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MENA Power List 2023: The evolution of OOH by Arabian Outdoor’s Fawzi Tueni

Fawzi Tueni has been the COO at Arabian Outdoor for 4 years. His favourite hobby is sports and reading. 

About 15 years ago, a clear message of ‘change or die’ echoed resoundingly around the global marketing, media and advertising world. Well guess what? The writing on the wall hasn’t changed much since then.

Today, it’s latest reiteration reads as ‘keep on changing, or else’, and it rings louder than ever before.

With change surrounding our industry and digital now settled-in as a permanent feature, we will continue to experience evolution at breakneck speed. Let’s quickly look at some standout examples of how both consumer behaviour and media consumption stand redefined.

With the advent of social media and its subsequent growth, video has taken over as the undisputed format for content. This phenomenon has also led to streaming services bundling their offerings and achieving record viewership.

Gaming has set the stage for an all-new advertising arena, which is swiftly gaining credibility with brands, who themselves are transitioning to becoming fan and community based.

To add to this storm of growing dynamics, content creators are connecting directly with consumers. Let’s continue with a very specific example.

Most of us witnessed the golden age of traditional television advertising and just as many have also tuned in to TV’s modern-day reincarnation. Today, with streaming and connected TV, advertisers are leveraging mobile and digital to complement TV campaigns, extend their reach to viewers’ second screens, provide interactive features, and measure cross-device attribution.

With programmatic advertising, data and algorithms are being used to optimise targeting, pricing and performance. These serve as prime examples of how technology is fueling the future potential of legacy formats.

“The future of OOH will be data-driven, with real-time data infusing greater agility to ensure that messages become more relevant”

In this era of digital information overload, OOH is shaping the future of marketing by offering seamless integration with digital and mobile marketing strategies. It acts as a robust bridge between the physical and virtual worlds, facilitating effective storytelling to deliver compelling brand narratives which leave lasting impressions.

Today, OOH’s dynamic nature stands hyper-activated by innovations such as location-based targeting to maximise advertising impact. Dynamic creatives are ensuring greater contextual relevance and cultural sensitivity, and in alignment with their environment, creating memorable and meaningful brand interactions.

With the integration of technology, OOH advertising has also become vastly interactive, allowing brands to deliver immersive experiences.

The future of OOH will undoubtedly be data-driven, with real-time data infusing greater agility to ensure that messages become more relevant and therefore more effective.

Despite being at the early stages of digitisation, our region has already achieved tremendous milestones in developing its measurement and data integration capabilities, both of which will continue to remain as major focal points moving forward.

At Arabian Outdoor, we have invested heavily in the development of robust data infrastructure and technological capabilities. This drive has already enabled us to bridge the offline and online worlds for numerous OOH clients, amplifying the impact of OOH exposure through digital retargeting.

As the region’s foremost commercial marketplaces race to achieve their progressive future ambitions, the surge in development activities and associated commercial opportunities is attracting new players and investment. The resulting population and capital growth from this impetus is envisioned to lead to more eyeballs focused on the great outdoors.

Our vision for the future remains aligned with the growth of our region’s economies. As we push for greater innovation, we welcome new market entrants, technologies, and healthy competition, as facilitators of our industry’s ongoing sustainability and advancement.

Today, as OOH advertising transforms to deliver elevated marketing outcomes in the digital age, it stands tall amongst iconic advertising formats as a testament to the enduring power of creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking.

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”