OOH’s reach undiminished by lockdown

[12 February] This week, the IPA published its latest Touchpoints study, “Making Sense, The Commercial Media Landscape.” Although the report is based on GB audiences, there are close similarities to NI and ROI markets. It can therefore be assumed that many of the behaviours and learnings from the report are transferrable to audiences here.

For us, most valuable is the assessment of OOH’s reach. Prior to lockdown, Outdoor delivered the highest reach of any commercial media for All Adults. As our time spent in OOH environments fell in line with lockdown restrictions, the reach of Outdoor didn’t see a corresponding drop, only shifting to second place, behind Commercial Live/Recorded TV.

Notably, the report divides the audiences by age range (16-34, 35-54, 55+) giving an in-depth assessment of the variances in media consumption by these groups. A key result of the report shows the widening gap in how the youngest and oldest audiences consume commercial media, differences which have been accelerated by lockdowns.

For commercial media in 2020, more time is now being spent with digital rather than non-digital channels. For All Adults the split has grown from 58:42 towards non-digital in 2015 to 49:51 in 2020. However, in lockdown the pendulum swung back slightly in favour of non-digital taking 52:48. The opposite was seen for 16-34s in 2020, where already 73% of all commercial time was spent with digital, this accelerated to 79% during lockdown.

Consumer behaviours are changing rapidly, and faster than we could have imagined. The report demonstrates that the younger 16-34 audience still want news content as much as 55+, but they want it in a way that suits them – often digitally and on mobile. For the 55+ age range, physical newspapers and TV news broadcasts suit their lifestyle.

For media planners, the report offers several key takeaways:

  • We might not be outdoors as much, but OOH is still highly effective as a broadcast medium
  • Media consumption is more fragmented than ever, so diverse media plans are essential to target all adults.
  • “it’s really important to bear in mind that while our lives have changed dramatically in recent months, the roles of media and advertising are still about delivering: the right message to the right person at the right time and in the right context”

When it comes to effective message delivery, Out of Home remains a key driver for online engagements. We have a robust Digital inventory in NI, enabled to deliver Dynamic content at scale, it can continue to bridge the gap in delivering the content that audiences want, in a way that suits their needs.