Malaysians have been staying home for the Covid-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) for a little over a month now since 18th March 2020, and most marketers are bombarded with an influx of webinars on research insights for the change in consumer trends and media consumption during this trying period. Marketing calendars have been thrown out of the window with brands scrambling to desperately salvage and manage the disruptions to their advertising campaigns. This is a forced reset.
Brands are actively moving their advertising investments into digital channels as consumers try to keep themselves entertained and informed at home during this isolation period. Thus, market contraction for Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising is inevitable when brands put on hold their campaigns now simply because the reduction of people traveling and spending time out and about means lower audience reach.
With all the buzz and focus currently on navigating your business during the MCO, the real question remains: Is your business ready for the “Prison Break” rebound? Will consumer behaviour be permanently altered by this crisis OR will the desire for mobility freedom and physical interactions be magnified?
I, for one, believe that Malaysians will come out in droves once this MCO is lifted and the pandemic tapers off. There’s a lot of pent-up frustration and huge demand for getting back to “being normal” again prior to the virus outbreak. Consumers will be rejuvenated, making plans to reclaim back their lifestyle and this is EXACTLY the best time for brands to associate themselves with that feeling through OOH campaigns.
Why? Because this is a now-or-never-opportunity for brands to capitalise on the psychological element for content messaging that will help propel your brand affinity and familiarity to greater heights. IF you have been contemplating on when to invest as your first foray into OOH advertising, this would be a good time to do so. When other brands decide to go “dark” outdoors, you should step up your game; be the “light” and stand out from the crowd.
Malaysians have always been very mobile by nature, we tend to spend a lot of time outdoors, be it for work or for leisure and that demonstrates the huge opportunity for brands. As such, as soon as the restrictions are lifted, OOH advertising will be here to take lead by helping brands to inspire consumers to rebuild their lives. We are optimistic that Q3 and Q4 of the year will be looking busy with bulk of OOH ad campaigns leveraging on year-end festive and shopping frenzy leading up to 2021 Chinese New Year celebrations.
Mr. Henry Low, the President of Outdoor Advertising Association of Malaysia (OAAM) & Managing Director of Spectrum Outdoor shares this same sentiment as well, “Even during MCO we could still see traffic along certain highways within Klang Valley. People can’t seem to stay at home. Imagine once after MCO is lifted, Malaysians would definitely want to be on the road… be it for the purpose of shopping, to satisfy a food craving, visit places/people they missed, or fulfilling their obligations etc.”.
He also highlighted that OOH advertising is the only offline media that is growing steadily in AdEx and still commands high attention from motorist traffic. “Unlike other offline media, the campaign cost per thousand (cpm) is much lower and brands should capitalise on the opportunity for a cost-efficient and high ROI (return on investment) campaign via OOH,” said Henry.