Firefly Gets Beyond Pure DOOH Ad Sales; Enters Joint Venture Providing Tech To Abu Dhabi Media Firm

June 7, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Anyone who has run a digital OOH ad network has learned, sometimes the hard way, that it looks easier than it is to make an business viable – even more so when the technology set-up is expensive and technically challenging.

So it is intriguing to see the Silicon Valley star-up Firefly, which puts digital displays on the tops of taxis and ride-share cars, doing a joint venture deal that sees it technology deployed by a media company in the Middle East.

The Abu Dhabi-based media company Viola Outdoor is starting a network of screens on the fleet of taxis operated by a company called Tawasul.

“I am delighted that Viola Communications is at the vanguard of digitalization of the outdoor marketing infrastructure of the UAE capital,” says Ammar Sharaf, Group CEO and Board Member of Viola Communications. “We have been introducing innovations in OOH throughout our history in Abu Dhabi with our lamppost, bus and bridge banner advertising. Since we launched our digital OOH transformation plan, our goal has remained constant – to help advertisers reach people in key, premium areas with the highest quality sites and screens.”

“Accomplishing the implementation of the capital’s first digital bridge banner network on highly visible key arterial routes was a fantastic milestone, soon to be augmented by the installation of digital Totem.Lights on the streets of Abu Dhabi,” he adds. “Now, with the addition of Firefly’s dynamic industry-leading digital vehicle-top screens, we are providing unique eye-level marketing opportunities in association with Tawasul taxis.”

FireFly’s pitch is that it offers more than just ad screens on car tops, saying it has the “the most advanced tracking, measurement, and optimization capabilities available in the out-of-home space, Firefly is an innovative data-first ad network. Leveraging the industry’s first-ever audience planning capabilities, we deliver the most relevant messages at the most relevant moments with our suite of dynamic on-car, in-car, and experiential solutions.”

The company does location-based, GPS-enabled triggering of content, and has inventory in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. and Toronto.

I’d have to think the opportunity to generate revenue through joint ventures and sales of otherwise proprietary displays is attractive to a company that’s otherwise relying on getting a slice of the OOH ad revenue pie.

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