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invidis started its digital signage consulting and event activities in the Gulf region in Fall 2010. The pan-EMEA digital signage and digital out of Home association OVAB has launched its regional presence in 2011 and plans to expand with selected activities in 2012.

Following invidis provides regular digital signage and digital out of home relevant updates to the region. If you have any information please contact the team at press@invidis.de

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NEC launches digital signage aviation portal

NEC Airport Displays Microsite

NEC Airport Displays Microsite

28December2011 NEC Display Solutions has launched a dedicated aviation digital signage microsite at airport-nec.com. The Japanese display solutions provider started focusing on the aviation industry in September 2011 by appointing Richard Wilks as EMEA Aviation Business Development Manager.

The microsite presents solutions for Information, Way Guiding, Messaging, Retail, Control and common used infrastructure (CUTE). Just recently NEC replaced analog departuer boards with LCD based Videowalls at Munich Airport’s Terminal1.

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New digital screen network launched in Dubai Airport

JC Decaux launched Digital Corridor at Dubai Airport (Photo: JCD)

JC Decaux launched Digital Corridor at Dubai Airport (Photo: JCD)

23December2011 A new digital network at Terminal 1 Departure is the latest addition to the digital offer at Dubai International Airport of JCDecaux Middle East. The new network  – a dozen  55” displays – have been installed along the escalator towards the concourse of Terminal 1. The launch of the new network has been very successful with Estee Lauder booking the whole loop for six months starting September 2011.

Gross Reach of the new digital corridor is an average 500.000 per month.

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RFI for Dubai Airport’s Concourse 3 advertising rights

Dubai Airports is tendering advertising rights for Concourse 3

Dubai Airports is tendering advertising rights for Concourse 3

22December2011 Dubai Airports is inviting bids for the advertising contract of Concourse 3, the new terminal scheduled for opening late 2012, the National reports in today’s issue (22 December 2011). Concourse 3 will be exclusively used by Emirates Airline and is designed for 19m passenger annually.

Airport advertising rights are a very premium asset. JC Decaux currently holds the rights for the already existing concourses at DXB and is most likely also bidding for the new terminal. JCD holds also regional airport advertising rights at Jebel Ali located Al Maktoum International Airport, Sharjah (SHJ) and all 26 airports in Saudi Arabia. On a global scale Paris based JC Decaux has a 30% share of the world airport advertising market and a portfolio of 184 concessions in international airports, including both major Paris airports (CDG/ORY), Heathrow and Gatwick in London, JFK and La Guardia in New York, Frankfurt airport and Shanghai.

Eugene Barry, senior vice president for commercial at Dubai Airports confirmed The National that Advertising sites will include opportunities on digital screens, innovative activation platforms toengage with passengers, and conventional billboard sites. The RFI expires January 5th, 2012 and will most likely be long running multi-million dollar contract.
Digital out of Home on standard LCD displays as well as full blown LED walls are becoming the standard form of advertising in international airports besides iconic installations.

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SmartScreen launches Amscreen Network in the UAE [Update]

SmartScreen launches UAE Network

SmartScreen launches UAE Network

06September2011 Amscreen, the UK’s largest nationwide digital media network owner, announced an exclusive partnership with Dubai-based business SmartScreen, that will see them purchase digital signage screens exclusively from Amscreen for retail outlets across the Middle East and Africa. SmartScreen is a new entity created to provide digital signage solutions. SmartScreen have already generated significant interest in the Amscreen product and recently signed up their first forecourt deal with Middle Eastern petrol retailer ENOC/EPPCO as well as the Zoom convenience store network within all Dubai Metro Stations.

SmartScreen will secure their own content and have appointed sales agencyAIR Media, part of theAIR Communications Group, to sell advertising on its behalf. Abdul Bakhrani, CEO of SmartScreen, said: “We were thoroughly impressed by Amscreen’s network in the UK and were keen to replicate this in our territories. We already have one key petrol operator on board and are really excited to see our forecourt network grow and to modernise digital signage solutions in the Middle East and Africa.”

