Recession-proof your Ad Campaign with DOOH

Published: September 14, 2022

An economic downturn has been a heavily debated topic for months. The aftereffects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are significant contributing factors to this possible impending economic slump. Prices have risen for basic commodities, and consumer confidence has decreased. Yet, job offerings remain high and the speed of layoffs low. The state of the economy seems to be an anomaly among economists, CEOs, and political parties alike. Recession or not, marketers should be prepared for an economic crisis and get the most out of their advertising budgets with digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. 

Despite the pandemic recovery, out-of-home media has seen an uptick in spending, increasing 40.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year. This swift comeback is primarily due to the adoption of programmatic DOOH. This digital mass medium advertising format holds invaluable capabilities that allow advertisers to flexibly reach a wide range of audiences on massive screens while tracking campaign performance and pinpointing venue types that match consumers’ movement patterns. The agility of DOOH presents an opportunity for advertisers to be well-prepared, conquer the financial cataclysm, and achieve market share during a recession.

Unlock the value of real-time performance 

According to a survey conducted by Place Exchange, programmatic OOH showed higher spending among business sectors than last quarter. These numbers are increasing largely due to programmatic OOH buyers 'transacting mostly through non-guaranteed deals,' which allows forward-looking advertisers to adjust, pause, and stop campaigns in real-time. More and more brands recognize the medium's agility and streamlined buying process in order to reduce uncertainty and risk, especially in the face of an economic downturn. 

The fast track to cost-effective, larger-than-life ads 

Lower barriers to entry have made it more accessible for any size business to take advantage of this highly-visible medium. Prices have dropped as the flexible, trigger-led technology of programmatic DOOH grew. This accessibility allows smaller or budget-cutting businesses to cost-effectively get their ads in front of their desired audiences. Not to mention, online advertising is becoming less attractive with digital device burnout and consumer privacy issues. 

People's Pint, a small brewery in Massachusetts, needed to find a way to boost awareness and acquire visitors. It's common knowledge that most small businesses have a limited promotional budget, and People's Pint saw an opportunity to maximize its ad revenue with digital out-of-home advertising. The DOOH campaign featured digital billboards across town, getting the attention of locals and tourists and boosting visiting by more than 12%. 

Storytelling is a method leading to innovation 

Businesses tend to brace for a recession early, with sudden hiring freezes, layoffs, and cuts to marketing budgets in any possible way. However, that same approach tends to be taken by the competition. Mark Dziersk, a writer for Fast Company, saw businesses grappling with the 2008 recession, “In a down economy, the natural instinct is to draw inward. Cut spending and pull back on initiatives. The problem with that approach is that a down economy may, in fact, be the best time to win by being creative.”

Brands shouldn't be cutting the brakes on creativity during one of the most challenging times; instead, they should find ways to produce real-time content to stay competitive in tomorrow's fast-paced and volatile environment. What better way to do that than with the flexibility and contextually relevant creative of DOOH advertising? DOOH allows advertisers to create stories on larger-than-life screens, reaching consumers at the right place with the right message for maximum engagement. DOOH is more than a digital screen. Advertisers can utilize live feeds and update creative based on significant times of the day or serve dynamic content based on the temperature or weather conditions. The sky's the limit with DOOH! 


Brands should be preparing for the next recession despite it coming now or later. Researchers prove time and time again spending during a collapse reaps tremendous rewards in the long run compared to an economic expansion. Consumers acclimate to the changing environment daily, and with that comes evolving behaviors and attitudes. Despite a recession, they have opened their arms to ads that help them and that strike the right tone. Digital out-of-home advertising is a reliable, flexible, and risk-free approach for marketers to ensure the right eyes meet their messaging at the right time. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to plan and launch your DOOH campaign, our team of DOOH experts is prepared to help at no charge to you! Contact us at

Written By: Julia Cramer

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