By Ammar Sharaf, Founder, Boardmember and CEO of Viola Communications
The digitalisation of our industry is now an accepted reality. However, calling it ‘transformational’ does an injustice to the processes that have been completely revolutionised to get us to this point. Technological advances are taking place at an incredible rate and amazing innovations are making a huge difference to how we, as the marketing interface between companies and their clients, can exploit this new technology to have a far-reaching effect. Let’s face it, we would be guilty of sleeping on the job if we failed to recognise, or at least investigate, the tremendous opportunities that digitalisation can bring to the table.
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While organisations and governments around the world have a digitalisation imperative that is bringing about a change in the way we interact with the world online at a personal level, we are at the sharp end of an industry that has always been highly visible in the public domain, a media for the masses specifically designed to introduce product to customer, and in the most efficient, charismatic and appealing way.
Which is why Viola Outdoor has recently announced a breakthrough advance in the field of outdoor advertising in the capital with the imminent launch of its digital outdoor LED screens and bridge banner display concepts.
Viola’s long-term presence on the highways and byways of Abu Dhabi has already established the company as the perfect partner to lead the digital evolution of outdoor advertising, having been the principal advertising concessionaire on the main outdoor platforms in Abu Dhabi since 2003, and as such possessing the experience and knowledge necessary to take outdoor marketing to its next phase.
The DOOH LED screens will feature several unique technical designs, and will fit in with Viola Communications’ existing strategic locations across Abu Dhabi, including downtown and along the city’s high-visibility roads and major arteries, opening the doors to a new era of partnerships between Viola, a locally grown industry leader, and its clients.
We will be introducing these dynamic new media display screens at appropriate sites across the city and are really excited by the prospects that this form of advertising can offer, including interactivity for pedestrians. These displays will totally transform the very infrastructure of media platforms across the city.
For Viola, this is not just another project; it is company philosophy. But it’s important to note that digital OOH will not replace the existing traditional formats in the short term, for which there is still a lot of demand. However, we are in the process of creating a mass communication structure that will be ready, willing and able to adapt to any change in the future, changes that digitalisation will facilitate at the touch of a button, literally.
We are introducing smart network solutions that add a sophisticated backbone to the complex system of connectivity, which benefits both advertiser and audience in equal parts. For example, our Totem.Lights are two-sided and will have an interactive element to them, enabling residents, visitors and tourists to get instant information based on their location, and the booking process for advertisers will be digitised and securely accessible on-line, enabling content to be displayed on screens instantly for optimum viewability.
Viola’s unique digital products provide a vast range of marketing options that actively support the capital city’s commitment to digital transformation, reinforced by the capability of embedding creativity and style in their applications coupled with high visibility, enabling a better targeted reach for customers and a more refined experience for the general public.
Currently, posters on billboards are printed and then manually changed according to customer specs, but digital displays provide the ability to bypass this process and directly change any image, whether static or animated, video or graphic, instantly and remotely; adding speed, adaptability, sustainability, environmental friendliness and the extra dimensions of immediacy and safety to the process.
Digitisation offers clients the opportunity to invest in a range of marketing possibilities, whether multiple versions of a single campaign across the city, multiple campaigns run on a single unit across the Viola Digital Out of Home products, or a mix and match campaign that combines a full range of options, and we are very excited about how these city-wide smart screens will help Viola highlight the future.
By introducing this transformative technology in Abu Dhabi, Viola Communications is actively contributing to the digital evolution taking place in the UAE, in full alignment with future government policy for the next 50 years and in support of the technology-driven aspirations of our holding company, the Multiply Group, in a quest to invest in and empower tech-based, scalable businesses that demonstrate healthy growth and have the potential for disrupting their industries.
If the future is digital, then Viola is the future.