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ABX measures ads across all media types in the U.S. and internationally reaching geographical areas representing 90% of global media spend. This post is a part of our systematic review of good and bad ads for 2022 by Media Type. Today’s post focuses specifically on Outdoor Billboard Ads while future posts will cover the full spectrum such as building banners; digital ads of various shapes; ads at bus shelters and on taxi cabs; in-store signage and shelf talkers, and more. 

Is Out-Of-Home (OOH) the Overlooked ROAS Treasure?

According to Steve Nicklin, SVP Marketing and Analytics for the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, “OOH was the fastest growing ad channel of 2022 – we even outpaced digital media! We’re back to our record levels of spend from 2019, and MAGNA,(the leading global media investment and intelligence company), projects we will grow at almost twice the rate of total media in 2023.”

From a creative perspective, ABX has found that comparing “average” OOH ads with those of other media types is about as effective as Print and Digital Display, but trails TV, OLV and Radio. The average ABX Index norm for OOH is 95/100. The ABX Index is a measure comprised of the KPIs that most correlate to business outcomes and enhances predictive analytics in marketing mix modeling.

However, the true power of OOH creative shows up when comparing only “effective creative” with an ABX Index of 106+ across all media channels. Good creative makes all the difference. For 2022, ABX tested almost 2,000 OOH ads globally with 969 being in the US. As you can see, OOH competes well across the board, but especially in the ABX Index, Clear Brand and the holy grail, Any Action.

Out-of-home Ad Effectiveness Scores

Top Three US Outdoor Billboards of 2022

#1. Burger King – ABX Index 123

Fast food always dominates billboards and 2022 was no exception. Part of this dominance is that Outdoor Billboards are like in-store advertising for fast food. Often a buyer does not have to leave his/her car to make a purchase. This billboard for Burger King ranked #1 overall by being a super simple presentation of Brand (Burger King/Whopper®), Benefit (appetite appeal), and Value. It is easy to read. The high ABX Index is driven by superior Reputation score 159 and an Action score 144. The ad also has very low dislike scores, a 42 score. Apparently, a whopper of a deal on Jr. Whoppers® has broad appeal.

#2. Panera – ABX Index of 122.

Panera came in at #2, likely appealing to a slightly more upscale audience. This ad was seven points lower than Burger King in Messaging, possibly because the beautiful food shots were distracting or because “perfect pairing” took a little more thought than “2 for $5.” Interestingly, though, Panera was able to deliver value without specifying price. Like Burger King, Panera used a similar formula to Burger King, with a strong and prominent presentation of Brand (Panera Bread®), Benefit (appetite appeal), and Value. The consumer was ready to take Action on “Pick 2” with an ABX Index 144 and felt better about Panera after seeing the ad than before, with a strong Reputation score of 159.

Panera – Top 2022 Outdoor Ad

#3. Kroger – ABX Index 121

Kroger’s Outdoor Billboard ad for apples at 77 cents is very clear with a Messaging score of 111, a Reputation

score of 153 and Action score of 150, which was higher than either Burger King’s or Panera’s. The board graphics are clean and colorful, and the use of a “Krojis” animated spokesperson made it more unique. Once again, we see a strong presentation of Brand (Kroger’s updated logo), Benefit (big selection of apples), and Value (77 cents per lb.).

Kroger – Top 2022 Outdoor Ad

Bottom Three US Billboards in 2022

Since this article is focused solely on Outdoor Billboards, it does not include the very-lowest scoring ads in bus shelters and transit. So, working from the bottom up, the lowest scoring billboard ad in the U.S. comes in at #954 out of 969.

#954. Mini Cooper – ABX Index of 55

In all fairness, this regrettable board was regional and for a special event, Motor Tober, that would have been recognizable to Mini Cooper followers. However, the message, “What are you GOING AS” with a miniscule “Mini” logo, and some kind of stick propped up by a car graphic, could have been in Greek with a Message score of 55, (50% lower than the average ABX score). The scorecard below paints a dismal picture with a 23 for Reputation. The Brand (Mini Cooper) was lost, the Benefit (some kind of event), and Value (None presented).

