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Reaching GenZ and Beyond Through Education OOH Advertising

September 5, 2023

Different education brands can have a diverse range of target audiences. They can range from K-12 students to higher education seekers and even those exploring student loans. But, effectively reaching audiences under 18 can be challenging.

This article will explore strategies and formats used in education Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising. These strategies will engage younger audiences and their parents.

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Who is the Audience for Education OOH Advertising?

Depending upon your brand, you could have a wide variety of institutions. Within that, you could have different programs targeting different audiences. Here are some common types of education brands and the audiences they serve:

  • Student Loan Servicers: These advertisers mostly target high school students preparing for college and their parents. The goal is to educate them about loan options. They also help students explore scholarship opportunities to reduce loan burdens.
  • Colleges and Post-Graduate Institutions: The target audience for colleges can vary depending on the institution's niche. For example, a university focusing on medical programs may strategically place advertisements near competing colleges. Some colleges may also try to reach specific audiences. They may target veterans or older adults who wish to return to college.
  • Community Colleges: These institutions often target community college students considering transitioning to a university or college. High school students preparing for their college journey are also a key demographic.
  • K-12 Schools and Enrichment Programs: Parents are the audience for study programs, preschools, and elementary, middle, and high schools. Factors that impact their decision often include proximity to their home and work and quality of instruction.

Best Formats and Placements for OOH Education Advertising

There are a variety of OOH formats that Education advertisers can use. However it can be a challenge to reach the target audience. Education advertisers often target parents, but they can also target high schoolers. Education advertisers must often be very creative and targeted in their approaches. They may also have to create smaller-scale campaigns, honing in on a specific geographic area. But one great thing about OOH advertising is that it offers various customized opportunities.

Here are some popular formats for education advertisers to reach their audiences through OOH:

Traditional OOH

Billboards on key roads that lead to or from a student’s current school or are near places they frequently visit can be an effective way to reach your audience.


There aren’t many networks within schools. Sometimes it is possible to have advertising in locker rooms, gyms, and associated fields or stadiums. There are often strict rules around advertising near schools. An experienced OOH specialist can help you navigate laws and regulations for your market.

Transit Advertising 

High schoolers aren’t necessarily traveling independently, but some may. You may find more opportunities if you’re advertising for a college in a metropolitan area. However, various transit formats can work well, depending on your audience. Bus shelter advertising, subway advertising, mobile billboards, and taxi/rideshare are great options.

Guerilla Advertising

Wildposting, projections, and other unsanctioned advertisements could be an excellent option for reaching audiences. But you risk a fine or your advertisements being taken down or posted over.

Place-based Advertising

This form of advertising leverages the power of places to excite audiences. Consider places where high schoolers may hang out, including:
  • Movie Theaters
  • Recreation Centers
  • Shopping Malls
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Arcades and other Entertainment Centers
  • Skating Rinks and Skate Parks
You can also consider Retail Media Networks at places that parents may frequent during their daily routines. Retail Media Networks can be found in places including:
  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Retail centers

Some advertisers may use proximity to their physical location. They buy units that advertise their school close to their location to target those in the area. This would work exceptionally well for K12 educational institutions. Parents in the area would see that the location is convenient for their daily activities.

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What are some Common Education OOH Strategies?

It's critical to always use multiple touchpoints in your Education advertising strategy. The more places someone sees the media, the more likely they will recall the message later. One of outdoor advertising's main goals is to be where your audience is and in a context relevant to your brand and their needs.

Here are some common strategies for reaching education audiences:
  • Put up signage near competitors. This can be effective when your message is for students to transfer to your school or to encourage post-graduate education.
  • Be where your audience is. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of your target audience and where they spend their time. Customize your campaign based on your target audience. Put ads in places they frequent based on their interests and behaviors.
  • Use strategic timing in your ad placements. Think about key travel times. If your audience is in college, they are often bound to campus during certain times of the year. But during holidays and summer, they are traveling home. Placing signage on key roadways in and out of college towns can help you reach your audience. Also, think about critical timings in the application process. If your Call to Action (CTA) is for them to apply to your school, your campaign timing should align with the application timeframe.
  • Target parents or guardians. If you are trying to get high school students to consider your loan programs or schools, consider targeting parents or guardians and the students themselves. Parents and guardians are often big influencers for college choices and financial decisions.
  • Amplify your campaign using multichannel campaign strategies. You can add a mobile layer so that if someone enters a specific geofence area, they are retargeted through mobile advertisements after seeing your OOH. You can include hashtags, web addresses, phone numbers, or QR codes, depending on the campaign.

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Goals of Education Advertisers

There are a couple of KPIs Education advertisers typically want to achieve through their outdoor advertising. Here are the most common objectives we see at Billups:
  • Website Lift: Increased website visitors can lead to more sign-ups.
  • Conversions: An increase in sign-ups and enrollments due to the OOH advertising.

Work With Billups on Your Next Education Advertising Campaign!

Billups has experienced OOH specialists all over the globe. We work with many education advertisers in various markets. We understand the nuances in your brand category and the need to find creative solutions to reach some educational audiences. We can help you fine-tune the details of your campaign and execute it effectively. After the campaign, we can provide analytics that shows its performance. Reach out today to learn more!

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