Modern Marketing Brand Strategy

Outdoor advertising exploded 37% in Q4 2021, per new OAAA report

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By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

April 11, 2022 | 4 min read

After a period of steep decline sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the out-of-home advertising sector is on the road to recovery thanks to spending from McDonald’s, Apple, Google and others, according to a new report.

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, spending on out-of-home (OOH) advertising increased significantly last year. A new report from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) found that OOH revenue increased by 16.7% – equating to roughly $7.1bn – in 2021 compared to the previous year.

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A new report indicates that the OOH sector could be on the road to recovery / Adobe Stock

The growth in 2021 follows a steep decline in 2020 precipitated by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ad spend in the OOH sector reached a 10-year peak of $8.6bn in 2019 and dropped to $6.1bn in 2020, per the OAAA report.

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The end of 2021 was a particularly strong period of growth for the sector: the OAAA report found that the OOH industry experienced a revenue increase of 37% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The new data provides reassuring evidence that the OOH sector is successfully adapting to the “new normal” of a post-pandemic business landscape. “These numbers tell a clear story of collective growth and progress for the OOH space and consumers,” says Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “With continued innovation and the unbridled creativity of our industry, we are poised for continued expansion in 2022 and beyond.”

The OAAA report divides the OOH ad sector into four categories: billboards, street furniture, transit and place-based. According to new report, each of the top 10 industry product categories – including, just to name a few examples, retail, restaurants and financial experienced growth in 2021. The two categories that experienced the most substantial growth were media and advertising (21.3%) and local services and amusements (20.9%).

The top 10 brands that spent the most on OOH advertising in 2021 were McDonald’s, Apple, Geico, Amazon, American Express, Coca-Cola, Allstate, Google, Walt Disney Pictures and HBO.

“This story of continued growth will capture the interest of marketers who are asking to learn more about OOH,” Bager says. “Consumers are getting back out in the world and this audience is paying more attention and wants to interact... Based on what we’re seeing, the future looks bright for OOH."

Last year’s growth, according to the report, has been driven primarily by digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH), a segment that saw a revenue increase of 22.7% in 2021.

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