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Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Jingle all the way

In Advertising, Communicate, Marketing, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Commercials for Cairo, ads for Alexandria; Egypt has become a major marketing playground. Communicate speaks to the agencies behind the ubiquitous jingles

Originally published in Communicate, April 2010

In 1968 Egyptian television viewers found themselves humming a new tune. It was the jingle from an animated ad for Al Misr Dairy, composed by Ahmed Kamal Awad. Egyptians liked the jingle, and the notion of tying a brand to a catchy melody had arrived in North Africa; the fate of Egyptian advertising for the next forty years was sealed. Read the rest of this entry »

Engaging Egypt

In Communicate, Marketing, Media, Published journalism, Television on November 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Newspapers are gaining traction in Egypt, but Communicate finds that television is still number one for both the marketing industry and the audience

Originally covered in Communicate, April 2010

Dubai Press Club’s Middle East Media Outlook report cites Zenith Optimedia/Value Partners data saying that advertising spend in Egypt is focused on print, with 55 percent of the country’s advertising money going to newspapers. But those on the ground beg to differ. Read the rest of this entry »

Must try harder

In Advertising, Communicate, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Everyone was talking about digital at this year’s MENA Cristal Awards, but the prizes told a different story

Originally published in Communicate, March 2010

“This to me doesn’t feel like an awards show, it feels like a big family reunion,” said John Merrifield, creative at large of TBWA/Asia Pacific, and the president of the MENA Cristal Awards jury. He was on stage at the closing ceremony of the snowbound advertising extravaganza in the mountains above Beirut.

The Cristals has always been as much – many would say more – about networking as it is about awards, and this year was no different. The Middle East’s extended family of admen and adwomen sheltered together from a blizzard, swilling Chateau Kefraya and putting the marketing world to rights in the lobby of the Faraya Intercon. Merrifield was right – it did feel like a family gathering. Read the rest of this entry »

Iran’s user generation

In Communicate, Journalism, Published journalism, Q&A, Television on November 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Former head of BBC Persian Rob Beynon tells Communicate that social networks may have been pivotal in the Iranian elections, but they don’t mean news is dead

Originally published in Communicate, February 2010

Rob Beynon is CEO of DMA Media, the consultancy firm that helped Abu Dhabi Media Company set up twofour54, its media hub. DMA was also involved in launching the BBC’s Arabic and Farsi television services, and in June 2009 Beynon was the acting head of BBC Persian as the Iranian election result sparked mass protests, rioting and outbreaks of violence.
Communicate sat down with Beynon to ask him about the role user-generated content played in the channel’s coverage of events. Read the rest of this entry »

Join the PRty

In Communicate, Public relations, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm

As a network of independent PR agencies, the APRN is a new concept for the region. Can the alliance of local consultancies face up to international giants?

Originally published in Communicate, December 2009

Last month three PR agencies – Active PR from Dubai, 4PR from Cairo, and MPR from Riyadh – came together to form the Arabian Public Relations Network (APRN). The agencies, which have worked together in the past through “a loose set of affiliations and memorandums of understanding,” according to Active PR’s joint managing director and freshly elected chairman of APRN, Louay Al Samarrai, hope that formalizing those relationships will allow their network to take root and grow. Read the rest of this entry »

View from the top

In Advertising, Communicate, Dubai, Marketing, Published journalism, Q&A on November 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

OMG boss Elie Khouri says there’s a war shaping up in the media world

Originally published in Communicate, November 2009

As regional managing director of planning and buying agency Omnicom Media Group, Elie Khouri has his finger on the pulse of the region’s media industry. He sat down with Communicate recently to tell us how media looks today, and what we can expect to see tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

Super TED

In Dubai, Marketing, Opinion, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm

TEDx Dubai’s mixed bag of speakers might have spouted the odd cliché, but they knew how to hold an audience

Originally published in Communicate, November 2009

Last month saw the first TEDx Dubai, a regional spin off of the globally renowned ideas conference, in which key speakers and big thinkers can share ideas across a limitless range of topics with each other – and a local audience. Read the rest of this entry »

Production values

In Communicate, Opinion, Published journalism, Television on November 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Abu Dhabi’s new studio complex doesn’t need to be No. 1 – as long as it works properly

Originally published in Communicate, November 2009

At the end of September, Abu Dhabi’s media hub twofour54 launched its production, post-production and broadcast facilities. Collectively, they are called intaj (that’s Arabic for “production”).

The new facilities are based around five studios, ranging from 60 square meters to just over 600 square meters. Giant doors (“You can literally get an elephant through those,” says a spokesman) lead to studios decked out for filming in high definition (HD), a technology tipped to become the industry’s new standard. Read the rest of this entry »

Chat’s the way to do it

In Communicate, Dubai, Journalism, Opinion, Public relations, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Communicate joins the Ramadan feeding frenzy and finds that focus-free feasting will serve a good host well

Originally published in Communicate, October 2009

“It was like the buffet was a wounded gazelle and the marketing folk were starved lions,” says one friend of Communicate, talking about an iftar to which we weren’t invited (This is unthinkable, don’t they know who we are?).

Well, it’s reassuring to know that we journalists aren’t alone in being, “a bunch of good-for-nothing freeloading gannets” (in the words of the same friend) during Ramadan. For many in the press pack the Holy Month is all about getting fed, and in these strained times the frenzy for freebie food has seemed even more desperate than usual. And rightly so – this could be the only dining out most of us manage all year. Read the rest of this entry »

The need for speed

In Communicate, Dubai, Opinion, Published journalism on November 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Is two minutes enough time to forge a creative collaboration? The organizers of Match networking night think it is

Originally published in Communicate, September 2009

A bell chimes. Members of the crowd shuffle round like players in a game of musical chairs, and collectively take their seats. Everyone is now sitting opposite someone they’ve never met before. They lean forward and begin to sell themselves to their new acquaintances. Fast.

Speed is of the essence at Match, a creative networking night hosted by Shelter, a “community workspace” in Dubai. Arts organization Thinking Cloud and events-company 9714 were also behind the night. According to organizer Sonia Brewin, the inspiration for the idea was speed dating. Read the rest of this entry »