10 different types of outdoor advertising in Malaysia, plus examples

September 10, 2021 Written by Abby Kury

If there’s one thing Malaysians are always complaining about, it’s the traffic jam. We all know how much time is wasted sitting bumper to bumper, but do you know the exact amount of time we actually spend seated in our cars?

Well, there was an estimate by the World Bank released a couple of years ago, but we’d like you to guess first. It could be any number. Just pick a random number and go with it.


The answer’s 250 million hours a year. That’s in the Klang Valley alone, by the way. A lot of time is being spent on the road, with drivers trying to find other ways to distract themselves when they’re bored of scrolling their phones and selecting music on Spotify.

But you know what this means as an advertiser, businessperson or a brand? It means that outdoor advertising could be the next thing you should be looking into to promote your business or service.

It makes sense, especially due to Malaysia’s high traffic volume. But first, let’s run through a couple of basics.

What is outdoor advertising?image1

Photo by Pexels

Out-of-home advertising, otherwise known as outdoor advertising or OOH, is a type of advertising or marketing that grabs consumers’ attention when they’re outdoors.

When thinking about outdoor advertising, the first thing that springs to mind is definitely billboards. There’s a reason why this is so: there are more billboards than any other OOH media formats in Malaysia.

But this type of advertising has expanded so much that it now boasts many different options -- complete with digital elements.

This brings us to our second question.

Why is outdoor advertising important?image4

Photo by Positive Media Malaysia

The short of it is that we spend a lot of time outdoors. Though that may not be the case these days due to the Covid-19 pandemic which forced all of us into staying indoors, we still spend some time outside.

We still go grocery shopping, run errands or even go out for a ride for a breath of fresh air when staying indoors starts to become a little stifling.

Plus, in the age of digital and social media, consumers often experience advertising fatigue from staring at their screens for most of their day.

People get tired of doing so, and aside from advertisers thinking that the screens would be the best way to advertise (they’re not entirely wrong), they also need to compete with so many other brands trying to do the same thing.

But outdoor advertising is experienced in person, and could even turn out to be a famous landmark for certain people (“pass by the Milo billboard”, or “take a left after the BMW billboard”).

What are the benefits of outdoor advertising?

Photo courtesy of Wow Media

Outdoor advertising was, admittedly, one of the most expensive forms of advertising prior to digitisation.

These days, however, it is considerably more affordable and attainable, so much so that companies of any size will be able to get their brand out there.

Not only is outdoor advertising able to help build a brand, but it is also generally accepted by the public as a form of advertising as opposed to “unwanted” ads on social media, for example.

Its customisable feature based on target audience and location also makes it a big plus and ensures maximum exposure.

Types of outdoor advertising and examples

Are you a business owner looking to advertise your goods and services? Now is the time to invest in outdoor advertising.

Here are some of the popular types of outdoor advertising in Malaysia, along with examples to help you visualise and further show you how your ad would look like:

1. Billboards – both static and digital image5

A McDonald’s billboard ad, courtesy of  Food Porn Sabah/Facebook

Of course, billboards top the list when it comes to outdoor advertising. 71% of consumers engage with roadside billboards and 68% of them make a purchasing decision based on billboards, according to a study.

Static billboards are subtle yet more welcoming, while digital billboards have the advantage of including animations and video, which makes them incredibly eye-catching. 

2. Gantry

A Cuckoo gantry ad, photo courtesy of Ramcel Media

A gantry advertisement refers to a billboard fixed to an overhead structure, usually seen on major highways in Malaysia. Considering it is a double-sided structure, advertisers have the option of advertising on either side of traffic.

Gantry ads are highly advantageous as they are difficult to miss and attract attention within the span of several seconds.

3. Wrap

A moving (mobile) ad for Grab, photo courtesy of GrabAds.

 Wrap advertising (or moving, or mobile advertising) consists of completely or partially covering the vehicle in an advertisement or livery. Think buses, trains or cars with some form of advertisement attached to them.

