Industry snapshot: Ziyad Alomair, MBC Media Solutions

Ziyad Alomair, Director of Commercial at MBC Media Solutions (MMS).

How is technology affecting TV advertising?

I would say that the biggest impact technology has had on TV advertising is access to more actionable metrics and insights. This will especially be the case with the introduction of the people meter, which will make it easier to extract conversion data and trace the audience’s journey to an endpoint. Advancements in technology have also contributed to the rise of video on demand (VOD), which is now assisting marketing efforts by making households more addressable via both linear TV and VOD devices, allowing advertisers to serve ad content exclusively to certain audience segments. When a brand campaign is live on TV there’s a notable uplift in visitors to its website – so, while the TV element is key, the brand always has a digital component too.

Where does TV sit in the marketing funnel, and is that changing?

TV remains one of the most efficient ways to create widespread audience awareness and remains at the top of the funnel. A TVC during a primetime show has at least 40 per cent reach in KSA. TV delivers speed of reach, so, depending on the audience’s vertical and time of exposure, TV can drive a significant number of conversions. What’s changing is the importance of cross-content presence; the content that was on TV then goes on to live on other platforms, amplifying reach and conversion and strengthening its connection with viewers.

How has television advertising changed in recent years?

A lot has changed in TV advertising, and in a very short period of time. With advancements in technology and the rise of streaming platforms, viewers are now engaging with content across multiple devices, providing countless opportunities for brands to amplify their reach and expand their marketing efforts across different screens and marketing channels. Brands are expanding their campaigns to make sure they reach their customers at every touchpoint, which is why we build on top of our TV offerings, solutions that work across VOD, digital and audio solutions to help them do just that.

How are consumer tastes changing with regards to TV content?

Consumers are looking for content that is more relatable and personable. We’ve lately been noticing a shift towards more Saudi-focused and GCC productions that viewers in this region can relate to and feel familiar with. Interactivity with users is also important. Engaging the audiences more, especially through social media, makes sure that people are tuned in. When it comes to advertising, a shift from product-heavy to emotive advertising has been taking place over the years. Relatability and inclusivity in ads are also crucial and what consumers are looking for.

How is brand integration advertising evolving, and what is driving that evolution?

Brand integration has evolved over the years to become an essential part of the marketing mix and one of the most viable and effective tools in reaching consumers. This is mainly due to the sheer volume of choice when it comes to content and the desire of consumers to avoid or skip ads – making these integrations the best way to deliver key desired messages in an unobtrusive way and without interruption. At MMS, we have developed various high-quality new formats and flexible brand integration opportunities that creatively push boundaries, presenting brands with a unique and formidable opportunity to deliver their messages to engaged audiences as they watch the content they love. The evolution of 3D graphic technologies has also highly contributed to the introduction of these new formats. 

How have MMS’s offerings to clients evolved in the past year? What’s new?

We continuously work closely with clients to better understand their marketing challenges and provide them with the best and most innovative solutions out there.

We’ve recently renewed our partnerships with social media platforms including Snapchat and Twitter to make MBC GROUP’s premium Arabic content available for brands to leverage. We have been diversifying our offering and introducing new ad formats across digital, Shahid and brand integration, and we have introduced new ad formats for clients to leverage in sports through Saudi Sport Company’s channels.

Our goal is to continue providing solutions that rely on content excellence, data-driven thinking and partnership-led solutions to help brands attain their goals. Our focus on quality and relevant content gives our clients an advantage as we deliver on innovative and creative solutions that engage with our audiences.

What changes can we expect in the TV market in the coming year?

For the short future, there are three main changes that are underway in the coming year:
we can expect more local and regional productions that are relatable; more interactivity with consumers through cross-platform integrations; and better data measurement with the introduction of the people meter. We are lucky to be in an industry where there is something new every day. Along with change comes new opportunities.