The history of political out of home advertising

Published: August 31, 2020

Out of home advertising has played a huge role in political campaign advertising in the past century. With the elections fast approaching, let's take a trip down memory lane to see how past campaigns have utilized out of home.

We don’t see much of a record of use until the late 1800’s, but they continued to grow in popularity as the decades went on. Here is timeline of some of the best presidential and political billboards… enjoy!

1888

This presidential poster for Cleveland and Thurman was printed in New York by Hitchcock's Steam Printing and Publishing House.

Grover Cleveland was president of the United States from 1885-1889 & 1893-1897.

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1893

The National Women’s Party posted this billboard celebrating women’s right to vote in Colorado. The ad encouraged women to get out and vote… against Woodrow Wilson for congress.

Wilson later became the 28th President of the United States.

1913

A billboard opposing the prohibition, featuring 3 presidents that were against it, was printed by W.H. Warner Poster Advertising in Oregon.

The ad also lists the possible negative effects of prohibition.

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1929

Articles written by Calvin Coolidge (President 1923-1929) featured in the Examiner. Posted by Foster and Kleiser billboard company.

1940

A billboard for Franklin Roosevelt’s 1940 presidential campaign.

Roosevelt became the first and only US President to serve a third term at the start of the forties; he also became the first and only one to serve a fourth term during the decade.

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1941

A natural gas company billboard sign, 1941 used this quotation by Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and his silhouette to remind all Canadians of their duty to aid the war effort, presumably by monitoring their consumption of gas. Source: Glenbow Archives, NB-55-958

1948

Election billboard for Liberal candidates Lionel Conacher and John A. MacVicar, City of Toronto Archives, fonds 1257, series 1089.

Source: jamiebradburnwriting.wordpress.com

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1948

Election billboard for Progressive Conservative candidates George Drew and Dana Porter, City of Toronto Archives, fonds 1257, series 1089, item 2863.

Source: jamiebradburnwriting.wordpress.com

1960

Richard Nixon billboard. United States president from 1969-1974. Posted in north Texas.

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1964

A billboard for US Senator Barry Goldwater, running for President.

In the general election, Goldwater lost in a landslide to Lyndon Johnson.

1966

Billboard promoting George Bush for Congress.

Bush was president during 1989 to 1993.

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1968

Billboard featuring Robert F. Kennedy for president. Had Kennedy been elected, he would have been the first brother of a U.S. President (John F. Kennedy) to win the presidency himself.

Kennedy lost the election to Johnson.

1974

Billboard for Gerald R. Ford Jr.’s US congress campaign.

Ford later went on to be elected as president of the United States where he served from 1974-1977

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787 Southbound near Central Warehouse, Albany, New York - large billboard with a message if you don't vote, don't complain afterwards. New York State Capitol and South Mall to right of billboard in background. October 21, 1992 (Paul D. Kniskern, Sr./Times Union Archive)

1992

A large bulletin billboard in Albany, New York urging citizens to vote or not complain afterwards.

2004

Bush/Cheney campaign billboard posted by Adams Outdoor.

George W. Bush served as president from 2001-2009.

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2009

Billboard truck in Indiana featuring the presidential campaign of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Obama was the 44th president of the United States serving two terms from 2009 - 2017. 

2016

Billboard for Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign.

Trump is the 45th president of the United States and is currently seeking re-election in the November, 2020 election.

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Written By: Shane Hutton

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