- DPAA Global, a trade organization for the digital outdoor advertising industry, teamed with ad agency Madwell on a digital out-of-home (OOH) campaign to raise awareness about the coronavirus pandemic, per information shared with Marketing Dive. The "We Are the Countervirus" public service announcement (PSA) this week started appearing on digital OOH networks with hundreds of thousands of screens worldwide, including building elevators and doctor's waiting offices.
- The campaign urges people to "spread" a positive message while expressing appreciation for people who are helping others during the pandemic, including first responders, medical professionals, restaurant and grocery workers and delivery service providers. The PSA started this week in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. with plans to expand to other regions.
- The "We Are the Countervirus" effort, which includes a newly created account on Instagram, also provides steps for #flatteningthecurve, a term that refers to statistical charts showing the rise and fall in confirmed COVID-19 cases over time. The goal is to slow the number of coronavirus cases and avoid overwhelming the health care system. The campaign's Instagram posts have messages such as "Stay Home," "Keep Six Feet Apart" and "Clean Your Phone."
DPAA Global's campaign comes as people are less likely to see OOH advertising as health officials urge people to isolate themselves at home and curb the spread of the coronavirus. Recent news reports show how cities have emptied out, reducing the likelihood that people see billboards and signage on mass transit. DPAA Global's PSA can still reach people who haven't seen other warnings about how to avoid the coronavirus, including recommendations to practice social distancing.
Because of the pandemic, many advertisers are postponing or canceling their OOH campaigns, AdExchanger reported. The suspensions have led the OOH industry to seek ways to demonstrate the effectiveness of outdoor advertising in reaching people who are still driving to work, running errands or taking day trips to get out of the house. OOH also has the potential to bounce back more quickly than other kinds of advertising, such as TV commercials that take longer to produce, AdExchanger reported.
Before the pandemic, OOH advertising showed tremendous promise in reaching on-the-go consumers, especially key demographic groups of younger adults who were less likely to see TV commercials because of their preference for ad-free streaming video services like Netflix. Spending on OOH advertising grew 8% to $8.3 billion in the U.S. last year, outpacing the 6.2% growth for the broader market, media agency GroupM estimated in December. The growth also was higher than the 4.5% increase seen in 2018, per a report by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA).
Bumble, Burger King, DoorDash, Fanta, HBO, Modelo and Puma are among the brands that had developed innovative OOH campaigns that either experimented with new technologies or were integrated with mobile platforms and social media. As soon as the coronavirus pandemic recedes, OOH campaigns could see a resurgence as people return to their former routines.