For the past several weeks, OAAA has approached the COVID-19 crisis with a singular mission: to help members weather the storm. By quickly shifting focus and responding to the crisis, OAAA members have been armed with critical information, research, and guidance to help them navigate the pandemic.
Transparency and speed of information are vital during a crisis, and OAAA has launched a number of initiatives providing a continuous stream of special reports, thought pieces, and webinars to give members real-time information as the marketplace evolves.
Over 99 percent of members participating in the webinars reported the content was useful – and important to note, these webinars have broken all attendance records, Ed.
Early in the crisis, OAAA partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to communicate authorized public-health messages (click here for more on public service). We’ve also partnered with leading industry bodies like the Ad Council to develop PSAs including #AloneTogether and #StayHome. Save lives., which have been showcased on OOH assets around the country.
OAAA identified the building blocks to deem the medium as essential (we communicate important messages for government and for other essential businesses). With business allies, OAAA pushed Congress to expand stimulus help while also explaining how to access Paycheck Protection funds.
It was evident early on how the crisis would inflict a financial toll across the industry. Hence, OAAA immediately took steps to reduce members’ financial burdens and obligations by eliminating association dues payments for April and May.
OAAA has a long history acting as the industry’s galvanizing force, whether it’s to advance the medium through the integration of new technologies like digital OOH or new measurement capabilities. To keep the industry better informed, OAAA gave free access to areas within the member portal of our website to everyone, sharing a wealth of data, insights and information. This includes research on the importance of maintaining advertising during downturns, providing in-depth analysis of key product categories (including the 2019 MegaBrands Report), highlighting resources to track the latest updates on traffic and mobility trends, offering a comprehensive collection of case studies, and recapping surveys on consumer and advertiser sentiment and behavior, and more.
OAAA is working to help members stabilize their businesses so they are prepared to take full advantage of the market as the economy improves and the crisis abates. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the OOH industry was coming off a record year of revenue growth in 2019 (+7%), and a very strong first two-months of 2020, and OAAA’s primary mission is quickly shifting to helping the industry return to growth mode as quickly as possible.
Consumers drive about 70 percent of the US economy, and almost 90 percent of retail transactions occurred in physical stores before COVID-19. According to Mindshare, nearly half of Americans are reporting feelings of frustration, and Nielsen reports among the top four activities consumers are missing most are dining out, shopping, and traveling.
As communities begin to reopen, OAAA will remain focused on helping members meet the anticipated demands of brands eager to reintroduce themselves with consumers as the pandemic lessens. And as was the case before the crisis, OOH advertising will be prepared to reach consumers near the point of sale or transaction, with ads that can’t be blocked, skipped, or turned off.