4. Glass panels – usually at public spacesimage13

A glass panel advertisement at Pavilion KL, photo courtesy of Brandavision

Used as a shop display or even an advertising screen to attract passersby, glass panels are usually seen in crowded places such as shopping malls. It allows for spaces, windows or building facades to be used as high-impact visual display platforms.

5. Stations – trains and bus

A station ad at KLCC LRT station, photo courtesy of Big Tree Outdoor

Frequent commuters would be familiar with station advertisements which usually adorn bus stops, train stations or other public spaces where there is high traffic of people.

Specialised displays catch the eye of a great variety of passengers, considering that they are exposed to station ads the most and for the longest time while waiting for their train or bus.

6. Overhead bridge advertising

An overhead bridge ad, photo courtesy of Media Matrix

According to One Stop Advert, This highly intrusive and dominant medium of advertising reaches a broad target audience.

It also ranks as the most effective outdoor media by leading market research companies, as motorists and drivers are exposed to overhead bridges daily and offer high visibility no matter day or night.

7. Pillar ads – including arches

Pillar ads for Adidas, photo courtesy of Brandavision

Advertising pillars or columns used for advertising purposes usually come in cylindrical forms or structures consisting of four sides.

Pillars have a great advantage over conventional forms of advertising such as banners and posters as they attract a lot of attention from passers-by, and can send across many different messages at the same time.

According to research, it is said that pillar ads work best on young people, so it would work best in shopping malls, universities, gyms, cinemas and nightclubs.

8. Spectaculars

A spectacular advertising near Pavilion KL, photo courtesy of news.cn

Who wouldn’t remember the excitement over Malaysia’s first 3D bull advertisement early this year at Pavilion KL? Until today, people are still snapping videos and photographs of the animated video that’s displayed on a giant LED screen in one of the country’s most popular shopping malls.

This type of advertisement is called spectacular advertising, usually set up where traffic is high and where there is mass consumer exposure.

9. Unipoles

A unipole ad, photo courtesy of Skyboard Media Sdn Bhd

Unipoles are essentially billboards that are elevated above the ground or road to ensure maximum visibility even from several kilometres away.

Often seen on major highways like the Federal Highway or KESAS Highway, these types of advertisements are suitable for companies who are looking to display their messaging or brand in a “loud” manner, as they are very hard to miss.

10. Banners and buntings, or lamp post ads

A bunting advertisement for VSure.life, designed by Brandripe

Last but not least, the old reliable banner and bunting advertisements that are still a common sight today. These types of advertisements are usually spotted alongside busy roads, typically near traffic lights where vehicles usually pull to a stop.

Lamp post ads also make for effective day-and-night advertising as the eyes are naturally drawn to the light and will automatically travel down to read whatever is displayed underneath the lamp post.

Get your brand out there with help from Brandripe

Delving into the world of outdoor advertising can be exciting but also daunting at the same time.

Once you have gone through the list of outdoor advertising companies in Malaysia and selected one that would be able to secure your favoured location or spot, it’s time for the real work to begin. 

You’ve got the placement, you’ve got the location and you’ve got the idea. What next?

Here at Brandripe, we understand that having your brand, business or service being advertised in such a major way can put a lot of pressure on you -- especially if you’re not sure about what would capture hundreds of thousands if not millions of consumers that might come across your outdoor ad.

A poorly-designed outdoor ad will be remembered for the wrong reasons and you wouldn’t want your brand to be associated with “that one billboard that was badly Photoshopped”.

Well, partnering up with the talented team of professional designers at Brandripe will help you avoid this problem altogether.

If anything, we will help your outdoor ad shine and attract attention from miles away, boost awareness and keep your brand top-of-mind at all times.

Whether you’re thinking of putting up ads on a billboard, pillar or an overhead bridge, or opting for an old-fashioned yet highly-effective lamp post ad, we aim to deliver the best design that encapsulates your brand  and conveys the right message to the right audience.

But first, let’s have a chat so you can better understand how we do things here at Brandripe.

We’ll give you a tour of our platform and dashboard, and once you’re familiar with that, you might want to go on a 14-day risk-free trial with us and see how we do with your first design -- which we promise to deliver to you within 48 hours.

If that sounds like a good idea, book a VIP Demo Call with us here today.


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