Place-Based Advertising Guide: What is Place-Based Media?

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Place-based media depicted by a digital drawing of a person walking through a minimalist airport with a suitcase. Airplanes passing in background and a large orange billboard is behind.

Place-based advertising gives you the opportunity to engage your target audience in a specific location. It seamlessly integrates into people’s daily lives, allowing for unobtrusive yet potentially captivating messaging.

No matter the format — from static to digital to video — place-based media can help build brand awareness, inspire viewers to act, and generate buzz around your business. 

We created this place-based media guide to broaden your out-of-home (OOH) knowledge bank and equip you with important information about this popular form of advertising. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is Place-Based Media?

Place-based media is a type of OOH media that is tied to a particular location or outdoor setting. These locations encompass both outdoor and indoor spaces, presenting opportunities to engage your audience across various environments.

Place-based media is strategically positioned to target certain audiences, which makes it possible for brands to tailor their messaging to appeal to specific groups. That means that instead of putting your brand in front of the “general public”, you can reach a subset of people. It’s a smart use of ad dollars and can lead to higher conversions.

Place-based media grants you the opportunity to be contextually relevant. Announcing a new skin care product? Advertise inside a shopping mall. Promoting protein shakes? Display your ad inside gyms or gas station convenience stores. Spreading awareness about a rewards credit card? Meet consumers inside airports.

Understanding your target audience involves identifying and capitalizing on popular place-based advertising locations. These carefully chosen environments offer unique opportunities to connect with consumers at key moments. Here are some popular locations:

Cinemas, Stadiums, and Entertainment Venues

Connect with a captivated audience during leisure time or game time by advertising in cinemas, stadiums, and other entertainment venues. On the big screen, your brand can make a lasting impression on moviegoers and event attendees.

Gas Stations and Convenience Stores

Utilize the dwell time at gas stations and convenience stores to engage with customers during refueling and quick shopping stops. Targeting these locations ensures visibility during routine activities.

Restaurants, Bars, and Hotels

Enhance brand exposure by placing ads in popular eateries, bars, and hotels. This strategy allows you to reach consumers during moments of relaxation and socialization.


Take advantage of high foot traffic and diverse audiences at airports, where travelers are seeking information and entertainment during their journey.

Shopping Malls

Even in the age of online shopping, malls can be high activity spaces with diverse consumers and extended dwell times in retail environments.


Yes, elevators! Elevators in commercial buildings enable you to deliver concise and impactful messages during brief yet repeated elevator rides. Even more, people are often searching for things to look at during their ride.

Digital Screens in Outdoor Spaces

Digital place-based media is a form of DOOH (digital out-of-home) that’s taking the advertising world by storm. The dynamic nature of these advertisements makes them engaging. As an advertiser, you can oftentimes take advantage of real-time content updates.

Benefits of Place-Based Media

As you’ve probably gathered up to this point, place-based advertising offers a multitude of advantages. Understanding and leveraging these benefits can be the key to a successful outdoor advertising strategy. 

Here’s how you’re benefiting when you add place-based advertising to your marketing mix:

Highly Targeted Exposure

Relevance to Audience: Place-based advertising allows you to target specific locations where your target audience is likely to be present. Tailor your messages to align with the interests and demographics of the individuals frequenting these locations.

Better Brand Recall

Contextual Engagement: By placing your ads in environments related to your product or service, you create a context that enhances brand recall. The association between your brand and the surrounding environment can make a lasting impression on consumers.

Increased Dwell Time

Captive Audiences: In certain locations like airports, cinemas, and shopping malls, audiences often have extended dwell times. This provides a unique opportunity for your brand to engage with consumers in a more meaningful and prolonged manner.

Versatile Formats

Creative Opportunities: Whether it’s a dynamic digital screen, a static sign, or a wallscape, place-based advertising offers versatile formats. This flexibility allows for creative and impactful campaigns that suit your brand’s identity and messaging.

Cost-Effective Campaigns

Strategic Placement: By carefully selecting locations based on foot traffic and demographics, you can optimize your advertising budget. Place-based advertising often provides cost-effective solutions compared to broader, less-targeted approaches.

Real-World Examples

Wallscape, campaign by Alluvit Media
Gas station advertising
Outdoor mall advertising
Stadium advertising