Out of Home Advertising: On the Road to Recovery!

With the initial lockdown imposed back in March, the Outdoor space took a massive hit in terms of advertising revenue. However, the medium is on the road to recovery and it is still used as a viable way to spread awareness and messaging during Covid!


In our latest Generation Academy webinar we discussed how the pandemic has affected media opportunities and what the future may look like for the Outdoor space. We shared our thoughts and observations on how OOH has been transformed over this period and along with our panellists, we delved deeply into what the Road to Recovery looked like. Our panel of specialists included: James Power, Outdoor Strategist from Global; Dan Photi, Sales Director from Boomerang Media; Marc Guterich, Managing Director from Open Outdoor; and Sean Clift, Head of Sales from JCDecaux. Suffice to say, we are in agreement with our panel of specialist partners that the future of OOH is looking positive! While the lockdown restrictions came with their own set of problems for this medium, it also presented many different opportunities for suppliers, advertisers and the government! Now, halfway through the second lockdown the opportunities haven’t slowed down and advertisers are still looking at Outdoor as a viable means for increasing mass awareness. Below are some key take-outs from the session, but if you would like to listen to some of the points in depth, click here to download our latest Generation Academy session!


  1. A platform for good! During Lockdown 1.0, Outdoor played a pivotal role in managing the crisis and uniting the country around the NHS, keyworkers and community messages. It provided a platform for smart, empathetic communications to reach audiences at time when fear and uncertainty were very real in our daily lives.
  2. Changes in mobility. Restrictions are not as severe as they were in the first lockdown so the effects on mobility are not as detrimental. With the availability of click and collect; nurseries, schools and universities still open; and the opportunity for unlimited exercise, people are still leaving their house to collect items, go to and from school and have their daily walk! Mobility is still moderate compared to the first lockdown when it fell to 50% across the UK. This is supported by Open Outdoor’s latest mobility data which shows the UK mobility index has only fallen to 69% after the first week of Lockdown 2.0 which is similar levels to the beginning of June.
  3. Flexibility and Agility. Out of Home’s responsiveness has improved pre-Covid and even more so during Covid through the use of digitisation. The huge investment in digitisation and automation means that OOH is well placed to deliver reactive, contextual and geographically tailored campaigns that can respond to Covid hotspots and behavioural events. The use of dynamic ads and improved flexibility of OOH has made campaigns up to 17% more effective!
  4. Positive road to recovery. The latest Kantar survey shows that the top 5 activities are all related to outdoors so the audience will definitely be there. People are valuing the outside more; they are more alert and more receptive to messaging. Brands are still utilising OOH as they see the value of the medium and this is even shown by the latest PlayStation 5 ad! In return, suppliers have been more flexible with T&Cs, this eliminates one of the main barriers to entries for this medium and encourages new brands to test out the effectiveness of OOH.
  5. Opportunities all around! Advertisers should not feel nervous about investing in out of home even during this second lockdown. OOH suppliers are incentivising brands to invest in different formats by providing great deals. Additionally, with Click and Collect still open and key workers and people unable to work from home still commuting, as well as parents and school kids travelling to and from school, there’s opportunities to execute proximity campaigns across open retail, supermarkets and school sites!


OOH is on an upward journey to recovery and with news of a potential vaccine and hope for normality on the horizon, it will certainly be the place to be in 2021!