OOH (out-of-home) advertising has taken a hit during the latest COVID-19 pandemic. Shutdowns meant no cars on the road or people walking the streets, so no eyes on OOH advertising. People were working from home and leaving for essential purposes, thus OOH ads decreased in visibility as a result. For a while, OOH advertising was at risk of becoming obsolete. However, there is a possibility that OOH trends will increase in the future with lifted restrictions on travelling.
While OOH suffered during lockdown because of lack of consumer visibility, once the restrictions are lifted on travelling outside of Canada and the US, there will be an increase in travelling overall, meaning that the industry could see an increase in 2021. A resurrection in travel rates means a newfound sense of purpose for OOH ads and a demand for them in the near future. COVID vaccinations will bring about new travelers eager to take in the sights of their vacation spots. With an increase in travel, OOH is expected to be more effective than online ads because of the increase in vacationers post-COVID, and that means that business-owners would be wise to consider investing in OOH ads over online means of advertising.
OOH advertising includes mediums such as billboards, public benches, trucks and other publicly visible ads. Many companies favor OOH advertising over other methods of advertising because of its ability to reach a wider audience and bring brand awareness and interest to future customers. Using OOH advertising, you can boost interest for your business and advertise your products/services as creatively as possible. Business owners should consider utilizing OOH advertising in order to receive more interest and revenue in the next decade post-COVID.
(Picture source: Lonely Planet | Travel Guides & Travel Information – Lonely Planet)
The Travel Boom
Post-COVID, travel will be much different than it was before, but vaccinated people will be able to enjoy life outside of their homes once again. Lifted travel restrictions means more people on the road and outside like never before, and hotels are already starting to book late into 2022, meaning that the boom has already begun. Airports will become bombarded with eager vacationers. Tourist attractions will see a rise in profit in the upcoming months alone. According to CNBC, a study found that 67% of survey respondents answered that they planned to travel this summer. While travel might not be the same as it was pre-COVID, people are tired of being cooped up in their homes, so a boom in travel, once vaccinations are administered, is imminent. With an increase in travel, it would also make sense that OOH advertising would be the most effective method of advertising in the future. If more people are travelling, more people are outside and OOH ads become more visible.
Airports are a great location for catching the attention of a wide range of demographics. Public transportation is ideal considering people still rely on buses to travel, especially in cities. Taxis are also a valuable tool for advertising your business to potential customers. Urban furniture is another creative method to target travellers, especially benches and rest areas. These methods of travel will assist your business in reaching a wider audience of consumers and will bring visibility to your products/services.
Buses, taxis and airports are all essential locations to travelers looking to get out of their houses, and once they are in public, they are more likely to see OOH ads over online ads or commercials on TV. The statistics are the same for radio since audio is more likely to be tuned out, whereas billboards are harder to ignore. Travelers are more likely to see your OOH ad during their vacations, which makes it a favorable method of advertising overall. Tools used in OOH advertising, like billboards, will bring more awareness to your product and will likely benefit your company long-term.
Back to Work, Back to Normal
Once the world goes back to normal post-COVID, companies will start having employees show up to the office instead of enforcing strictly remote work. Not all jobs can be done remotely, and that means that workers will have to resume commuting to their jobs. People who aren’t interested in remote work and want to return to the office to fulfill their need for socialization will be making the effort to commute to work as expected.
For instance, teachers will be returning in the fall as schools continue to open after the pandemic, which means they will be required to drive to and back from work everyday.
With more commuters back on the road, OOH visibility is expected to increase in 2021. This also means higher returns on OOH advertising considering it was reported that for every dollar spent on OOH ads, businesses acquired $5.97 in profit in return. This is very important to keep in mind because with higher visibility due to commuters, you can gain more than you spend on advertising. Commuters are essential for OOH advertising because they occupy busy highways and roads where focus is important and OOH ads never go unnoticed.
On the Road, Off the Phones
During COVID, travel was restricted to the point where OOH ad visibility plummeted, and it looked like the dark age of OOH advertising was starting to set in. Less people were commuting to work, so visibility of OOH ads decreased dramatically. Now, with vaccines being administered to the public, people aren’t as hesitant to venture out into the world.
Since people will be travelling more after the pandemic, drivers and cars on the road will increase in the near future. This means that more time will be spent focused on driving than phone usage (hopefully!) on the road, and more eyes on outdoor advertisements such as billboards and trucks.
