The reopening of the U.S. economy has spurred a rebound in out-of-home advertising as marketers seek to reach people who are itching to get outdoors after being stuck at home during lockdowns. Marketers also have more flexibility in their campaigns as the growth in digital out-of-home makes the delivery of video ads more feasible.

“What we’re seeing now is a real, positive return to normalcy with vaccines and consumers being excited about being out of their homes,” Anna Bager, president and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), said in this interview with Beet.TV. “Our medium is truly booming.”

Spending on out-of-home media will jump more than 22% to $7.07 billion this year, media agency GroupM estimated in March. Cinema ads will see a bigger rebound, almost tripling to $415 million from 2020. That growth will partly offset the steep decline during the pandemic.

“When consumers are suffering from some digital fatigue and also are appreciative of being back in those places where they weren’t allowed to go, that’s been very positive for our platform,” Bager said.

Out-of-home advertising can capture the undivided attention of consumers, while video helps to add more emotional impact in places where advertisers can find a captive audience that wants to be entertained. The OAAA published a guide to showcase many of those benefits.

“Out-of-home is a format that’s very complementary to other forms of media,” Bager said. “It’s great for sharing, it’s great for connecting messages that a user might see at home or on TV or on their phone, and then when they’re out and about, you can connect with them again through the different out-of-home formats.”

Marketers also can buy more kinds of out-of-home advertising programmatically, as they do with digital platforms. That flexibility gives brands a way to make dynamic changes to their campaigns based on data signals, such as weather or current events.

“It’s one of the effects of the pandemic, that our medium had to reinvent itself and start thinking a little differently,” Bager said.

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