Healthcare Dollars are Moving from TV to OOH

Healthcare OOH ad

More than ever before, consumers are interested in staying healthy and advertisers are beginning to take notice. In recent years, advertising for the healthcare industry has seen a shift from TV to out-of-home (OOH). 

In 2018, 55% of the global healthcare ad spend went to TV advertising. But this number is predicted to decline by 5.2% in both 2020 and 2021. This is a much faster fall than the overall decline of TV ad spend. By contrast, OOH has been an increasingly popular medium for healthcare advertising. In 2018, OOH grew by 11% and is forecasted to grow for years to come. 

US Health Care Ad Spend 

The US is the dominant leader of global healthcare ad spend, allocating roughly $15.9 billion in 2018. They have a very different health care system compared to many other wealthy nations. The health care system is not universally accessible and is publicly and privately funded through various systems and programs. Most insured Americans are covered by both public and private health insurance. Due to this system in the States, health care ad spend is much greater. Along with direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, which is not allowed in many other countries. 

Healthcare ad for Advocate South Suburban Hospital

Key Trends 

Advertising in the healthcare industry continues to grow, primarily due to a few key trends. 

Firstly, consumers are now, more than ever, interested in maintaining and improving their overall health. With fitness and diet becoming mainstream topics, almost everyone wants to join the movement. Not to mention, a global pandemic that has made many consumers more aware of their lifestyle and are now looking to adapt lifestyle changes to stay safe and healthy. 

Life expectancy is also increasing worldwide. Did you know that global life expectancy increased by 5.5 years between 2000 and 2016? This is the fastest increase since the 60s. As people age, there will be an increased demand for health care services. Brands are investing in advertising now, to create long-term brand awareness for the future. 

The healthcare industry is also taking notice of digital channels to reach a larger audience. Many consumers are already wearing smart technology (wearables) and are users of health and fitness apps regularly. These existing platforms allow brands to connect with current consumers in a more effective, personalized way. Combined with OOH media, this advertising strategy leads to very successful results. 

OOH vs. TV

Although advertising is growing in this field, why are healthcare dollars moving from TV to OOH specifically? OOH media has been a previously underrated medium in this space, but more companies are starting to take notice of and leveraging OOH’s ability to reach the mass market. 

In the past, TV has been an incredibly popular medium for advertising, but as new forms of entertainment have become more popular – like mobile viewing – TV has lost its audience. Not to mention, television is also an expensive approach to reach an audience.  

OOH offers a more effective advertising approach compared to television, as it generates an ROI two times greater. Also, OOH extends the half-life of a campaign by 30%. OOH creates a long-lasting impression, as displays are installed for long periods of time. They are also low cost and can reach a very large group of people. Unlike TV, OOH never goes out of style as people will always go outside of their homes. 

Healthcare OOH ad promoting Oscar


As TV continues to decline over the years, it is no surprise that healthcare advertising dollars have begun to move from TV to a much more effective and reliant ad medium like OOH. OOH is a low-cost, highly effective medium that can reach a large audience. In addition to the recent trends indicating that the healthcare industry is growing, it is clear that OOH is an excellent medium for the future. Healthcare brands which leverage OOH today will gain the trust and confidence of American consumers in these uncertain times along with the years to come. 

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