x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Going up? Advert deal with DIFC lifts Elevision Media

Elevision Media, a company that offers advertising in elevators, has been given a lift after signing an exclusive deal with the Dubai International Financial Centre.

A company that offers advertising in elevators has been given a lift after signing an exclusive deal with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Elevision Media, which raised more than US$1 million (Dh3.6m) after giving what it describes as an "elevator pitch", is installing video screens in 16 buildings at the bustling financial centre.

It plans to sell advertising on the screens after they are switched on, which is scheduled for October 17.

Niall Sallam, the chief executive of Elevision, said elevators were a good place for brands to reach out to consumers.

"It's literally a captive audience," he said. "The elevator is generally an awkward space. No-one really likes to interact with each other and they're a bit shy and embarrassed … so it's really a welcome distraction."

Elevision was founded in July last year by Mr Sallam and his brother Eamon, along with Nicholas Spree and Malcolm McKinnon.

It has a network of elevator screens across 12 buildings, including five at Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai. It is now installing screens in 68 elevators at the DIFC and will take over about 12 other screens in public areas of the centre.

Mr Sallam said deals were in the pipeline with several other properties elsewhere in Dubai and added the company was on track to be in 34 commercial and residential buildings by November 1.

He declined to specify the commercial terms of the deal with the DIFC but said his business generally worked on a revenue-share model.

Elevision's screens include a large area devoted to advertising and sections dedicated to news and updates about the building, which can be uploaded directly by property owners.

"We believe it's win-win for the property owners. There's no cost - so we capex the entire system," said Mr Sallam. "We do share revenues with[owners]. And we offer them a tenant-communication device."

The screens require a PC to be mounted on top of the elevator, which communicates with a 3G router at the top of the lift shaft. This allows Elevision to upload advertisements and news to its network of screens remotely.

Elevision raised money from several investors based in Dubai at an event held by the angel investment group Envestors, said Mr Sallam.

"We gave our best eight-minute elevator pitch," he said. "We raised over $1m [from a] group of angel investors."

Mr Sallam said the company planned to start selling advertising later this year, when it had a critical mass of screens to offer. It has an in-house sales team based at its Dubai offices.

bflanagan@thenational.ae