Back to School starts strong with DOOH

Published: July 7, 2021

As summer ramps up, one would think back-to-school shopping is far from being at the forefront of consumers’ minds, however with the tumultuous 2020 school year, many students and families are feeling optimistic and excited to return in the fall. 

With back-to-school season feeling a bit more normal, parents and students are shifting their main focus away from electronics and technology services and instead towards school supplies, clothing, and other CPGs. The Mastercard SpendingPulse report takes into consideration both in-store and online retail purchases, U.S. retail sales are expected to grow +5.5% YoY between July 15th and September 6th and +6.7% over 2019. As of early June, the NRF found that about one-quarter of back-to-school and college shoppers had already started picking up items for their fall classes, a 21% increase since last year. 

With more time at school and around their social circles again, the classic desire to dress to impress is taking over students’ minds after over a year spent in Zoom classrooms, putting pressure on brands to create a seamless experience for consumers who expect to be able to shop both in-store and online at their own discretion. Companies are challenged with reaching those relieved to return to shopping in person and those who are still riding the wave of online shopping. NRF reports parents saying that for the 2021-2022 school year, clothing and accessories are what their kids are most excited to shop for. 

With consumers spending more time outside, DOOH is a strong solution for brands aiming to engage customers and drive in-store or online sales. 


For brick and mortar locations, DOOH can be particularly effective. In a 2020 Nielsen DOOH Advertising Report, 30% of viewers visited a store, business, or restaurant after seeing an OOH ad. An attribution study focused on OOH’s impact found that campaigns that include OOH ads saw incremental lifts in store visits as high as 127%. Specifically, CPG brands that utilize programmatic DOOH have reported findings that made a positive impact on brand awareness, store visits, and in turn, overall sales.

Consumers are traveling this summer before the school year starts so many people are drawn to the simplicity and convenience of shopping online. Reaching audiences who have tuned out digital ads has proven to be a problem this year for advertisers. DOOH finds itself somehow resistant to the general public’s current bout of screen fatigue and is catching consumer attention more than before the pandemic. Nearly half of US consumers said they used an online search to look up information about an OOH advertiser and a third engaged in mobile device actions like social media and accessing coupons and discounts

Fully captivating and catering to consumers who are on the move and adjusting their modes of exposure to ads requires an array of approaches. DOOH closes the omnichannel circle with a robust, adaptable, and measurable omnipresent experience - reaching consumers wherever they are. For back-to-school shopping, an ad campaign that places itself where consumers are this summer is sure to earn solid marks. 

If you’re ready to stand out to students, our team is ready to help plan your DOOH campaign today, at no charge to you! Contact us at

Written By: Erica Wisor

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