Trucks are an excellent method of OOH advertising because drivers need to be cautious of them on the road, thus the attention is always put on the advertisements presented on the trucks themselves. With truck and billboard advertising on busy highways and roads, you can reach consumers more effectively than using online ads that are at risk of consumer apathy. What makes a better ad? – a more noticeable one, and that is one of the big advantages of using OOH advertising to connect with future customers of your business. Furthermore, 68% of consumers confessed to making purchasing decisions while in their cars, so you can expect your OOH advertisement to provide traction to your business.
Even better, OOH is well known for being cost-efficient and effective considering people spend most of their time outdoors. Post-COVID, you can expect more drivers to be on the road and, as a result, more aware of your business advertisement.
Tourism and How it Strengthens OOH Ad Visibility
Tourists are a prime target of OOH advertising because they are visiting busy areas, utilizing transportation such as subways, taxis, trains and buses, and more aware of their surroundings. As a tourist in a new area, the ads that have become commonplace to locals will come off as fresh and new to the eyes of someone who is from another place. Therefore, the advertisement becomes more effective to the consumer.
Considering television ads cost 80% less than OOH ads, investing in an OOH ad for your business would guarantee a higher profit in the future and lower advertising costs. Also, it is reported that 72% of consumers frequently shop on their way home. Having OOH ads for your business will help during post-COVID travel because tourists are more likely to see your ads while on vacation, while you will make a higher profit without high advertising fees.
OOH is the second fastest-growing advertising method to date. There is still a future for OOH advertising with the travel boom, and you can bet that tourists will be willing to pay money for things like souvenirs or services such as hotels and entertainment, meaning that they will be looking for billboards and other OOH advertising tools to guide them. Tourist attractions will benefit financially from the increase in travellers, and would be wise to invest in OOH advertising since tourists will be looking for things to do while on vacation. This means that OOH ads will surge in visibility and consumer interest will skyrocket as vacationers look for new experiences to enrich their trips. Tourism after COVID will assist in resurrecting OOH advertising and bring it to a level never reached in prior years of usage. Companies would be smart to consider OOH advertising as a method for increasing consumer awareness in the future.
How Billboards Can Benefit Your Company
Billboards are one of the best tools for advertising your business. According to The Hustle, Billboard ads represent 66% of the OOH advertising market. They also reported that billboards will grow into a $33 billion dollar industry by the year 2021. Billboards are more effective because, unlike other methods of advertising, you can’t ignore them. Radio and television are easy to ignore, and consumers can shut them off any time they want. Online ads are notorious for being invasive and bothersome to people, meaning that they are more at risk for consumer apathy than advertising tools like billboards.
Billboards can also work as a short story to the consumer about what kind of image your company is trying to convey. DOOH (digital OOH) advertising is a method of advertising that incorporates both the traditional style of billboards, but with a technological twist. These billboards are capable of switching to different images and showing the consumer different aspects of your service and how they can benefit from your business in the future.
Billboards are a great method of advertising, especially post-COVID. Busy areas like Times Square are full of flashy billboard advertisements and also happen to be a prime spot for tourists to visit when they travel to New York. Tourist attractions are places where OOH ads thrive, and in a post-COVID world, they will lead to an increase in OOH ad visibility and help heighten consumer’s interest in your business. Post-COVID vacationers will be more aware of their surroundings as they navigate these busy tourist areas, and you are guaranteed to gain their interest through banners and billboards. By investing in billboards, you are opening up your business to a wide range of consumers and opening yourself up to garnish revenue from future sales as a result.
Making the Better Choice
OOH advertising is the future of advertising. In 2016, OOH advertising alone was responsible for 245,000 dollars in revenue. It is known to be an effective method for companies to use to increase their brand awareness. With an increase in travel on the horizon, you can expect OOH advertising to become the primary choice for companies who want to expand their business and bring attention to a larger demographic of consumers. Since it utilizes busy, public areas to gain the attention of possible consumers, it will be an advertising strategy that is worth investing in and likely to bring in a larger amount of annual revenue for your company. MarketWatch reports that OOH advertising is expected to increase significantly from 2021 to 2026. It would be wise to consider the many tools of OOH advertising, such as billboards, taxis and subways, when advertising your own business. Consider billboards in busy tourist areas like Times Square or even a busy highway leading into the city to heighten consumer visibility. Look into OOH advertising like rest stops and benches where people will more likely stop and be able to see your business as an option to them. Be prepared for a boom in not only travel, but the OOH market altogether. Judging by statistics, there will be an increase in travelers in the next couple of years, therefore an increase in OOH ad visibility, and with more eyes on the road and other vehicles, you can be sure that the utilization of OOH ads will be worth it in the long run.