Why Fiverr believes it’s finally time to bring back OOH advertising next year

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For the first time since the pandemic, freelance job marketplace Fiverr plans to bring back out-of-home and experiential advertising early next year.

Like many brands, Fiverr paused OOH ad spending at the beginning of the pandemic as many adhered to shelter in place orders and other lockdown measures. While OOH efforts weren’t included in its “something from nothing” campaign this year, Fiverr is slated to bring back traditional and digital OOH spots across public transportation, particularly in metropolitan areas like London, Berlin and New York City by 2022, according to Duncan Bird, vp of brand at Fiverr.

“Like many brands, we’ve been looking at the situation — it varies from country to country as we’re a global brand — to say to ourselves, at what point can we start doing out-of-home again?,” Bird said. 

During the pandemic, Fiverr’s OOH ad spend was reduced to nothing, Bird said, noting that the trend is expected to reverse course and potentially eat up more ad dollars than it did pre-pandemic. It’s unclear exactly how those ad dollars will be spent as Bird declined to offer further spend details. But in Q1 and Q2 of this year, Fiverr spent upwards of $17 million on media, per Kantar, which doesn’t track social media spending. That number shadows the estimated $9 million spent in 2020 and again in 2019. 

According to previous Digiday reporting, the freelance marketplace brand delayed plans for an OOH campaign expected to run in New York City subway, the U.K. and in Germany last spring. Instead, the brand opted to invest in podcast advertising and digital platforms, continuing to hold off on OOH spend in light of rising concerns around the delta variant.

“We’ve seen a lot of brands getting off to a bit of a false start earlier in the year, when we all thought the pandemic was over — which, unlike things like wars, I don’t think there’s ever going to be a date when this thing is over,” Bird said.

However, now that work commutes and travel has picked up, and technology has digitized OOH ads to allow for targeting and metric tracking, a return to OOH makes sense for Fiverr, per Bird. And he’s not alone. This year, US advertisers are projected to shell out $6.96 billion on OOH ads, up from $6.08 billion in 2020, according to eMarketer. By the end of the year, digital OOH is expected to account for about 31% of that ad spend.

But given the world has entered a new normal with changes ushered in by the pandemic, Tescia Deák, creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day says advertisers will need to modernize their OOH strategy to bridge the gap between physical and digital spaces.

“How can you curate a story that is specific to the experience people are having at that moment or the people living in that community?” she said. “Eventually we’ll start to see the technology advance and VR can be integrated much more easily.”

For example, maybe that’s a street-level fashion billboard where users can scan a QR code that allows them to try-on virtual clothing on the spot, Deák said.

Fiverr will continue investing in OOH for upcoming campaigns as they roll them out worldwide, leveraging television, streaming, influencer marketing and marketing on Reddit.

“It’s a really big push, and us coming back to the forefront of trying to help people to realize their dreams and help boost their businesses,” Bird said. 


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