The OOH industry, globally, has rebounded and revived in 2022 and the recovery has been far better than expected. Post being confined indoors for almost two years, the digital fatigue, boredom due to not being able to follow a routine and travel, underlined the significance of being outdoors. Hence, with the relaxation of the restrictions, people took no time to break through and started traveling. All these reasons convinced the brands to follow their TG and target them at strategic locations especially airports, metro rail, malls, markets and the like.
In 2022, the festive season was highly anticipated as brands wanted to encash every opportunity to reach out to their consumers and increase their sales. This drove increased spending on OOH including activations and innovations. As a result, the festive season of 2022 was better than even 2019. With revenge traveling taking place in 2022, transit advertising is experiencing an overwhelming bounce-back. An extensive number of people are taking trips to leisure places and religious places, and even started to travel for work including overseas which is driving marketing spends to the airports including metro, Tier I & II. Travel sector is flying again; domestic air passenger numbers have exceeded pre-Covid numbers in December.
Interestingly, post-lockdown, marketers wanted to enhance their game in order to fill the void of two years of not being able to interact directly with their consumers and engage them. In this, OOH medium played a key role where brands found outdoor as a relevant medium to be able to come closer to the point of sale by being visible day in and out.
Digital OOH also gained its long-due traction as brands wanted to target audiences strategically with better exposure at an economical cost. It also allows brands to target contextually and tactically with the help of programmatic solutions which increased the relevance of the brand.
What does 2023 hold?
We are expecting the year 2023 to be quite positive and lucrative for the OOH industry.
Given that offices have resumed almost completely, corporate business districts are buzzing with activity, national and international business and leisure travel is in full swing, and people have returned back to the old habit of going outdoors like travelling, visiting malls and restaurants. Hence, these factors will continue to sway brands to advertise in OOH. We firmly believe OOH will continue to be a highly relevant medium for brands to target consumers.
Taking note of aviation reports stating that leading airports are already breaking records of passenger growth regularly, it clearly shows that post Covid, people are out and about taking a break from digital fatigue and restrictions experienced during the lockdown. These numbers are coming despite higher air fares and hotel room costs. The premium sectors and premium hotels are near 100 percent occupancy. What this means is that even more crème de la crème audiences are travelling and can be targeted at the airports. Hence, we are expecting brands to divert their budgets towards avenues such as airports and other transit formats.
Most importantly, in the cookie-less world, location targeting will take an upper hand as due to reduced personalised identifiable data, brands will have to look for newer options to target masses wherein context and location will come into play.
As OOH is all about targeting the right audience at the right locations and the increase of Programmatic DOOH will improvise the ability to target contextually giving a substantial base to the communication.
(The author is Chief Strategy Officer, Times OOH.)