According to PML the market grew by 7% in 2016 with particularly strong growth in the first half of the year. While Q3 was sluggish, according to PML, the market picked up considerable in the final quarter.
According to the Posterwatch report, there was no single factor behind this improvement but rather a combination of more advertisers, increased investment by existing advertisers and added advertising opportunities. Digital formats are becoming increasingly attractive to advertisers and the clear majority of new OOH panels are digital screens. Classic OOH formats have not been neglected either and huge improvements have been made, particularly on large format such as 48 Sheet billboards, according to PML.
The report pinpoints the retail sector as the top spending advertiser category for 2016, rising two spaces from its third-place rank in 2015. Supermarkets and convenience stores accounted for around half the investment by the sector with Lidl the most active retailer on the medium in the past twelve months. Other notable non-supermarket retailers that featured prominently during the year were IKEA, Life Style Sports, Arnott’s, Littlewoods and H&M.
Finance was the next highest spending category. Banks and insurance companies dominate the category and all of Ireland’s banks featured on OOH to some degree in 2016. AIB led the way among this group, followed by Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland.
Among the top 10 categories on the medium, six increased their investment in 2016 at an average of 19%. The other four categories reduced their spend by an average of 14%. The biggest increase was by the Health & Hygiene category (51%) and the largest decrease was by Telecoms (35%). This large reduction in Telecoms activity is down to the fact that 2015 was unusually high due to the rebranding of UPC and eircom in quick succession in 2015.
The report also looks at individual advertisers, and for the second year in succession Diageo was the most active during the year. The drinks company used OOH to support brands including Hop House 13, Captain Morgan and Guinness. Its display value on OOH grew by 7.5% compared to 2015, notes PML.
The biggest increase in investment among the top fifteen advertisers was by Premier Lotteries Ireland. A 74% increase in their display value took them into the top ten advertisers for 2016. McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Sky and Heineken made up the top five behind Diageo.
According to Colum Harmon, marketing director with PML Group: “2016 was a really good year for the OOH medium. We expect the market to grow again in 2017. The audience for OOH is on the up. We’re encouraged by recent figures showing a 10% increase in public transport use in 2016. Employment continues to grow and this will mean more people out and about, socialising, commuting and shopping. Out of Home has a unique ability to capture this busy, mobile audience via an array of new and existing channels. Further developments in transport infrastructure will come into play in 2017 and we expect to also see some exciting digital developments on the medium, both in terms of additional screens but also in terms of content and delivery of same.”