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OOH Summer – The Six Pack

Louise Enright, director Source out of home, with this week’s view from OOH.


The scale and impact that Out of Home delivers is well established.  A passively consumed media that asks nothing more of the consumer than to be noticed, offering 24/7 visibility. It builds mass reach quickly across a wide variety of consumer touchpoints, not to mention OOH cannot be turned off or skipped through.  OOH is emerging strong after such a turbulent 18 months. As restrictions have eased, Outdoor is a priority channel for many brands again. On our Now Near Next Live webinar series recently, I presented six reasons why OOH would be such an important channel this summer.  With schools all now closed, and as we enter the heart of the summer, it’s an opportune time to revisit these for Adworld readers.

At PML Group we have use a wide variety of mobility sources to guide and inform clients. They all point in the one direction, with a major step-change in mobility in recent weeks, reflecting the loosening of restrictions on our movement. Overall, we are at or beyond pre-pandemic auto mobility and congestion levels, according to sources such as Locomizer, TII and TomTom.  We are cycling and walking more than ever, and footfall is returning to shopping malls and the high street. According to DCC, footfall figures around Henry Street are above pre-pandemic levels. The return of outdoor dining has also helped bring people back into our cities.

The next few months will also see families, couples and groups of friends moving around the country for tourism and leisure reasons.

The OOH landscape is constantly evolving, and its infrastructure has never been stronger. Covid did not stop investment in the medium, with improvements in the standard of classic formats complemented by multiple networks of the highest quality digital screens. But the way in which OOH ads are created and served through these screens has been game changing for our industry. There has been an explosion in data-driven planning and message delivery, which is facilitated by smart content management systems, such as our Liveposter platform. It all means brands can be more strategic in how they execute OOH.

The national footprint of OOH, combined with the ability to deliver digital innovation at scale and optimised messaging, means the medium can deliver sophisticated mass marketing solutions for clients.  Our Going Local research study from last year highlighted the opportunity in combining a national platform with a local emphasis. 72% of all adults said they are now more likely to notice OOH posters in their locality and nearly half of all adults in both ROI and NI feel more connected to brands using these OOH sites.

That extends to how and where consumers will spend their money. 3 out of every 4 adults feel a responsibility to spend money locally to support local businesses.  This trend shows no sign of abating, so being present and active in communities will remain very important post-pandemic.

Outdoor’s ability to combine effectively with other media means it can be deployed as a lead or support medium. OOH combined with TV reinforces visuals and captures lighter TV viewers when they are out of home. OOH adds a visual element to audio as well as offering amplification for audio being consumed on the move. It both drives online action as well as marrying the physical and virtual worlds, and it can complement daily print activations through smart digital planning.

Many studies point to the channel’s ability to influence actions. Our own Going Local study last year found that 64% believe posters/screens are an important public noticeboard for new information. Our CheckOut study revealed that 82% of 18-24s agree that OOH ads help them choose between brands in retail settings.  OOH reaches consumers during that crucial final window of influence, right at the point of purchase.

Given some of its other core attributes, OOH’s ability to drive response and create actions can be overlooked. Our React research from 2021 shows that consumers are very aware of their own actions as a result of encountering OOH advertising and these actions are being performed both online and in the real world.

On seeing an OOH ad, 46% of respondents go online to learn more, with one quarter making a purchase instore and 29% making a purchase online. For online brands such as Disney+ this is obviously hugely significant, and OOH has been a key strategic channel for that advertiser from launch onwards.

When we look at the age breakdown of these key stats, there are strong responses across all age groups for going online to find out more information. 35-44 year olds are the most likely to make a purchase online on seeing an OOH ad, and 16-24 year olds most likely to visit a brand’s social media page(s).

More than ever we need to provide advertisers with agile and flexible solutions for Digital OOH. We are able to change a digital display with the flick of a switch to ensure campaigns are relevant when it’s THE most important time for them.

DOOH is delivering the impactful Power of OOH, Flexibility in content, time and location, Control of output via Liveposter and Measurement by working with clients and internal systems to gauge effectiveness.

Ultimately, context is king.  The agility of our Liveposter platform allows us to set up campaigns in advance, set the data trigger(s) in place and react to live events to ensure clients are presenting the most appropriate and effective campaign. Put simply, using context to tell the right message at the right time, not the same message all the time.

And we know it works.  The Moments of Truth research (Posterscope, JCDecaux, Clear Channel) highlighted the effectiveness of DOOH through use of contextually relevant content, showing uplifts across all metrics – noticeability, recall and ultimately driving sales.

The currency of trust in media channels has come more into focus in recent times.  Consumers have consistently regarded OOH advertising as trustworthy, with multiple research studies we have used in NNN speaking to this, not to mention how other media, such as print and TV, trust OOH to promote their own brand messaging. Our own iQ research shows more than half of all Dublin adults believe that advertising on a billboard makes a brand more trustworthy. For big ticket purchases such as cars, for instance, this is such an important factor. 81% of consumers point to trust in a brand as being a deciding factor in their purchase journey. (JCDecaux, Clear Channel, UK)

As we enter the latter half of 2021, this ‘Six Pack’ shows Out of Home advertising has all the assets to build brands, influence consumers and drive response. The resilience and flexibility of the channel has been proven in recent months and the future looks bright….for this summer and for many seasons to come.

Louise Enright is director with Source out of home, part of PML Group. She can be contacted at louise@sourceooh.ie

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