These are hard times.
There is no denying that. Everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Scrolling through news headlines can be downright scary.
But here’s the thing. Hard times do not last forever. Our country will come back from this.
And when we do, we think out of home advertising is going to be stronger than ever. Here’s why.
Businesses Become More Aggressive With Advertising
When you lose money, you have to invest money to start making it again. That’s well known in the business world, and any stores and restaurants reopening post-pandemic will need to get the word out. That means investing in all types of marketing. We see this coming back in the Midwest and more rural parts of the country first, eventually spreading to NYC and LA. It will take less time for smaller populations to get back to normal. The spending revival will start in smaller markets and eventually work its way up. And that’s kind of cool, since those markets often don’t get recognized for their importance to the overall health of OOH.
Outdoor Shows Its Heart
Everyone is looking for signs of hope and kindness right now. Our social media timelines are packed with examples of people being amazing and reaching out to others and showing their appreciation for health care heroes.
Outdoor has done its part, too, showing that we’re all in this together. Vendors have donated board space. Daktronics put together a suite of free messages to keep people updated and informed about the latest coronavirus developments. Agencies have done pro bono work to help spread messaging to those who need to hear it.
Now, let’s be clear — the billboard space is a tax writeoff, and right now, with demand down, it’s not a big hardship for the vendors to do this. We still love it, and we think they would have done it even without those factors. There are just times when we all need to pull together. Outdoor gets it, and that’s one of the many reasons we think the industry will return strong.
There’s a cohesiveness to outdoor advertising you don’t see in other types of media. During hard times, you can see that shine through.
Are things hard right now? Yes. Will they get better? Yes. Let’s keep this in mind in the coming weeks and months, especially when we hit low points. As we shelter in place, we’re optimistic about the future, and you should be, too.