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Is 2021 The Great Holiday Season Opportunity for OOH?

Esther Raphael of Intersection

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Syda Productions Shutterstock


Esther Raphael, Chief Marketing Officer at Intersection, offered to share ways in which brands can stand out to consumers for the holidays and the advantages of using OOH over traditional forms of advertising to reach key consumer audiences. Esther tells us the concept of revenge spending will play a role in consumers’ holiday spending this year.

“The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and the 2021 season is resembling 2019 more than 2020 as consumers look to make up for lost time. This year, US shoppers are expected to spend over $1 trillion for this holiday season.

Between ongoing supply chain issues and concerns around Covid, many shoppers are expected to get a jump-start on their holiday shopping to avoid crowds and empty shelves. Twenty five percent of consumers said they are expecting to do the majority of their shipping ahead of Thanksgiving, and 10 percent before Halloween. With fall now upon us, brands need to get a head start on engaging with these energized holiday shoppers and out of home (OOH) advertising can do just that.

OOH media provides retailers and brands the opportunity to utilize unique audience targeting data and capabilities to reach these early bird shoppers. Whether consumers are close to home, out and about meeting friends, or on a mission to finish shopping before Thanksgiving, OOH is there along the entire journey. ” 

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In an effort to dig in deeper with details, Esther agreed to comment via an OOH Today Q&A on the topic. Here is the edited Q&A below.

Bill Board: Please explain how OOH is any more perfect than any other media in reaching holiday shoppers.

Esther Raphael: Consumers are looking for experiences, so give them one! OOH offers brands endless creative opportunities to drive buzz and action. Use OOH’s dynamic capabilities to feature live maps to retail or run a countdown clock to an upcoming sale. Use the popularity of the QR code to create a unique holiday experience with virtual storefronts that offer AR try-ons and shopping, getting product into carts. Or tap into the OOH publisher’s editorial voice to natively integrate your brand with thoughtful and curated editorial— like sponsoring must-see holiday attractions, for locals and tourists alike.

This holiday season is a unique moment in time for marketers to lean in, listen, and respond with products and services that deliver on these once in a generation consumer desires.

BB: Can you draw contrasts of pros and cons compared to other media? What makes OOH so special for this category?

ER: OOH has always been central to brands obsessed with context, and there’s literally no better context than outdoors, especially during this unique holiday season. As consumers travel to city centers, meet friends at neighborhood cafes, or take their first trip to the airport, OOH is there, reaching them in a non-invasive, hyper-relevant way.

Most importantly, OOH helps drive people down the funnel to take action, from foot traffic to digital events like website visitation and search. We have seen very successful ROI for retail campaigns— one retailer saw a 16% lift in brick-and-mortar store visits, and another saw a 21% lift in organic search traffic in NYC. It pays to invest in OOH and brands can see a big return when they do.

BB: Please speak to the hands on experience and previous holiday shopping success which Intersection has had which demonstrate Intersection’s expertise in selling and discussing holiday shopping opportunities.

ER: We have media in 20+ markets and have helped national and local advertisers drive awareness, excitement, and foot traffic for over 20 holiday seasons.

BB: Please share with our readers Intersection’s experience of previous year’s holiday season and any successes. How is this holiday shopping season any different from previous for Intersection in your approach to landing greater holiday season buys?

ER: From a consumer standpoint, this holiday season will be all about making up for the time lost last year. We all want to experience our traditions, but to do them even bigger and even better, exacting our revenge on 2020. Tens of millions are expected to make up for lost time by spending money on items and experiences. Revenge spending will drive consumer behaviors throughout the rest of the year and maybe long after.

For Intersection, there’s a huge opportunity to put brands in front of consumers in big and impactful ways, when brands are competing for share of this massive influx in consumer spending. We know people are much more comfortable with in-store shopping this year, so the importance of showing up “out of home” is something brands need to emphasize. We’re also dealing with shorter sales cycles than we’ve seen in past years. It’s been key to help clients come up with solutions that are both effective, and can be executed quickly. Lastly, we’re helping our partners deal with unprecedented challenges in the supply chain this year, and we’re doing it with media that can be agile and responsive to what’s going on in the marketplace.

Our media, located on city streets, in major retail destinations, in urban transit systems, is right there in proximity to the in-store shopping experience and along the journey there. And by pairing this contextual relevance with data and technology – whether through programmatic buying, interactive and dynamic creative, or event-based measurement solutions, we can help brands meet consumers along the paths to both mobile and in-store shopping.

BB: Are your holiday shopping sales efforts more locally driven or nationally driven?

ER: Both national and local brands buy OOH media for their holiday campaigns. Each market has its own unique mix.

BB: Thank you Esther Raphael

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