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OOH Market Overview: Chicago

Chicago, Illinois is the third most populous city in the U.S., with over 2,700,000 residents and a huge influx of visitors each year, which means it’s practically an advertising wonderland. 

Internationally famous, Chicago’s full of landmarks that provide a wealth of amazing locations for advertising. 

Art hubs like Millennium Park, for example, bring in a huge number of visitors each month, totaling around 504,000; it’s also located within walking distance of Navy Pier, which brings in over 902,000 monthly visitors. 

Downtown Chicago is super walkable, which helps in making it an OOH hub with an abundance of advertisements. Walking down any street, whether it’s a main road like Michigan Avenue or a side street, you’ll be faced with ad after ad, ranging from static and digital billboards to kiosks. 

Major outdoor advertising companies like OUTFRONT Media, Lamar Advertising, and Clear Channel Outdoor have a large number of inventory in Chicago and the surrounding areas, but other outdoor companies like Blue Line Media and Digital Outdoor Advertising have a notable presence in Chicagoland as well. 

The city also has a large public transportation system, the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), that consists of 129 bus routes and eight train routes, crossing 224 miles of track. Public transportation is a huge staple when it comes to city living, and transit advertising is a goldmine in cities like Chicago. 

Major advertisers like JCDecaux and Intersection play a huge part in transit advertising, with ads ranging from transit shelters to all sorts of bus and train ads, perfect for targeting both local and visiting commuters using the CTA. 

Downtown areas in Chicago are also home to a huge number of wallscapes, which are perfect for making a lasting impression on advertisers. This one, for example, is located on the side of a building in Chinatown, and is something of a local icon when it comes to OOH. 

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