Study shows commuters breaking the mould of peak hour travel

digital commute advertising campaign

Australian commuters are moving away from the traditional peak hour rat race, with one third travelling to and from work outside of rush hour, according to new research commissioned by leading Out of Home media company, oOh!media.

Own the Journey 2.0, undertaken by independent research firm Pollinate for Commute by oOh!, explored the habits of more than 2,000 Australian commuters and found 1 in 3 weekday workers are travelling to work outside peak hour. On the way home, 42 per cent of commuters are beating the crowds again, travelling between 3 and 5pm.

oOh! Chief Customer Officer David Scribner said the greater acceptance of flexible working by employers and technology had resulted in workers not only changing their travel times but also how they view their commute.

“An increasing number of people are actually enjoying it, viewing their travel time as invaluable and a positive transition between home life and work,” Mr Scribner said.

“According to the research, just over a third of workers use the commute as a time to listen to podcasts or music, just under a third spend some of the commute planning their work day and just over a quarter treat the travel time as an opportunity to take time out, relax and enjoy the trip.”

“With these significant changes in commuting behaviour, the research offers powerful insights that marketers can draw on to connect with their audiences when they are in a positive mindset and therefore more easily engaged with.”

Mr Scribner said the research also found commuter behaviour was influenced by being exposed to multiple Out of Home advertising formats while in transit and proved the power of Out of Home to drive online.

“41 per cent of commuters exposed to an oOh! format in the week prior to the research being undertaken did a “Google Search” he said.

“The more oOh! formats commuters saw – be it Street Furniture, Roadside billboard or Rail – the more likely they were to take action, with over half of commuters ‘googling’ when exposed to five or more formats.”

Own the Journey 2.0 also shows:

  •  71 per cent of commuters who had seen at least one oOh! format in the last week say they noticed ads for the same product/service across different outdoor formats. Half of this audience reacted positively.
  • Almost half of all commuters (48 per cent) use at least two modes of transport for their commute, with walking, trains and buses playing a major role for those using multi-modal transport
  • Only 16 per cent of people dislike their commute.
  • Half of all commuters see travelling time as “me time”, while 37 per cent see it as relaxing, yet students view commuting as ‘doing time’, with 52 per cent using it to be productive.
  • The top activities people undertake on the commute to work beyond focusing on driving are:
    1. Listening to music or podcasts (34 per cent),
    2. Thinking about what needs to be done (29 per cent),
    3. Relaxing/day-dreaming (28 per cent),
    4. Checking emails (28 per cent) and
    5. Browsing social media (22 per cent)
  • 13 per cent of commuters use the time to shop – either for products and services (8 per cent) or groceries (7 per cent).

Mr Scribner said the research continued oOh!’s investment in understanding the perceptions and behaviours of Australian audiences to help marketers better target their advertising to engage their audiences.

“It is clear from the commuter behaviours that there is significant opportunity for advertisers to drive engagement through our ability to deliver time, day and location targeting,” Mr Scribner said.

“Whether it’s Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth, oOh! is able to help advertisers reach commuters on their daily journey at the right place, at the right time and with the right message.”

Download the full media release here.