GroupM-e4m OOH Report: Mobility for next 90 days to be average 107.63% of pre-Covid levels

Real estate & builders, consumer services, retail, BFSI and media top five categories investing in OOH

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 3, 2022 7:44 PM  | 7 min read
OOH report

GroupM-e4m India OOH Report 2022- Evolution of OOH was unveiled today in Mumbai. The research studies mobility, decodes advertisers’ behaviour, and summarises the growth of DRACO (DOOH, Rurban, Airport, Clustering and Offices) as touchpoints for the medium.

OOH has evolved greatly in the recent past and has turned out to be one of the fastest growing media mediums in 2022, becoming an integral part of every advertising mix. With Covid restrictions now behind us, ‘revenge-travel’ has become the norm and audiences are spending a lot of time out of home. This is why this ‘Evolution of OOH’ report is very critical as it quantifies the rapid changes that are occurring in the OOH industry.  

Talking about the report, Ajay Mehta, Managing Director OOH & Cinema, GroupM, said, “OOH as a medium has evolved very rapidly in the last few years. Covid-19 has been pivotal in its transformation. Not just from the perspective of fundamental changes in mobility & consumer behaviour out-of-home, but also the way brands have come to use this medium. This report attempts to make sense of these changes over the last few years across the OOH landscape.”

The report is divided into several sections, including Decoding Mobility, Key Cities Behavior, and Understanding Advertiser Behavior. 


Decoding Mobility

Mobility is fundamental to OOH advertising. OOH planning is based on footfall at key touchpoints e.g., offices on weekdays and malls & hangout areas on weekends. Traditionally, we have taken mobility for granted. However the Covid 19 pandemic lockdowns and later phased unlocking have forced brands to carefully consider investments on the basis of OOH mobility trends. 

According to the report, with the 2022 festival season right around the corner, estimated mobility for the next 90 days (about three months) is predicted to average 107.63% of pre-Covid levels with a range of +/- 12%.

The report also deep-dived into regional mobility detailing across four states- western states, northern states, eastern states and southern states. The report states that specific regions can be clustered together as they follow similar patterns of festivals, celebrations, religious practices etc. Hence, this segment highlights the key landscape factors affecting mobility by regions. 

The west region has been on an upswing from a mobility perspective since Wave II. As per the report, due to regional restrictions during Ganesh Chaturthi 2021, no specific incremental mobility pattern was seen during the festivities. However further reduction in Covid infections was accompanied by growth in mobility across touchpoints.

Similarly, north India’s retail, recreation, transit and workplace mobility are tied to each other, with workplace mobility being more severely affected than other regions. The report highlighted that Diwali 2020 & 2021 showed spikes in mobility for the region, a trend the report predicts will continue with increased fervor. Predictive data shows average mobility will increase to 106.59% of pre-Covid within a range of +/- 17%.

For the east region, a comparison between mobility around Durga Pujo in 2020 & 2021 shows mobility peaking across key touchpoints except offices. Visiting pandals, relatives & friends continued as a tradition, and displayed festive behaviour even amidst the pandemic.

The south states have shown a lower rate of mobility increase than other regions across touchpoints. Workplace, retail & recreation and transit have grown at a similar pace. Important celebrations in the south like Onam and Pongal in 2021 had less effect on mobility changes while there was marginally higher impact of Pongal in 2022. 

The report’s extensive research on key cities, including Mumbai, showed high congruence with infection levels. In comparison to other cities, Mumbai has a deeper trough during lockdowns and rising infection levels. But at the same time, it also has a quicker recovery to pre-wave levels. In Delhi, workplaces started recovering earlier than other touchpoints. Hence, corporate hubs were critical for targeting Delhiites. Retail & recreation mobility has also been higher than other key cities. This might be attributed to the fact that offices reopened quickly after lockdown and when people stepped out for work, they would also step out for recreation/entertainment/ retail. Transit has increased steeply in 2022 and is predicted to be a critical touchpoint alongside workplaces.

In 2021, transit suffered the most coupled with retail and recreation in Kolkata. But in 2022, transit had the highest rise in mobility among all other touchpoints. Pujo continued to have a strong effect on mobility across touchpoints. Moreover, Bengaluru’s grocery & pharma touchpoint mobility continued to increase at a steady higher pace as compared to other touchpoints. In-fact growth in transit, workplace & retail mobility has been tied with each other. The omicron scare in the city caused a derailment of mobility in the first two months of 2022.


Understanding the advertisers’ behavior 

Covid-19 had an impact on outdoor advertising since it restricted audience movement. However, OOH reopened with more than 1500 unique consumers after Wave 1 and 3000+ after Wave II after 2 months of rigorous lockdown in both 2020 & 2021, confirming the medium's influence and credibility.

Real estate & builders, consumer services, retail, BFSI and media are the top five categories investing in OOH. When OOH media usage across categories was analysed, there were observable differences from pre-Covid times. According to the report, advertisers now place a greater emphasis on technological breakthroughs and data-driven strategies. Even if metro areas have a higher revenue share and are more adaptable to change, tier I and tier II markets are nevertheless expanding more quickly.

According to the report, outdoor is in transition and different markets have varying shares of the impact media. According to AIM scoring (prop. GroupM site scoring system), 1,600 sift. is the impact size for an OOH unit. As per the study, 13 per cent of sites in Mumbai, as a percentage of the number of units, were in the impact category, compared to just 5 per cent in Delhi. Only 8 per cent of the sites in Bangalore came under this category. Similarly, only 8 per cent of Hyderabad's OOH media falls under the impact category, despite the city being home to numerous big format impact media.

The report summarises DRACO (DOOH, Rurban, Airport, Clustering and Offices) as following:

DOOH: Digital out of home includes digital screens across transit and billboards. Its share of revenues increased three times since the pandemic began, as per FICCI EY M&E Report, March 2022. 

Rurban: Covid-19 stressed resources in non-metros, tier-II & III towns. Now we see millennial shoppers from non-metros buying brands online and offline. Through exposure to various mediums, their aspirations to buy or own ‘brands’ has increased.

Airports: Airports are premium touchpoints and a smart choice to target affluent audiences. Higher dwell time – earlier due to Covid restrictions and currently due to sheer number of passenger traffic - allows this touchpoint to continue to remain critical and minimize spillover. There has been an increase in diversity and quantity of DOOH media at airports. Brand safety for luxury brands can be guaranteed at airports as it has shared perceived values.

Clustering: The pandemic presented a unique scenario to people especially those in the workforce. Data suggests that because of people being home-bound during lockdown and later also during the unlock phases, grocery and pharma touchpoints which are typically within the 5- km radius of residential areas showed high mobility levels. 

Offices: Workplace mobility has started to stabilize, with a trend much higher than pre-Covid times. Multiple organizations have been careful about returning teams to physically start working in office.



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