OOH advertising 3rd biggest media class in 2020, overtaking print

While the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted several industries, the rapid digitisation caused by the pandemic, the outdoor advertising also known as out-of-home advertising (OOH) industry was given a unique opportunity to showcase the dynamic creative capabilities of digital screens.

Most recently, a report released by AIMs research revealed that for the first time, OOH (both static and digital) is now the third biggest media class, overtaking print. 

While the overall advertising expenditure (ADEX) in 2020 dropped to RM11.5 billion from RM13.5 billion (2019), the market share for outdoor advertising has increased by 0.7% in the same time frame. 

The industry with the biggest recorded growth in OOH spending was the education and learning industry with a 15% increase and the top big spenders were Brickfields Asia College and Veritas University College. This was followed by the service industry. 

“Overall, there was a 10% increase in the service industry’s OOH adspend in 2020 – placing it in second place after the real estate industry which still led in terms of spending despite a drop of 12% in 2020 compared to the year before,” he said.

The Executive Director of AIMs Research, Edgar Lim says that this is probably due to the increase of people practicing a work-from-home (WFH) arrangement, causing even food delivery services such as Foodpanda to spend 118% more in advertising, mostly in digital OOH, compared to 2019. 

Other brands that recorded a substantial increase in their spending last year include Coway, which was in fact ranked the top brand in terms of OOH spending while the amount spent by telco players such as Huawei, U-Mobile and Celcom also increased. 

As for the automotive industry, it recorded the biggest drop in spending, a whopping 17% among the top 10 industries for OOH adspend.

Other industries in the top 10 were retail; communication; education and learning; beverage – non-alcoholic; foodstuff, government, social and political institutions; finance; automotive; and apparel and accessories.


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