Skip to the main content.
Book a demo
Book a demo

Out-of-the-box ABM

Extend your marketing mix outside the "Facebook/Adwords" box

2 min read

Consumers are Deliberately Reducing Personal Screen Time

We are experiencing a Post-Pandemic Marketing Renaissance, and it's being driven by consumers themselves. Just-released study results confirm that digitally-weary folks of all ages are shunning their screens in favor of other pursuits. Outdoor pursuits. They're taking every advantage now that the real world is reopening.

This confirms what marketers have been saying — that people are not only heading out of home, they are paying more attention to their physical surroundings than before the pandemic. In the new survey, 77% of respondents, and an even larger percentage of urban dwellers, said they no longer take the real world for granted.

What does "less screen time" mean?

More than half of consumers report they're reducing personal screen time. So, what are they doing instead? They're re-engaging with one another in person and re-engaging with all the activities they missed during the pandemic.

According to the survey:

  • 32% are focusing more on leisure than they did before the pandemic, especially women
  • 40% are traveling more

As of June 15, 2002:

  • 69% of American adults feel comfortable going on vacation. Millennials and GenZers top the charts.
  • 51% feel comfortable taking a bus.
  • 56% feel comfortable taking a train.
  • They're going to the mall, to sporting events, the movies and out to dinner.

In most cases, confidence levels are up 15% or more just since January.

Good reasons to change

Why is everyone so anxious to get away from their screens?

  • 85% say that working from home during the pandemic forced considerable computer time
  • 78% said isolation also meant spending significantly more personal time online during the pandemic

They need relief! Release. They want to indulge in live, multi-sensory experiences.

Those deliberately stepping away from their screens cite two key reasons:

1. Combatting digital fatigue!

78% say they could feel it during the pandemic. Notably, a generation we associate most strongly with digital screens — Gen Z — was 78% more likely than average to have felt overwhelmed.

2. Increasing mindfulness

COVID made people realize the importance of being present and more mindful. The quarantine and resulting disruption of all aspects of daily lives gave everyone a chance to think about what really matters to them and their family. No doubt this is one explanation for newly-increased awareness now that people can go out and about again.

Reducing personal screen time in favor of more real-world time may become the new work-life balance, since so many are sticking with remote (screen-based) work at least some or most days per week.

Good news for marketers

Consumer determination to rediscover the outdoors and back to a fuller life, plus their heightened awareness, offer real benefits for marketers anxious to renew acquaintance with digitally-fatigued audiences.

OOH is the nexus:

  • 77% of consumers in our survey said they frequently learn about new brands and products from OOH ads.
  • 86% can recall a brand or product from an OOH ad they saw as long as six months ago — brand recognition builds trust and increases likelihood to buy. And, in fact . . .
  • 80% have purchased a product or service after seeing an OOH ad.

You might say all these statistics feel a lot like common sense. Aren't we all more than tired of being stuck in front of a screen and being overwhelmed by (often intrusive and irrelevant) digital advertising? But the data are instructive, too.

Consumers are so ready for a breath of fresh air, in every sense. OOH meets them where they most want to be, where they're now spending their time, with oh-so-noticeable messaging. OOH is refreshing, creatively appealing, spot-on relevant in time and location, and it's increasingly interactive.

No wonder we're experiencing a Post-Pandemic Marketing Renaissance.