What is the new normal for OOH?

Despite terms like 'corona fatigue', the virus remains an important theme in many people's lives. Consumers also still consider it an important theme within brand communication. Therefore, it does not seem wise to exclude the topic from your communication altogether. From a brand communication point of view, advertisements are still consumed the most via television. But will this still be the case in ten years' time? Older people in particular still watch television rather exclusively, but other target groups consume multiple forms of media, and streaming services in particular are on the rise. It is therefore of great importance for marketers to make a plan for the future.

Corona communication may seem to be back. But in terms of brand communication, it would have been wise not to let go of the corona theme at all. Currently, one third (34%) of the Dutch population considers it important that brands pay attention to COVID-19 in their communication. This is virtually the same level as at the end of January (35%), when we were still in lockdown. Even in times when things were going better in terms of contamination, corona remained a hot topic among Dutch consumers. In week 25, when the new relaxations for the hospitality industry and nightlife were heralded because of the low number of infections, 30% of Dutch people still believed that brands should pay attention to corona. This means it is still very important for brands to keep thinking about how to weave this topic into their communications. But where do you best reach these consumers?

The new normal for Out of Home

In a previous article in MarketingTribune, in collaboration with Out of Home Masters, we wrote about how outdoor advertising during the lockdown became more effective due to less task-oriented behaviour. Last year's WARC reportWhat's working for out of home also showed that Out of Home can add value during corona because of local relevance. People stayed more in their own neighbourhood, so localised targeting of Out of Home can be very valuable. But, the strictest lockdown is now over. What is the new normal for Out of Home?

The Consumer Behaviour Monitor shows that the relevance of getting around on foot has remained roughly the same since January this year. At the end of January, when the lockdown was still at its most severe, 47% considered 'on foot' a relevant way of getting from A to B. This made it the third most relevant means of transport, after cars and bicycles. This put it in third place of relevant means of transport, after the private car and the bicycle. Currently, this percentage has even risen slightly, to 51%. This means that only the private car is still a more relevant means of transport. We seem to be able to draw the cautious conclusion that the relevance of walking has increased permanently. Behaviour is difficult to change, we all know that. But if we 'have to' behave in a certain way for a longer period of time, for instance due to a pandemic, we are more likely to stick to it afterwards.

Eva Rozenbeek, Marketing & Business Development Manager at Exterion Media:


"Mobility behaviour is as it used to be, yet different. The daily peaks in mobility have made room for a broader distribution over the day or even week. Where we used to follow the herd, we now make more autonomous choices: when do we go to work and what time do we do the shopping?

If we compare the mobility behaviour of the Dutch pre-corona with their current behaviour, we see a number of changes. During the various lockdowns, for instance, we saw that movements mainly took place around home and parks. The behaviour that people have adopted in these turbulent times is partly incorporated into the new normal. After the easing of restrictions, we still see many trips around parks and we increasingly decide for ourselves when we go to work. Meanwhile, city and village centres are getting busier again. Despite the immense growth of online retail, we see that the need for physical visits to shops and supermarkets is once again the same as before corona.

This changing behaviour offers opportunities for a medium type like OOH as part of the media mix. The relevance of point-of-sale engagement and the reach figures are back to the same level as before corona."


Are streaming services the future?

Due to the corona crisis, streaming services have had a golden year. In 2020, for the first time ever, streaming services together recorded more turnover than cinemas. For a long time, television was the big giant in the media world. Television is still number one in terms of media use. Nine out of ten Dutch people watch television at least once a week. But, there seems to be a shift coming for some time now: streaming services are coming. If you look at the older target group, there doesn't seem to be much going on yet. Of those over 55, 96% watch television at least once a week and only 32% use streaming services at least once a week. But if we look at 18 to 34-year-olds, the shift is already in full swing. Of this group, 85% watch television at least once a week, and 75% use streaming services at least once a week. A difference of only 10%! After the enormous rise of streaming services among the younger Dutch people, the growth market for these services lies with the elderly.

But how do you make use of this emerging medium type? Subscription forms are dominant in this market, making it difficult for marketers to 'buy' consumers' attention. Because streaming services mainly come in subscription form, consumers are also not keen on commercials. Only 4% of the Dutch population indicates that they prefer to receive advertisements via on-demand television or streaming services. For comparison, this percentage is 46% for television and 23% for radio. Nevertheless, in time, the marketer will probably find his way to this medium. On-demand television already makes use of this and other possibilities to reach the consumer via streaming services could lie in branded content or product placement. It seems wise for marketers to already come up with creative ideas to reach consumers via - or in cooperation with - streaming services. A cross-platform model like Amazon Prime might be a possibility. A subscription then not only provides free delivery or more products (Amazon's core business), but also access to series, games, e-books, financial services or music. Now, you may question whether Amazon's dominance in many industries is desirable, but the model can also offer great opportunities for smaller players. Capitalising on synergies with subscription models can be very interesting and can help marketers reach certain consumers and build relationships in an approachable way.

After today, we will have a two-week summer break. In week 33 we will come back to you with the latest insights from the Consumer Behaviour Monitor. The monitor will be updated, so you can always take a look yourself!

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