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Development of Russian Outdoor Ads Market in 2019



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In 2018, the amount of out-of-home advertising in Russia was 43.8 billion rubles ($63 million), which is 3% more than in 2017. However, OOH ads growth rates are much lower than ones of TV ads, which total amount in 2018 was 187 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) and demonstrated 9% increase, and online ads, which amount had the highest growth of 22% and equaled to 203 billion rubles ($2.9 billion). This information was provided by the Russian Association of Communication Agencies, following the results of 2018 ad display.

Top 10 Russian OOH Advertisers

The biggest out-of-home advertisers are construction, telecommunication, and FMCG companies, banks, electronics manufacturers. Top 10 biggest out-of-home advertisers in Russia, according to AdIndex, looks as follows:

Source: AdIndex, Russia, 2018

2019 OOH Trends

It is important to bear in mind that the outdoor advertising market is heterogeneous, and the growth is related to, first of all, such segments where new technologies or approaches are integrated actively. Experts note that one of the main conditions of successful OOH is raising a creative bar.

Placement on digital billboards

The out-of-home advertising market in Russia in 2019 and 2020 will grow only by 5% and 6% respectively, as follows from the forecast of the ADV Group. An increase in advertisers’ expenditures on Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) will help boost market growth by several percentage points, considers the Director of OOH in ADV Dmitry Gribkov. In 2018, according to ADV, the DOOH share in budgets on outdoor ads in Russia was 19%, while it will have grown up to 35% by year-end 2020.

One year before, Yandex started placing digital out-of-home ads on Moscow billboards using an auction model. Customers state their rates and budget, while Yandex algorithms calculate where and when they will show the ads. Payment for digital ads on billboards is performed per 1K OTS (Opportunity to See).

In 2019, placement on digital billboards will become a key trend of OOH development in Russia. However, this trend will likely touch large cities (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), while Russian regions are not ready for digital out-of-home yet. In the opinion of Olga Kovalchuk, General Director of VirGo Group advertising agency in the Nakhodka city, it is most related to local laws and a long process to get an approval for replacement of static structures wit new dynamic ones.

Programmatic in OOH

In early May 2019, Russ Outdoor in cooperation with GetIntent announced completion of development and testing of a SSP platform. The platform allows buying audience (OTS /CPM) rather than plays.

How is information about the audience collected? A flow of those who drive and pass by advertising structures is measured by means of optical cameras and an own Wi-Fi network, by which data runs real-time and the sumstat enables operating with unique data for planning.

Source: Russ Outdoor

Communication comes first

Along with the fact that digital advertising media keep on conquering their space fraction, content trends shift towards building a dialogue with a consumer.

Main features that, according to forecasts of experts, will be popular in the coming year:

  • storytelling – aggressive and pushy appeals ‘Buy!’, “Choose me!’ are being replaced with a soft attraction of a potential consumer through engagement, i.e. with the help of a story where he or she sees him-/herself;
  • step by step – developing the storytelling theme, an advertising story is gaining traction, told by several billboard that are located one after another along a certain route; it is such ‘series’ that utterly compel attention of people going to work every day;
  • simple fonts – time of curlicue calligraphy is irrevocable yesterday, and easiness and purity of lines are on trend;
  • respect – be careful with allegories and humor—racial prejudices, sexism and everything that can insult any social group are under the ban. Indeed, now it is easy like never before to spoil your reputation because of violation of whoever’s feelings;
  • creativity and provocation – a mix that definitely attracts attention; this is not just an appeal, but an attempt to grip human attention first and to explain only afterwards what an offer is about.

* A signboard of an Encor shop in Voronezh trading tools and construction equipment

Omnichannel and virality

It is interesting that it is outdoor ads that can stimulate passers-by to share content in social media. If a placed billboard is bright, unusual, and creative, people gladly click on hashtags and move to social accounts or make posts with selfies and pictures of funny ads in social media. All this has a clearly positive impact on coverage and results of advertising.

Advertising of Italian foods that hides out from the police itself became a great example of creative out-of-home ads, which placement resulted in a viral video in the Internet. A small Italian shop in the Moscow center is trying to survive against a backdrop of food embargo. So, the agency came up with a creative decision: common passers-by see ads of the Italian shop on the banner, but if a policeman comes to a banner, ads change to ones of shops with the best matryoshka dolls. As the video states, a facial recognition technology was applied for such occasional change of the banners, which was reprogrammed to recognize elements of the Russian police uniform. It is hard to estimate how many people saw the banner on the street, but the video in this case was already watched by more than 600 million users.


In 2019, amalgamation of traditional out-of-home ads and new technologies is going on. Today, it is important to combine different formats of ads placement to increase the reach and the efficiency of brand promotion in the Russian market.

RMAA Group experts constantly monitor market tendencies and will help you select optimal advertising promotion channels, taking into account the specifics of your offer and your target audience.

Learn more about the specifics of the Russian media market from our White Paper "How Does the Media-Buying Market in Russia Work? A media buyers’ quick guide for effective work in Russia".

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva
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