U.S. out-of-home advertising posted the strongest growth in the fourth quarter in over 10 years — with sharply rising digital billboards revenue.
The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) says U.S. spending grew 7.2% in the fourth quarter compared to 2017 -- the greatest quarterly growth since before the Great Recession of 2008.
For the 2018 year as a whole, OOH advertising was up 4.5%, totaling $8 billion. The OAAA now says there have been 35 consecutive quarters of growth.
In 2018, Apple was the biggest out-of-home spender, with around 25% of the top 100 spenders being technology brands.
The top 15 marketers were Apple, McDonald's, Geico, Netflix, Google, American Express, Metro By T-Mobile, Amazon, M&Ms, Chevrolet, Facebook, Universal Pictures, Coca-Cola, AT&T and Comcast.
Thirteen advertisers more than doubled OOH media spend last year, including Facebook, Pepsi, Allstate, Uber, U.S. National Guard, Pfizer, Warner Bros, HCA Healthcare, Oculus, Crown Imports, JP Morgan, Diageo, and State Street Global Advisors.
The trade group says spending increases came from four formats — billboards, street furniture, transit, and place-based — with the digital OOH platforms representing 29% of total 2018 revenue.
Stephen Freitas, CMO for OAAA, stated that much of the increase comes from growing return on investment and key attribution research metrics for marketers.
Top growth categories are government, politics and organizations, up 14.6%; insurance and real estate, also 14.6% more; schools, camps and seminars, rising 13.2%; local services/amusements, 8.2% higher; retail, adding 6.6%; and financial, growing 6.2%.