Brooklyn Outdoor, President + CEO – Candice Simons speaks to American Express on the impact COVID-19 has had on the OOH Advertising industry.

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“As with most industries, COVID-19 did shake up the OOH industry quite a bit. When the shelter-in-place orders [went] in full effect, brands were hesitant to advertise,” says Candice Simons, the president and CEO of Brooklyn Outdoor, an outdoor advertising firm headquartered in Detroit. (The company is named after one of her dogs.)

Still, Simons says that outdoor advertising continued throughout the pandemic—it’s just that some of the clientele changed. Streaming services and food delivery services have been advertising on billboards during the pandemic, she explains.

“While people weren’t traveling as far in distance, people were leaving their homes with the intention of making a purchase,” Simons says. “During the high points of the shelter in place orders, we were advising brands to reach people closer to their homes. Such as on the way to the grocery store or on their way to the bank.”

Every industry evolves over the years, and the pandemic has likely sped up some changes, according to Simons. She’s seen a huge increase among clients requesting ads on digital billboards.

“Since the state of the nation—and the rest of the world—seems to be changing at the drop of a dime, the digital format makes it much easier to make changes and updates to campaign messages,” Simons says.

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