The world of advertising has changed, transformed, and grown quickly over the past few years with the rise of digital technology. Outdoor advertising is playing an even more dominant role than ever before as they provide better viewing experiences and dynamic content.
In the age of digital ads, Jordanian entrepreneur Yaman Al-Jundi and his team created the innovative mobile app, Controlcast, that lets anyone in the country advertise to digital out-of-home (DOOH) screens instantly and directly from their smartphone. At the same time, it allows partners and out-of-home (OOH) advertising companies to monetize their foot traffic by running the free signage platform. “Think of it as a hyperlocal screen sharing marketplace, connecting advertisers and businesses with heavy foot traffic,” Jundi says.
The young entrepreneur has already piloted with clients like Careem, Pepsi, Royal Jordanian, Jordan’s telecommunication company Umniah, and the King Hussein Cancer Foundation in one year alone after launching the mobile app. Their biggest location partners to date are the Amman city buses, with 100 indoor screens slated to go live at the end of 2019.
From telecom to the advertising sector
Jundi’s inspiration for Controlcast came to him during his 13 years of working in the finance department in the telecom sector. He explained, “After seeing the effort being made by my colleagues in the marketing team for outdoor campaigns, I wanted to create a platform that would take the pain out advertising on digital screen displays.”
All advertisers have to do is download the Controlcast app, register to make an account, search for local screens they’d like to advertise on, and post their video or static ad. Jundi says, “As an advertiser, your experience will be similar to advertising online. You no longer have to go through a specialized agency to get a quotation and wait until your ad goes up. You can now simply go on the app, get your quote in real time, and set how long you’d like to post your ad for.”
Similarly, signage partners can run the Controlcast player software on their screen displays. They simply need to register their screen location through the app marketplace, and then they can immediately start approving ad requests to earn ad revenue through the platform, in addition to running their own media content for free.
Controlcast making way for small-medium businesses
With Controlcast, digital displays will be especially attractive to startups and small-medium businesses. They can choose the screens they want to target through the app and get an estimated reach of who will see it. From there, they can decide to submit their ad and for how long they would like it to run for. “We want to make locations more accessible to different brands and we want to provide small businesses in Jordan with solutions to making ads that viewers will immediately see,” Jundi says. “Marketing planners can now affordably add the DOOH advertising channel to their mix to enhance their brand positioning and ultimately boost sales.”
What’s more, these businesses can decide whether they want to run an ad from one day to a month and reach thousands of people a day while they’re are it.
Taking Controlcast to the next level
Launched in 2018 and seeing good local traction, Jundi explains that there is still much room for growth for the new company. He says, “We are adapting a new technology and behavior for clients to use which can be challenging in the local market.”
From incubation to acceleration
The Tank was further supportive in providing Controlcast the opportunity to pitch to Dubai Smart City’s Accelerator program Startupbootcamp. This is one of the leading programs in the Middle East that supports innovative companies to scale up their business and take their services to the next level. It is incredibly exciting that out of a pool of 800 worldwide applications, Controlcast was chosen among the top 10 startups to participate in this intensive 3-month accelerator program.
Being a part of Startupbootcamp is an exciting beginning to scale their operation and grow their market traction in the country and the region.
Controlcast has already caught the attention of Umniah, one of Jordan’s leading telecom companies in the country and provided them a space to work at their business incubator The Tank. Jundi says, “We’re getting a lot of help through mentorship and we’re being exposed to potential investors which is very exciting too.” The team was sponsored to be a part of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February 2019 where they received a lot of exposure from various attendees from around the world.
Embracing the entrepreneurial path
For Jundi, entrepreneurship starts with an idea. Anyone that wants to start their journey and go on the path of entrepreneurship should not be afraid of sharing their idea. Jundi says, “My advice for anyone is to break away from their fears of sharing their idea. If you don’t share it, you won’t get any feedback. So, don’t be afraid to talk and validate what you have in mind. I suggest you meet the right mentors, the people who have been there and done that, so that you avoid making the common major mistakes along the way. Find the right cofounders that complement your vision and validate your idea. Then take the leap of faith and don’t look back.”