ll eventually be considered almost as part of the team. That’s a strong emotional commitment.

6. Inclusiveness

All brands in all categories, regardless of size, can sponsor sports. You need to find an appropriate team or sports venue, research the opportunity, and develop a strategy that will tap into the strong emotions that sports create.

7. Social responsibility

 Let’s not forget that by sponsoring something as important as sports, you’re contributing very positively to the community, keeping kids involved in healthy activities and helping to build strong neighbourhoods.

And that’s something to be proud about!

To find out how you can sponsor sports in your neighbourhood by promoting your business, contact Rec Media today. And if you liked this post, please let us know by signing up for our email list.


Glenda is an account director with a background in sales and market research. Her passion lies in audience research and finding the best way to reach consumers. With Rec Media, that can be through large national campaigns focused on brand awareness, or local place-based media initiatives focused on regional sales. With over 15 years in the industry, she has partnered closely with a wide variety of clients, including: small non-profits, local government agencies, finance, insurance, retail, restaurant and auto service businesses. In her free time she loves to spend time outdoors, whether that is enjoying time at the beach or trail running on the North Shore.


As the Sales Assistant and Marketing Coordinator, Kyle helps sales operations run smoothly and spearheads Rec Media’s marketing initiatives. Kyle works closely with the VP of Sales to streamline reporting, presentations, client experience and more!
Born and raised in Calgary, Kyle graduated with a BBA majoring in Marketing from the University of Regina. When not at work, you can find him coaching hockey, volunteering at the local film festival, or traveling.


Luiz is originally from Brazil, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. When he is not crunching numbers at work, he loves to travel the world with his family and watch his favourite soccer team, Atletico Mineiro.


As the Senior Accountant, Renata’s responsibilities include reconciling account balances and bank statements, maintaining general ledger and assist with tax returns.

Renata works hard to oversee general accounting operations by controlling and verifying the financial transactions, in an effort to ensure accuracy and effectiveness in all of Rec Media’s accounting tasks.

Originally from Prague, Czech Republic – Renata has close to 20 years of accounting experience with a thorough knowledge of accounting principles to analyze financial reports and forecasts.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Renata hanging out with her three boys (mostly in hockey arenas) or enjoying Canada’s beautiful forests and scenery.


As a member of the leadership team, Karen helps set direction for Rec Media’s business development. Her background in business strategy, with expertise in sales and marketing, makes her contributions focused on the company’s brand integrity, customer relationships, client innovations, and partnership development.

Previous experience includes business development and sales/marketing management with a variety of companies, including CTV, RedPoint Media, and Canada Wide Media. She now runs a successful consulting practice and is proud to include Rec Media as a favorite.

Karen is happiest working with a team, guiding everyone toward the corporate vision. Her career and life journey has taken her from Saskatoon to Toronto, then Calgary, Vancouver, and now back in Calgary where she spends most of her time with her large, exuberant, very active, and extremely close circle of family and friends.


Christophe is a Financial and Operational Consultant/Entrepreneur who is skilled at navigating organizations through change, achieving increased efficiencies and bottom line results. Christophe is an engaging entrepreneurial team-builder combining strategic, analytical and creative approaches to solution development and implementation.

His specialties include mergers and acquisitions, financing, process reengineering, forecasting and budgeting, Management Practices, Communications, Performance Improvement, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Mentoring & Coaching Staff, Radio and TV Broadcast Media operations and Team building.


David Sedgwick is a managing director with Balmoral Wood Alternatives which designs, invests in and manages global alternative investment strategies.

David has an extensive background in capital deployment and management related to real estate, infrastructure, energy and non-correlated alternative asset categories, as well as general corporate finance expertise across a variety of mid-market manufacturing, services, real estate, energy and alternate asset industries.

David is actively interested in alternative investment opportunities for institutional grade investors.


Amanda has extensive experience in both media strategy and broadcasting, with a solid track record of leading businesses and teams through complex environments. Amanda is skilled in Digital Strategy, Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Business Development; and has held senior leadership roles in organizations such as Cossette, MediaCom and Shaw Communications.

