How COVID Has Influenced The Ways We Consume Media

How COVID Has Influenced The Ways We Consume Media


We asked our members: How do you believe COVID has influenced the ways in which we consume media? Has the industry adapted accordingly?

From Member Lauren Gardner, Marketing Director, Intersection

Over the past 12 months people have been mostly confined to the four walls of their homes, staring at screens for both work and downtime. From video meetings to facetime and television to video games, it’s how we have been conducting business, communicating with family and friends, and keeping busy. We’ve reached a point where people are beginning to universally experience a “screen overload.” Recent data tells us that consumers are experiencing unprecedented levels of screen fatigue, with 75% saying, “I spend so much time looking at a computer, mobile device and TV screen, that I often tune out digital ads.”

On the flip side, we’ve seen a drastic increase in consumers living their lives outdoors— dining outside, fitness classes outside, curbside pickup, more walking and biking than ever before. Further, while they are outside, they’re even more aware of their surroundings, and what’s going on in their neighborhood. As of January 2021, 55% of consumers in large cities reported noticing out of home advertising more than pre-pandemic. The numbers were even higher in the fall of 2020. This consistent data points to the outdoors as the “right moment” to reach consumers, bolstering the value proposition of Out of Home media for brands. OOH gives brands the opportunity to reach people when they’re in what oftentimes is the best, most positive part of their day.

In Spring of 2020, we saw almost an immediate response to this. Advertisers were running timely messaging thanking essential workers, and offering products to help consumers adapt. Brands wanted to be a part of that breath of fresh air, outside of a consumer’s home, and it’s a trend we’re only seeing increase as the hope of vaccines and warm weather becomes our reality.

Another key thing to point out is that this Upfront season is going to be a challenging one for brands, as viewer fragmentation across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms has reached an all-time high. The Upfronts, and securing your position in the season’s upcoming prime programming used to be a guaranteed way to reach your audience en masse, and it’s not as much the case today. The increased capabilities of digital video in out of home is another way that brands can, and will respond to breaking through that fragmentation because audiences (and audience size) in OOH tend to hold steady.

The sentiment of outdoors as a respite also inspired Intersection’s first brand campaign — Go There. The campaign embodied the literal and aspirational essence of the words — the joy of returning to the places we have missed, visiting new ones, and connecting with consumers. With OOH, brands have an opportunity to take center stage with key audiences during this time of growth and revitalization.