Yas Marina Circuit launches YasHUB app

Yas Marina Circuit has launched the YasHUB smartphone and tablet app. In partnership with SMG Mobility – the mobile division of Starcom MediaVest Group – and Flip Media, the app was developed to provide the latest news and information during the build up to the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as provide a seamless end-user experience for visitors to the circuit on race weekend. Yas Marina Circuit commissioned the app as part of its wider strategy on providing digital solutions to improve customer engagement experiences, as well as reinforcing its position in driving online motorsports content creation in the region. The app is available for free download at the Apple and Google Play Android stores and offers a range of features to users.

“This app really does enhance visitors’ experiences massively in the build up to and during the race weekend,” says Nick McElwee, Director of Sales and Marketing, Yas Marina Circuit. “But more importantly, its development signifies Yas Marina Circuit’s evolution away from our previous incarnation as a traditional advertiser for our first Grand Prix in 2009, and towards our new reality as a content publisher and media brand.”

Dimitri Papadimitriou, Director of Mobile at Starcom MediaVest Group adds, “This is a testament to SMG Mobility’s support for our clients’ leap into the mobile arena. Mobile is integral for our clients’ businesses, and we have created a suite of in-house digital capabilities to build mobile creative and develop apps.”

Clive Primrose, Client Services Director at Flip Media concludes, “This is a pioneering moment for apps in the Middle East. The focus on digital customer experience and bringing the pillars of the event to life through creativity and technology are what place it at the forefront.”

Cheil unveils Samsung campaign on Sheikh Zayed Road

Cheil MENA, a communications partner of Samsung Electronics, has unveiled a three-month integrated campaign on the Sheikh Zayed Road, which includes a digital billboard that will display consumer-generated content to promote the photographic capabilities of the new Samsung Galaxy S5.

The ‘Super Selfie’ campaign encourages Samsung Facebook fans to upload their personal photos onto the social media platforms, and those with the most shares and likes will be streamed onto the screen via the purpose-built billboard. The billboard is located on Sheikh Zayed Road facing the Dubai Garden Centre and consumers can upload their selfies until September 30, 2014.

“We wanted to create an idea that would move people into action whilst achieving significant awareness for the new phone,” says Nitin Baweja, Account Director, Cheil MENA. “The partnership with the Dubai Municipality has been a one-off opportunity to push the boundaries like no other brand has ventured to do before, for which we are grateful.”

Omar Al-Jabi, Creative Director at Cheil MENA adds, “We wanted to invite our audience to explore the capabilities of Samsung Galaxy S5 by capturing their best sides and sharing what they love. This campaign is designed to provide people with a platform where they can share their fun moments and be given the opportunity to be seen by the world.”

JCDecaux unveils digital screen network in Oman

JCDecaux, the worldwide outdoor advertising company, has unveiled a new network of HD digital screens at Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport, in conjunction with Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC). The premium quality screens are located in the baggage reclaim areas of both airports, offering a unique proposition for advertisers. The new network of screens will feature JCDecaux’s specialised content management system, which allows tailored advertising in the form of targeted or live campaigns. The system will be able to target specific flights from specific countries, change the creative from day to night and broadcast live content.

“We are pleased to see these impressive screens, which are the first of their kind in Oman, going live in Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport,” says Samer Ahmed Al Nabhani, Chief Commercial Officer, OAMC. “Our partnership with JCDecaux means that this impressive network of screens will place us at the forefront of innovation and creativity, whilst also enhancing the advertising landscape and creating a more enjoyable passenger experience.”

David Bourg, CEO Middle East of JCDecaux adds, “The installation of the new network of high-definition digital screens marks a significant step forward in enhancing the outdoor advertising landscape in Oman. In addition, this new advertising solution strengthens our digital footprint in the Middle East, now with 500 digital screens across airports in the region.”

PHD partners with YouTube for data integration

PHD Worldwide has agreed to integrate YouTube data into their global media operating system, Source. YouTube will now become a channel in its own right in PHD’s propriety planning and buying operation used by all its planners, spanning 81 offices in 66 markets, and covering their major clients such as Unilever and GSK.

