Dubai based Connectiv, a company specializing in managing and selling digital advertising networks within the duty-free/travel retail sector, has joined forces with Dubai Duty Free to launch what is believed to be world’s largest airport retail digital screen deployment in a single location.
Dubai Duty Free’s new Concourse A has just opened with over 100 screens ranging from Video Walls (3 x 3: 60 Inches) to 10 Meters LED.
Dubai Duty Free is the world number one travel retailer by sales (US$1.6 billion in 2012). Concourse A is the world’s first of its kind, dedicated to serving the Emirates Airbus A380 fleet. Dubai Duty Free engaged Connectiv in early 2012 to help develop the company’s digital media marketing.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice- chairman of Dubai Duty Free says, “Our decision was based on realizing that we were not maximizing the potential of the digital screens already in place within the retail operation and, for Concourse A, we wanted to ensure that this media source would work to create a really dynamic, engaging and effective platform that could also drive sales. Through the digital media platform, we are not just selling advertising space, it’s about selling the airtime to the right brands and scheduling content, taking into account factors such as promotions and activations, passenger profiles and time-sensitive marketing messages.”
Connectiv brings together two experts in travel retail and digital marketing. Stewart Caddick, managing director has been involved in the planning and design of travel retail environments since the early nineties, working worldwide from Hong Kong to the US. As a consultant to Dubai Duty Free sine 1997, he has worked closely with its team in evolving the retail offer. Bernard Menhem, head of sales and marketing at Connectiv and formerly head of digital at Abu Dhabi Media, has a wealth of experience in creating and marketing digital media campaigns.
Connectiv focuses entirely on the duty-free/travel retail industry: retail shops targeting passengers airside at airports globally.
“Our methodology and analysis software is specific to the airport retail environment,” says Caddick. ‘We know that advertising to consumers as potential shoppers is not the same as advertising to consumers simply as passengers. Every airport is different, with a different passenger profile, a different mix between business and leisure, a different demographic balance. Thus, every duty-free/travel retail environment requires its own unique digital media offer.”
Connectiv is developing methodologies and analysis software specific to airport environments to enable audience impression measurement (AIM) as well as ‘heat map’ analysis of passenger traffic routes, facilitating even more precise advertising engagement.
Connectiv’s goal is to become the prime mover in the management of duty-free/travel retail digital networks and sales of advertising airtime, working with brands to provide a single point of purchase for a wide range of airport retail media assets.
Dubai Duty Free selected ONELAN’s Linux-based Net-Top-Box signage appliances for its duty free advertising network due to the NTB’s proven reliability in 24/7 applications, high quality Blu-ray content playback, detailed proof of performance, minimal maintenance overhead and ease of use.
A further key operational requirement was to deliver real-time dynamic scheduling of content to match advertising to specific airport locations and flights. This will enable advertisers to target specific groups of passengers more accurately as they transit the airport. For example, advertising in Chinese can be delivered to passengers travelling to or from China. This is achieved using the advanced scheduling capabilities of ONELAN’s new Content Management System whereby dynamic metadata can be used to change the playback behaviour of the signage network in real-time, based either on manual intervention or automatically from flight information data.
Later phases will introduce ONELAN’s enterprise platform, Cyclone, to add managed workflow, hierarchical metadata for improved targeting and automatic playlist creation, and a media sales system for inventory and campaign management.