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Take It Outside!

Looking for new marketing opportunities? Then maybe it's time to consider the great outdoors.

This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Outdoor advertising is effective and priced just right for a growing business. So why isn't yours using this time-tested medium? Conventional vehicles, including billboards, taxi tops and more, are part of a marketing category called "out-of-home," which includes many new place-based opportunities-from ads in health clubs and airports to naming rights for a local baseball diamond. There's bound to be an out-of-home ad option that's priced right.

Right now, outdoor advertising is hotter than ever thanks to technology. New York City company Magink Display Technologies Inc. (, for example, is developing digital billboards that resemble paper but behave like electronic screens; outdoor advertising firm Lamar Advertising ( is converting key billboards in cities like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh to LED units, called "SmartBoards." These types of billboard messages can be changed easily and frequently.

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