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5 trends shaping the region’s advertising industry in 2024

5 trends shaping the region’s advertising industry in 2024
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The Middle East advertising market is set for sustained growth in 2024 following robust growth in the past year. Amid the pandemic in 2020, the sector had encountered a notable decline in ad spend. However, this year looks promising.

According to a report by marketing consultancy Warc Media, the regional advertising market is predicted to surge by 6.2 per cent in 2024, reaching a value of $6.9bn.

Over the next couple of years, the Middle East is poised to become the fastest-expanding advertising market in the world. The growth is driven by Saudi Arabia’s focus on promoting itself globally in line with the Vision 2030 project to diversify the kingdom’s economy and the thriving real estate sector and ongoing infrastructure projects in the UAE besides its status as a luxury and tourism hub.

Advertising in the region is undergoing significant changes, driven by shifts in consumer behaviour and preferences.

The UAE’s status as a top global retail destination is rapidly expanding, making mall advertising in the country a pivotal channel for brands to connect with their target audience. Also, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is experiencing substantial growth, owing to the price competitiveness of digital screens.

The growth of retail, especially malls, in the UAE is also creating new opportunities for DOOH advertising.

Meanwhile, the growing popularity of connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) is quite evident. The Middle East stands as the largest consumer market for OTT, with the UAE taking the lead. Considering the growing audience migration from linear TV to smart devices and the proliferation of OTT devices, brands now have a new medium to add to their advertising mix. The regional market also offers a great opportunity for widespread adoption of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

As tech-savvy customers in the Middle East value immersive brand experiences, we will see an increase in the use of AR and VR in advertising campaigns.

As new ad technologies and mediums evolve, presenting new opportunities for brands to promote their products, the following trends are expected to shape the advertising industry in the region in 2024:

Leveraging location data for DOOH

The Middle East & Africa DOOH advertising market is projected to grow at a rate of 23 per cent between 2023-28, says a report by MarkNtel Advisors. While at an early stage in the GCC, DOOH is showcasing remarkable growth in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.

Retailers, real estate brands, tourism boards, and governments are all using it to reach out to consumers.

The ROI achieved because of the price competitiveness of digital screens compared to other mediums, its potential for deeper engagement with customers and the capability to pair location data are what make DOOH an attractive proposition for advertisers.

Brands are leveraging location data to enhance their campaigns. Messages are tailored to specific audiences based on their real-time location, resulting in increased engagement and conversion rates. Location data is a powerful tool.

By combining the attention-grabbing capacity of large physical DOOH ad formats with targeted capabilities using location data, brands can deliver more personalised and relevant messages.

Mall advertising, a rising star

A highly impactful form of OOH, mall advertising is emerging as one of the best ways to communicate with your customers in the region. With the prediction to grow further due to the expanding retail market, a large influx of tourists, and an increasing number of people visiting the malls, brands are looking at it as a great way to connect with their target audience.

With shopping, entertainment, and dining options all in one place, malls provide an excellent opportunity for brands to showcase their products directly to their potential customers.

Take the example of Dubai Mall, which attracts more than 100 million visitors annually who are in search of unique products and offerings. You can envision what a great opportunity it is to showcase your product to these visitors as they make their purchases.

CTV and OTT emerge as strong contenders

While Netflix has been experimenting with its ad formats for more than a year, Amazon Prime is all set to include ads beginning this month, opening up an entirely new world of opportunities for advertisers.

As more and more viewers migrate from linear television to smart TVs and start using OTT devices, CTV and OTT advertising is something that brands cannot afford to ignore anymore. A major highlight of this form of advertising is that the ads offer a chance to measure results such as viewability, CTR, engagement and more.

With viewership set to increase in the next few years, this trend is not going away anytime soon.

AR and VR integration

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to revolutionise the advertising industry. Brands will be able to create immersive brand experiences like never before. These advancements not only let the advertisers offer in-person experiences to their customers, such as providing a virtual tour of a car or a house before they buy it but also develop interactive product demonstrations, virtual showrooms and gamified experiences to foster deeper engagement and connection with consumers.

As VR and AR tools become easier to integrate, more brands will start using them in their ads.

Sustainability advertising

Sustainability has turned into a priority. According to a recent study by Nielsen, there is a significant rise in sustainability-themed advertising across various industries. In the past, these ads were limited to certain sectors such as energy and transportation but now there’s a widespread commitment across industries to incorporate sustainability into advertising.

In 2024, advertisements prioritising the promotion of sustainable products, highlighting the consumer advantages of sustainable actions, and underscoring the company’s commitment to sustainability will gain traction.

News Source: Gulf Business

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