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The Resilience and Post-Pandemic Revival of Out-of-Home Media in the Philippines

So many things transpired in the Philippine Out-of-Home Media (OOH) market this 2023.  If there is one thing we should remember about 2023, it should be the marked as the year when OOH media finally and energetically rose from the slumps of the pandemic.

The Philippines, like many other nations, faced unprecedented challenges during the global pandemic. However, amidst the disruptions, the out-of-home (OOH) media industry has not only weathered the storm but has also emerged stronger, marking a significant turning point in its evolution. As one who has been watching the trends in OOH and overall media for more than two decades since my agency days at UniversalMcCann, I listed the reasons behind the newfound prominence of OOH media in the Philippines, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Consumer Confidence Rebuilt :

The pandemic led to a decline in traditional advertising channels as people retreated indoors, and businesses temporarily shuttered. However, as the country reopened, OOH media served as a vital tool for rebuilding consumer confidence. Outdoor advertisements conveyed a sense of normalcy, reassuring the public and acting as a catalyst for economic recovery.  With heavy traffic back again and more frequent occasions of  "Carmageddon", there is really more sense for the advertisers to invest heavily in OOH.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

The resilience of OOH media lies in its adaptability. During the pandemic, OOH advertisements swiftly adapted to changing circumstances. Digital billboards became crucial in disseminating real-time information, such as health protocols and safety guidelines. This flexibility has proven that OOH media is not just a static form of advertising but a dynamic and responsive tool that can address immediate needs.  The past year has shown the increasing popularity of Digital Out-of-Home as a bonafide platform for brand awareness.

LED Billboard on EDSA Magallanes by DOOH.PH

Localized and Hyper-Targeted Campaigns:

The Philippines is characterized by its diverse geography and rich cultural tapestry. OOH media allows advertisers to craft hyper-targeted campaigns that resonate with local communities. Whether it's in the bustling streets of Manila or the scenic landscapes of the provinces, OOH advertising can be tailored to capture the unique spirit of different regions, fostering a deeper connection with the audience.

Digital Transformation:

The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation across industries, and OOH media was no exception. The integration of digital technologies has made OOH campaigns more dynamic and interactive. From touch-sensitive displays to QR code activations, advertisers now have the tools to engage consumers in innovative ways, bridging the gap between the physical and digital realms.

Community Engagement and Social Impact:

OOH media, when strategically employed, can contribute to positive social impact. Campaigns that promote community well-being, encourage vaccination, or support local businesses resonate strongly with the Filipino audience. The pandemic has heightened the awareness of social responsibility, and OOH media provides a platform for brands to actively participate in community-building initiatives.  We've seen a lot of these especially during the past year because of the agility of Digital OOH.

Dynamic Industry Leadership:

OOH media has been catapulted forward to rise above the ill effects of the pandemic by the dynamic efforts championed by the country's industry organization, the Out-of-Home Advertising Association of the Philippines (OHAAP).  The year 2023 saw an action packed year with highly educational General Membership Meetings, the creation of Corporate Social Responsibility activities, all the way to light and fun networking activities like the 1st OHAAP Golf Cup.  The last GMM and Election also brought forth an exciting team of OHAAP Directors who will take us forward in 2024.

The 2024 OHAAP Board of Directors

In conclusion, out-of-home media has not only weathered the challenges posed by the pandemic in the Philippines but has also flourished as a strategic and resilient advertising channel. The industry's adaptability, localization capabilities, digital transformation, safety advantages, and potential for community engagement position OOH media as a key player in the post-pandemic recovery. As an experienced media strategist, it is evident that OOH media has not only come of age but has also become an indispensable element in the evolving landscape of Philippine advertising.

I look forward to a bright 2024 in OOH.

The writer, Lloyd Tronco, is an Out-Of-Home Media Strategist.  He is a constant subject matter expert on Out-Of-Home Media and Digital Signage.  He is also the industry journalist for OOH in the Philippines. 

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