OOH Drives Online Search and Social Media

Conducted by Arbitron, the Project Rushmore study was a unique examination of the relationship between Out-of-Home advertising and the ability of OOH media to drive online search, website visits and social media activity.

In order to measure the online activity generated by OOH media, we needed a campaign with no prior awareness. To keep the data as pure as possible, an event campaign was created that no one had ever seen. The promotion for the event would appear only on OOH ads, including billboards, posters and bus shelters in a limited number of markets. That way, any online activity generated could be attributed to the effects of OOH media.

The event created was called Project Rushmore. The campaign encouraged people to go to the advertised website,, and vote for who should be the next face of Mount Rushmore- Barack Obama, George W. Bush or neither.

The Results

  • More than half of the visitors to access the site on a mobile device
  • The Rushmore Vote campaign went viral. Nearly two-thirds of those who visited the site did not live in markets that had Rushmore OOH ads.
  • People who had an opportunity to see the Rushmore Vote ads were nearly three times as likely to use a search engine to find the polling site, as people who were outside the test markets.
  • Facebook alone accounted for nearly 1 in 10 visitors to
  • People who learned about the vote online still knew the campaign originated on OOH ads. 

Source: Arbitron Project RUSHMORE 2013 Out-of-Home and Online Activations Study