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The End of "Dead Time" for Europeans On the Move

  • European survey explores how people interact, engage and view outdoor advertising on daily journeys
  • Smartphone subculture becomes mainstream, 1 out of 3 Europeans regularly access the internet from mobiles
  • Proliferation of mobile devices changing nature and potential value of outdoor advertising

New research finds that recent technological developments and the proliferation of mobile devices has transformed the nature of everyday journeys for millions of people across Europe.

The research finds that advances in technology have led to a growing population of tech savvy, highly mobile people who are increasingly likely to act upon commercial messages while out-of-home due to the growing connectivity offered by their mobile devices. They are also more likely to pay attention to outdoor advertising (63%) and are particularly sensitive to boredom during their daily journeys.

These findings are the result of a new study of European behaviours, patterns and moods during daily journeys by CBS Outdoor International called “Europe on the Move”, commissioned to better inform outdoor advertising strategies for advertisers across a broad range of categories.

Antonio Alonso, Chief Executive Officer of CBS Outdoor International, commented:

"Savvy advertisers know that dead time on journeys is being filled by the use of "mobile power", shaping a world where people can react instantly to commercial messages, even while they are on the move. With outdoor advertising, there is a growing opportunity to leverage this new mobile power to reach people on the path to purchase and when they are at one of their most active times during the day. The oldest media on the block is helping to drive people onto the newest medium in town."

Boundaries between our outdoor and indoor lives have blurred, with travellers shopping, working, socialising and researching online during even routine journeys. The report shows that nearly half (45%) of all travellers report multi-tasking while on the move, including using mobile technology.

According to the research, European travellers are also using social media platforms almost equally in-home and out-of-home (Facebook 56% in home vs. 54% on-the-move), demonstrating how even the most routine online functions are increasingly moving away from our desks and onto mobile devices.

Almost 70% of empowered, mobile European travellers identified in the research were found to have acted as a direct result of outdoor advertisements, leading to potentially increased impulse buys and brand recognition. Over 19% of Europeans reported going online to purchase items seen in outdoor advertising according to the survey.

The study finds that outdoor advertising is increasingly effective in reaching this commercially desirable and mobile audience. Most respondents (58%) said they consciously look at outdoor ads, higher than any other form of advertising. When prompted by advertising, this audience is now more than ever able to act on their impulses through the connectivity offered by their mobile devices.

The report also examines how our moods and thoughts change depending on our mode of travel and time of day – and how these patterns vary across different European markets -- which will help marketers to design more effective campaigns, integrating outdoor and mobile digital channels. Key market findings include:

  • UK travellers used their mobiles to go online most frequently (14% said they used their phones to go online at least once a day), compared to Spain who reported the lowest frequency of use (only 7% go online via mobile at least once a day)
  • The average European spends 56 minutes on their daily commute – with the Irish spending the longest (66 minutes).
  • Italians spend the most time on their journeys eating out and socialising – 46% said they eat out at least once a week, higher than any other European country, and much higher than the UK (35%)
  • London tube users are among the most tech-savvy, with the highest average number of mobile and personal tech devices – more than the average traveller in any European country.

Europe on the Move is a comprehensive study of people’s daily travel patterns in six European countries (the UK, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland), conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CBS Outdoor International, the leading outdoor advertising company. The survey fieldwork period was mid-September to mid-October 2010 and comprised of a quantitative and qualitative online survey amongst 9,665 consumers in six European markets.