In the latest Harris Poll, fielded October 15 - 17, they explored what Americans’ renewed appreciation of the outdoors can mean for marketers. The Harris Poll, started in 1963, is one of the longest-running surveys tracking public opinion, motivations, and social sentiment in the United States.

The study showed that, even with winter approaching, Americans are turning to the outdoors for safety, sanity, and entertainment - presenting an opportunity for marketers to reach consumers.

According to the poll, 69 percent of Americans said they have an increased appreciation of the experience and awareness of their surroundings when they are outside ever since lockdowns ended. And just under half, 45 percent, said they are noticing out of home (OOH) advertising such as billboards, outdoor video screens, posters, and signage, more than before the pandemic. Not surprisingly, this is especially pronounced (69 percent) among Americans in urban areas of over 1 million people.

With many Americans working and learning from their home. 65 percent of poll respondents said they still try to get out of the house as often as they can, even if it is just for a drive or a walk. Another 65 percent said they have been trying to find safe outdoor activities to spend their time.

While ads can sometimes become a turnoff, during COVID, American consumers have become grateful for information. 38 percent of respondents said they found OOH ads to be useful because they provided them with information on COVID safety and hygiene, while 20 percent said they provided updates on the advertisers’ business hours or services.

With Americans seeking safe, enjoyable experiences, and interest peaking in nearly all outdoor activities, the COVID pandemic has made consumers more receptive to OOH advertising.