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Now Near Next – The Latest View from OOH

James Byrne, Marketing Manager, PML Group with this week’s take from the world of Out of Home.

In this week’s Now Near Next we delve into new research carried out by our UK colleagues in Posterscope that looks at how a newfound awareness of our local environment is having a positive effect on OOH noticeability and brand sentiment. We also take a look at retail behaviour which shows a move to more localised shopping and how in-store is still the most preferred shopping channel for Irish consumers.

Posterscope’s “Mobility Mindset” Dipsticks Research Shows Renewed Appreciation of OOH in a COVID-19 world

Research conducted in the UK by our colleagues in Posterscope shows how a new awareness of local out of home environments has influenced OOH noticeability and sentiment.

‘The Mobility Mindset’ report reveals that almost two-thirds of people (6 in 10) are feeling more appreciative of their local community and have a heightened emotional connection to their out of home environment since the pandemic began, and this is having a “knock on” effect on noticeability and positivity towards OOH advertising.

The research found that 89% notice OOH ads across any environment/format while almost half (45%) find OOH advertising more noticeable and feel even more positive towards it than pre-COVID times.

Respondents were asked about their attitudes towards their outdoor environment and local area with 70% stating they are paying more attention to their surroundings, 65% specifically in their local areas, town or city, making them value their out of home space more.

The research also found a new appreciation of local areas with two-thirds saying that lockdown made them realise the importance of their local high street and half (50%) stated they have created stronger emotional connections with their local community.

This newfound awareness of peoples’ localities is having a positive effect on OOH and is resulting in stronger feelings towards Out of Home advertisers.  Of those surveyed 40% said they feel even more favourable or positive towards brands that are currently using OOH. The research outlines this is largely because consumers have more confidence in brands currently using the medium and being pro-active in turbulent times (40%).

The research summarises how Outdoor advertising has a strong community connection, being part of the everyday fabric of people’s towns and cities, which makes brands using it feel more familiar (42%), driving an emotional connection with consumers in their local community.

The study also discovered that OOH continues to drive action among consumers. Almost half (45%) have responded to an OOH ad in the last month, with the highest response rate found among 18-34s (53%), Londoners (66%) and parents (57%).

The report reveals that two-thirds (66%) of adults would respond to an Out of Home ad of interest, but the type of response has changed somewhat from pre-COVID.  People are marginally less likely to go in-store to purchase now (down from 26% pre-COVID to 24%) but they are more likely to go online to search, review and compare (up from 51% to 55% now) and importantly, purchase online (up to 31% now from 27% pre-COVID), demonstrating OOH’s power to drive people online.

Glen Wilson, Group MD at Posterscope, commenting on the research said; “As people spend more work, shopping, and leisure time in and around their communities, they are noticing and engaging more with their local environment, including Out of Home advertising.  This heightened sense of awareness is amplifying the medium’s underlying attributes, strengthening its ability to make more powerful and emotional connections between people and the brands using it.

This research shows the strong community connections that Out of Home has, being part of the everyday fabric of people’s towns and cities, but it also highlighted how well placed the medium is to drive people both in-store and online effectively – particularly relevant as consumer shopping behaviours start to adapt to our new circumstances.”

Life Outdoors

Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports shows how peoples’ movements have changed throughout the period of the pandemic. The dataset measures visitor numbers to specific categories of location every day and compares this change relative to baseline day before the outbreak.

This week we take a look at the change in visitor numbers in Ireland within the six environments to last Friday. Figures are based on rolling weekly average.

Time spent in-home which now stands at 13% above the level pre-pandemic compared to +33% average for Fridays in April. Countering this are rising figures witnessed in out of home environments including workplaces where a -30% to baseline figure last Friday compares to an average of -64% across April. Comparing the same timeframe Grocery and Pharmacy are at +4% from -22%;

Grafton Street Footfall Remains Stable

As reported here previously, footfall in the core area of the city centre, between Stephen’s Green and Henry Street, had reached 60% of pre-COVID levels. In DCC’s latest COVID-19 Mobility Measures update, the council reports how footfall in Ireland’s premium shopping district, Grafton Street, has remained stable since Level 3 restrictions were imposed.

