The Power of Reach: OOH reaches people other media can’t

In recent years Talon and the wider Out-of-Home (OOH) industry have been very active in promoting all that is new and shiny about OOH. Talk has been of digital flexibility, context and location specific ad copy. Technology, including augmented reality and mobile apps, has brought great brand ideas to life. Imaginative activations, attractive to a media hungry for the new, have created some real standout worldwide viral hits.

This has created some excellent PR for the medium, but we shouldn’t neglect classic OOH’s strength as a broadcast channel.

It’s widely acknowledged that mass market brands need their ad messages to reach out to new audiences if they want to get the optimum return on their investment. This is more effective than hitting existing customers over and over.

At Talon we are showing our clients how OOH reaches the people other media can’t.

Let’s look first at the undisputed king of mass market media channels, TV.

It is well publicised that most people tune in to TV at some point in the week; from BARB (TV audience) data, it’s clear 90% of people watch some TV in any week.

What is less commonly known is that individual channels’ weekly reach – the percentage of people watching – is slipping for all the major TV stations. There has been a continuing decline in viewer numbers for top shows, diminishing the ability for TV commercials to reach large numbers of people simultaneously.

Compounding this are TV advertising cost increases. Last year, demand for ITV’s airtime rose 6% whilst audiences shrank by 8%, generating 15% year-on-year price hikes. This hyper-inflation shows no sign of abating in 2015, particularly for the brand-friendly demographics of the young, upmarket, adults, men and families.

Consequently, in a double-whammy for brands, you need to buy more TV ratings to reach the same total audience, and it is increasingly costing considerably more money to do so.

Other media are not bucking this trend. The UK population has always been one of the better read societies in the World, with a big appetite for newspapers. But how is this changing?

Ten years ago over 13 million copies of national newspapers were sold daily. In 2014 it was less than 9 million and the trend is clearly still downwards. In 2004 approaching 80% of adults read a newspaper daily; now it’s around 50%, and decelerating quickest amongst young audiences. As fewer people read newspapers more infrequently, print ads will be reaching less people than ever.

Radio listening- whilst enjoying something of a resurgent period as delivery platforms proliferate and music fans’ habits favour streaming and curated content – is dominated by the ad-free BBC networks, taking over a 50% share of all listening. All commercial radio reaches around 65% of the population weekly.

For individual radio stations, it’s a different picture. Syndicated players (including Global and Bauer) enjoy 30-40% reach, but the stations with the biggest weekly audiences are ad-free BBC Radios 1, 2 and 4. The biggest national commercial radio stations, only reach 10-15% of adults. Radio, like music in general, is a mass of niches, and problematical for advertisers trying to reach mass audiences.

In film, 2015 is likely to be a monster year for cinema lovers, with a large slate of potential blockbusters scheduled. However, cinema remains a niche leisure activity. Less than a quarter of the population go to the cinema once a month or more and around 6% visit weekly. A powerful medium, but limited at reaching mass audiences, however big the advertisers’ ads.

How about the reach of Outdoor advertising?

Route data shows us classic OOH broadly reaches most people. It most efficiently impacts on audiences where other classic media are increasingly struggling. This means particularly ABC1s, young adults and men.

Individual broadcast formats like 6 sheet posters and 48 sheet billboards have weekly reach surpassing all other individual UK media brands.

This is the case for OOH’s Power of Reach. OOH works well as both a complementary and stand-alone media. But reaching audiences (and driving frequency, impact and context) remains crucial.

However, we mustn’t forget the benefits of using digital OOH to target people where and when ads will work best, offering flexibility not achievable with classic OOH ads. Just one of the landmark digital OOH screens, Waterloo Motion, has a weekly audience of 2.1million and reaches nearly 250,000 “urbanites” every weekday.

Put simply, Out-of-Home reaches people other media can’t.