Mini Cooper – Worse 2022 Outdoor Ad

Take a closer look at the expanded KPI scorecard below. The ad did best in the South (ABX = 80) and with men (ABX = 64), but the five key KPI’s illustrate how hostile respondents were to this ad. The little “C” marks on each bar show the Category norms, and the “M” marks show the Media norms.


#948 – Publix – ABX Index of 59

Overall, Publix boards are usually pretty good, but this one tanked. Why? The scores below show that few respondents recognized the simple “p” logo (Brand Awareness score of 53), and the message and artwork didn’t make sense (Message score of 62.)  So, the three most important elements in any ad including Brand (“p” for Publix), Benefit (making Holiday meals easier), and Value (none presented) were lost.

Publix – Worse 2022 Outdoor Ad

#941 Netflix – ABX Score of 52

Now here is a great-looking billboard that shows the main characters of “Manifest,” the show’s name, an airplane and “A Netflix Series” brand identification that is very hard to read. If you did not already know about the show, which ran for three years on NBC prior to moving to Netflix, you would not have known what this series was about.

Also, since this ad featured people, the ABX Gender Equality Index presents a richer picture. Unfortunately, respondents did not believe the Females were Presented Well (ABX 77), Respectfully (ABX 80), or as Role Models (79). The Males didn’t score much better. As you can see below, it was hard to see the characters in the background, and most of the woman were standing sideways, including the lead female character. The ABX GEI increases Reputation and Action scores substantially, so low scores GEI decrease it. So, Brand (invisible), Benefit (maybe a good show), and Value (none presented) were lost.

Netflix – Worse 2022 Outdoor Ad


ABX is unique in the breadth of media it tests globally through both syndication and custom pre-testing. Not surprisingly, the same principles and practices that make for effective Outdoor billboard advertising in the United States are the same creative elements that are effective around the world. For 2022, the countries covered for OOH were Australia, Brazil, Rusia, Spain, UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Mexico.

#1. Best International Outdoor Billboard – McDonalds – ABX Index of 129 in the UK

I must confess my disappointment in seeing another fast-food board scoring as the top ad among international audiences. I had hoped for something more dramatic and creative. However, “New Crispy McFillet – 100% chicken breast fillet” and a delicious food shot is compelling and easy to read while driving by.  The scores below show the KPIs aren’t much different from the top US boards, but most notable about the Action score (156) were the very high CTA options (shown below). Brand (McDonald’s) and Benefit (delicious and relatively healthy food) were strong, though Value (not shown). Since Reputation (169) was high, it appears good value is already an expected attribute of the McDonald’s brand.

McDonalds – International Top 2022 Outdoor Ad

Three of the CTA’s, Look For (ABX 233), Purchase (198) and Recommend (187) are among the best outcomes advertisers shoot for.

#1194 Worst International Outdoor Billboard – CMC Markets CMC Markets – ABX Index of 40 in Australia

Out of 1197 tested ads, the worst international billboard was for “CIIIC Invest” for financial services. The Message makes no sense (ABX 36), Brand Awareness is 46, and Reputation has an ABX score of ZERO. “Zero. Zilch. Nada.” What an appropriate headline for this ad since there was Zero Brand, Zilch Benefit and Nada Value. We are treating our readers to a look at the full KPI Breakouts part of the standard report to get the full impact. The Dislike Score of 259 is pretty much as bad as it gets.

CIIIC Invest– Worse International 2022 Outdoor Ad
CIIIC ABX scores

Be on the lookout for more breakout Out-Of-Home comparisons in upcoming ABX blog posts.

Written by:

  • Angela Jeffrey, VP Brand Management, ABX
  • Marc Rappin, Advertising Consultant & Contributing Writer, former CMO of ARF

If you are interested in creative testing or learning more about Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising, contact us here.