Communicate speaks with Jamie Atherton Managing Director at Yazle Media about the strategies that they are looking to implement for Choithrams and the future of digital out of home (OOH) advertisements in the region.
Digital ad-tech solution provider, Yazle announced the partnership earlier last week which will allow Choithrams to reach over a million shoppers with digital screens across 10 locations around Dubai. Jamie Atherton, MD at Yazle, discusses the scope of this technology in the region and their approach to yield the best out of it.
What do you think is the scope of digital ads in the MENA region?
With the evolution of digital media, this has been the next big thing on list. OOH has been around for a long time now, just not in the form of an enticing digital ad in-store. For a brand like Choithrams, we know that there exists a quality audience of in-market consumers, however, with digital OOH and a large scale of screens across the region, the brand can collect quality data and optimize its call to the appropriate audience. After all, what brands are trying to do is sell their product and to do that it is imperative to catch the right people at the right time.
With regard to the Choithrams partnership, how ready do you think the supermarket industry in the region is for this kind of technology?
In my opinion, the digital media across this industry is trying to catch up with international supermarket chains like Waitrose, Spinneys and Grandiose. But I only think so because the chains here aren’t looking at the monetization of in-store and OOH advertisements as a revenue stream. It takes a third-party like us, which is well-established in global markets for them to understand that this can help them make money. Numerous market chains, in the region are already hosting ads on screens, however, the ability to curate immersive content is not as dominant. We are delighted to be working with Choithrams on this strategic and pioneering partnership. We look forward to growing our business together and bringing this unique solution to our customers.
What are the advantages of digital OOH as opposed to printed outdoor or in-store banners?
Besides being able to actively optimize their target audience, brands can continually market to regular consumers. The second way it gets interesting is by serving a dynamic creative. When putting out a general banner, the artwork is manually updated, with digital it’s quicker. Moreover, these ads can be immersive, best resonating with the circumstances of the environment where they are being displayed. For instance, if it is extremely hot outside, we would prefer to serve an advertisement of a cold drink, where the customer is virtually being handed out a drink, thus turning it into an interactive experience.
Are there any specific features that you are working on to introduce in the region? Will these features also focus on providing the consumer with immersive experiences?
Yes, of course. One such feature we’re working on is that of ‘gamification.’ We’ve already been through the testing phase, by which a QR code on the digital advertisement when scanned will take the consumer to a playable window, when done playing the game, the consumer is rewarded with a discount on the advertised product. This is just going to be the first step to curating more dynamic content in the region, and Yazle is going to play a major part in it. Since our focus is on bringing technology fueled solutions to the market, we’re also collaborating with social media platforms to drive traffic to our ads. These features will become a lot more prevalent by next year in the region.
How do you think this approach of curating immersive advertisements is going to help brands improve recognition and retention?
For one, brands will be able to monitor the sales off the back. In terms of brand retention, data sets with respect to what’s being bought by the consumers against what’s being promoted as an ad, can be collected. Based on this primary data, we can then revise their call to action. By optimizing their audiences this way, brands can analyze their retention.
What kind of strategies is Yazle looking to adopt to further expand in the region?
The programmatic digital ad spot proposition we have is just a part of the jigsaw of what we do. We have access to exclusive screens such as in the Times Square, Eiffel Tower, Washington street station, Munich. With these, we would love to do something for Abu Dhabi and Dubai tourism, or even the 2022 FIFA World Cup scheduled to be happening in Qatar. Even though, Yazle does a lot more than OOH ads, this has become an integral part of our approach and we look forward to expanding in the region.