The survey, carried out by B&A on behalf of JCDecaux, reveals that although travel was significantly restricted during the Covid 19 lockdown last Spring consumers were still making regular short journeys within their own community and noticing ads on digital outdoor formats when they did so.  Walking was the main mode of transport at the time with 52% choosing to travel by foot for essential journeys. The lockdown had a particularly severe impact on the outdoor industry as audiences were restricted by travel limitations and JCDecaux operatives could not visit traditional poster sites to bill-post them with new ads.  The only JCDecaux formats which could be updated during this period were their digital screens, located at roadside and retail locations which can be uploaded with fresh content remotely.

JCDecaux decided to put this digital space to good use and created a bespoke campaign to thank frontline staff working through the Covid crises.  Given the campaign was unique to JCDecaux digital formats it turned out to be an ideal research test case scenario.  

Although travel was severely restricted when the Thank You campaign was live the B&A survey results show that it delivered impressive levels of recall amongst Dublin adults at 39%, all of which can be attributed directly to JCDecaux digital formats.  Practically all of those people who were exposed to these messages described them as an effective way of letting frontline workers know that the general public supported them and appreciated the work they were doing.

Ian McShane, Executive Chairman of B&A added “B&A’s Lockdown Diary Research Series confirmed that people’s appreciation of frontline workers and the sacrifices they were making was at its height over the course of the JCDecaux ‘Thank You’ campaign. Whether the cashier at the local shop or supermarket, or healthcare staff administering Covid tests, this campaign was a simple yet highly effective means of showing those who had made the greatest personal sacrifices that their efforts were genuinely appreciated. Our lockdown diaries also confirmed that most people were maximising the amount of time they were allowed spend outdoors to make essential purchases, run errands for dependent family members, and maintain their physical and mental health.”

Tony O’Flanagan, Marketing Director JCDecaux said ‘It wasn’t  originally our intention to research this campaign however due to the unique circumstances it turned out to be an ideal opportunity to measure the effect that the lockdown was having on our audiences.  We were pleasantly surprised by the results and more importantly that the message of support to frontline workers got through to the public and also the workers themselves as indicated by their posts about the campaign on social media.’
Pictured beside a Digipanel on O'Connell Street (L-R): Tony O'Flanagan, Marketing Director JCDecaux Ireland and Ian McShane, Executive Chairman Behaviour & Attitudes.

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