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Campaign Middle East - The rise of Programmatic DOOH in UAE’s advertising landscape

In recent years, the advertising industry in the UAE has witnessed a significant transformation with the advent of Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home (PrDOOH) advertising.

This dynamic approach to DOOH advertising has revolutionised how brands connect with their target audience, providing advertisers unprecedented flexibility and targeting capabilities.

BackLite Media’s roadshow: Educating brands and agencies about PrDOOH

BackLite Media has been instrumental in driving the region’s awareness and adoption of PrDOOH. We initiated a comprehensive roadshow, collaborating with brands and agencies to educate them about its power and flexibility.

Through interactive workshops, seminars, and demonstrations, we showcased how PrDOOH can enhance campaign performance, drive engagement, and unlock new possibilities for brands in the digital age. This proactive approach has empowered brands to leverage the full potential of PrDOOH advertising strategies.

Our growing PrDOOH ecosystem

Notable campaigns hosted by BackLite Media

BackLite’s DOOH inventory offers 300+ digital screens in the UAE to help advertisers reach their target audience in diverse locations and contexts.

We have hosted many successful campaigns for esteemed brands, leveraging the power of PrDOOH to deliver impactful advertising.

Some notable campaigns include collaborations with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), MSI, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), Tumi, and other well-known brands.

These campaigns have demonstrated the effectiveness of PrDOOH in driving brand visibility, engagement, and conversion.

BackLite Media has facilitated memorable and impactful brand experiences for its clients by harnessing data- driven targeting, creative optimisation, and real-time insights.

In conclusion, PrDOOH represents a paradigm shift in the UAE’s advertising landscape, offering opportunities for brands and advertisers to connect with their audience meaningfully.

Our commitment to innovation, education, and collaboration has positioned it as a leader in driving the growth and evolution of PrDOOH, shaping the future of OOH advertising in the digital era.

SpotLite 2.0 - CEO's Remarks

Dear Readers,

In an era dominated by digital platforms and the privacy concerns that come with it, Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has become a more prominent and credible medium. OOH surrounds audiences in their everyday environment, reaching them when they are close to the point of sale and less distracted by other media.

The UAE’s OOH market continues to thrive, with a staggering 12% year-on-year growth, showcasing our industry’s resilience and adaptability. At BackLite Media, we are proud to be at the forefront of this evolution, pioneering innovations that redefine how brands connect with their audiences.

In the realm of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) and Programmatic DOOH (PrDOOH), we stand out as trend-setters, harnessing the power of technology to deliver targeted, data-driven campaigns. Our commitment to data integration has increased campaign effectiveness, highlighting the impact of strategic insights on driving results.

Experiential marketing remains a cornerstone of our approach, with immersive campaigns that captivate audiences and drive engagement at UAE’s most famous malls and destinations like The Galleria Al Maryah Island and Al Qana. Our collaborations with leading brands have seen a significant uplift in brand recall, showcasing the power of memorable brand-building experiences.

Partnerships lie at the heart of our success story. This year’s highlight has been our acquisition by Multiply Group, propelling us towards extended reach and accelerated growth. We are poised to unlock new opportunities, expand our footprint, and deliver unparalleled value to our clients and partners.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of OOH, one thing remains constant – our unwavering commitment to innovation, creativity, and excellence. We invite you to join us on this journey as we continue to illuminate the world with impactful campaigns and transformative experiences.

World Out Of Home Organization’s European Regional Forum 2024

The World Out of Home Organization is to hold its first in-person European Regional Forum in Milan from November 4-6.

This comes at a time when according to WOO’s latest Global Expenditure Survey, Europe has overtaken North America in terms of size of market by revenue, reflecting its position as the test bed for many of the most exciting developments and innovations in the industry, especially in rapidly-growing digital Out of Home (DOOH.)

This too, is reflected in the increasingly dynamic Italian OOH market making Milan the perfect venue for this Europe Forum.

WOO’s very first Regional Forum was online from London in 2021 and since then the Organization has held in-person Forums in South Africa, Bali, Dubai and Malaysia plus highly successful Annual Congresses in Toronto, Lisbon and Hong Kong.

WOO President Tom Goddard says: “It’s easy to take for granted,  the huge contribution Europe has made and is making to the strong growth of OOH in the global market as we also focus on Asia and regions further afield.

“The outlook for OOH in Europe is buoyant despite the various geopolitical issues and overtaking North America by value is a major achievement and step forward for the global industry as we clear the 5% of global ADEX hurdle and head towards an even brighter future. Milan will be an unmissable celebration of an industry in fine form.”

Lay's unveils a flavour explosion on BackLite Billboards

Lay's entices snack lovers in Dubai with its all-new package redesign and irresistible flavors on our billboards! The brand has taken over our unipole with a campaign that reaches a new level of creativity. With a flavour explosion that jumps out of the billboard, this campaign is eye-catching and truly irresistible.

The campaign was executed in collaboration with OMD UAE and PepsiCo for the launch of the “Best Ever Lay’s” (truly is!)

