Looking for an out-of-home billboard for an upcoming campaign or event? Then act quickly and be prepared to pay a premium.
The out-of-home (OOH) and experiential advertising sector is seeing a resurgence, with inventory in prime locations in short supply along with the pandemic-driven discounts that once were common. Prices have reverted to pre-pandemic levels as marketers race to reach people emerging from their COVID bubbles—even if their numbers are reduced by hybrid work schedules and concern over the fast-spreading Delta variant.
Brian Rappaport, CEO of OOH agency Quan Media Group, says that during the pandemic he secured a Time Squares screen for 10% of its normal cost, New York City tunnel units for 85% off and a $70,000-to-$80,000 unit on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles for $10,000 with a two-week turnaround time. His company secures out-of-home placements and experiential activations for mostly DTC brands including Away, Ro, Fresh Direct and Recess nationally, including large cities like New York, Chicago, Boston and Miami.
But that's changing as foot traffic increases and brands want to be in place in September, when many companies want employees back in the office, at least part-time; children go back to school and National Basketball Association and National Football League seasons start up again. “Where people are expected to be and where they’re going is different than last year,’’ says Rappaport.
For one of Rappaport's clients, a fashion brand looking for out-of-home space leading up to New York Fashion Week on Sept. 8, “there is not one good wall, whether on Houston Street or on Canal; anywhere down there is taken,” he says.
Outfront Media, one of the largest out-of-home media companies in the Americas, is also starting to sell out of brand train inventory, for which it charges $350,000 for four weeks for full coverage on 570 subway cars—what Rappaport calls the “crown jewel of out-of-home” for DTC brands.