Outdoor advertising: Evolving to new consumer behaviour
Marketing planning has had to change a lot over the past year, with out of home (OOH) outdoor advertising particularly being hit hard due to reduced audiences.
We saw billboard visibility and engagement on previously busy high streets decreasing sharply. Alongside this, transport hubs and main roads became much less active. As many workers changed to ‘home office’ without a commute and retailers and leisure providers closed, cities became ghost towns as we got used to our new way of living and working.
The lockdown also prevented events from taking centre stage and the usual promotional advertising signage that would have been installed to excite and guide the crowds.
The nature of outdoor advertising has had to adapt.
Whereas mobility across cities declined, local towns and villages experienced the opposite. Community spirit took over as the new normal involved staying close to home.
With more consumers on foot instead of travelling by car, bus, plane and train, local advertising was easier to spot and digest whilst travelling at a slower pace, leading to greater attention and dwell time.
This created different opportunities for out of home advertisers, with many brands moving their advertising spend to focus on local areas rather than cities.
New advertising opportunities
Sporting events have largely continued, albeit without the usual crowds, presenting new outdoor advertising opportunities. Empty sporting stadiums are still seen by spectators at home on screen, with large, bold mesh banners used to cover vacant seats and stands in team colours. They also gave the opportunity for fans to have cut-outs of themselves in the audience on match day…a fantastic showcase for the speed in which businesses pivoted to new ways of keeping going during the pandemic.
It’s not only sporting audiences that provided new promotional opportunities. The Government used billboard space to promote new restrictions widely, and charities took advantage of the board availability to stay front of mind and boost messages on well-being.
Additionally, some prominent billboard space is changing its use to digital screens, keeping in mind brand need for reactive communication. Whilst the immediacy of digital information is convenient, clients also need to consider that digital screens on their own will not provide full geographical coverage, and customers could miss adverts as they scroll through to the next one.
Mood led creative
Many brands have taken the opportunity to tune in to the nation’s mood and offer some light relief with humorous messaging. Others have included the use of QR codes to encourage action to a webpage rather than a physical store or place.
As ‘normal’ life gets back on track this year, so will outdoor advertising. The promise of being able to get back to our habits of city shopping, dining out and entertainment will lure us to travel again and make the most of what our cities have to offer.
Outdoor print proofing made simple
If you’re looking to simplify your outdoor print approvals, we can help. To organise your outdoor print advertising, Cestrian developed itsapproved. It’s a smart online portal that organises your print jobs in one centralised digitised space, where you stay in control of your orders approvals. Simple!
It’s personalised and set up for your business, with all of your standard product specs, prices and dimensions ready to go.
Talk to us
For all of your outdoor advertising needs, or if you’d like to find out more about itsapproved and how it can support your processes, contact us today.