Here’s how the pandemic affected outdoor advertising in major cities
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected more areas of our lives than we could ever have imagined. Many of us were moved to online work, our kids suddenly needed homeschooling, and socializing with extended family and friends was no longer the order of the day.
The pandemic has also affected some things that we may not have even considered. One of these industries is the outdoor advertising industry. Outdoor advertising, also known as outdoor advertising or OOH, is any form of advertising that you may see outside of your home. This includes billboards, wall landscapes, and things like street furniture.
Although outdoor advertising as a whole has been hit hard in the wake of the pandemic, major cities appear to have been hit the hardest by this decline in outdoor advertising. Let’s take a look at the impact of this pandemic on outdoor advertising measures in the country’s largest cities.
Fewer people leaving home means fewer people seeing outdoor advertisements
When the quarantine orders were issued, we all had to recalculate. It meant staying home except for groceries, necessities, or emergencies. While this decrease in fossil fuel use has been good for the environment, now was not the perfect time for outdoor advertisements like billboards and wall landscapes to get any exposure.
When it comes to outdoor advertising, getting noticed is the name of the game. When people aren’t driving, they won’t come across billboards or road signs. This has affected all aspects of outdoor advertising, prompting many billboard companies to negotiate and review contracts with other forms of outdoor advertising.
More food delivery and streaming services are using billboards
When we were stuck at home, many of us watched TV for hours and hours on our couch. With the rise of streaming services, the majority of this binge-watching has been done on these many streaming services.
As we also had to go out in public as little as possible, we ordered a lot of food from home. With the many food delivery apps, we could get just about any restaurant in the area delivered right to our doorstep.
The increase in business experienced by these companies has resulted in additional income and has led to the creation of even more new companies in the same industry. So how does this affect outdoor advertising?
These food delivery and streaming services have made their way onto many outdoor commercials that are making a comeback today. They occupy many neighborhoods in Chicago, Miami and Dallas Billboards as outdoor advertising begins to make a comeback.
The interesting thing about these billboards is that they are traditional old school ads that get you to take action on your phone. Some of them even have giant QR codes that you can scan to take you to the App Store to download their app or to check out their website.
Advertising in stationary event spaces
Some of the biggest places where businesses use outdoor advertising are large event spaces. Most of these large event spaces are in large metropolitan areas that are already heavily populated. Arenas, concert halls and any other place where people gather in droves are some of the best places for companies to market their business.
With social distancing guidelines, tidying up those arenas was no longer an option. Major events have been canceled or postponed until further notice. This means that all the advertising on billboards and digital screens in these places was not an option. It’s just another way the outdoor advertising was cut off during the pandemic and continues to revert to what it was before.
Fewer people using public transport meant less advertising on buses and subways
Many outdoor advertisements in large cities are placed in the upper corners of the metro, on the benches of train parks and in bus shelters. With these social distancing guidelines and the quarantine in effect, these transit systems weren’t used very often.
This meant that street furniture and mobile ads weren’t often seen by people, leading advertisers to pull out of these outdoor advertising avenues.
Outdoor advertising will make a comeback soon
Although it took a hell of a beating during the pandemic, outdoor advertising has been around for centuries and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon. It may take a while, but the outdoor advertising industry is already enjoying increased success compared to last year.