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Out \ Look: 66% visit a shopping mall/centre at least once a week

Aaron Poole, marketing executive, PML Group with this week’s Out \ Look on Out of Home. 

Mall Scene 2023: 66% visit a shopping mall/centre at least once a week  

Our 2022 Mall Scene research showed the modern shopping centre blends both retail and non-retail attractions such as entertainment venues, expanded dining options, fitness centres, and beauty services. Non-retail amenities continue to magnetise footfall but also crafting a canvas for brands to engage with their audience in a more meaningful way.

In this edition of Out \ Look, we are excited to present Mall Scene 2023, further delving into the retail trends and sentiment among Dubliners aged 16-54.

With the dawn of the summer season and school/college breaks, we asked respondents how often they are visiting shopping centres. 66% respondents identified as frequent visitors, heading to a shopping centre once a week or more – a slight increase compared with 2022. This trend is particularly prominent among the 25-34 age group at 72%, peaking at 84% of male respondents. The highest female cohort were 45–54-year-olds at 79%.

When it comes to time spent at shopping centres, 63% of respondents spend about two hours or more during a typical visit, peaking at 74% of 35–44-year-olds. Unsurprisingly, given the dawn of the school/college summer breaks, those in the 16-24 age range noted as spending the most time during a single visit; 18% noted as spending 4 hours+, taking part in various social and shopping activities.

In 2023, there is a burgeoning appetite among consumers to engage in leisure activities. 45% of respondents as going to the cinema at least once a month, while close to 70% noted the same for social activities like meeting friends, visiting a restaurant, or going for a coffee. 25–34-year-olds noted as engaging in short social bursts on a more frequent basis, with over 20% noting as meeting friends and going for coffee at least once a week. This indicates that shopping centres continue to encourage social interactions among visitors, reflecting a continual shift in consumer preferences towards more experiential visits. Unsurprisingly, the most popular activity remains the raison d’etre for shopping centres/malls, with 92% of visitors shopping for groceries and 71% shopping for clothes at least once a month.

In terms of when these visits happen, the weekends are undisputed for social activity. When compared with 2022 these activities have seen a notable uptick, peaking at 11% more noting they meet friends in shopping malls/centres on the weekend. Conversely, a decline of 11% was noted in those who shop for groceries on the weekend exclusively.

The growth in attendance and engagement with non-retail amenities highlights the importance of contextual targeting in advertising campaigns, while the opportunity for brands to engage with their audience has been expanded and streamlined by innovating in a meaningful way that resonates with the lifestyle aspirations of the modern consumer.

Retail formats such as dPods, Adshel Live Retail, iVisions and DX Screens allow brands to extend their messaging along the entire path to purchase, and deploying dynamic content to contextually target consumers near points of purchase when their message means the most. This echoes the Moments of Truth research noting consumer brain response is 18% higher when viewing relevant dynamic DOOH content, leading to a 17% increase in consumers’ spontaneous advertising recall that can deliver a 16% sales uplift.

For more details, contact info@pmlgroup.ie

Census 2022 – Ten Most Populated Towns in Ireland

Drogheda is the most populated town in Ireland, at 44,135 people, according to the latest release of Census 2022 data from the CSO. The top 10 largest towns in the state remained almost the same compared with the 2016 census survey. Naas joined the list of the top 10 largest towns, while Newbridge dropped out. Some towns also moved places on the list. In 2022, Swords was the third largest town in the State, replaced by Dundalk as the second largest. The five biggest towns in the country are all in Leinster, within commuter range of Dublin.

Ennis is the biggest town outside of Leinster, with a population of almost 28,000. The top 10 are laid out on our graphic below.

Towns on the eastern side of the country are also attracting a younger population. Of the 49 towns with a population over 10,000 people in Census 2022, 10 had an average age under 36 years. Of these 10 towns, eight were either in County Dublin, or in nearby counties such as Meath, Kildare and Laois. Balbriggan is the ‘youngest’ town (with a population above 10,000) in the country, with an average age of 33.6 years, followed by Ratoath, Ashbourne, Maynooth and Kildare Town. The ‘oldest’ town in the State is Clonmel, at an average of 40.8 years.

As Census 2022 releases are published, our team at PML Group is ingesting the data into our MAPS platform to ensure the implications of any population changes are reflected in our OOH planning. For further information on mapping or audience data please feel free to contact us.

#PlanetOOH: Disney’s ‘Elemental’ Billboard Makes a Splash in Brooklyn

While Pixar’s latest animated gem ‘Elemental’ debuts in Irish cinemas today, it’s interesting to look back at the fiery storm it stirred in the US ahead of their mid-June release. In the eye of this storm was an innovative special build ‘Bulletin’ billboard from Outdoor agency Red Rock, taking an ordinary streetscape and transforming it into a scene from the film.

In ‘Elemental’, anthropomorphic elements Ember Lumen and Wade Ripple fall in love despite their conflicting natures of fire and water. Bringing this tale to life in Brooklyn, New York, the special build billboard showcased Wade impressing Ember by ‘riding’ a wave emanating from a broken fire hydrant below. The fire hydrant’s real-life Brooklyn location beneath the billboard was wrapped by a large, stylised version that extended towards the billboard, bridged by ‘water’ surging upwards, even extending outward to break past the Bulletin’s frame.


Our Special effects research shows that 84% of consumers find special builds more noticeable, and 75% think they make brands seem more exciting. The ‘Elemental’ billboard successfully rides this wave, bridging the real world and the world of fantasy, providing a vibrant spectacle amidst an urban landscape.

By incorporating elements that lean into the area’s surroundings, Red Rock’s build sparks a connection that amplifies brand recall and fame.






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