Manchester: a city of busy bees - the UK’s first industrialised city.

It has a population of around 2.7m people, which has experienced a fairly steady 0.73 growth rate for the past decade (macrotrends), helped by the magnetic pull of its burgeoning media, research/life sciences and professional services industries and its three universities.

With an economically active population, Manchester is an attractive city for outdoor advertising – OOH media there delivers 1.3bn impacts across two weeks – two thirds delivered via classic OOH and one third via digital (which is growing). Such is the reach of OOH that 97% of Manchester’s population will see some form of OOH every fortnight - and 11% of the GB population will see it too (Route).

Within the Manchester OOH landscape the ‘big reach’ opportunities are roadside, bus and taxi advertising, and for the best combination of audience profile and reach, it’s the taxis that shine through.

Happily, after 12+ months of on/off Covid-19 lockdowns, Manchester is coming back to life. The Bloomberg Pret index (for which Pret a Manger provides weekly sales data) pins Manchester as 71% recovered, versus pre-Covid data – Manchester having taken a massive hit during Covid.

Along with the rest of the UK, very little OOH media was booked in Manchester during the first 12 months of Covid – ordering people to stay indoors is a fast way to get OOH kicked off a marketing plan. However, now that Manchester city centre is the busiest it has been since the start is the pandemic (Huq Industries) OOH is experiencing a comeback.

So back to that topic and how best to reach the most economically active Manchester consumers. Some legwork through the Route data reveals that taxi advertising is the broadcast OOH opportunity that is most likely to be seen by ABC1s, and even more so, by ABs. In fact, taxis also do well in comparison to other OOH for visibility to ABC1 cosmopolitan women and are on a par with bus for reaching 18-34s.

Manchester’s retail sales index has settled back to approximately where it was in Feb 2020 (GMCA) – we say ‘settled’ because it was at +10% - the effect of ‘revenge spending’ perhaps. Being majority located in high footfall areas as they work the streets for fares, branded taxis are an efficient way to reach those shopping on Manchester’s retail hotspots. A decent volume, 4-week SuperSide taxi campaign in Manchester will reach 6/10 ABC1s 3+ times.

For brands that are (re)opening in the city’s malls, taxi advertising is one of the most efficient ways to deliver reach of mall shoppers. More than 7/10 people who shop at malls in Manchester will see taxi advertising in a fortnight, compared with media in-mall, which will barely reach 3/10 across the same period (Route).

So to create brand awareness and achieve broadcast message reach in Manchester this year, think ‘black taxi’. This global icon and high quality, Covid-safe environment, is ideal not just for passengers but for brands too.

To find out more about taxi advertising in Manchester, and beyond, drop our media team a line [email protected]