By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy

Study: summer travelers ready to see the sights (and outdoor ads)

Beaches and billboards are on tap for the summer

Eligibility of vaccines is having a profound effect on summer travel. In fact, 51% of US consumers claim they plan on traveling as much or more than before the lockdown, according to a study of 1,000 US consumers conducted by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and The Harris Poll last month.

These big travel plans are a welcome sign for the outdoor advertising sector. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising was one of the segments most negatively impacted by the pandemic. Now it is set for a significant rebound, per the study. Here’s what you need to know.

On the road again

  • More than half (56%) the survey respondents aren’t just leaving their neighborhoods, they are going far away – more than 201-plus miles to be exact. And they are planning on staying away longer, with 42% of respondents planning vacations for two weeks or more. Gen Z (52%), in particular, are planning to take half a month off this summer.

  • Vacation resorts and beaches should be jumping, with 55% of respondents planning to spend some time in the sun and the sand. The majority of gen X (69%) are focused on going to the beach or a lake.

  • Out-of-town trips to concerts, sporting events and the theater are also on the social calendars of 51% of urban dwellers. And 37% of urbanites are planning to try their luck at the casino.

  • In terms of mode of transportation, most (95%) say the car is the safest way to go, but flying is considered a safe option now according to 59% of those polled. Most comfortable flying: gen Z (77%) and urbanites (80%). Least comfortable: boomers (54%) and rural populations (44%).

Ooh, did you see that ad?

  • Now that consumers are heading outdoors, 41% of respondents say they are paying more attention to OOH ads than before the pandemic. This was true of urbanites especially (59%). Millennials (64%) say they are most likely to now notice an outdoor ad.

  • Seeing ads leads to action, with 49% saying they have looked up information about an advertiser after viewing an outdoor execution. A third have been prompted to engage in activities on their mobile devices like finding a coupon or promo code for a retailer. That number nearly doubled in cities, where 60% of respondents searched online after seeing an OOH ad.

  • Restaurants and other dining options were the most useful information for urbanites (37%) and the general public (31%). Covid-19 safety and hygiene were the second most viewed according to a quarter of respondents.

  • “Americans are planning a return to ‘normal’ this summer, including travel, entertainment and dining out – all experienced through the lens of a renewed appreciation for being out-of-home,” says Anna Bager, president and chief executive of the OAAA. “Brand marketers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this particular moment in time by investing in OOH advertising.”

For more, sign up for The Drum’s daily US email here.