LOVE TO HATE, HATE TO LOVE THE RETURN OF TRAFFIC

Pahala Sigiro

Marketing & Creative
Otego Media
18 October 2021

Last week I went to the office just to find myself a view which I normally hate, but somehow miss, traffic. Usually this situation will make me upset and angry, but not this time. I’m stuck in crowded space with a smirk and welcomed it with open arms. Due to odd even plate number restriction I continued with train and, like the road, the stations are starting to feel alive. I’ve seen more and more people on the move and doing activities.

It’s been over a year since the pandemic hit, and we have been forced to adjust our life one way or another. Using masks and obeying health protocols, working from home, limiting mobility, and lots of things changed or must be adjusted just to survive. If traffic was a normal thing we faced prior to the pandemic, seeing it again means hope. A hope that the pandemic will be over soon and the wish for things to return to the way it was.

The decrease daily active covid cases in Jakarta has become the main contributing factor. As per-16th October 2021, there are 1.342 active cases in Jakarta. Although it’s still high, but it’s far less than the highest number in 16th of July with over 100.000 cases [1]. What happened with the case today will be similar with what happened on April last year. A good sign indeed.

With more people getting used to safety protocols and getting vaccine shots, consumer confidence level in going out of home has risen consistently. Google mobility shows that the percentage of people visiting office is only down by 14%, performing much better than the decreased 50% in May last year[2].

A year in the pandemic impacted all aspects of life. One of them was in events and other business that required offline interaction, this include the Out Of Home (OOH) medium. The return to normality will give fresh air, not only to the audiences but also the industry.

Return of the Audience, Return of Out Of Home Media

Return of the audience brings eyes to Out of Home Media. As retail, transportation, and offices get more crowds, the industry is making sure advertising messages reach the correct audience. As people returning to their daily activity, for reaching either mass or specific target, OOH medium is becoming the relevant choice for brands and advertisers.

In the US, despite the occurrence of the pandemic, summertime has made people go outside their homes searching for sunlight. Each year, outdoor summer events are being held, a much-awaited northern hemisphere activity, especially younger generation.

The OOH Industry have increased 38% in second quarter this year compared to last year, with the total amount reaches USD 2 Billion [3]. As my story earlier is about happiness finding traffic, the American Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) showed that 69% of the audience have more appreciation toward and notice more to outside environment and OOH medium, when they’re back into activity [4].

With activity coming back to offline, it will be interesting to watch how OOH industry in Jakarta and Indonesia bounce back and make a return. Cautiously, let’s all embrace this phenomenon, finding crowds, seeing city centres alive and well. Up to the point when we see the traffic that we once hate so much, and dearly miss, return.