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Billboards to billions: Saudi’s OOH ad sector set to exceed SAR 3 billion

The impact Out of Home has had on communication cannot be undermined, argues Saudi Signs’ Hasan Zaini

Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing unprecedented progress, development, and enhanced market competitiveness due to the objectives outlined by Vision 2030 and its effective implementation across various sectors.

This transformative change has ushered in a multitude of reforms, significantly impacting residents, tourists, and investors, which have helped pave the way for increased opportunities and economic growth.

With a market value set to exceed SAR 3 billion, the out-of-home (OOH) advertising sector is an example of a year on-year growing beneficiary of said reforms.

Repeatedly proving its communication effectiveness for public and private entities, outdoor within the kingdom has become greatly complementary to the rapid urban expansion, population growth, social shifts, and increased dependence on mobility.

Certainly advantageous, its sustained growth is also dependent on long and short-term investments made by the sector. Proving resourceful, the impact OOH has had on communication cannot be undermined.

In saying so, for over three decades Saudi Signs Media has played a fundamentally active role in creating unique advertising opportunities and implementing highly regarded large formats recognised by stakeholders across the region serving both tactical and equity campaigns.

The company’s commitment to elevating market standards over the years through exceptional product options, client servicing, and flexibility has positively supported brands in their quest to raise awareness and deliver notable outcomes.

With a highly digitized inventory, it has become ever more apparent that brands are embracing tactics such as day parting, multiple ad copy rotation and proximity allocation to deliver a more contextualised communication ensuring greater audience attention and engagement.

Naturally, these approaches will be further enhanced by the growing role of AI within the industry from messaging agility, and the inevitable in-depth analysis of traffic patterns and measurement which will result in greater investment efficiencies.

Among the several products offered by Saudi Signs Media, there are two that have made an undeniable impact on the local market: Riyadh’s Digital Bridges and Jeddah’s Digital Steel Bridges which will remain under the company’s stewardship till the end of 2025 and 2035 respectively.

Both these mediums are responsible for breaking the decades-long communication approach previously practiced and afforded the market novelty. Presence on either has been widely recognised and granted brands a powerful channel to promote their services and goods in direct line of sight of motorists, distributed along highly congested roads and allowed for creative range due to significant LED canvas sizes.

Yet, as advancements of all sorts reshape the landscape, there are upcoming changes that will greatly serve local and international partners.

Looking ahead, Saudi Signs Media is set to introduce several new formats to the market. This includes digital screens in Dammam and Khobar (April 2024) measuring 8mx 8m. Predominately located on high traffic intersections, the digital screens will be the latest addition to the eastern province OOH landscape.

Additionally, advertisers will have access to a diverse range of new indoor and outdoor formats of various sizes and types in the heart of Riyadh. This new project currently being undertaken will for the first time enable brands to enjoy strengthened association and presence in one of the most exclusive developing areas of the city.

The targeting of audience segments fitting the profile of this vicinity has been devoid in the past and long sought after; details of which will be announced at a later stage.

Furthermore, in 2023 a major partnership was inked between Saudi Signs Media and Rotana Media Services which together saw the establishment of a new entity called Rotana Signs. Headquartered in the capital, Rotana Signs will operate and manage the recently awarded Digital Tower Facades across Riyadh and Dammam.

Totaling 24 facades, these premiere and highly anticipated formats are set out to not only redefine the branding experience within the kingdom’s outdoor space, but also elevate industry standards and set forth a new precedent.

Overall, the out-of-home advertising sector in Saudi Arabia is rapidly transforming into a dynamic marketplace that can accommodate new vendors, offer a wider range of formats, and provide diverse placement opportunities.

Within the coming period, advertisers will have a range of options to choose from to reach both new and existing audiences, and this is particularly important given the significant societal and market shifts currently underway.

As such, Saudi Signs Media remains committed to advancing the industry by continuously innovating its products and services so to meet the evolving communication needs of tomorrow.

With these developments and more to come, the industry’s future within the kingdom by Saudi Signs Media promises to be both dynamic and greatly impactful.

By Hasan Zaini, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Saudi Signs Media