Good News For Outdoor Advertising

Commute time has increased by 13.8% from 1990 to 2000 according to the U.S. 2000 Census. Arbitron says this is good news for the outdoor medium and I think so too.

"The experts tell us that new homes are being built further and further away from the central city, and that increasingly, people are commuting from one suburb to another suburb and having to take slower secondary roads," said Dan Estersohn, senior demographer for Arbitron. "All of these trends increase commuting times."

"The increase in commute times is good news for outdoor advertising, too," said Jacqueline Noel, director of sales and marketing for Arbitron Outdoor. "The recently released Arbitron Outdoor Study revealed that the heaviest commuters-so-called Super-Commuters-average nearly two hours per day commuting, and they represent an exceptionally upscale and attractive consumer segment for advertisers."

Outdoor just might be the last remaining medium that you can't "Tivo" away. Sure, you can just not look at the billboard but along the way, you have to notice at least a few along the way. Here's the facts:

  • The average one-way drive time to work in the U.S. was 25.5 minutes in 2000 vs. 22.4 minutes in 1990, an increase of 13.8 percent.

  • Drive times increased in each of the 286 Metros over the 10-year period.

  • Merced, CA, experienced the largest percentage increase, up 51.7 percent to 26.5 minutes in 2000 from 17.5 minutes in 1990. In theory, a commuter could be exposed to nearly triple the number of billboards he or she saw in Merced a decade ago.
  • The longest average commute was in Sussex, NJ, where, on average, a worker spent 38.3 minutes in transit in 2000. An advertiser can make multiple impressions upon a target consumer during that period.
  • The shortest average commute was in Grand Forks, ND, where it took 15.1 minutes for the average drive-time in 2000.
You can view market by market data here.

Arbitron: Census 2000 Data Show 13.8% Increase In Average U.S. Commute Time Since 1990

by Steve Hall    Jan-23-03   Click to Comment   

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