Impact, Growth and Change in OOH
A recent study made by COMMB regarding the consumer travel Patterns, shows the movement within COMMB’s OTS criteria (Opportunity To See or viewshed) in comparison to the same time period in 2019. Geographically distributed location and venue selection leveraged all locations in a market which had less than one hundred faces, venues or screens and leveraging 100 geo-distributed locations in markets that had more than one hundred, incorporating a balance of neighbourhoods, road types etc. to capture a detailed and evenly distributed understanding of inventory within a market.
It’s exciting to see vast improvements in Western Canada’s major advertising markets, with the top three Western markets trending upwards, indicating consumer movement and activity are quickly progressing to near-normal levels, as compared to the pre-COVID baseline. Edmonton saw the greatest increase of 13.8 percent, or 11 points, in consumer movement through Q1 and into May 2021, reaching 91 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels, Calgary indicates a strong 81 percent of baseline activity, and Vancouver is trending upward at 74 percent Q1 to May 2021.
Central Canada is also seeing incredible movement throughout Q1 and May 2021, with Winnipeg at 92 percent of pre-COVID-activity, and with the province of Manitoba at just under 57 percent cumulative percentage of Canadians vaccinated, indicating a higher level of comfort to move about their daily activities among unvaccinated consumers than other provinces across the country.
Certainly, the Eastern provinces and markets have seen some of the hardest hitting, government-imposed restrictions, not only across Canada but across North America. The impact of these rolling lockdowns, curfews, and official stay-at-home orders seem to finally be coming to an end. Eastern Canadians are increasingly stepping out of their homes, into their cars and enjoying a stroll in the sunshine, patios and retail shopping.
In the three Ontario markets examined in this report, Hamilton is trending at normal levels for May, even after minor decreases for three of four product groups since Q1 – less than one percentage decrease in fact. Within the Ontario side of the entire Ottawa market, there was a decline in activity for all four product groups from Q1 to May 2021 of 3.9 percent, while Toronto saw an increase of activity by ~4.8 percent, up to 66 percent in May, important to note that this highlights that two out of three individuals have passed through our OTS viewsheds. This is likely explained by Toronto having maintained a stay-at-home order for several months leading up to and thru May, being more comfortable with outdoor activities and the release of the vaccination hotspots increasing vaccination rates drastically during this time. While the entire province of Ontario had instructions to enter a stay-at-home order on April 8th, impacting movements in the Ontario markets outside of Toronto with a slight decline in comparison to Q1.
Contributing substantially to the overall Eastern Canadian product performance, the Quebec markets of Montreal and Quebec City have seen substantial double-digit increases across all product groups from Q1 to May 2021 as compared to the baseline 2019 pre-COVID-19 data. For Montreal and Quebec City, respectively, outdoor digital jumped 14 points or 20.3 percent from 69 percent in Q1 to 83 percent in May, and 12 points or 17.6 percent from 68 percent to 80 percent. Posters also jumped 16 points or 20.3 percent from 79 percent to 95 percent in May and an incredible 32 percent, or 24 points, to normal levels of 99 percent in May from 75 percent in Q1. Street furniture climbed 12 points or 21.1 percent and 17 points or 24.3 percent – a reflection of increased activity throughout the markets within proximity to the inventory group. Finally, superboards across both markets soared 17 points, or 24.6percent and 16 points, or 23 percent from Q1 to May 2021. Additionally, as seen in the Market Overview chart above, within the Quebec side of the Ottawa-Gatineau market, activity jumped 21 percent in May to 98 percent compared to Q1 81 percent result.
Montreal, among the three Eastern markets reported, is doing well in recent months in terms of overall market activity in relation to baseline conditions at 87 percent in May 2021. A review of activity across the product groups indicates activity for posters are nearing normal levels, with May at 95 percent. Superboards are trending well at 91 percent, up 17 points from 74 percent and outdoor digital exhibiting strong recovery trends in May at 83 percent, up 14 points from 69 percent in Q1.
Based on the positive trends, we share the same enthusiasm with our advertising partners and media owner members towards a strong recovery of activity near or with OTS inventory across Canada.
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