Out-of-Home is back!

Out of Home is back and with that in mind, we felt it would be a great opportunity to release our brand uplift norms across the sector. It’s great to see how outdoor campaigns are returning to help successfully build brands.

In fact, our latest benchmark data across the Out of Home category suggests the average campaign significantly increases awareness by 3.5%. To add to that, our data suggests that Out of Home is performing really well against the consideration metric, where we are currently seeing figures of 3.8% uplift.


Out-of-Home Uplifts


The graph above helps depict how Out of Home is in fact driving success across all key metrics, including overall ad recall (+3%) and purchase intent (+2%).

As a result of these uplifts, we are also seeing Out of Home media campaigns bounce back in abundance, with a wealth of clients using the platform to ensure their brand makes an impact.

It’s clear from our data that Out of Home is a great driver of awareness for brands and it’s fantastic to see its current success since lockdowns have ended. But what really happened to Out of Home media whilst we were at home?

In May 2020, it was reported by Marketing Week that 55% of marketeers had delayed their advertising campaigns1. It is clear that lockdown caused disruption across many industries. As we progress from multiple lockdowns, we want to help our clients and advertisers understand the Out of Home market better than ever before.

Our analysis of all outdoor data before and during lockdown suggests:

  • The pandemic saw Out of Home media achieve standout in a different way. Traditionally a medium that drives awareness, we saw Out of Home creating an impression through more localised and dynamic targeting. Increases were seen specifically in ad recall growing by +3%.
  • Significant increases were also seen regarding purchase intent. This moved +4%, showing us that those exposed to Out of Home during lockdown were more likely to buy.
  • When assessing responses to creative executions, we also see advertising during the pandemic driving higher levels of action, increasing from 52% to 60%. The ability for the medium to also drive emotion increased significantly from 58% to 62%.

The levels of increased purchase intent are also backed up by a previous study undertaken by JCDecaux, Talon, Kinetic, Posterscope, Rapport and Global, and endorsed by Out of Home industry body Outsmart. This suggested that advertisers who continued to invest in Out of Home benefited from strong performance including an average +51% shift in ad recall and increase of +16% for purchase intent.


Increased cut-through is provoking stronger emotions


Lockdown clearly disrupted traditional advertising consumption, but what we see in the figures above is strong potential and if used in the right way, Out of Home can clearly drive results even during a global pandemic.

Our data highlights Out of Home’s ability to manoeuvre itself across campaign effectiveness metrics. Through the industry’s agility in reacting quickly to the huge shifts in media consumption, campaigns moved from being mass reach to targeted reach and therefore, we see brands who remained visible in Out-of-Home seeing increased ad recall, emotive reaction and higher levels of purchase intent.

What is also evident is how Out of Home can successfully propel itself into other channels, such as social media. The example from Emily’s crisps below captures this perfectly. When deciding to go ahead with their Out of Home campaign last April (even though lockdown was already in full swing), their witty copywriting skills allowed for some light hearted humour (at the brand’s expense), resulting in its reach then extending into other channels.

It was brave and bold, but it worked. Adam Draper, from Nurture Brands said:

"Sometimes the stuff you do in the real world then makes people want to see it online. Sometimes you might buy Out of Home and that is what gives you the social currency to go on to the digital channels."


Our first ever poster, seen by a runner and one pigeon. Typical


In this case, using the trusted medium of Out of Home and being innovative with their creative execution fostered greater levels of success for the brand. In Nurture's case, despite the fact that there were fewer eyeballs on the streets during the campaign, it achieved greater victory through referencing the very issue the industry was facing2.

Clearly, our data shows that outdoor still performs (even in lockdowns), but its performance sees fundamental shifts. However, by utilising this insight and ensuring creative messaging correlates (as shown above), this will ultimately ensure consumers are engaged in the right way.

Tim Lumb, Director of Outsmart comments:

"Out of Home clearly demonstrated its ability to be flexible during the pandemic and effectively leverage data on the fluctuating environment, allowing for more efficient targeting and wider media proliferation. Its adaptation over lockdowns not only helped brands navigate these changes successfully, but the medium also became a key trusted public messaging service across the nation. What is clear as we emerge from the pandemic is that summer 2021 is approached with much enthusiasm across Out of Home as the population show excitement for being back outdoors again and brands look to capitalise on this."

Out of Home is certainly back, but perhaps the real learning here is that it never really went away.

With the increase in Out of Home campaigns, this also sees demand in the requirement for effectiveness measurement across the industry. Our Out of Home brand impact solution offers a fully GDPR compliant location-based methodology that ensures market leading accuracy when it comes to understanding effectiveness in this sector. And our comprehensive benchmark database further helps us highlight a wider industry view of its benefits. We have long known Out of Home to be a fantastic awareness driver and our data still confirms this.

Our studies prove it has a great ability to connect with other channels and create increased impact for brands. Here at On Device Research, we continue to track the consumption of Out of Home media and help our clients understand how to get the best out of the medium (lockdown or not!) Find out how our Out of Home brand impact product can support your brand.


1. https://www.marketingweek.com/brands-advertising-coronavirus-crisis/

2. https://www.marketingweek.com/emily-crisps-outdoor-advertising-lockdown/

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