How a Turbulent Year Has Strengthened and Reset OOH for 2021

Strengthened and Reset after a Turbulent Year

Starting a new year in lockdown may sound daunting, but the truth is, we’ve been well equipped as an industry, resilient and ready for what 2021 will bring. Out of Home has weathered the turbulence of 2020, we know that our understanding of audience habits is adaptable, trust in OOH even grew over the year.

Despite the various lockdowns and restrictions enforced last year, OOH’s key strengths haven’t dissipated, in fact, they’ve heightened. After the initial lockdown back in March 2020, OOH recorded the largest increase in consumer trust (+14% to 57%) among media channels, reflecting the many brand, charity and Government messages that relayed vital messaging at a time of great need. 

When local restrictions were enforced, OOH became the broadcast medium for reaching audiences in local communities. During the height of the Summer staycation, with an estimated 10 million people using the UK roads, roadside OOH became a key communicator for brands.

Last year, we collaborated with other key OOH players,  pooling the results from 65 campaigns that ran between March and September to discover whether “staying on” in 2020 really made a difference. The results revealed that advertisers who continued to invest in OOH, benefitted from a strong performance with an average +51% shift in ad recall and an increase of +16% for purchase intent. 

When we compared these results to those we observed pre-lockdown, we discovered that the effectiveness of OOH campaigns did not diminish, reflecting the return of significant audiences to high streets, shopping centres and roadside across the summer.

In 2020, our use of data saw a fundamental transformation in both tracking and planning audiences for OOH campaigns. The Ada audience dashboard has proven to be an effective and valuable tool. It enabled us to have a view on UK audience mobility across key OOH environments, producing intelligent, data-led recommendations for our clients based on real and recent behaviours, which have been in constant flux since March.

Fast forward to 2021 and despite the current restrictions, audiences are still resilient. Findings from Clear Channel showed that 87% still plan to go outdoors twice a week, with 83% going outside to exercise at least once a week. Regarding OOH, 88% value advertising outdoors with only 8% thinking that brands should advertise less in the current climate. 

For brands who choose to stay on during restrictions, 46% want brands to acknowledge the lockdown and 26% want brands to provide humour/relief. Overall, morale is high as 67% are feeling positive because of the vaccine, with 32% already making plans for 2021. We’ve seen some great campaigns so far from brands including McCain’s and Sainsbury’s, capitalising on the health-related resolutions brought on by the New Year. 

So, as you can seeOOH has never been more equipped, resilient and ready for what 2021 will bringWith our specialist OOH expertise and a renewed in-depth understanding of audiences, Talon can ensure brands effectively reconnect with the right audiences throughout 2021.

Charlotte Jones, Digital Marketing Executive