Consumer behavior

Overview 10.5.2021: The audience reach of outdoor advertising

The exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affects the mobility of people. In 2021, many advertising environments have seen positive development in traffic volume due to improved Covid-situation, accelerated vaccination rate, and the spring weather. More favorable effects can also be expected in the coming months with the deregulation plan and the approaching summer. The strongest indication of the change and the drop in passenger volumes is seen in public transport. The effects on private motoring or other types of private modes of transport have not been as significant, so far.

Existing pandemic restrictions and recommendations have decreased the mobility in different environments, but there has not been a huge drop in traffic volume like last spring. Traffic volume is below the normal level, but clearly higher than last year during the lockdown period. We have spent a full year under the restrictions, so we will get more accurate picture of current road traffic and light traffic when we compare the volume to 2019 AND 2020.


It is still challenging to assess the mobility of people as the situation and the restrictions are volatile and there is no universal shift factor for describing the situation. However, we have seen positive trend in many environments, mostly due improved pandemic situation, vaccines and spring weather.


Despite the exceptional times, outdoor advertising will still reach people in 2021 – in urban outdoor areas, on the sides of roads and in shopping centres.

Tilannekatsaus visut 10.5.2021 (EN)-1

Extracts from Finland

The movement of people is still clearly increasing compared to the beginning of the year. Recent weeks have been a few degrees colder than the comparison weeks of previous years, but despite this, the volume of light traffic has increased significantly since the beginning of April.

During week 18 the road traffic volume was 15 % above last year's level (-8 % vs 2019). There is clearly more road traffic than at the same time last year. Road traffic increased by 20 % in April.

The volume of light traffic in Helsinki was +21 % (-23 % vs 2019). In the center of Helsinki, there was 33 % more light traffic than in the corresponding week last year. Volume of light traffic has increased by 50 % since the beginning of April.

According to the Google Mobility Report, the number of visitors in grocery stores and pharmacies was 6 % up from last year's level (weeks 1-5/2020 average). Number of visitors in shopping malls was -17 % vs. 2020 weeks 1-5.


  • Public transport -39 %
  • Port of Helsinki -62 %
  • People’s mobility in their own residential areas +6 %
  • Mobility at outdoor recreation areas +74 %

Business travellers returning to flights − Finnair to offer more flights in the spring


The demand for trips abroad and the news on vaccines have finally provided a positive outlook for the airline industry. Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, reported that Finnair will bring back several European flights and some long-distance flights, including flights to New York, Osaka and Beijing.


“Starting in April, we will add more flights, moving up from the current level of 10–15% and continue to build the network during the summer,” says Mikko Turtiainen, Vice President Global Sales at Finnair, according to the news article.


According to Finnair, in addition to holiday travellers, business travellers are also returning to air travel. The company has received feedback indicating a pent-up need for business trips and it is estimated that we will begin to see the return of business travellers after the summer holidays. Similarly, Qatar Airways anticipates the return of business travellers during 2021.

Finns long for trips abroad


Holidays that were cancelled last year have resulted in a strong desire to travel. According to a survey carried out by market research company Taloustutkimus for Yle, 27% of Finns intend to travel as soon as the pandemic eases off and restrictions have been lifted significantly. Trips to Thailand have been especially in demand.


“Of the winter destinations, the resorts in the Canary Islands and Thailand have been selling very well. As for Thailand, we have sold ten times the number of reservations for next winter compared to the same time a year ago,” Mari Kanerva, Communications Manager at Finnair, told Yle.


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Mobility of Finns in 2021


Kantar has investigated the change in the mobility of Finns in the near future. Respondents were asked about how they get around currently and how they plan to get around in 2021. With the pandemic, the number of passengers using public transport fell, whereas private motoring increased. Based on the survey, the most popular methods in 2021 were on foot, by car and by one’s own bicycle.


  • Within a year, 12% of Finns plan to travel more in the Greater Helsinki area and in central urban areas with more than 50,000 inhabitants, compared to previous years.
  • 8% intend to visit shopping centres more frequently.
  • 10% plan to be more mobile on the motorways, main roads and other roads compared to the previous year.


Respondents were asked what modes of transport they intend to use in the near future. In 2021, popular choices are by foot, by car and by bicycle.


  • 34% said they will get around more on foot in 2021
  • 26% intend to ride a bicycle more than before
  • 15% are going to use a car more as a mode of transport within a year

Shopping centre media reaches people
As part of the analytics of our advertising surroundings, we also continue to monitor development in the reach of shopping centres. To form a real overview of the situation, it is important to utilise data with the maximum coverage possible. To do this, we utilise numbers provided by Google Mobility Report (category: Retail & Recreation), particularly data relating to the number of visits to places in Finland.
At the same time, we also monitor the numbers provided by individual shopping centres. There is, however, inherent variation in the case-specific numbers due to different factors, such as the profile of anchor stores in shopping centres. Overall, it can be concluded that the situation turned towards normal during the month of July – shopping centres are reaching Finns with high purchasing power.
  • The number of visitors to shopping centres -16% compared to the average in weeks 1–5 (Google Mobility Report 29. April 2021).
  • Total sales 06/2020 -5.5% compared to the numbers in June 2019 (Suomen Kauppakeskusyhdistys 27 August 2020).


Visitor numbers to shopping centres on the increase


On November 15, Iltalehti published an article on the number of visitors to shopping centres during the pandemic. The article discussed whether shopping centres can attract visitors during these challenging times. Despite the challenging circumstances, shopping centre managers and entrepreneurs are satisfied with the overall situation. At Shopping Centre Redi, visitor numbers have been on the increase since April.


“Compared to last year, the number of visitors has dropped in the period from August to October by 8–12%. However, at the beginning of November the visitor numbers are just a few percent below the previous year’s numbers,” Aleksi Salminen, Manager at Shopping Centre Redi, said to Iltalehti.


Kati Kivimäki, Manager at Mall of Tripla, is quite content with the situation.


“During the first 12 months, we have already had more than 20 million visitors. Since the summer, the number of visitors has continued to grow. Currently, we have approximately 350,000 customers a week.


Bustling crowd in front of Shopping Centre Kamppi Helsinki


During the week 18 Narinkka Square was lively. Over 160 000 people passed the measuring station in front of Kamppi Helsinki.


Narinkkatori vk 18 (EN)


Number of travellers 2021 vs 2020 (Finavia 12.4.2021):

  • 1/2021: -92 %
  • 2/2021: -92 %
  • 3/2021: -84 %

Currently closed:

  • T1 security checkpoint and baggage claim hall
  • T1 gates G5–15
  • T2 Schengen gate G31
  • T2 Non-Schengen gates G44–49, G50, 53–55
  • Finnair Lounges Non-Schengen & Schengen

 Flex Contact Guarantee

  • Flex Contact Guarantee guarantees the realisation of contacts. Contact Guarantee covers situations in which the potential for contacts is reduced significantly due to restrictions imposed by the government/authorities.
  • Contact Guarantee comes into effect when the contact potential in the purchased advertising environment is reduced by 10% or more.
  • Contact Guarantee is valid for the validity period of terms and conditions regarding the purchase of Clear Channel Flex.


Implementing the measuring process:

  • The comparison figure for contact potential will be the nationwide reach of each advertising environment.
  • The changes in contact potential will be monitored on a weekly basis.
  • The change in contact potential is then compared to Clear Channel’s contact monitoring model for each advertising environment. The comparison figure is based on the latest contact monitoring (Overview).

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Did you have any questions? Contact our sales:

Ville Bergman

Sales Director

+358 207 312 043



Consumer behavior - Cases