Thank you to Nour El Dakdouki and OMD MENA for their continued support and trust in our company, and we look forward to collaborating with you on many more creative campaigns.

Get ready to be wowed by Lay's delicious display as you drive down Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai!

Campaign Middle East - BackLite reveals strategy behind slick Jimmy Choo campaign

BackLite Media has shared the “strategy behind the story” of Jimmy Choo’s summer campaign, promoting its summer eyewear collection. The campaign, which ran for nearly a month from June to July 2024, leveraged high-impact advertising spaces within BackLite’s Digital Icons network. It explicitly targeted screens near Downtown Dubai en route to Dubai Mall and Umm Suqeim Road, making it an effective drive-to-store campaign for the brand.

“These locations were selected for their visibility, effectively capturing the attention of Jimmy Choo’s target demographic, affluent shoppers, and reaching millions of passersby,” James Bicknell, CEO of BackLite Media, told Campaign Middle East.

With the capability to deliver approximately 45 million impressions monthly, this campaign ensured widespread visibility for the brand.

Speaking about the strategy behind the campaign, BackLite revealed the transition from traditional static billboards to dynamic digital screens, marking a new era in content delivery that empowers advertisers with real-time updates, flexibility, and standout campaigns in the UAE.

James said,Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) media is on the verge of transforming the OOH industry. As media moves toward a screen-based environment tied to data and technology, criteria like time, content, and contextual relevance have become the new pillars of OOH media placement.”

BackLite Media Jimmy Choo campaign

“With web browsers and apps increasingly blocking cookies, ad spend is shifting to the DOOH sector more quickly than expected. Marketers now see DOOH as a more respected medium for engaging consumers in meaningful and conversational ways,” he added.

BackLite Media’s integration with cutting-edge technologies, such as live data feeds and location-based services, allows the company to target audiences and deliver contextually relevant content on the Digital Icons network.

In a market moving towards measurement and performance, BackLite has stayed ahead of the curve.

James said, “We recognise that more than digitisation is needed. To truly excel, we’ve incorporated data into our strategy, providing clients with comprehensive reports highlighting metrics such as playouts, impressions, reach, and frequency, enabling them to make informed decisions and maximise their impact.”

“We offer detailed reports encompassing these metrics by partnering with Seventh Decimal and Admobilize. Seventh, Decimal’s pre-campaign planning tool assesses location performance, allowing us to recommend specific sites based on campaign objectives. We close the loop by providing post-campaign reports to help clients understand their campaign performance,” he added.

BackLite also collaborated with Media Agency Group on the campaign.

Campaign Middle East - We can DOOH more with data

We have observed a digital trend worldwide, which is also unfolding here. Through a market assessment and a deep understanding of the environmental factors, we have successfully installed industry-leading Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) screens capable of withstanding even the harshest conditions.

However, we recognise that digitisation alone isn’t enough. Hence, we’ve embedded data into our strategy. By partnering with Seventh Decimal and Admobilize, we can provide our clients with detailed reports encompassing play outs, impressions, reach, and frequency metrics.

We believe in harnessing the power of technology and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising to create exceptional experiences. This approach is reflected in our recent campaign for Amazon Prime Video at Dubai Festival City Mall. The Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ campaign for ‘Citadel’ fascinated mall visitors with its innovative use of technology.

The campaign dynamically identified and tracked hand movements in real-time by leveraging advanced hand detection and gesture recognition technology. This feature transformed the campaign artwork seamlessly, resulting in an immersive and interactive experience that delighted visitors. And it took home the Silver at the recent MMA Global Smarties MENA Awards 2024 in the DOOH category.

The evolving needs of our clients reflect a shift towards data-driven and results-oriented solutions. They seek improved audience targeting capabilities to ensure their messages resonate with the right individuals at the right moment.

This growing demand has spurred the emergence of Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home (PrDOOH), offering efficiency and flexibility to optimise campaigns on the fly. In pursuing PrDOOH excellence, we’ve established an ecosystem, BackLite 360, that seamlessly integrates comprehensive data sources and solutions. This enables us to cater to our clients at every stage of the marketing funnel, delivering targeted content with precision.

When discussing technology in this context, it’s impossible to ignore the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Its presence is not just a concept but a tangible reality within the OOH sector.

Through platforms like AdMobilize and Neurons, AI is revolutionising how we predict traffic flows, analyse content for enhanced creativity, and gauge real-time attention through eye tracking.

Integrating new technologies with OOH will propell the industry forward and revolutionise its landscape. The impact has been profound, from harnessing the power of data and AI to the advancements in LED screen technology.

2025 World Out of Home Organization Global Congress heads for Mexico City (Down Mexico Way)

The 2025 World Out of Home Annual Congress will be held in Mexico City from June 4th to 6th. This is the first time the WOO Annual Congress has been held in Latin America and follows the highly successful WOO Annual Congress in Hong Kong, its first visit to Asia, earlier this year over 500 delegates attended.

