COVID has had an extensive impact on the out of home market, however, there has been a stronger than expected recovery in the sector despite the latest lockdowns in Melbourne, let’s look at how LED advertising boards are playing a part.
Outside of Melbourne, out of home audiences have grown with the data showing total volumes in August are tracking at 75% of 2019 levels. And with Melbourne’s restrictions on movement set to dial back in November, the out of home (“OOH”) market should regain some of its lost momentum in the last quarter. The OOH market is also set to grow from 7% of overall media share in 2019 to 10% over the next few years. Despite COVIDs impact on the market, the longer-term fundamentals of outdoor advertising still remain positive.
In recent years there has been a strong industry shift from traditional static print billboards to LED billboards. With LED technology improving over a relatively short time frame, and the cost of LED production falling substantially over the last 10 years. LED billboards have emerged across the globe and have solidified their place in the future of out of home advertising.
This dramatic shift across the OOH industry from vinyl to digital billboards has changed the media landscape and has allowed for shared voice advertising which was previously not possible with traditional static billboards. Shared voice advertising is where media buyers can purchase prime advertising real estate for a fraction of what they would have needed to previously with vinyl billboards and share their ad amongst others.
The downside of this is that with shared voice the message can often become diluted as it is shuffled together with the other ads. With the cost of digital media continuing to come down and look more attractive to media buyers, the out of home landscape will only progress further into a heavier focus on digital into the future.
With a decline in advertising budgets seen across the industry due to the impact of COVID, media buyers are understandably looking for more value for money in the out of home market. COVID has led the industry to a more value focused model due to the current oversupply of outdoor media. During COVID one of the standout formats in a value focused market has been the Digital Ad Trailer. These LED advertising boards have proven to be a popular format among advertisers looking to still reach an audience and have an impact during lockdown.
With LED advertising boards being mobile, the benefit is they can access areas where traditional static billboards would not. And with both solar and powered options available there is not a lot else on the market which can deliver a message so effectively. Digital Ad Trailer are certainly something worth considering for a more affordable way of getting your message out to a local market.
A recent example where this was put into effect was with the Wyndham City Council. High volumes of Digital Ad Trailerwere used across the council in busy foot & vehicle traffic areas to get public health messages out to the community in a variety of languages across the area.
Ultimately, the impact of COVID, the gradual shift from static to digital and the declining budgets across the advertising industry have led to a shift in the media landscape to a more value focused model. Whether this will continue into the long term is yet to be seen, however, once the market has fully adjusted to a value focused model it will be hard for media buyers to accept gradual rises in media costs back to pre-pandemic levels. If there is one thing COVID has certainly done which is positive in the outdoor market, it is creating a more competitive media landscape, which is ultimately good for buyers.