OOH and cinema outpace other media

A new report comparing global ad spend with the latest citizens mobility data reveals that the recovery of investment in out of home (OOH) and cinema media is outpacing the return of consumer activity to pre-pandemic levels as overall In Real Life (IRL) spend reaches $44.4 billion this year, findings from the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) indicate.

The $44.4bn total is 1.6 per cent down on the $45.1bn pre-Covid levels from 2019.

As consumers steadily return to offices, restaurants and shops, WARC investigated the health of ads experienced by consumers when they leave their homes – channels like out-of-home and cinema, dubbed the IRL (in real life) ad economy. The definition includes paid media and may benefit from other analysis of sponsorship, events and in-store campaigns.

WARC data compared global OOH and cinema ad spend with The Economist’s normalcy index, tracking public activity across transport, recreation, retail and work. The recovery is expected to continue into 2023, when the IRL ad market is set to reach a record new high of $47.1bn.

  • Global ad spend on OOH and cinema will continue to rise in 2023 to reach a record high of $47.1bn
  • Worldwide OOH spend to increase 16.5 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022 to $10.9bn.
  • Annual global ad spend on cinema will reach $3.4bn in 2022.
  • China’s cinema ad market jumped to $1.4bn in 2021, up 10.4 per cent on pre-Covid yearly spends.


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