She is a savvy industry veteran who intimately understands the needs of both advertisers and consumers.


Stéfan is Chief Talent Officer & CEO at Mandrake Human Capital which operates in the Search, Career Transition, Leadership Development, and Onboarding/Executive Acceleration.

Mandrake has recruited more than 10,000 executives in Canada and is one of the country’s largest firm in its sector. A graduate from McGill University, he started his career as a marketer at Procter & Gamble before joining Mandrake as a Consultant. He became Partner in 1991, and CEO in 1999. He is also is Executive Director of IMD, Mandrake’s 30 country strong global partnership.

Stéfan has led hundreds of executive engagements in Finance, Sales, HR, Marketing, Communications, and Strategy for various service, not-for-profit, and manufacturing companies.

He is an expert on the issues surrounding the changing face of human capital in today’s market, and a leader in creating and structuring competitive advantages for clients.


As Account Manager and Venue Partnerships, Brian consults directly with businesses to grow their brands and reach the communities they serve through our recreational facility network and advertising platforms. Additionally, Brian works with our venues to ensure the highest level of long-term success for both our clients and venue partners.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Brian has called Calgary home for over 30 years, most of which in the Calgary media landscape in radio broadcasting, print, OOH, and digital advertising.  Brian's knowledge of our venue audience and expertise in advertising platforms, campaign planning and brand development is a valuable resource for our clients.

Brian and his wife, Joy, have two teenage boys that keep them entertained.  When Brian's not working, you’ll still find him at the local rink enjoying his kid's hockey games, spending a weekend away camping or playing golf at the nearest golf course!


As Retail Account Manager, Calgary & Area, Mirza helps brands connect with their local community in recreational facilities.

Mirza works hard to ensure that he fulfills his client’s key marketing communications ethos day in and day out.
Prior to immigrating to Canada, Mirza obtained an MBA in Marketing & Sales from Amity Business School and worked with companies throughout India, UAE and Mauritius, managing advertising campaigns at various levels across the OOH and traditional media domain.

When Mirza is not working, you’ll find him travelling the world with his wife, playing cricket, watching Lawn Tennis and sharpening his singing skills.


As the VP of Sales, National, Jeff oversees the Rec Media sales team and works directly with corporate and agency accounts to grow their brands strength and integrity in the community recreational facility landscape.  He’s passionate about helping businesses uniquely connect with local communities in over 5,000 facilities across Canada.

Jeff grew up on a farm in Southern Alberta, has an MBA from the University of Calgary, and has 20 years’ experience leading sales teams within the broadcasting, digital media, and software industries.

When Jeff’s not working, you’ll find him boating with his wife and three kids, working on his classic Mustang fastback or playing a tune on the piano.


As the Accounting Clerk, Taylor’s responsibilities include collecting and posting accounts receivable invoices, verifying and processing accounts payable, as well as assisting in daily accounting operations.

Originally from Mountain View, Alberta – Taylor graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors of Commerce majoring in Accounting. When she’s not working, you can find Taylor enjoying the outdoors with her husband, riding horses on her family ranch or curled up with a good book.


As Operations Team Lead, Allie is responsible for overseeing the execution of advertising campaigns by liaising with both the client and recreational facilities that the advertising is placed in.

Allie works hard to ensure that clients’ media requirements are accurately and timeously executed; while developing and maintaining key relationships with recreation facilities across Canada.

Allie was born and raised in Calgary and graduated from the University of Victoria with a major in Sociology and minor in Business. While in University, Allie studied abroad in Utrecht, The Netherlands. When she’s not working, you can find her on the Padel courts, watching movies, or traveling.


As the Senior Accountant, Renata’s responsibilities include reconciling account balances and bank statements, maintaining general ledger and assist with tax returns.

Renata works hard to oversee general accounting operations by controlling and verifying the financial transactions, in an effort to ensure accuracy and effectiveness in all of Rec Media’s accounting tasks.

Originally from Prague, Czech Republic – Renata has close to 20 years of accounting experience with a thorough knowledge of accounting principles to analyze financial reports and forecasts.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Renata hanging out with her three boys (mostly in hockey arenas) or enjoying Canada’s beautiful forests and scenery.


