Data from over 1,900 billboards show impact of lockdown on industry 

COVID19 Doubles Cairos’ Vacancy Rates in April

May 3, 2020

AdMazad, a data-driven OOH advertising provider, saw a 100% rise in empty large billboards in Greater Cairo in early April 2020. This reflects spending cuts due to COVID-19 #StayAtHome measures. The company analyzes real-life data to aid ad placement decisions.

Analysis of Large Billboards in Greater Cairo

In its most recent study, Egypt-based AdMazad analyzed over 1,900 large billboards across Greater Cairo throughout the months of March and April 2020, examining whether they are vacant or not, and how much traffic can be found around them. 

Impact of COVID-19 on Traffic and Advertising

“The market took a huge hit in April,” AdMazad Founder Assem Memon says. “Our AdMetrics recorded a 45% decrease in Cairo's traffic starting the third week of March, although traffic drew very close to normal levels as of the week before Ramadan. The stay at home regulations and COVID anxiety, has resulted in a significant increase of Cost of Impression of all Outdoor Advertising  Thousand Views CPM rates of OOH. ”

Sectoral Changes in Advertising Placements

The study showed that the only sector that actually increased its presence in OOH advertising placements was the Healthcare sector,

This sector increased its billboard presence by 70% due to heightened spending. These plans were made in late 2019.

Real estate advertising fell to 27% from 43%, using over 200 fewer billboards. FMCG ads dropped from 10% to just over 4%, and banks decreased from 4.5% to 2.1%.

Content of OOH Advertising During COVID-19

Despite the coronavirus being probably the most popular topic today, the advertisements that are currently placed do not focus on COVID-19-related issues. “Advertisers using OOH in April mostly kept their messages from March, and very few had COVID-19-specific messages,” Memon adds. “In the run to Ramadan, we have seen some COVID-19 messages from charities, encouraging people to direct Zakat to Healthcare support. Yet, overall there has been very limited corporate OOH expenditure or creative work incorporating COVID-19 awareness.”

Impact on Ramadan Advertising

OOH spending increases during Ramadan; in 2020, media and TV drove it. Compared to 2019, Ramadan 2020 saw a 30% decline, with one major network not using billboards for the first time in five years. Overall, local TV channel campaigns reduced by 20%, with occupied billboards down to 120.

"Traffic's return should see OOH recovery by June," says Memon. However, it will still be significantly below 2019 levels. Real estate typically owns over 40% of the market; thus, full recovery isn't expected until late in the second or third quarter of this year. Short-term ads will focus on companies' readiness to adapt to the new normal.

AdMazad is expecting to see FMCGs and e-commerce platforms to drive recovery, in an attempt to direct consumer expenditure to their products and platforms. E-commerce platforms in particular are still adjusting their operations in order to cope with the increased demand.

About AdMazad:

AdMazad is a data-driven OOH advertising solution, quantifying outdoor media through algorithms. It helps advertisers make informed decisions on OOH placements with real-life data. AdMazad offers a hassle-free process for planning, booking, auditing, and monitoring OOH billboards. They have curated over 3000 outdoor-advertising spaces on their AdSpace search engine and encourage you to submit a brief to start your advertising campaign. Connect with them on LinkedIn for more updates.

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