Marketers' return to investing in out-of-home and cinema advertising is outpacing consumer behavior, according to recent research from WARC.

The report was based on WARC global forecasts for out-of-home and cinema media—dubbed "IRL advertising" by the researchers—as well as an analysis of global consumer behavior based on The Economist’s Normalcy Index, which tracks public activity across transportation, recreation, retail, and work relative to pre-pandemic levels.

The researchers forecast that IRL global ad spend will reach $44.4 billion in 2022, below the $45.1 billion spent in 2019, but still ahead of the pace that consumers are returning to pre-pandemic in-person activities.

The recovery is forecast to continue into 2023, when the global IRL ad market is expected to reach a new high of $47.1 billion.

Global IRL ad and consumer recovery

Global spend on out-of-home (OOH) advertising is forecast to jump by 16.5% year-over-year in 1Q22.

Global out of home advertising spend

Annual global ad spend on cinema advertising is forecast to reach $3.4 billion in 2022, well short of the $3.8 billion marketers spent in 2019.

Global cinema advertising spend

About the research: The report was based on WARC global forecasts for out-of-home and cinema media as well as an analysis of global consumer behavior.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

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Twitter: @ayaznanji