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Northern Ireland Outlook

NI Outlook Insights

Powered by work.shop.play, the 2,000 strong online community, Northern Ireland Outlook reveals the attitudes and opinions of our Northern Ireland ‘Urbanites’ (the Outdoor advertising audience) as the global pandemic rumbles on and people embark on a future in a ‘new normal’. 


Read on to explore more about the Outdoor advertising audiences’ perceptions of the Government’s handling of the crisis so far, but also how they foresee aspects of their lives such as career, money and holidays change over the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

NI Outlook Insights 

Look out for some bite sized ideas and inspiration located throughout this article providing guidance on how to get the most from your Outdoor advertising spend.

NI Outlook Insights

Despite a recent rise in the number of cases and the re-introduction of some restrictions, there’s positivity and hope amongst Northern Ireland’s Urbanites with 37% feeling that the COVID-19 situation in Northern Ireland is improving, versus just 17% of those who feel the same in relation to the situation globally.

 

Twice as many Urbanites feel the situation in Northern Ireland is improving than the situation globally

 

There was also confidence for the NI Executive’s handling of the crisis since the easing of lockdown restrictions with 60% showing positivity towards the Executive’s approach, agreeing they have handled the relaxing of lockdown effectively.


NI Outlook Insights

Outdoor advertising is a vital element of the Northern Ireland Executive’s approach for the easing of lockdown restrictions, helping to maintain awareness surrounding the ongoing threat of COVID-19. 

 

Not only has our on-street City Centre Digital network and supermarket 6 sheets played a key role in informing and explaining important safety messages, but they have also acted as a vital call-to-action platform encouraging the wearing of face coverings and downloads of the Stop Covid NI contact tracing app.

Outdoor advertising

NI Outlook Insights

How the pandemic will play out in the future remains unknown, but around half (49%) have confidence that the government will continue to make the right decisions over the next 6 months. Confidence levels do diminish slightly amongst 16-34-year-old Urbanites, 36% of whom don’t have confidence in Stormont for the months ahead.

NI Outlook Insights

Predictions for the future reveal that 53% believe a return to ‘normal’ will not be possible until a vaccine is found, whilst 22% think the virus is here to stay and will return seasonally. A more prevalent point of view amongst 16-34 year olds is that the virus will run its course and burn out naturally.

NI Outlook Insights

When it comes to living alongside the virus, the majority are prepared for the prospect that COVID-19 safety measures are here to stay - 63% expect social distancing to continue into 2021 as will the wearing face coverings in shops and enclosed spaces (60%).

NI Outlook Insights

62% of 16-34s think COVID safety measures will make Outdoor advertising even more noticeable

 With 70% having noticed some form of Outdoor advertising since embarking on journeys outside of their homes following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the great power of Outdoor advertising is ready to be harnessed once again. Even with ‘new normal’ COVID-19 safety measures such as social distancing, queuing systems outside businesses and outdoor seating at bars and restaurants – 62% of 16-34 year olds actually think these measures will make Outdoor advertising even more noticeable.

Outdoor advertising

NI Outlook Insights

NI Outlook Insights

Unsurprisingly, the ongoing situation brings with it many fears and concerns. Worries for friends and family contracting the virus ranks highest for ¾ and a long-lasting, negative impact on society is also a significant concern amongst 64%. For younger people, the fear of contracting COVID-19 themselves is lower with 2in5 admitting this is as an ongoing concern versus half of Urbanites in general.

 

To help combat the effects of COVID-19, many have already made changes to their lifestyles. 2in5 smokers have quit with almost a further third intending to do so in the near future. 44% of Urbanites have increased their physical activity by exercising more and 47% are now eating healthier.

NI Outlook Insights

The pandemic has acted than more than just a nudge with Urbanites readily making changes to their lifestyles. Our Outdoor advertising solutions can play a key role in attracting new customers seeking ways to lead healthier lifestyles, or looking for guidance on how to begin, or maintain an enhanced lifestyle.

 

Your brand or business can support audiences on their quest to adapt their lifestyles by using Outdoor advertising to present solutions and inspiration to help them on their journeys:

NI Outlook Insights

Outdoor advertising

NI Outlook Insights

NI Outlook Insights

With the UK now officially in recession, it’s not just physical health that has been impacted by the pandemic. There is likely to be a knock-on effect on jobs and livelihoods in general. Over a fifth fear that COVID-19 will affect their job. However, the majority (52% of all Urbanites and 54% of 16-34 year old Urbanites) remains confident that their job is secure, but 1in10 are still saving more to prepare for the possibility of a job loss.

NI Outlook Insights

Even for those Urbanites who feel secure in their jobs, audiences are likely to be savvier with their disposable income and on the lookout for value for money – already demonstrated by the popularity of the ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme in Northern Ireland. 

 

30% want to see brands using Outdoor advertising to communicate with them about sales, promotions and offers
Outdoor advertising

As the number of people returning to towns and cities across Northern Ireland increases the vital role of outdoor advertising increases too. Even with new measures in place to strike a balance between ‘normality’, whilst preventing the spread of COVID-19, presents unique opportunities to fully harness the power of outdoor advertising in this ‘new normal’.

