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OOH Industry snapshot: Bill Fordyce, Backlite Media

Bill Fordyce is CEO of Baclite Media [Partner content]

Tell us a little about BackLite Media

BackLite Media is the premier out-of-home advertising specialist recognised as Dubai’s
leader in the UAE’s OOH media landscape. We specialise in assisting our clients and partners
with highest-quality OOH media solutions in prestigious locations.

BackLite has been operating in the UAE since 1996 with large-format, premium locations on Sheikh Zayed Road. Additionally, for the past several years, we have strategically partnered with Meraas for their main destinations. Looking ahead towards the next 12 months, BackLite will be also be undertaking major investments and launching one of the world’s most advanced outdoor and indoor digital signage networks.

BackLite is well known for its unipole and lamppost locations on Sheikh Zayed Road.
What new solutions can you offer your clients?

BackLite will always focus solely on premium advertising platforms and locations, something
we have done for more than two decades. As part of this long-term strategy, we have recently partnered with the leading luxury mall in Abu Dhabi, The Galleria Al Maryah Island. This iconic mall opened a month ago and is already performing well beyond expectations.

We have also partnered with Al Futtaim Group, and will be installing the most advanced and premium digital signage network in the UAE at Dubai Festival City.

We continue to manage the key assets for Meraas, and our partnership goes from strength to strength. The new screen installed on the Roxy Cinema façade at The Beach is an example of the ongoing investments in top advertising signs.

Digitalisation has been slow to catch on the UAE. Is that about to change?

I agree the outdoor market in the UAE has been slow in the move towards digitalisation, but there have been world class digital signage networks at City Walk and The Dubai Mall for many years. However, the outdoor market is about to experience a revolution.

BackLite and the RTA have recently renewed our long-term partnership and will be launching some of the world’s best digital outdoor signs. Keep your eyes peeled for the official announcement and unveiling of the new sign designs in Campaign magazine.

That sounds interesting. What else does the future hold?

BackLite Media is working closely with one of the region’s leading geo-location specialists to develop a proprietary ‘Smart Data System’ that will deliver unparalleled insights into consumer behaviour and help to deliver greater efficiency, ROI and transparency for our unipole clients.

In addition, we will be launching a unique booking platform for our BackLite Cinema division, which manages advertising for Roxy Cinema. Our cinema clients will be able to book by cost-per-view to better target their key audience.

Who is leading the drive to encompass digital technology? Clients or the OOH industry?

Both. If you look at the OOH markets around the world, in particular Europe and North America, the drive for greater efficiency and accountability is being demanded by clients and actively championed by the OOH industry.

Those that fail to recognise the unprecedented impact that is happening in our industry today will, unfortunately, be yesterday’s memory.