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45% of Americans say They are Noticing Billboards —OOH Is Engaging Consumers More Than Ever

This is the moment for Out of Home Advertising

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OAAA/The Harris Poll
COVID Impact on Consumer Behavior & Q4 2020

Summary of Findings


OOH Is Engaging Consumers More Than Ever

Consumers have a renewed appreciation for the outdoors:
Seven in 10 (69%) say their
appreciation of the experience/awareness of their surroundings has increased now that COVID-19 stay-home orders and lockdown restrictions are mostly lifted. Two-thirds (65%) say they try to get out of the house as often say they can, even if it is just for a drive or walk around town. Four in 10 (40%) say they are walking more since the pandemic hit.

Americans are turning to the outdoors to stay safe:
Two-thirds (65%) say they have
been trying to find safe outdoor activities to spend their time, while three-fifths (60%) say they wish there were more outdoor dining offerings.

This is the moment for Out of Home Advertising:
Nearly half (45%) of Americans say
they are noticing billboards, outdoor video screens, posters, signage, and other #OOH ads more now than before the pandemic began. Increased notice rates of OOH advertising are even higher (69%) in urban areas of one million plus.




OOH is empowering consumers and equipping them with the knowledge they need:
Two in five (38%) said they found COVID-19 safety information to be useful from the ads,
while one-quarter (23%) said they saw special offers and promotions and one-fifth (20%)
said they saw updates on the advertiser business hours and services. Nearly 3 in 10 (29%)
say they felt grateful for useful information from the ad, while (23%) said they were
educated about something new and (20%) felt comforted as it was a sign that businesses
are back.

Consumers are suffering from digital burnout and tuning out digital ads:
More than
two-thirds (68%) agree that they are spending so much time looking at device screens
these days that they are tuning out digital online ads.

The demand for outdoor experiences is on the rise:
o (71%) are interested in walking around their town or neighborhood
o (58%) are interested in spending time in a public park
o (57%) are interested in outdoor seating at restaurants or bars
o (52%) are interested in outside pop-up retail shops

Fourth Quarter Mobility

The Great American summer road trip is getting an extension to winter:
Majority of
consumers (67%) plan to travel for the upcoming holidays and over half (56%) will be
traveling by car. Only (16%) say they intend to travel by airplane. Right now, (65%) say they  are interested in taking a road trip. 42% of consumer plan to travel the same distance or more for the holidays this year versus last year.

Consumer travel is going hyperlocal:
Americans are walking (40%), driving (29%), and biking/scootering more (27%). And while many are sticking closer to home, 55% say their travel patterns will be the same or greater in number of trips and distance in comparison to pre-COVID.

Celebrating the holidays NBA Bubble style:
When asked how the COVID-19 pandemic
has changed their upcoming holiday season plans, (45%) say they are staying home and celebrating the holidays with only their immediate family, nearly a third (27%) say they are limiting the number of people at gatherings.

The desire to socialize is high and outdoor activities show promise:
Three in 10 (29%)
will find creative ways to socialize safely, such as only eating outside with heated patios or socially distancing outdoors, while one-quarter (23%) say they’ll live as normally as possible such as dining inside and shopping in-person.

Changing Consumption Habits

Shopping is now all about efficiency and safety:
(43%) say “I try to make fewer trips to
the store and stock up on items as much as I can to minimize the number of times I go shopping” and (34%) say “I’ve stopped casually shopping in-person and only go into a store for pre-determined items” and safety matters, while (29%) say “I prefer to shop at retailers that have thoughtfully planned the store traffic for COVID-19 (e.g., one-way aisles).”

COVID-19 has inspired a new wave of purpose driven shoppers:
(28%) say “I’ve
become a better planner (e.g., more aware of what I like to buy, where to buy)”
and (26%)
say “I try to shop more at locally owned stores to support the economy in my community.”

There is a new wave of demand for contact-free commerce as Americans adjust to a
socially distanced lifestyle:
(71%) are interested in takeout from restaurants and (57%)
are interested in curbside pickup.

The pandemic has caused consumers to consider new brands:
(43%) are using a mix
of new and familiar brands; (12%) are using new brands they will continue to use and replace old brands, and another (12%) are using new brands because it is their only choice
but plan to switch back to preferred brands when they are available again. Only one-third (32%) are continuing to use the same brands they did prior to the pandemic.

METHODOLOGY: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll from September 21 to 23, 2020 among 2,058 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.


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