Marketing & Communications

Mobility of Poles and the condition of outdoor advertising in the pandemic

In September, car traffic returned to its pre-pandemic condition. The report published for this period on the GDDKiA [General Directorate for National Roads and Highways] website even spoke of a 3% increase in passenger traffic compared to the same period in 2019. Looking at the data from the last week (November 2-8) and comparing it to the average week of November 2019, passenger vehicle traffic dropped again by 15%, while truck traffic increased by 11%. 

The number of passengers in public transport is increasing, although at the end of June, according to GUS [Statistics Poland], the total number of passenger transport was less than half of the status from June 2019.  The situation is obviously different in different cities. In Warsaw, for example, the sale of public transport tickets, and thus the number of passengers, was only 7% lower in July than the year before. In March this decrease was over 50%. In September, after the introduction of further restrictions related to the increase in the number of illnesses, the number of people in public transport dropped again. This is best seen in the number of public transport tickets sold in Warsaw. The biggest drops are, of course, related to the sale of long-term tickets.

The pandemic has visibly changed our behavior, we abandoned public transportation, moved to our own cars or replaced them with bicycles. After the spring lockdown stage we returned to our normal lifestyle, we loved walking and still enjoy spending time outside, in parks or forests.  Trends in the way Poles travel are summarized in a comprehensive Google report.

All this has had an impact on the condition of OOH advertising in Poland.  As a result of sanitary restrictions and restrictions on the movement of the population associated with the pandemic, many advertising campaigns were halted. According to the report published by IGRZ, the sales volume in the first half of 2020 was over 44% lower than the year before. In its report for the first 6 months of 2020, Agora reported a 47% drop in AMS group’s revenue.

The companies took advantage of this difficult period and lack of interest in OOH media to promote educational campaigns informing about the Covid-19 threat.

In September, the forecasts for the second half of the year for the OOH market were slightly more optimistic. The return to normal activity, lack of restrictions, generated an increased audience of OOH media. The campaigns of retail chains and galleries were launched. Moderate optimism prevailed in the industry not only in Poland but also in other countries.  After Q3, the sales volume was over 38% lower than in 2019.  This result was lower than the market expectations. Transport suffered the most here, due to, among others, restrictions related to the possibility of transporting a certain number of passengers (- 52.1%) DOOH lost the least in the period from January to September ( -17%). This is due to the greater flexibility of purchasing this type of media and the ability to respond to the current situation almost in real time.

The uncertain situation affects moods in the industry. After an optimistic beginning of Q3, anxiety has set in and the situation is unpredictable. The pandemic also required a change in the OOH campaign planning approach. At present, an effective campaign can be planned and bought even a few days before the start of the promotion.