As a Media Project Coordinator, Ashley works on liaising with clients and various recreation facilities to help businesses reach the communities they serve.

Ashley works hard to ensure that the client is completely satisfied with the end result and the advertisement looks exactly how they pictured.

Originally from Birmingham, England – Ashley has one year of experience in the media advertising industry.
When he’s not working, you’ll find Ashley working out, playing hockey or just about every other sport.


As the Ski Advertising Sales Consultant for the Quebec region, Sylvie helps local businesses connect with desirable audiences in some of Canada’s most sought after ski resorts.

Originally from St-Sauveur, Quebec, Sylvie has spent many years on the ski hills (since she was 3 years old!) and knows her territory all too well. Her 20+ years in the sales and marketing field has enabled her to understand the specific needs for each of her clients.

When she is not working you will find her at the many sporting competitions (soccer, skiing and volleyball to name a few) her four children are involved in! She likes to ski, go for walks in the woods with her hubby and enjoys a delicious latte to kick start her day!


As the Senior Account Manager for Calgary and the surrounding areas, Dianna’s primary objective is to help businesses reach and connect with desirable audiences in community sports and recreation environments.

Dianna works hard to ensure that she has an understanding of her client’s business needs in an effort to determine their best fit to fulfill their campaign marketing goals.

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta – Dianna has over 20 years of sales experience across a variety of industries.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Dianna traveling to tropical destinations and indulging in her favorite pastime, paddle boarding. She also loves to be creative, painting with acrylics or just relaxing with a good book and a nice glass of wine.


As the VP of Sales, Eastern Canada, Mary K works with corporate advertising agencies and clients in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Having worked in the out-of-home advertising space for 20 years she understands the effectiveness of the medium and recognizes that Rec Media provides advertisers with a unique advantage to “give back” to communities!

Mary K is passionate about building relationships and developing partnerships within the industry. By promoting Rec Media’s community recreational network and providing corporate social responsibility solutions to marketers across Canada she is excited for what the future will bring.

Mary K is truly living the Rec Media story. She loves to ski with her family, play basketball in the driveway and spends the majority of her winter in hockey arenas across the GTA watching her son work towards his NHL dream!


As the Office Manager/EA, Judy provides administrative support to the CEO as well as the entire team. Judy juggles everything from people to pens; and uses her extensive experience and organizational skills help keep the Rec Media engine running! In addition to organizing meetings, training sessions and other team events; she assists the IT and Accounting Department with various daily tasks.

Judy’s experience and many years with the company enable her to effectively assist the team and ensure they have everything they need. Needless to say; she has become the natural go-to for her colleagues.

Originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – Judy’s prior experience has primarily been in Retail Management.

When she’s not working, you’ll find Judy spending time with her family, attending live performances or creating her own fun!


As President and CEO, Troy’s role touches on just about everything in the organization. A serial entrepreneur, he loves (much to the chagrin of his staff) to have his fingers in everything!

Thankfully, over the years he’s gotten much better at empowering and trusting the capable people on his team to do the job they were hired to do. He still manages to keep a pulse on and provide insight on all things marketing, sales, operations, IT and even accounting – just from a little farther distance than before. Troy works hard to ensure that his oversight and guidance resources and supports everyone in their role, without crossing over into the realms of micromanagement, nor abdication.

Originally born in La Belle Province (Montreal), and having spent several of his younger years in southwestern Ontario (Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto), Troy now resides full-time in Calgary, with frequent trips between the Calgary head office and Rec Media’s offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Troy has had the privilege of residing in all four of the great Canadian cities where our offices are located.

With almost 25 years’ experience in the marketing and advertising industry, Troy frequently jokes that he “started when he was 12”. But he loves the industry and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.

When Troy is not working, you’ll find him out swimming or riding his bike, or just hanging out with his wife and 3 kids eating great food and drinking even better wine (hence the need for the biking and swimming!), and tackling the never ending list of amazing places to see and visit on this beautiful planet.