What Are the Top Media Trends for Mid 2024? Inside Our Advertising Trends Report, Part 2

July 9, 2024

What are the most important trends happening now across the realm of advertising media? What do brands and businesses need to know about current advertising trends?

This is the second of three blog posts previewing what you’ll find in OUTFRONT’s Advertising Trends Report, an essential resource containing 40+ pages of fresh insights into consumers, the media landscape, and out of home specifically.

In our last edition, we examined five top current consumer trends. Today we’re going to talk about what’s happening in advertising. 

Top Media Trend #1: The Election’s Impact

Vote billboard in New Jersey
The Presidential election can throw a monkeywrench into media plans if you’re not prepared. Two things in particular advertisers need to keep in mind are inventory availability and brand safety. Ad spend for this cycle is expected to reach $15.9B, a 31.2% increase over 2020, meaning a lot more competition for limited ad space (SOURCE: Axios).

As for brand safety, we live in a hyperpolarized age and adjacency to any political message has the chance of alienating half the audience. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to solve. Traditional static billboards and transit formats ensure 100% of voice. In fact, we have a full Political Avoidance Network of assets that can keep you far away from contentious issues, inflammatory rhetoric, and fake news.

Top Media Trend #2: The Enshittification of Online

Mr. Rooter billboard 
Online advertising has become more unpleasant for consumers and less effective for brands. Intrusive, disruptive user experiences don’t prime people to buy – which is why 50% of marketers say digital ads don’t improve brand loyalty and 44% say they don’t even improve sales (SOURCE: Wunderkind). Maybe that lack of real impact is why digital ad fraud is expected to cost advertisers $71 billion this year (SOURCE: Lunio).

There’s a structural explanation for this decline, one that writer Cory Doctorow summed up in one word: enshittification. You may not have heard the term, but you’ve certainly experienced it. Think about how when you got on your favorite social network, your feed was full of your friends and family. Then it was less friend stuff, more brand content, but they were brands you followed. Gradually that organic content was replaced by paid advertising from those brands. Then it was ads from brands you don’t follow, and eventually ads for things you weren’t even interested in, decreasing your enjoyment of the platform. Over time you clicked on fewer of the ads and eventually engaged with the site less, which in turn advertisers weren’t thrilled with.

This race to the bottom seems to be an unfortunate natural progression, as we see it repeat over and over again: social networks first center users, then center advertisers at the expense of users, and finally they center themselves at the expense of both. Fortunately, this trend does not apply to out of home.

Top Media Trend #3: Linear TV Tune-Out

Bravo TV billboard 
Cord cutting continues to blunt TV’s linear impact, as 56% of consumers now say streaming is their preferred means of watching (SOURCE: LG Ad Solutions). The decline is accompanied by rising costs. Linear upfront eCPMs rose by 12% while year-over-year television viewership declined 4% for broadcast and 10% for cable (SOURCES: Nielsen, Guideline Solutions).

Live sports are the last things that keep linear TV hanging on, although even there streaming has made inroads, as events like NFL games and WWE Raw migrate to platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix.

As such, marketers are changing the channel too, television’s ranking dropping from third-most-preferred last year to 12th for 2024 (SOURCE: Nielsen).

Top Media Trend #4: Brand Activations

New York Times brand activation 
Few marketing tactics excite consumers quite like brand activations, and smart brands are taking full advantage. Bringing fans into the world of a brand, they’re more than just an excuse to get out into the public – they’re critical to business success for 90% of marketers (SOURCE: Anyroad).

Brand activations make a powerful impact, with 77% reporting increased trust after an activation and 72% retaining the positive perceptions the brand made at the activation for at least a month after (SOURCE: Freeman). The end result is triple the word of mouth compared to brands that don’t activate (SOURCE: G2).

Top Media Trend #5: Gamification

Space Invaders QR code on video urban panel
Brands aren’t playing around when it comes to gamification. And why wouldn’t you take it seriously? Gamification – the incorporation of game design principles and elements into a process or task – improves customer engagement by 48% and retention by 22% (SOURCE: 

Greater customer engagement can result in increased spend, reduced acquisition costs, increased website visitation, and gamification is a winner. With its expansive reach and sophisticated dynamic data capabilities, out of home – and digital OOH in particular – is especially well-suited to drive success for gamified marketing initiatives.

Those are the top trends we’re watching but they’re not the only ones. Next time we’ll present the top five trends specific to OOH.

If you don’t mind spoilers, you can download our Mid 2024 Advertising Trends Report now.

Author: Jay Fenster, Marketing Manager @ OUTFRONT
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