The Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada has released figures from Nielsen showing that, during the first half of 2014, Out-of-Home revenue has increased 5.5% compared to the first six months of 2013.
However, total advertising spend was only up 2.5% during the same period.
The share of total media dollars being allocated to OOH increased from 6.8% in 2013 to 7.0% in 2014. Digital OOH is a key growth area, with OMAC members experiencing double digit growth across outdoor, indoor and transit. The categories with the largest spending increases in OOH were Telecom, Financial Services, Media and Alcohol.
“The perception and use of OOH is changing,” says Rosanne Caron, president, OMAC. “OOH’s strength of quickly building mass awareness can now be leveraged with digital, mobile and social media to increase consumer interaction and create immersive brand experiences.
“There’s evidence of this change in the entries for the 2014 Cannes Creative Effectiveness. An analysis by WARC revealed 92% of the shortlisted campaigns used OOH. Only 58% of the shortlisted campaigns used TV compared to 83% in 2013.”
Digital is a ‘key growth area’ for OMAC’s member companies, with double-digit increases across its three main business lines: outdoor, place-based and transit networks. OMAC members include: Astral Out-of-Home, Pattison Outdoor, CBS Outdoor, Cogeco Métromédia, Lamar Transit Advertisiing, Zoom Media. (Associate members are Watchfire Signs, Daktronics and OutdoorLink.)
Several of the larger companies in OOH and DOOH in Canada that are not OMAC members are Cieslok Media, NEWAD Media, and Canadian Health Media Network, so whether the figures would be up or down if they were included is unknown.
While companies are converting many boards in high-traffic locations to digital, the actual conversion rate in Canada is an unknown. Expected to be hurting the growth of the industry is the sign law and a billboard tax imposed by the city of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.
After several years of dancing through the courts, the out-of-home industry’s fight against the billboard tax ended in late 2012, when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal to eliminate it. That tax, which ranges from $1,000 to $24,000 per year per advertising face, is expected to cost Toronto’s out-of-home industry up to $10.4 million per year. When the tax was first broached, OMAC members said that it effectively would wipe out all their annual earnings.
However, we are seeing more digital boards going up in other cities or areas – in some cases for the first time.