The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has released its 2020 Annual Report, which highlights the vital role that the Out of Home (OOH) industry played in supporting communities and the public health response last year.
The report identified that OMA members continued to use their signs for good, supporting more than 140 arts, sports, not-for-profit and charitable organisations by donating free media space, valued at $92 million.
In the report, OMA said it saw advertisers change quickly to update their brand messages to be empathic as new information about the pandemic came to light.
In addition, advertising on signs shifted from pure brand and product messages to providing helpful information, to promoting local business, to making more connections with people with messages of hope and solidarity.
OMA members also adapted rapidly to the needs of the moment, delivering important public health messaging and information about government announcements and programs.
“Annual reports capture a moment in time, and this is our opportunity to record the industry’s experience through last year. At the start of 2020 we were in the process of setting into motion the initiatives that would serve as a catalyst for our next phase of growth, and then the pandemic hit,” OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich said.
“Though COVID-19 disrupted these plans our board put together a new business plan that has been instrumental in navigating our way into recovery.
“We are well placed for future growth, and this includes the development of our new audience measurement system MOVE 2.0 which is in the test and learn stage. We will also launch the results of our $1.3 million neuroscience study in July, which proves how memory encoding and emotion play into the impact OOH signs have on audiences.”
According to the report, during the pandemic, government, retail, ecommerce, and banking brands were some of the top advertisers for signs.
The report also found that the outdoor industry was not insulated from the economic effects of the pandemic. Its net media revenue decreased 39.4 per cent to $566.5 million in 2020, down from $935.5 million in 2019.
On the other hand, the dominance of digital signs continued, with 56.1 per cent of revenue now attributed to digital.
However, recent figures released by SMI (Standard Media Index) Australia were identified in the report, showing that overall advertising spend in April 2021 is 20 per cent above what was recorded in April 2020.
Moldrich said spend figures for May are expected to follow a similar growth rate.
“It’s great to now see the market bounce back with automotive, tourism and entertainment brands returning to using OOH signs as part of their advertising mix. This speaks volumes about growing advertiser and agency confidence in the channel,” Moldrich added.
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