Five Minutes With.. Georges Chehwane, Founder & Chairman, Plus Holding | UAE News Five Minutes With.. Georges Chehwane, Founder & Chairman, Plus Holding | UAE News
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Five Minutes With.. Georges Chehwane, Founder & Chairman, Plus Holding

Five Minutes With.. Georges Chehwane, Founder & Chairman, Plus Holding

Georges Chehwane, founder and chairman of Plus Holding, gives his insights into the UAE’s outdoor advertising market and Group Plus Media’s expansion plans.


How has the outdoor advertising market fared in the UAE over the last year?

2014 witnessed a remarkable increase in the advertising industry (especially outdoor and digital media). And with Expo 2020 in hand, a lot of brands are building their long term strategy, hence building up their exposure in the country.

Which type of companies are opting for outdoor advertising?

2014 is the comeback of the real estate and FMCG sector in the outdoor advertising market. There was a shifting from TV to Outdoor for FMCG (mainly Nivea, Uniliver, L’Oreal, etc) and while the real estate sector had disappeared for a while, its aggressive comeback on the outdoor scene is nothing but an indicator that the outdoor medium is a strong advertising tool and that the real estate sector is back on its feet again.The RTA submitted several outdoor tenders in 2014 which again proves the efficiency of the outdoor medium in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai, where you can use this medium to reach a large percentage of traffic.

The advertising industry is coming back fast and expanding in different ways, from street furniture to big scaffolding, 3D structures, digital screens and so on. Lots of opportunities and new ideas are being developed especially in the outdoor advertising sector to meet with client’s expectations and give them several methods to think outside of the box and be creative in their ads.

What are some of the best advertising methods for reaching a business audience?

In a city like Dubai, the target audience is varying with different nationalities and different languages. These different targets often watch different TV channels and read different newspapers; but they definitely all use the same road when going to work! When we say UAE, and precisely Dubai, top of our mind is the traffic. Thousands of cars pass by daily on the famous intersections and on major roads that our outdoor media cover such as Sheikh Zayed and Jebel Ali. This is the most effective way to reach out to these clients who spend most of their time in their cars. Using our outdoor mediums from lampposts to 3D scaffolding and LED screens, we are setting them on the right track: this is the place to do more than just advertise, this is where they can create a dialogue and not a monologue and involve their audience by creating challenges; using intrigue, humour and being different.

What projects is Group Plus Media currently undertaking and how are you planning to expand in the GCC

Our newly acquired advertising medium has a 10-year contract and consists of 12 LED signs at Dubai Mall area, a prestigious and strategic location with great exposure and high impact. This new media opportunity will allow advertisers to think outside of the box and leave an immediate and lasting impression of their brand to a large percentage of traffic and a broad business audience surrounding Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall continues to hold title of world’s most-visited shopping and leisure destination, and attracted more than 75 million (in 2013). It is worth noting that year after year, the number of tourists and residents is constantly increasing in Dubai and the economy of this country is booming.

On the other hand hand, Group Plus will install one of the biggest 3D scaffolding signs on Sheikh Zayed Road: 80m(w) x 15m(h) in a prime location located facing Oasis Mall, a non-traditional media combining creativity with technology. Beside these new acquisitions, Group Plus Dubai offers more than 850 lamppost faces in major locations in the UAE. New projects are also in the pipeline mainly in the outdoor business but they are still confidential.

Will you be hiring in the next six months?

Following recent successes the recruiting process at Group Plus Media has already started. We are looking for young and motivated sales persons with experience in the GCC market and specifically in Dubai. Andre Zovighian joined the Group Plus UAE team in the position of executive manager for newly acquired digital networks in Dubai (12 LED screens recently acquired for 10 years next to Dubai Mall entrance). Andre has more than 13 years of experience in media sales and marketing in the GCC, from airport advertising to outdoor advertising.

What’s your leadership style?

High levels of professionalism and creativity are the foundation of the three unshakeable pillars the media business is built on: know-how, communication and growth. This keeps Group Plus on the cutting edge of any new media, building a strong and loyal bond with partners, clients, media buying units and advertising agencies.

Define success in five words..

Hard work
Positive Energy


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