Out-of-Home Advertising Opportunities in a Pandemic

By Daisy Nguyen

With a significant portion of the population staying home due to stay-at-home orders, out-of-home (OOH) marketing has taken a big hit.

According to the Out Of Home Association of America, before the outbreak, out-of-home revenue rose 7 percent in the third quarter of 2019 to almost $2 billion. Despite the significant drop in OOH, reflecting the majority of the population staying indoors, there are some brands that have continued their OOH campaigns.

Here are opportunities for OOH amidst the pandemic:

  • Shift your messaging to where there’s a shift in spending. Think grocery stores and big retailers.
  • Pair with public service announcements. Brands are taking this time to spread awareness and education
  • Take advantage of the increased online media usage

As economy reopens and the country returns to a state of normalcy, people will get back outside and probably to a greater extent than prior to March. The weather is better now and they will want to make up for time lost to being cooped up inside.

Here is what we can expect to from OOH after the pandemic

Brands will want to reconnect with their audiences in a “back to normal” way. During the the hiatus, brands that want to stay in touch have been moving away from OOH to email, social media and other online platforms. We’ve already begun to see an increase in certain industries, and as people get back on the road and back-to-work we expect these trends to include OOH:

  • Medical manufacturers that sell personal protective equipment increasing ad spending
  • Headhunting firms after record unemployment rates will be increasing their spending and expanding their media mix for a broader reach
  • Home electronics industry is expected to come on strong after a slowdown in production

Sources:   Dashtwo, Ad Age

Based in Austin, Texas, Steel is a full-service integrated ad agency that uses a deep understanding of how families make purchase decisions to deliver brands that families love. In close partnership with our clients, Steel unites data, technology, creativity and influence to produce more stunning growth for brands in health, education, food and fun that serve the American family.




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