China Insights

Out-of-home media enjoy healthy growth in ad revenue

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

TV & Movie 25.07.2017 / 10:10

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Majority of advertisers (annual budget below 5 billion yuan) have allocated about 20% of ad budget for OOH media.

As Chinese people’s life evolves, we are spending more time out of home, inevitably we are exposed to more out-of-home media while we are waiting for buses and metro trains, stuck in traffic or queuing for lifts. In recent three years, the average reach of OOH media has remained stably above 84%.

The growing scale of audiences has enticed advertisers to increase their spending on OOH media. In CTR’s annual China Marketer Trend Report survey, advertisers responded to the survey said in 2016, they spent 17% of their annual budget on OOH. The planned proportion for OOH budget among total marketing spending in 2017 was 9 percentage points higher than in 2014.

In the first five months of this year, OOH has had a very healthy run. In May, the monthly year-on-year increase of traditional OOH media spending set a new high for 2017.

Small and medium enterprises more willing buyers

The growing preference of OOH advertising is not limited to only big companies. More importantly, the small and medium enterprises whose annual marketing budget is below 5 billion yuan – a category that most advertisers belong to – have set apart 20% of their annual marketing budget for OOH.

2016 OOH占比 600 Px

Medium enterprise major buyer of OOH

By analysing the spending on traditional OOH media in the first four months of this year, we can see that among the top 20 buyers, 15 are medium-sized enterprises. There are many “loyal patrons” among them, such as Guangzhou Metro, Suning and China Mobile, which had bought such ads for every single month.

(Brands in the brackets are the major brands under the client. Some clients have more than one brands.)

2017 1-4 OOH Top 20 600 Px 

Local and regional businesses eager to try

Compared with the same period in 2016, in the first four months the number of traditional OOH advertising increased by 2,373. Among the new OOH buyers, many are local or regional companies. Also, advertisers from education, healthcare and cosmetic surgery, real estate and travel industries are willing to spend more money on OOH.

2017 1-4 New OOH Top 20 600 Px

Frequent update of OOH posters

The formats of OOH advertising include lightbox and LED screen posters. Compared with other media, they are easier to produce new copies. CTR Media Intelligence team has found through its data that e-commerce and FMCG brands prefer to release posters with simple format and clear topics. These posters usually not only serve the purpose of brand building but also launching new sales campaigns at a very large scale.

From the new format poster data we could see that Suning,, Tmall and KFC all release new version of ad posters every month from January till April. And they are all high-ranking ad buyers. Almost half of the OOH ad posters came from e-commerce retail platform brands who had been creating new topics (and festivals, sometimes) for sales every month.

2017 Monthly OOH New Ad Top 10 600 Px 

New media OOH attracts emerging small-and medium size companies

New media OOH media at different locations attract different targeted groups. Advertisers can chose which version to display for the specific potential audiences there.

Digital screens in lift halls and frame ads in lifts are more preferred by e-commerce, food, travel and auto trading clients, whose main business model depends on quick sales. Cinema pre-roll ads, besides its traditional client auto brands, now have attracted smartphone apps and cosmetic brands as well. Transportation media has attracted social apps and news apps as their major advertisers.

2017 1-4 OOH New Media Top 10 600 Px 

More shopping scenarios, more opportunities for OOH

With the advent of mobile Internet, the number of shopping scenarios exploded – regardless where we are, be it at home, office, supermarkets, shopping mall, cinema, or even in lifts, shopping is just an app button away. The task for many marketers now is to activate people’s demand for shopping at as many touchpoints as possible.

OOH has emerged as one of the most effective marketing platforms to guide consumers into many more shopping scenarios and hence increase the volume of sales. According to the survey results of CTR’s China Marketer Trend Report survey, in 2017, more than 74.8% respondents agreed that “it’s a new trend to use technology to improve experience and engagement of OOH media”. So we can expect more technology-empowered OOH media formats and usage in the future.

Source: CTR

Editor's notes

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