American men aged 35 to 54 most exposed to outdoor advertising: Nielsen

MUMBAI: As Nielsen Outdoor in the US prepares to expand its electronic audience measurement system for outdoor advertising, it has announced the results of its outdoor ratings service in Chicago.

The Chicago results revealed that among all demographic groups, men 35 to54 years of age have the highest exposure to outdoor advertising, with the medium delivering particularly well against upper income, full-time employed demographics.


The results are the culmination of a three-year joint effort with the industry to develop a dependable, people-based audience measurement system for outdoor advertising that provides ratings data comparable to other measured media.

The results also showed that the average adult is exposed to 40 outdoor advertising messages each day, which is substantially below the number of messages exposed by the electronic media. This means that outdoor advertising delivers less clutter and more opportunity for consumers, especially commuters on busy roads, to see and absorb advertising messages.



Nielsen Outdoor's data derive from the first empirical measurement system for outdoor advertising audiences, which uses portable Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to track the travel patterns of consumers in relation to known outdoor advertising sites. Nielsen Outdoor created this system in cooperation with industry partners.

By developing the first and only ratings system that puts outdoor advertising on a level playing field with other forms of media, Nielsen Outdoor expects to help attract new advertising dollars to the medium. Traditionally, outdoor advertising's share of advertising budgets has lagged behind TV, radio and print. In most countries, outdoor accounts for less than five per cent of total ad spend, with only about $18 billion committed each year worldwide, compared with $120 billion for TV.

Nielsen Outdoor MD Lorraine Hadfield says, “For the first time in its history, the outdoor advertising industry now has a reliable people-based measurement system that delivers true reach, frequency and ratings data, complete with audience numbers and demographic breaks. By establishing a new audience measurement for the outdoor advertising marketplace, media planners will now be able to buy outdoor sites with the same confidence as TV, radio and print, and the outdoor industry will be able to compete as an equal player for its share of advertising spend.”



Nielsen Outdoor's survey of Chicago measured audience exposure to approximately 12,600 outdoor advertising panels of various formats in the Greater Chicago area, with survey respondents passing 96 per cent of the outdoor advertising sites in this market. Outdoor ad sites and formats included approximately 3,000 8-sheets (5'x11'), 3,600 30-sheets (12'x24'), 3,300 bus/transit shelters and 2,700 “bulletins” (ranging from 12'x45' to 20'x60').

To measure consumer exposure, Nielsen Outdoor recruited 850 randomly-selected respondents in 2004 to carry small, pager-sized GPS devices called Nielsen Personal Outdoor Devices (Npods) for nine days to track their movements throughout the Chicago market. These data were then converted into measures of exposure to outdoor advertising messages based on proximity and direction of travel with respect to the outdoor panels.

Nielsen Outdoor uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track the travel patterns of consumers in relation to known outdoor sites, thus determining their opportunity to see such displays. The system relies on 24 satellites, each in orbit 11,000 nautical miles above the Earth, to track the position of people or objects to within a few feet. The Npods carried by carefully selected panelists then detect GPS signals from the satellites and enable Nielsen to pinpoint each Npod's exact location on the Earth.

The Npod devices, about the size of a cell phone, that people carry in their pockets, purses, briefcases or wear like a pager. As these individuals drive cars, walk, jog, ride bicycles or other-wise move about, they are linked to orbiting satellites that enable Nielsen to identify their location, speed and direction of travel - passively, continuously, easily and affordably. Travel information is then mapped to locations of known outdoor displays, to determine each person's opportunity to see an ad

The topline results of the Chicago survey show that outdoor advertising has an unparalleled ability to deliver a frequent message, time and time again. Demographic results are not defined by the geographic location of the outdoor advertising sites, but from travel exposure from commuting areas.

Other highlights of the results show that:

- Exposure to outdoor advertising peaks during the morning commute at 8:00 a.m. and again during the evening commute at 5:00 p.m.

- Men age 35 to 54 led all age and gender groups with an average of 54 exposures to outdoor advertising per day.

- Among women, 18 to 34 year olds led all other female age groups with 39 exposures per day.

The introduction of Nielsen Outdoor's electronic ratings system is the successful result of extensive collaboration with key representatives of the outdoor advertising industry including advertisers, ad agencies and media owners.

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