From OTT to OOH: Media Trends in a Pandemic World

Exactly what 2022 will bring is anyone’s guess, as COVID-19 continues to have a staggering impact on our day-to-day lives. One thing however is crystal clear. Many of the behaviors we’ve adapted over the last two years are here to stay. People’s hybrid lifestyles—both at work and socially—are shifting how marketers can best connect with consumers. 

While traditional media like broadcast television and radio continue to play a role in people’s lives, the evolution in digital activity and changes in commuting behaviors are really influencing where to invest ad dollars. With this in mind, two media channels are worthy of your consideration —and one of them may surprise you.

Explosion of the OTT space

The pandemic has caused mass disruption including the closure of theaters, sporting events, restaurants and every other manner of public venue. The result: people are staying home and looking for other forms of entertainment. Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming television provides a perfect alternative—with nearly unlimited options for what to watch.

households rose 22% compared to January 2020. That equates to an additional 15 million households. The total number of hours watched through OTT increased by 21%–which boils down to an average of 100 hours per month per viewing household.

22% increase in the number of house holds with OTT in 2021

OTT use is being adopted across generations. While baby boomers still consume cable TV in significant numbers, 40% of those 55+ spend most of their viewing time with streaming platforms now. OTT was already experiencing tremendous growth before COVID hit.  With the increase in viewing options and content offerings, this channel is expected to continue to grow for a while before leveling out.

OOH Reinvented

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising can sometimes be overlooked as a place to be innovative.  But don’t let this seemingly cut and dry tactic fool you – when done well, it can be a campaign’s not so secret weapon.  It’s time to rethink OOH. 

People are beginning to travel again in their daily lives, as well as looking to domestic destinations for escape.  After being housebound for nearly two years, everything out there—including that 48’ x 14’ billboard or signage at the bus stop — can seem fresh and unexpected.

With more people moving around again, OOH can offer a great way to reach new and existing consumers, driving both awareness and consideration. And enhanced by today’s technology, OOH can be more efficient and effective than ever by leveraging tactics like audience tracking, geofencing, personalization, retargeting, and more. 

From roadside stationary billboards and in-venue displays, to full blown interactive outdoor installations, OOH advertising offers a range of possibilities to catch people’s attention and get the message across.  Here are a few best-in-class examples of what OOH is capable of.

A few words and unmistakable image can say it all.

 Tony Godzik for The Detroiter Travel Center

With some OOH installations, you simply don’t need to say a word.

TBWA UK for Bic 

Bus shelter ads offer the opportunity to really engage consumers in your messaging.

BBDO New York for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Who can resist a staring contest? Not the Londoners who put their eyes to the test with this interactive poster that dares people on the street to accept an impromptu staring contest challenge. The digital advertisement was set up to detect blinks with facial recognition technology.

Razorfish London for Dailies Total 1 Contact Lenses

If this bus wrap doesn’t give you make you stop and say wow, nothing will.

Bates Y&R for Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark

And finally, as we’re all anxious to get back out there and travel, let’s not forget the VDOT safety reminder that went viral last year with a little Hollywood play on words.

Virginia Department of Transportation

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that things can change from one day to the next. But growth in OTT and the sustaining power of OOH don’t show signs of slowing down any time soon.

Need help with your own advertising efforts?  Let NDP Agency’s media team help you find your perfect channels for your next campaign.

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