8 Unique Ways to use Traditional Advertising

The landscape of marketing has transformed in the last decade and has shifted to incorporate a more diverse approach involving digital advertising and social media.

Although these might be a primary focus for many businesses trying to reach their target audience to create brand awareness and interest that doesn’t mean that you can’t still use traditional advertising in an effective and unique way.

Consider the following strategies using traditional advertising and see for yourself how useful they can be for your next campaign. 


What Is traditional advertising

When referring to traditional advertising, this usually means media outlets such as television, radio, billboards, newspapers and even transit advertisements.

Even though digital marketing has created a secure foothold in the marketing world, successful companies and individuals wanting to create brand awareness realize that there is still unmatched potential using traditional advertising methods.

Using these media outlets is a way to catch the attention of people who may be unaware of a product or service they might be interested in purchasing.

In fact, an article featured on the American Marketing Association’s website stated "traditional advertising is more effective at gaining new customers” than digital. 


8 unique ways to use traditional advertising

Although traditional advertising may be very effective at creating awareness and interest, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with commonly used ways to implement its use. Try these 8 unique and effective ways to use traditional advertising to your advantage. 


1. Merchandise branding

Purchasing merchandise to sell or give away that features your branding is one of the easiest traditional advertising in the books. Producing personalized products can allow you to get more views and create greater brand awareness brought on by your users themselves.

People who use these products will do the advertising for you over time when they display your merchandise. 

2.  Interactive magazine advertisements

Magazine advertisements that are fun and interactive are a great way to attract your target audience in a from of traditional advertising that isn‘t so traditional.

For example, you can include product samples on the page, scratch and sniff displays, or even a pop-up advertisements. 


A magazine advertisement that has an orange color with a photo of the left side.

Spraying the magazine with man photo using the axe spray.

Two magazines that have women images and a woman handling a dirty wipe tissue.

Think of an ad that is creative, different, out of place, and bold and you will surely get noticed from the traditional magazine ads.

It is also a good idea to use this strategy in several magazines targeting different market places that possibly fit your product or service niche. 


3.  Interactive bus stops

People spend plenty of time waiting at bus stops on their daily commute, so what better place to feature an interactive advertisement?

What better way to help people kill their wait time, than displaying a unique advertisement they won’t forget. In addition, those who frequently use the public transportation system will see the sign repeatedly and remember your brand hopefully in a positive way. 


Plenty of money inside the 3M security glass.

Rubbish inside the security glass at the bus-stop.

Security Glass on the bus stop for PWD and a wheelchair for an ad.


4. Memorable billboards

When creating an ad for a billboard, keep in mind that it has proven to be more effective to use a memorable image as opposed to text. If text is necessary, try to keep it to a minimum and let the image’s actions speak for itself.


A billboard ad for Silberman's Fitness Center with a fat man image.

Broken billboard ad with car and truck images.


The Arbitron National In-Car Study shows that 71% of Americans look at billboard messages while driving and learn about an event or new product. 

  • 37% report looking at an outdoor ad each or most of the time they pass one.
  • 58% learned about an event or restaurant they were interested in attending by viewing a roadside billboard.
  • 56% of Americans mentioned a billboard they found funny in conversation
  • 26% noted a phone number written on a billboard and 28% noted a website address written on a billboard

5. Small flyers or laminated cards

A great way to spread the word about what you offer is handing out small flyers or placing them in public places.

Most people will at least look at a flyers you hand them and if you can place the fliers in a strategic location where they will see them, then your reach automatically increases. In addition, handing out laminated cards is also handy if you are speaking with individuals who may be interested in learning more or contacting you in the future. 

So how can you make this a unique experience? Time to get creative! Check out what these businesses did: 

A hand that handled the laminated card of Norris Mantooth

The laminated card on silver color with cheese background.

Business card on Chinese text.

Business cards on red and white color with a different design.



6.  Pop-up displays

Pop-up demonstrations have been around for hundreds of years for a reason; they are a great way to show your audience exactly what your product or service can do for them. In turn, they will remember your demonstration and will be more likely to consider a purchase either on the spot or in the future. 

As technology continues to grow, so does the extravagance of these displays, but sometimes simplicity is what can be the most eye-catching.

If you are considering putting on your own pop-up event, check out this article on how to start. 

7. 3D graphic ads, banners, and displays

The great thing about these types of advertisements is their ability to be placed anywhere there is available space that works with your brand and ideal market.

You may see them on the sides of a bus, on the side of a building, or in city subways. The trick to getting these graphics the attention they deserve is by forcing people to interact with them. 


8. Bench advertising

You have likely seen bench advertising over the years of the community realtor's face or a local store, but have you considered using it for your own personal advertising needs?

Bench advertising works well in high-traffic areas and is an inexpensive way to get your brand in front of a large audience 24/7. 

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