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ADVERTISING SPENDING

Global ad spending on OOH and cinema has been ahead of the curve

By our News Team | 2022

As the pandemic’s impact on daily life wanes and consumers return to ‘real life’ activities, OOH and cinema adspend are bouncing back.

A recent analysis by international marketing intelligence company, WARC, reveals that the recovery of advertising spend in the out-of-home and cinema sectors around the world has been outpacing the return of general consumer activity to pre-pandemic levels.

The analysis, though, was published prior to the outbreak of hostilities in Eastern Europe, which means that some trends and predictions may change as worried consumers and businesses slow their spending and market confidence drops.

WARC set out to investigate the health of those advertising sectors that consumers experience when they leave their homes in greater numbers to go back to their workplaces, restaurants, shopping precincts and live entertainment venues. WARC calls this the ‘in real life’ (or IRL) advertising economy.

Advertising Spending

Image by Jori Samonen from Pixabay

The company predicts that IRL ad spend worldwide will reach US$44.4-billion in 2022, a shortfall of $0.7-billion on the US$45.1-billion that was spent in 2019 prior to Covid – but nevertheless tracking ahead of general consumer activity levels for 2022. 

Researchers predicted that the recovery will continue into 2023, when the IRL ad market will outpace pre-pandemic levels to reach a new high of US$47.1-billion.

OOH was hit hard by the pandemic 

According to WARC, few parts of the media industry were as hard hit during the pandemic as out-of-home (OOH), which is unsurprising given that urban areas became ghost towns and people stayed home in their millions.

But OOH media owners have been regaining some of that lost ad revenue, and a 16.5% year-on-year increase has been forecast for Q1 2022, although this pace of growth could slip back to 11% by the first quarter of 2023.

For cinema media owners, things are generally a little less rosy. Cinema visits remain down, with China being the big exception – possibly due to the huge popularity of two Chinese-made movies that attracted large audiences. 

WARC says annual global ad spend on cinema will reach US$3.4-billion in 2022, still notably short of the US$3.8-billion spent in 2019.

“Consumers live increasingly digital lives. People are more likely to work from home and shop online. Brands are preparing for a future dominated by virtual interactions in the metaverse. However, it’s vital that marketers do not neglect those all-important physical moments between our digital experiences,” said Alex Brownsell, Head of Content at WARC Media and author of the report.

“WARC’s analysis of the IRL ad economy shows that brands understand the role that channels like OOH and cinema play in the media mix, and that they are investing ahead of activities such as commuting, in-person socialising and in-store shopping returning to pre-pandemic levels.”

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