By Tim Burrowes
I must admit that the first time I saw the advertising benches on the Sheikh Zayed Road, I thought somebody had just left the board propped up on the back of the seat and legged it.
Standing up (and sitting down) for outdoor ads|~||~||~|I must admit that the first time I saw the advertising benches on the Sheikh Zayed Road, I thought somebody had just left the board propped up on the back of the seat and legged it.
It’s an obvious format, yet it is not one you see replicated a great deal across the rest of the world. A possible reason being that, elsewhere, people actually sit on the things, thus obscuring the message.
Here, of course, there are many months when it’s just too darned hot to do any sitting outdoors.
And there’s a big difference in what you do with the space — the bog standard boards have started to recede into the background, while the likes of Axe’s cut out has far more noticeability. In this case, the medium is not the message, the execution is.
As anyone will tell you, this is a market where innovation risks being swamped by sheer quantity, so it may be no bad thing when the new regulations are implemented.
The out-of-home medium is certainly one of our focuses this week. We dedicate our lead feature on page 18 to outdoor and follow it with some current local examples.
And the timing is pretty good. As we report on the front page, an ambient execution from Lowe Dubai has won a shortlisting in the Cannes Lions.
It features a simple idea — a sticker inside male toilet cubicles which appears to be a female eye looking through from the next cubicle. As it happens, that’s also an ad for the Axe effect. So, in this cluttered market, it looks like Lowe is achieving cut through anyway.
I suppose there’s only one big difference between the ad benches and this ambient execution. In the first case, the message is lost if the consumer sits — in the second, they need to be firmly on the throne.||**||