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Nearly Half Of Americans Notice OOH Advertising More Than Before The Pandemic, With 7 In 10 Reporting An Increased Appreciation And Awareness Of Surroundings Post-Lockdown, According To Research From OAAA & The Harris Poll

The out-of-doors has taken on new resonance in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns, with nearly half (45%) of American adults saying they are noticing OOH (out of home) advertising more than before the pandemic began. This heightened awareness and receptivity are particularly prevalent among those ages 18 – 54. Overall, a significant percentage note seeing safety and hygiene or sales and promotions advertisements to be useful. A similar number remark that they were grateful for useful information from OOH messages, were educated about something new, or were simply comforted by the signage or outdoor display, since it was a harbinger of businesses’ return. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds (68%) of U.S. consumers agree that they are spending so much time looking at device screens these days that they are tuning out digital online ads.

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Those are some key findings from “Consumer Trends & OOH – Q4 2020,” a new research report from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association for the entire OOH and DOOH media ecosystem, in partnership with The Harris Poll. The survey confirms that these trends are in sync with consumers’ renewed appreciation for the outdoors, with 69 percent of adults saying their positive awareness of their surroundings has increased now that COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are gradually lifting.

When it comes to getting out and about, the study found that Americans are walking (40%), driving (29%), and biking/scootering more (27%). While many are sticking closer to home, over half (55%) say their travel patterns will be the same or greater in the number of trips and distance in comparison to pre-COVID. In fact, 65 percent cite interest in taking a road trip due to the pandemic.

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“After the challenges of lockdown, we are all enjoying time in our neighborhoods and beyond—with a greater appreciation for everything we experience outside of our homes,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “This research has confirmed that OOH has the power to influence consumers as never before.”

In terms of holiday-related trips and activities, the survey found that COVID-19 has upended holiday season plans for the majority of Americans (80%). Nonetheless, more than two-thirds (67%) still expect to travel for the holidays—and despite pandemic-related obstacles, 42 percent of U.S. adults actually anticipate traveling as much or more than last year. When asked about specifics in terms of distance, a quarter are staying local, remaining within 50 miles of their home. However, nearly a fifth expect to travel up to 200 miles, and one-quarter report that they will travel even further afield within the country. Regarding modes of transportation, “hitting the road” is the preferred way to go, with more than half (56%) preparing to travel by personal car. A much smaller percentage plan to travel by air (16%), with bus and trains tying for third place (8% each).

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