Out-of-home advertising: Marketing ubiquity

It’s not just outdoor anymore.

The average Canadian sees 3,000 marketing messages a day, up to six times the exposure of a person living in a modern city 30 years ago. That may sound like a lot to the No Logo crowd, but Naomi Klein ain’t seen nothing yet, especially while outside — where interest in out-of-home advertising (billboards, street furniture, transit displays, arena displays, elevator monitors and so on) is being restored, digitally.

Urbanites, says the Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada, spend an average 9.3 hours outside the home on a weekday and 6.2 hours on a weekend day. During that time, they are exposed to 3.8 hours of advertising on a weekday and 4.7 hours on Saturday or Sunday. That’s more exposure in a week to OOH than to ads delivered by TV, Internet, radio, newspapers and magazines. And as the battle for eyeballs heats up, OOH is expected to gain more market share.

The $321-million Canadian OOH market should grow at an annual compounded rate of 8.7%, reports an industry outlook from PricewaterhouseCoopers. That is not as impressive as the 23.5% growth projected for the $706-million Internet ad market. But it is faster than TV, magazines and newspapers, which are expected to grow at 4%, 3.1% and 1.3% respectively, over the next five years. Digital billboards, 3D displays and in-store video networks are driving the revival, says PricewaterhouseCoopers analyst Tracey Jennings, noting they’re “bright and flashy, with very high-quality video feeds that can be changed throughout the day.” And even in the age of TiVo, you can’t skip them by hitting fast-forward.