45% of Americans say They are Noticing Billboards —OOH Is Engaging Consumers More Than Ever
This is the moment for Out of Home Advertising
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
• 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.