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People are commuting in new ways as lockdowns lift

Walking, biking and rideshares are up in major cities across the country.

As COVID-19 restrictions lift, people are quickly returning to their favorite restaurants, bars and parks in new ways. In places like New York City and Chicago, it is anticipated that most people will continue to avoid large public transit for the foreseeable future - meaning walking, biking and rideshares are on the rise. Here are some of the numbers from across the country.

Nationwide Rideshare Trends
General Mobility Trends

While mobility is still far from normal levels, in major cities traffic is increasing. The graphs below show driving, walking and public transit activity in New York City, Chicago and Boston compared to the baseline average before stay-at-home orders were enacted in March.

As expected, overall transportation is still down - but more importantly, there is an upward trend in both walking and driving in recent weeks. Over 50 percent spikes are shown for Chicago and New York between April 30th and May 2nd alone, and Chicago is down only 18 percent in walking and 16 percent in driving from the baseline as of May 2nd.

New York City commuter trends compared to the pre-COVID baseline.

Chicago commuter trends compared to the pre-COVID baseline.

Boston commuter trends compared to the pre-COVID baseline.

OOH is an opportunity for businesses to communicate their COVID-19 updates

These upward trends present an opportunity for OOH advertisers to reach commuters with important messages, particularly around business re-openings and COVID-19 compliance. With foot traffic up, it’s important for local businesses to communicate whether or not they are open, and any promotions that might draw people to their storefronts.

Another interesting part of the picture is the impact on brand loyalty versus new brand purchases. The graphs below show that 65% of consumers have tried a new brand since the onset of COVID-19, and 64% miss buying from the brands they are loyal to. Brands with a pre-COVID consumer base must maintain engagement so their market share doesn’t erode, and all brands must carefully consider their local and contextual messaging around COVID-19.

How the pandemic is impacting brand loyalty.

What consumers expect of brand messaging in times of crisis.

Sources: JC Decaux, Apple Mobility Report, Google Mobility Report


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