Helping to host the 2025 event will be ALOOH, the trade body representing Out of Home in the region. ALOOH  was formed in 2018 and both Gabriel Cedrone (ALOOH President) and Guillermo de Lella (ALOOH General Manager) are Vice Presidents on the WOO Board.

WOO President Tom Goddard says: "WOO is the only global media organisation that represents equally all main markets and it's right that we should now go to Latin America, a dynamic, rapidly-growing market in every respect.

"Mexico City is a fantastic venue and our 2025 Annual Congress will be a major stepping stone as we reinforce Out of Home's status as the most progressive and effective non-online global medium."

BackLite Media releases SpotLite 2.0 in collaboration with Campaign Middle East

BackLite Media has announced the release of SpotLite 2.0, its annual publication created in collaboration with Campaign Middle East.

This edition of SpotLite focuses on the dynamic and ever-evolving Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising industry, particularly emphasising the transformative potential of Data, Measurement and Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home (PrDOOH).

SpotLite 2.0 brings together insights from some of the industry’s most influential voices.

Contributors include experts from the UAE Government Media Office, World Out of Home Organization, IAB MENA, The Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), Data Partners like Seventh Decimal and Admobilize, and Programmatic Platforms like The Trade Desk and Place Exchange. Each offers unique perspectives on the current state and future direction of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising.

James Bicknell, CEO of BackLite Media, said, “The publication delves into a wide range of topics, from integrating data-driven techniques to the creative opportunities offered by Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising.

“These articles provide a comprehensive overview of the trends and innovations poised to shape the next chapter of OOH advertising.

“We thank Motivate Media Group for their invaluable assistance in agency distribution across the UAE, enabling SpotLite 2.0 to reach an even wider audience.

“This collaboration underscores our commitment to expanding its influence and fostering growth within the industry.”

SpotLite 2.0 is a crucial resource for marketers, brand managers, and out-of-home specialists. It provides valuable insights and strategies for navigating the rapidly changing landscape of OOH advertising. The contributions from esteemed authors reflect the industry’s current state and provide a forward-looking view of its promising future.

From Awareness to Action: Mastering Brand Reach

Lindsay Rapacchi, Research and Insight Director at Clear Channel Outdoor, in his session on “Outdoor’s Secret Superpower” at the WOO Global Congress in Hong Kong emphasised OOH advertising's strongest attribute: broadcast reach. He observed that many media professionals don't fully understand why reach is crucial. Over the past year, he says that he conducted informal research with over 100 media professionals, including planners and clients, to discover their reasons for valuing reach. The top responses were identified to be priming people, increasing awareness, driving brand fame, and selling more advertising. However, Lindsay believes the most critical reason was missed: brands with smaller market shares have fewer, less loyal buyers.

Leveraging Light Category Buyers

Illustrating this with the UK washing powder industry, where Persil leads with a 22% market share, Lindsay emphasised that a brand's success, like Persil's in the washing powder industry, is primarily due to its high market penetration, not loyalty. Market penetration, attracting more buyers, is believed to drive growth, rather than solely focusing on loyalty.

Lindsay highlights the importance of understanding buyer distribution curves, where most buyers fall into the light category, purchasing infrequently. He argued for a strategy targeting this large segment of light buyers rather than solely focusing on heavy buyers, as traditional approaches tend to do.

He criticised the neglect of light category buyers in media plans, which often prioritise niche audiences. He suggested integrating light category buyers into media planning to unlock OOH advertising's full potential, as different channels reach varying numbers of these buyers. By prioritising reach to attract more light buyers, brands can achieve significant growth. Lindsay's call to focus on light category buyers offers a fresh perspective on brand growth strategies and the importance of understanding market dynamics beyond loyalty.

The winning duo

Discussing a UK study involving over 40,000 consumers and 250,000 brand interactions, he revealed that OOH and TV were found to be the most effective pairing, increasing productivity by a factor of four. However, he cautioned against relying solely on this combination, emphasising the importance of using a variety of media channels. He highlighted the need for brands to align their customer base with the broader market, using OOH to reach underrepresented demographics. For example, brands should not over-target older consumers at the expense of younger ones.

Refining the Recipe of Reach

In his strategy presentation, Lindsay outlined a holistic approach to media planning, emphasising the importance of reach in OOH advertising. He rejected a highly targeted approach, asserting that OOH's strength lies in its ability to reach a broad audience. Lindsay's strategy begins with a focus on programmatic digital OOH, leveraging mobile data to target specific audience segments that over-index for the brand. Integrating with other media channels, including radio and addressable TV, further expand reach and reinforce brand messaging.

Lindsay applied the "duplication of purchase" law, targeting competitors' customers who are more likely to overlap with the brand's customer base.

He advocated for a dynamic media plan that adapts to different consumer behaviours and contexts, exemplified by programmatic ads tailored to specific weather conditions and time slots.

Lindsay underscored the importance of balancing reach with targeted messaging, leveraging empirical evidence and consumer behaviour insights to optimise brand growth. He emphasised the foundational role of broadcast reach in OOH advertising while integrating insights from the duplication of purchase law and category entry points to refine and enhance media planning strategies.

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