UK outdoor industry welcomes new Route research

The UK outdoor industry has launched a new research study into viewing levels of posters in the UK called Route which purports to show which posters work best, how and with whom.

The research has taken about 12 years to formulate and complete; the last four years alone are estimated to have cost £19m.

During the four years leading up to the launch, Ipsos MediaCT and MGE Data used a sample of 28,000 people who carried GPS devices to track their locations. The firms then matched this data with local geographic information and traffic patterns, with resulting data broken down by demographics such as age, class and lifestyle, to provide insight into the way people view outdoor advertising.

Using a ‘Traffic Intensity Model’, Route then calculated the likelihood of people seeing any of the UK’s 450,000 outdoor ad ‘frames’, while also using eye-tracking to estimate whether pedestrians would notice a particular frame.

Route MD James Whitmore says: “We now know who is travelling where, how, when and at what speed. The name, Route, is designed to reflect this. Increasingly, time spent out-of-home is about understanding the routes that people take. It is about knowing the pathways of the eye.”

The research has been welcomed (partly with a sigh of relief that it’s finally all done) by most major players in the industry.

Chris Marjoram, managing director of IPG-owned out of home specialist Rapport, which handles the UK’s two biggest outdoor advertisers Sky and Samsung, says:“Data driven audience insight is the opportunity provided to us by Route; it will help shape the future of marketing communications within the OOH sector.

“Billions of individual GPS readings and 160 million data records are included, each complete with an unprecedented understanding of the 28,000 individuals that took part in the research. Everything from where they live, how they travel, what they like doing, through to their exposure to other media, their shopping habits, attitudes and lifestyle choices, and understanding their digital connectivity.

“This unrivalled insight into ‘audience’ is now at the heart of OOH, providing us with a data mining platform for a new era of sophisticated OOH planning, implementation and trading.”

Looks like they got it right then. OOH is a £1bn industry in the UK and Route looks as though it will give the industry a further boost.

Common sense tells you that people see posters but, until now, nobody has actually known the detail.

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