Social Media is a Highly Effective Amplifier of Out of Home Advertising Campaigns – Especially For Younger Generations, According to New Research From OAAA and The Harris Poll

67% of Gen Z & Millennials Recall OOH Ads Reposted on Social Media

Out of Home (OOH) advertising, in combination with social media, is a powerful vehicle for reaching younger generations, according to a new consumer survey. More than two-thirds (67%) of Gen Z and Millennial consumers recall seeing out of home advertising on social media, and the vast majority – 91 percent of Gen Zers and 82 percent of Millennials – say they would reshare OOH ads on social.

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These are key findings from “OOH Media Opportunities: Consumer Insights and Intent – Early 2022,” a new research report from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association for the entire OOH media ecosystem, conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll.

But young people are doing more than posting about the OOH ads they see. Almost three-fifths of U.S. consumers have engaged with OOH ads, including 85 percent of Gen Zers and 78 percent of Millennials. This active engagement takes many forms, from downloading an app (46% for Gen Z) to making an ecommerce purchase (27% for Millennials).

At the same time, U.S. consumers, particularly on the younger end of the spectrum, are very concerned about their privacy and the use of personal information online. Most Gen Zers (72%) and Millennials (77%) are worried that their data being used to target them with ads across the internet.

Yet, nearly half of those surveyed say that contextual OOH ads – those that include timely information, such as a product relevant to the current weather or breakfast offerings in the morning – are more interesting to them than typical advertising.

This finding, coupled with internet privacy concerns, points to programmatically delivered out of home as a highly effective contextual advertising opportunity.

Young people are drawn to fresh, new advertising experiences, including within virtual and augmented reality experiences across the budding metaverse. A majority (82%) of both Gen Zers and Millennials say they are open to seeing some type of ad within VR or AR, and 72% of US adults in larger urban centers (population 1M+) say the same.

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“This should be a wake-up call to all digital marketers: although Americans, particularly young Americans, are wary of targeted online advertising, they have a growing appetite for advertising that speaks to their need state,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “It’s heartening that the growth of programmatic digital out of home will enable marketers to tap into a younger, tech-savvy demographic of consumer.”

“The fact that the majority of consumers have engaged with an out of home ad is proof positive that consumers embrace OOH advertising that is of interest, targeted and relevant to their lives,” said John Gerzema, CEO, The Harris Poll. “But the fact that the majority of young consumers have shared an OOH ad on social media should be a revelation for marketers. When was the last time you shared an online ad?”

“OOH Media Opportunities: Consumer Insights and Intent – Early 2022” was sponsored by The Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE), a 501 (c) (3) not for profit, charitable organization.