Simon Sugar, CEO of Amscreen, said: “This deal is an exciting development for Amscreen as it is the first time we have sold signage units to a foreign company. We look forward to working with Smartscreen and seeing their networks develop in the Middle East and Africa. It is clear that our wireless plug and play solution is the most cost effective signage platform available today and is perfect for deployment within forecourt and convenience environments offering the best of breed in close proximity signage.

[Update] As of 22 December 2011 the SmartScreen Network has grown to 99 Displays in and around Dubai. A Live Network Map is available here

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Ramadan Advertising spending down in 2011

al barq digital DooH Insights

al barq digital DooH Insights

13September2011 DooH Insights Ramadan is one of the busiest advertising periods in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Some advertisers choose to spend half their annual budget in this month alone, and it’s a period which many media owners and network operators rely on to boost their overall trading figures for the year.

For those who may not live or be familiar with the region, The Holy Month of Ramadan marks a time when those living in MENA typically spend a significant amount of time at home with their family and friends, on the phone to those living overseas, as well as outside of their homes. As such, their lifestyle during this period marks an attractive and highly effective time to advertise to consumers.

Whilst official figures are still to be released, initial data and industry & media commentators are pretty much in agreement that ad spend is well and truly down in this period, with many companies choosing to cut their marketing budgets this year. Whilst positively spending levels on advertising during Ramadan are up against the rest of 2011 to date in the MENA countries, overall spending is expected to be lower than last year.

In recent months at DOOH Insights, we’d shared with you research and figures already showing a decline in overall ad spend in the region in 2011 to date. The same reasons for the decline across the whole of 2011, as well as at Ramadan, are being given; the political unrest sweeping many parts of the region and continued economic struggles globally, including the credit downgrade in the US and debt crisis in Europe.

Shaharyar Umar, marketing director at the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC), told Gulf News, that one of the primary reasons local ad revenue during this period suffered is because three of the biggest spenders in the region are multinational companies, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and PepsiCo. “Furthermore, this Ramadan coincides with the peak of the holiday period,” Umar continued. August marks the peak summer break in the region, with nearly 4.7% of the population in the Gulf going on holiday in this period according to research.

So, what have we witnessed in the new and growing DOOH industry during this period?

Shopping malls and supermarkets have long provided some of the most premium DOOH environments, because of footfall volumes, long visit times and the perfect consumer mindset for advertisers. The climate and culture of the MENA region, makes the many sprawling shopping malls across the countries busy on a normal week day, but increasingly so during Ramadan, when footfall figures can increase by up to a third. As such, they are a venue of choice for many advertisers in the region, providing a large audience with significant spending power.

In the UAE, some of the strongest DOOH networks are in malls, including those of Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF), the UAE’s most prominent property and shopping mall developer and owner of some of the largest mall advertising networks, including Mall of Emirates, Mirdiff City Centre and Deira City Centre; Abu Dhabi Media owned Al Barq Digital and Dubai Mall operated by Hypermedia.

DOOH Insights carries out a weekly screen campaign audit across DOOH networks the UAE and whilst we can’t comment on likely revenues secured by operators, we definitely did witness a busier period over Ramadan, with more paid for content going out across the mall networks. As typically seen in this period, media companies and the TV networks were heavy advertisers, with Sharjah TV and ADTV both running long term campaigns. Other key advertisers during this period included Landmark Group, Etisilat, Du and Ferrari World (who pretty much ran on every DOOH network for the past 2 months).

Away from the malls, JCDecaux’s screens in Dubai International airport were on the whole booked up and busy and many of the screen networks in office towers across the city were filled with store sales, bank ads and gym & diet plan campaigns.

We’re in the process of talking to a number of the key operators and industry spokespeople in the region to get their thoughts on the Ramadan just gone and how it was for them and we’ll be sharing their insights and commentary very soon.

Whilst the ad spend figures may be down across the region, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been bucking the trend in recent analysis, so let’s hope it’s not all doom and gloom once the official figures are released. There are many who still feel Q4 could see a pick up across the board and we hear that whilst it may not be as quick as we’d like, DOOH is increasingly making it on to media plans and that at the end of the day is good to see.

Natasha Hatherall / Al Barq Digital