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13th May 2021

Are we seeing a return to OOH in 2021?

Insight from the Hunterlodge Media Team

With the world hopefully going back into normality, will we see a return of OOH?

Are we seeing a return to OOH finally?

It goes without saying that 2020 was an incredibly tough year for OOH. When the message to the whole UK was stay at home, OOH was inevitably going to suffer as a consequence.

Last week we entered the next phase of the easing of lockdown, which was great news for not just the sector but the country as a whole. With non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care returning, there has already been an uplift across OOH audiences. Mobility is predicted to reach up to 77% (based on a pre-lockdown baseline in January 2020 of 100) with some sources predicting 111% by June 21st[1].  Business optimism has also reached its highest level in almost 6 years, as consumers are predicted to go on a £50 billion spending spree[2].

The next few weeks bring excitement and positivity. Advertisers are now looking to return to OOH and the opportunities and results it can deliver.

Although OOH is well known for driving huge reach, awareness, and fame, we must remind ourselves why OOH also complements online and drives response so well.


  1. Reaching over 90% of the UK, OOH typically drives a 20% increase in business effectiveness when added to a media mix[3].
  2. There is a direct link between OOH and the performance of digital channels, most notably Search & Social[4]
  3. It allows brands to build mass awareness at comparably low CPMs.
  4. Mobile data & technology have effectively enabled us to digitise OOH’s reach and understanding of how consumers interact with digital content outside of their home.
  5. OOH can bring cut through in a saturated digital and mobile world.

Over the last year, the OOH industry has had to look at new ways of doing things, which naturally accelerated change for the better. These have included more flexibility, less penalties, shorter posting cycles and new data sources and insights.

Hunterlodge, along with its media partners now has access to real time data in partnership with 3 Mobile.  This has allowed us to use ever changing mobility data to great effect when planning campaigns.  We can also now plan OOH programmatically through the use of digital sites in reaction to real-world events or pre-determined data triggers. These could be triggers such as a sales period, the weather, or a national holiday.

Lastly, and probably most importantly for our clients at this stage, is the ability to use an AI mobility predictor as we journey out of lockdown.  We can predict audience levels for different formats and locations to help us understand new uncertain behaviours and trends. We are therefore enabled to plan now, for what comes next.

[1] Source: Posterscope PS Mind.

[2] Source: JCDecaux Sentiment Tracker/Spring in our Step.

[3] Source: IPA -Marketing Effectiveness in the Digital Era.

[4] Source: Rapport/IPA – Standing on the shoulders of Giants


If you are interested in discovering more about OOH please contact kim.mclellan@hunterlodge.co.uk

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