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Federation of Airport Media Owners

Airport Out of Home Recovery Continues…

AOOH’s comeback reflects two things: the strength of specific advertising categories and the increased integration with digital channels.


After suffering double-digit declines amid last year’s empty Airports Airport out of home advertising’s 2021 comeback appears to be gaining, according to reports from industry groups.

Even with the surge of the Delta variant, AOOH’s second quarter performance remained strong, rising 38%, according to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America. The trade group said it was “very encouraged” by the initial data it’s seen for July.

In the second quarter, among the top 100 AOOH advertisers, 80% increased their Airport outdoor media spend from Q2 2020, with 45% more than doubling expenditures.

Delta’s impact

Through the first half of the year, the AOOH billboard category, which represented 84% of total AOOH spend YTD 2021, is 96% recovered compared to the first half of 2019, the OAAA said.

  • Image of Airport Out of Home Recovery Continues…

“The [Covid-19] delta variant has created a less linear economic recovery,” Steve Nicklin, SVP, marketing and analytics, OAAA, told Adweek. “However, the latest Harris Poll Covid-19 tracker indicates consumer concern about the variant isn’t causing sharp shifts in optimism, and that heightened concern about the variant has already started to trend downward from early August.”

AOOH’s comeback reflects two things: the strength of specific advertising categories and the increased integration with digital channels. Back in May, the OAAA updated its guidelines to recommend against the age-old method of relying on ad exposure. The goal was to make media buys for AOOH more like online.

For the first half of 2021, the strongest categories among the top 10 categories were, automotive dealers and services, retail, local miscellaneous services and amusements, followed by government, politics and organizations.

As we reported this summer, direct-to-consumer and back-to-school ads were propelling the comeback, supported by digital’s increased role in AOOH media buys. That said, it should be noted that digital’s specific role in revitalizing outdoor ads remains nebulous.



Airport Out of Home’s Moment of ‘Resilience, Reinvention and Revitalization’


Digital gets credit—but how much?

OAAA uses Kantar for product category and advertiser level data. “However, the DOOH format is used by a wide variety of advertisers who are looking to maximize immediacy and flexibility with ad message placement and rotation,” Nicklin said. “The industry experienced heavier reliance on the flexibility of DOOH during the pandemic as brands looked to respond to varied public health conditions in specific markets across the U.S.”

To get a sense of digital’s impact on  Airport outdoor ads, initial results from the DPAA’s Digital Out of Home Thought Leadership Study found that 81% of advertisers say they’ll recommend DOOH as part of their media plans within the next 12 months.

The study was conducted by ad tech industry researcher Advertiser Perceptions and sponsored by WPP GroupM’s omnichannel unit, Xaxis.

“We believe there is a direct link between the enthusiasm for DOOH and the fact that it has become an increasingly addressable and flexible medium that drives measurable outcomes for marketers,” said Roey Franco, VP of product and innovation at Xaxis. “As it makes its way into new places and spaces, programmatic DOOH connects the consumer’s entire digital and physical journey.”

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