In the Republic of Ireland, the out-of-home advertising market declined by approximately 42.1% to €52.5 million in 2020. OOH was significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with up to 80% of investment either cancelled or deferred in Q2 alone.
The areas of the OOH market most impacted where city centre locations and the transport network, as people stayed at home.
OOH did see a partial reprieve later in the year as restrictions were lifted with advertisers focusing on suburban locations including retail areas.
Like last year, the start of 2021 has been difficult for the out-of-home industry as restrictions limit the number of brands using the medium. As the year progresses, we expect to see spends return. We are forecasting that advertising investment will increase in the Republic of Ireland by 13.9% to €59.8 million in 2021. However, this will still be one third less than the investment in the medium in 2019.
The OOH market in Northern Ireland recorded revenue of £11.4 million (€12.8m) in 2020. This was a decline of 31.9% on 2019; however, it was a better performance that the UK, which fell by 44%. Like the Republic of Ireland, the start to 2021 has been difficult for OOH in the North, but we are still expecting growth this year. We forecast that advertising activity will increase by 14.1% to €13.0 million (€14.6m).
When the country reopens later in the year, advertisers should consider the opportunity that out-of-home formats provide in creating a canvas to project a positive brand communication that connects with people who will be happy to be moving around freely once again.
This Coca-Cola 96-sheet poster from a few years ago is outdoor advertising at its best, and is a good example of the kind of creative approach that would go down very well with consumers this year – weather permitting.