Are FYC Billboards DOA? Studios Pull Back on Outdoor Marketing Amid Pandemic

photo courtesy of Outfront Media

Candice Simons, President + CEO of Brooklyn Outdoor speaks with the Hollywood Reporter about FYC advertising amidst the pandemic.

Read the snippet below of the full article HERE.

One of the bright spots of this FYC season — and during the pandemic as a whole — for out-of-home companies has been sustained revenue from streaming companies as major studios cut back. “The streamers are still very active — Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, but not much else,” says Morgan. Candice Simons, president and CEO of Brooklyn Outdoor, an outdoor advertising agency that has worked with Amazon, says her company saw “an increase in FYC coverage in the streaming category” in 2021 compared to past years, while seeing a decrease in theatrical FYC marketing. Simons believes streaming platforms will continue this investment in FYC advertising and that there will be a “major street fight” for out-of-home placements when studios return to their usual billboard placements.

Overall, per the OAAA, the only entertainment company in the trade association’s top 100 advertisers category that actually increased its out-of home spending during the pandemic in 2020 compared to 2019 was Quibi, the quickly shuttered shortform video platform, which didn’t even launch until April 2020.

With the pandemic downshift in FYC outdoor advertising also came a change in the locations of billboards. It made less sense to buy placements around typical industry voter hubs like the Directors Guild of America and the ArcLight Hollywood early in 2021 because of reduced traffic and people viewing films in their homes in lieu of in-person screenings, the veteran awards campaigner says.

During the pandemic, some major talent and executives — whom distributors typically target by placing vanity billboards near their homes or along their commutes in L.A. or New York — also left city centers. As a result, Brooklyn Outdoor’s Simons says FYC advertisers are more open to placing ads in the suburbs than usual. She says, “As people are traveling less, they want to target the executives and key areas where they live.”