Evolution of outdoor advertising in Spain: From billboards to large-format digital screens

28/04/2024 Clece OOH

Evolution of outdoor advertising in Spain: From billboards to large-format digital screens

Outdoor advertising in Spain has witnessed a fascinating evolution over the years, adapting to the changing demands of the market and technological advancements.

From classic billboards and illuminated signs to innovative large-format DOOH screens, this medium has gone through various stages that have shaped the urban landscape and the way brands communicate with their audience.


1. Billboards and illuminated signs: pioneers of outdoor communication

For decades, billboards and illuminated signs have been the undisputed stars of outdoor advertising in Spain. Some have even become emblems of the culture of their era, such as the iconic Osborne bull, the Tío Pepe illuminated sign at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, and the Schweppes neon sign on Gran Vía.

From the busiest highways to the most iconic city areas, these structures have served as canvases for brands, capturing the attention of pedestrians and drivers alike.

Their presence was synonymous with modernity and progress, effectively conveying commercial messages at a time when outdoor advertising was scarce and competition was limited.

Their power is based particularly on these strong points:


  1. Indisputable visibility and impact. Their ability to catch the public’s eye and become a topic of conversation, creating a word-of-mouth buzz, has remained intact to this day.
  2. Versatility of formats. Outdoor media offer infinite possibilities in terms of formats. Billboards, banners, illuminated signs, volumetric structures—over the years, they’ve shown their versatility by reinventing themselves with luminous inks for nighttime, evolving shadows projected by the sun, rotating elements, and more.
  3. Adaptability to the environment: Outdoor advertising adjusts to the varying needs of advertisers and seamlessly integrates into the urban setting, creating relationships and contrasts with it.


2. Spectacular marketing: the transformation of the urban landscape

Over time, outdoor advertising evolved into spectacular marketing, ushering in a new era of commercial communication in urban spaces.

Landmarks and strategic locations in major cities, such as the public transport interchanges at Plaza de Castilla, Príncipe Pío, and Avenida de América in Madrid, have been pioneers in spectacular marketing and significant references in this specialty within outdoor media.

One of its best examples is the collection of large-scale advertising cubes at these three locations, allowing for broader narratives in advertising messages compared to a single conventional banner.

In a much more competitive advertising environment, these large-format advertising structures achieve their goal of retaining attention and enhancing brand recall.

Their evolution, with an emphasis on incorporating more advanced and sustainable materials, has kept them as a preferred format for many advertisers to showcase their communication exclusively for a medium-length period.


Main advantages of spectacular marketing structures.

  1. Maximum impact: Multiplying the exposure area and presenting it in high-traffic locations.
  2. 100% Visibility: Positioned at eye level, visible from inside vehicles and also to pedestrian traffic.
  3. Measurable results: With new technologies, we can measure audience and impact to ensure results that meet the expectations of any campaign.


3. Large-format digital outdoor: the technological revolution

The arrival of the digital age marked a new turning point in outdoor advertising, paving the way for large-format digital outdoor advertising screens (DOOH).

This revolution has not only posed a significant challenge in transforming advertising inventories (bus shelters, screens, columns, etc.), but it has also placed outdoor media at the forefront of the advertising scene, competing with mobile digital advertising while adding factors that enhance their results.

The trend, well into the 21st century, involves massive 4K high-resolution LED screens displaying dynamic and captivating ads on the streets, making the most of the time people spend outside their homes and offices.

These visually attractive ads are in a relaxed setting where people don’t perceive the advertising as intrusive and where there’s no chance to “zap” away.

These digital screens offer several advantages that make them an attractive option for brands:


Bringing TV commercial breaks to the street in a shorter, sound-free format with greater visual impact. Notoriety is achieved by multiplying the exposure area and placing screens in high-traffic locations, with the audience on the move.

– Enabling high segmentation and immediacy. Current technology identifies audiences by time slots and locations, allowing segmentation of ads based on multiple variables. The personalization of messages based on demographics, interests, and audience behavior maximizes relevance and campaign effectiveness.

 – Increasing creative flexibility. Large-format digital invites the “WOW” effect: to 3D anamorphic ads, spectacular videos, real-time interactions, etc. Advertisers have the freedom to experiment with different content types, offering a unique experience to viewers.

– Guaranteeing precise measurement of results. Unlike past stages of outdoor advertising, when it was difficult to gauge the reach of advertising campaigns, new audience measurement systems in motion, through sensors and mobile device detection, allow detailed insights into the profiles of our “street TVs.” In Clece OOH’s large-format digital structures, the incorporation of these systems has been well received by advertisers, allowing them to define complex omnichannel campaigns that greatly enhance investment in other media.


The future of outdoor advertising is being shaped daily by exclusive media owners, agencies, and advertisers, always with the explicit goal of maximizing impact, optimizing campaigns in real-time, and ensuring a more effective return on investment.

To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us at: info@cleceooh.com


Evolution of outdoor advertising in Spain spectacular marketing Avlo in large-format cubes at Plaza de Castilla Madrid

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Commercialization of advertising spaces in Madrid’s transport interchange stations.
Circuit of large-format digital screens for spectacular outdoor advertising.

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