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On the go and on the lookout: mobile phone owners take in outdoor advertising big and small

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – June 2014. Smartphone Owners n= 4512, Non-Smartphone Mobile Owners n = 2846, Non-Mobile Owners n=788.

Around 4 in 5 of Australia’s 12.5 million smartphone owners aged 14+ (81%) notice some form of outdoor advertising in an average week, new research from Roy Morgan shows.

In the six months to June 2014, well over half of smartphone owners had seen or heard advertising in a shopping centre or mall (59%) or noticed big billboards (54%) in the last seven days, and around 4 in 10 noticed posters or small billboards (41%). Around 3 in 10 noticed ads at train or bus stations (29%) or on the sides of busses or trams (28%), and 1 in 4 saw them on motorways/freeways (25%).

Other commonly noticed outdoor ads among smartphone owners are those on taxis (24%), bus or tram shelters (23%) or free-standing poster panels (23%).

However those without a smartphone are less likely to notice all types of outdoor ads: 72% of people with a non-smart mobile phone and only 53% of people with no mobile phone at all, notice outdoor ads during the week.

% of people noticing outdoor advertising types by mobile phone ownership

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – June 2014.  Smartphone Owners n= 4512, Non-Smartphone Mobile Owners n = 2846, Non-Mobile Owners n=788.

Advertising in elevators and foyers, public toilets, gyms, sports stadia, airport terminals, as well as in-store radio, are each also much more likely to be noticed by smartphone owners than non-owners.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It turns out smartphone owners aren’t just walking around with their heads down, peering at screens. Smartphone owners notice more outdoor advertising than others, suggesting that the integration of Outdoor and Digital in marketing campaigns could indeed provide a promising advantage for marketers. New ‘geo-tagging’ or location-specific targeted campaigns are examples of these.

“Outdoor advertising revenue continues to grow, and more out-of-home media companies are thinking outside the box, with new innovations such as digital billboards that change with the weather, and more interactive screens.”

To understand how to identify, understand and reach Australians most likely to notice outdoor advertising, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%