Talks between PHD and YouTube began in 2013, and since then YouTube engineers have integrated the latest YouTube reach data into PHD’s operating system. This is the first time that YouTube data has plugged directly into an agency’s own planning system at scale. PHD planners will now be able to optimise their channel mix using the latest and most accurate YouTube reach data to select how much to invest in YouTube in terms of reaching the maximum number of consumers at the minimal cost.

“We have so many clients now wanting to consider online video, and in particular YouTube, alongside TV,” says Malcolm Devoy, International Strategy Director, PHD. “The question is always on how much to invest. To establish this you need various pieces of data, which Google have now provided. Embedding this directly into our planning system now allows our planners across the world to make accurate decision on video channel allocation.”

Orient Planet and INEGMA announce partnership

Orient Planet, the integrated marketing and communications company, and The Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), the strategy and security consultancy, have announced a joint venture to establish a new unit called Orient Planet-INEGMA. The specialised unit aims to effectively deliver PR and strategic communication campaigns targeting the defense, security and risk domains.

“At INEGMA, we recognise the importance of having focused and powerful communication strategies that are tailored to fit the needs of security and defense industries,” says Riad Kahwaji, CEO, INEGMA. “These strategies must be consistent and properly delivered through the most effective means, and this is why our partnership with Orient Planet is a welcome development. Through Orient Planet-INEGMA, we will offer communication solutions for the very dynamic and complex defense, security and risk industries, and create relevant PR and marketing strategies. Clients in the defense and security sectors will be assured of sophisticated, timely and significant solutions.”

Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director of Orient Planet adds, “Orient Planet-INEGMA is the first of its kind in the region to offer a diverse range of communication-based services in highly specialised industries of defense, security and risks. We are pleased that we are bridging this gap in the market with INEGMA, whose expertise in these three areas are widely recognised. Orient Planet-INEGMA will help companies in these domains to further establish their brand and identity and effectively reach their target audience.”

PHD partners with IPA

PHD, part of the Omnicom Media Group, has partnered with the UK’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) to localise and adapt its professional education material and examination for Middle East media professionals. Established for over 10 years, The IPA Foundation Certificate is an award-winning online learning program designed to provide junior industry professionals with the knowledge to perform their day-to-day roles with confidence and expertise. With over 10,000 executives in the UK certified, PHD are the first media agency executives in the Middle East to take and successfully pass the exam to secure the IPA’s Foundation Certificate.

“PHD is all about ‘finding a better way,’ not just for ourselves or our clients, but also for the industry in which we operate,” says Elda Choucair, Managing Director, PHD UAE. “Wherever it operates, PHD has always been a strong supporter of raising industry standards. I am very proud of the role we’ve taken in localising IPA’s Foundation Certificate for our industry and our team’s results in the examination. We’ve partnered with the IPA because we see it as part of our role to develop the future talent of our industry.”

Mojo PR partners with SERMO

Mojo PR has been signed by SERMO Communications as its exclusive partner in the Middle East. SERMO Communications was founded in 2009, and the global lifestyle and communications network currently has 12 partners in 17 cities across 14 countries. In addition to Mojo PR in the Middle East, SERMO has most recently appointed a partner in France, L’Agence Lorraine de Boisanger. Both new agencies will join the other SERMO partners in Mumbai, India on 30 April for the network’s fourth annual conference, organised by the founders of SERMO, Talk PR.

“SERMO is now almost five years old and I feel really proud of what we have all achieved in creating a unique PR network that offers a viable alternative to the big global players,” says Tanya Hughes, President, SERMO Communications. “One thing that really stands out is the collaborative nature of the network – the fact that the network’s built on mutual understanding and respect, not ownership. Our new partners in Dubai and Paris share the sensibility and ambition to build global relationships. I relish the prospect of taking the network to the next level.”

Tara Rogers, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Mojo PR adds “We are delighted to be part of a network of like-minded agencies with the global reach that SERMO has developed. Increasingly, our clients require support in markets around the world and to know that we have immediate access to partners with a similar approach is both exciting and reassuring. We hope to contribute as much as we gain.”

Louise Mezzine, Co-founder and Partner of Mojo PR also adds “Joining SERMO marks a major milestone in the development of Mojo PR. We are really looking forward to using the collective intelligence of the network to add value to our team, clients and partners.”