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‘Thanks to audience behavioural signals, brands can plan OOH with confidence’

By M4G Bureau - September 15, 2020

Clare Chapman, Head of Media Planning EMEA- Essence, shares the improving condition of India where 145 brands have rolled out campaign since June 2020

Routines are coming back to normal with emerging traffic on road and increase in the movement of people. However, more efforts needed to attract brands to opt for OOH media. Moreover, the unpredictability in the market continues as the Covid19 cases have again started going up.

Clare Chapman, Head of Media Planning<br>Essence“In the face of such instability, it’s easy to understand why some brands may be nervous to include OOH media in their plans. But thanks to audience behavioural signals, we can plan OOH with confidence. Consumer behaviour around the world is consistent. Two simple but highly motivating human truths continue to influence the future of OOH: people need to eat, and they feel safe in their cars”, explained Clare Chapman, Head of Media Planning, EMEA, Essence.

In the US, roadside audiences returned particularly swiftly, with daily distances travelled by car in the first week of June back to 91% of those observed for the first week of March. These trends align with the big European markets, with road and retail environments being least affected by lockdown and returning to strength quickest.

Commuters in France, Germany and Italy are leading the way, boosting rail audiences between 75& and 95% of pre-lockdown levels by early July. Leisure environments have bounced back too, with footfall to Italian cinemas almost fully recovered.

Highlighting the situation of India where restrictions on movement of people began to be eased in the month of June, but were quickly reinstated in many areas. Clare Chapman said, “Despite this setback, 145 brands took the opportunity to activate out-of-home campaigns since that time. Their campaigns were carefully built to prioritise digital inventory, main arterial routes, and sites near grocery, residential and workplace environments.”

According to Clare, prioritising digital inventory, data-led optimisation and residential over city centre locations is key for planning in markets where recovery from the Covid19 crisis is slower or non-linear. “The Covid19 crisis has prompted an upturn in brands using programmatic capabilities in OOH. Markets with access to digital inventory will especially benefit from the ability to flex campaigns around audience availability by location, environment and time of day, dialling up and down as needed,” she said.

Clare says that roadside and road-based (e.g. bus) sites, local high street and grocery environments are the go-tos for reaching a broad spectrum of audiences. Young adults are the easiest to find, proving most keen to resume normal patterns of leisure and social activities. Key workers and lower-income audiences- who are less likely to be able to work from home- are using public transport.

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