Shoppers Embrace Local

Supporting local has been a continuous narrative throughout the pandemic and it seems consumers are doing just that, according to figures released by Mastercard.

The new research found 80% of Irish consumers are more likely to shop locally compared to a year ago, with 60% citing the main reason for their renewed discovery of local retailers was to aid their local community.

Almost 80% said the pandemic has given them a fresh appreciation for their community and local shops as convenience (59%), travel limits (55%) and queues (37%) led people to shop more locally.

A high level of trust in local retailers was also recorded with 78% of respondents trusting a recommendation from a local shopkeeper and three-quarters stating they prefer to buy from a familiar face.

“The way we shop has changed, and as well as an increase in online and contactless spending, we have seen a trend of people opting to shop locally,” said Sonya Geelon, country manager at Mastercard Ireland. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and many are rediscovering the huge number of great, varied and unique shops in their local communities and neighbourhoods.

“It is clear that local retailers have a major role to play in providing goods and services, but they also play an integral and broader role supporting local people and fostering community spirit. The bounce back of the economy starts on our doorstep and local shops and communities play an enormous role in aiding the recovery and return to growth.”

A huge strength of the OOH medium is its ability to connect with consumers based on their location. Leveraging this newfound importance of peoples’ local areas, OOH advertising allows brands to target audiences at a local level in a granular way. Activating via our Liveposter platform offers brands the chance to better engage with their audiences in a hyper-localised way and provide a more personalised feel to brand messaging.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

With just 70 days left until Christmas Day, DublinTown and city centre businesses are advising and encouraging consumer to do their Christmas shopping earlier than usual this year.

As reported in the Irish Times this week, brands are responding to this early start with the article outlining how brands are ramping up their advertising activity.

Lending her understanding to the article, Shenda Loughnane, group managing director of media agency group Dentsu Aegis Network Ireland, said its current forecasts were for 4% year-on-year growth in Irish advertising spend in the fourth quarter. She also mentions how “people need something to bring a bit of joy into their lives. Brands have seen that and decided to just get on with it.”

Within the news item, David Field, interim chief executive of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, reports on marketers’ confidence entering into the last quarter of the year; “Brands are seeing real value in buying media space at the moment and can increase their share-of-voice with the ultimate aim of improving their market share, and in the absence of off-peak getaways, they will be marketing to a winter with a full population.”

Research recently carried out by DMG also points to this early start this with 55% saying they will shop earlier for Christmas this year. The report looks at spending in the lead up to Christmas with 29% intending to spend up to €1,000 this Christmas with clothes, toys and tech gadgets ranking top of the gift list.

B&A has suggested that Christmas shopping trips may become even more important as a way of getting people into the Christmas spirit.

As mentioned above, with a full population and the suggestion that Christmas shopping trips will become even more meaningful this year, OOH holds a special place in the Christmas calendar with seasonal advertisement adding to festivities and bringing aspirational meaning to Christmas for consumers. OOH will be a valuable mechanism in helping spread joy and cheer among shoppers this Christmas, even more so after the tumultuous and difficult year we have all endured.

By placing ads in prime locations and environments, brands can target a large, diverse group of people who are already on the path to purchase and those in-market audiences looking for gift ideas and inspiration.

In-Store Shopping Still Most Preferred Shopping Channel

In the latest Deloitte State of the Consumer Tracker update, in-store is still the most preferred shopping channel for Irish consumers.

Across all the items measured, consumers intend to do most of their purchasing in-store over the next 4 weeks. Items such Medicines (90%), Groceries (89%) and Household goods (88%) have the highest consumer intention to purchase in-store.

Looking at restaurants/take-out purchase channels, 60% intend to purchase in-store while just over a quarter (27%) intend to use online services.

Almost three-quarters (70%) plan to purchase furnishings in-store, and over half intend to purchase clothing items (58%) and electronics (55%) in-store also.

And Finally…

Earlier in the week we published our Posterwatch OOH market review for Q3. The latest report covers the investment in the sector with top advertisers, categories and formats included.

You can view the full report HERE

To find out more about the Posterwatch report or to discover individual category information please contact us at: info@pmlgroup.ie

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