Use our Outdoor advertising solutions to provide:

NI Outlook Insights

NI Outlook Insights

Navigating lockdown and to limit the spread of the disease, working from home levels surged across Northern Ireland. 66% of 16-34 year olds are working from home, or have worked from home at some stage during the pandemic. When asked about a return to the workplace, only 23% wanted to see working from home a permanent solution with 70% preferring a combination of going to their physical place of work and working from home. 35% also showed a preference towards more flexible working hours.

NI Outlook Insights

When asked how the Coronavirus crisis has impacted personal finances, 59% said it has yet to change their situation, but 20% of 16-34 year olds actually said their financial situation had improved compared to a month ago (versus 15% of all Urbanites). Confidence in the financial situation of younger audiences doesn’t appear to be diminishing anytime soon with 13% expecting their finances to improve over the next 12 months.

NI Outlook Insights

Whilst the usage of streaming services saw huge increases as a result of lockdown restrictions and more people forced to stay at home. The relaxing of restrictions, combined with a financially confident younger audience, means audiences are once again returning to activities outside of their homes. Our Outdoor advertising solutions are perfectly placed to reach a growing audience as they once again visit high streets across Northern Ireland.

Footfall in Northern Ireland's high streets increased by nearly 6% in the days following the introduction of mandatory face coverings

 

In the past week 16-34 year olds have actively been visiting towns and cities to:

NI Outlook Insights

Outdoor advertising

NI Outlook Insights

NI Outlook Insights

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted all aspects of life and that includes the much-loved foreign holiday. When asked about traveling abroad on holiday in the future, 63% said the risk of contracting COVID-19 in other countries was a worry, whilst the top concern, amongst almost ¾ of Urbanites, was being stranded, or having difficulties getting home.

 

Physical safety measures when travelling to foreign destinations, such as the wearing of a face covering during the flight, were less of an issue amongst younger audiences with 16% listing this as a deterrent versus over a fifth of all Urbanites.

 

Whilst the majority are not planning any foreign trips in the near future - only 6% intend to travel abroad during the remainder of 2020. The desire for foreign travel is greater amongst younger Urbanites with 1in10 intending to travel abroad sometime in 2020. 

NI Outlook Insights

With ever-changing quarantine rules and the desire for foreign holidays at a low for the remainder of 2020, Urbanites are on the lookout for Staycation ideas and inspiration for how to spend time with their friends and families. 

60% are prepared to staycation and ‘act like tourists’ in their own city to help support the economy

 

With 6in10 prepared to holiday at home in Northern Ireland and ‘act like tourists’ in their own city in order to support the local economy, there’s never been a better time for local attractions, accommodation and local businesses across the board to showcase their offering using Outdoor advertising.

 

As a visual media platform, Outdoor advertising is ideal for showcasing jaw dropping imagery and really showcase what your business can offer to potential ‘staycationers’. In addition, digital outdoor solutions offer increased flexibility to promote sales, last minute availability or to switch your message ‘on’ in accordance with the Northern Ireland weather! 

Outdoor advertising

NI Outlook Insights


Although it doesn’t appear to be the end of the foreign holiday with only 8% saying they have no interest in going abroad on holiday ever again, instead 21% plan to holiday in the first half of 2021, with a further 24% planning a foreign trip between July and September next year.

 

Spain tops the poll when it comes to destinations most likely to visit when going abroad on holiday in the future with 39% saying this is the destination they are most likely to visit when returning to foreign holidays and trips abroad. Whilst most Urbanites are keen to holiday closer to home in the likes of Europe, younger Urbanites have an appetite to travel to farther away destinations such as the USA, Japan and Canada. 

NI Outlook Insights

There’s no doubt lockdown placed huge restriction on the lives of Urbanites, but upon reflection there were many unexpected benefits and habits to embrace and keep in the future. 

NI Outlook Insights

Quality time with family was important for almost 6in10, whilst making time for hobbies and interests also ranked highly (51%). Amongst younger Urbanites, restaurant deliveries and cook at home offerings were a positive innovation brought about by restrictions that a third would like to see stay.

NI Outlook Insights

We’ve already seen how concerns around COVID-19 has resulted in Urbanites changing their lives for the better to help reduce the risk of complications as a result of the virus. 

 

More lifestyle changes as a result of lockdown saw audiences spending more time doing the things they love, or things they’d neglected to make time for in the past. A desire from audiences to embrace these new habits going into the future allows brands and businesses to use Outdoor advertising to maintain dialogue with new and existing customers, inspiring them with that next home cooking recipe, DIY project or trip with the family (or furry friend!).

Outdoor advertising

NI Outlook Insights

Talk to us!

 

We acknowledge that it will take some time for business confidence to return and invest in pre-COVID levels of marketing activity, but we have a host of media opportunities offering huge flexibility. In addition, our locally based team are here to help you arrive at a solution that meets your current needs and budgets. 

 

To find out more, or to have a no obligation chat, contact us on 028 9104 2116 or email belfast@exterionmedia.co.uk



You may also be interested in:

 

Downloading the NI Outlook infographic

 

Advertising during COVID-19

 

Our Outdoor advertising solutions

 

More insights from work.shop.play.

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