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Archive for the ‘Dubai’ Category

Shelfish thoughts

In Advertising, Communicate, Dubai, Marketing, Opinion, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm

As TBWA/Raad launches Integer, the region’s latest shopper marketing agency, the discipline’s big challenge will not be shifting product but keeping clients focused on their brands

Originally published in Communicate, May 2010

Everyone’s getting into shopper marketing these days. OgilvyAction has been around for a while, and Saatchi launched its shopper marketing arm, Saatchi & Saatchi X, in October 2009. Last month, TBWA/Raad joined the fray, with the launch of a MENA office for Omnicom shopper marketing agency Integer.

More shopper marketing agencies mean more buzzwords from the discipline that brought us wobblers and danglers. At March’s Dubai International Advertising Festival, Simon Hathaway, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, waxed lyrical about “storeback thinking,” “the shopping cycle,” “destripping the store,” and “return on involvement,” before getting to the crucial question: “How will it play on-shelf?” Read the rest of this entry »

Defining moment

In Communicate, Dubai, Marketing, Opinion, Published journalism on November 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

The Brand Union discusses the agency’s business at its global conference in Dubai, but does branding itself need a makeover?

Originally published in Communicate, May 2010

The Brand Union last month hosted 45 of its global bosses in Dubai for the branding agency’s annual conference. No doubt if we’d asked, there would have been talk of what an important growth market the Middle East is, and how some of the most exciting brands of tomorrow will come out of this region. We suspect that cheap hotel rooms and the plush Media City offices that house Hermann Behrens and his team might have slightly more to do with it. Since we were invited – along with other journos and clients – to a round table on branding – with free food and drink – we decided not to ask. 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 »

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 »

Needs must

In Advertising, Communicate, Dubai, Published journalism, Q&A on November 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Richard Pinder, now promoted to CEO, tells Communicate that, for Publicis, “better value” is not the same as “lower price”

Originally published in Communicate, June 2009

When Publicis Worldwide’s then chief operating officer (now CEO) Richard Pinder came to town, Communicate caught up with him to find out about the importance of value, North African creativity, and how Publicis Graphics (the regional manifestation of Publicis Worldwide, which is the lead creative agency in the Publicis Groupe holding company) should be winning more prizes. Read the rest of this entry »

A wishbone of contention

In Advertising, Communicate, Dubai, Opinion, Published journalism on November 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Pride of Young Lions fails to roar

Originally published in Communicate, June 2009

Last month Communicate was invited to be among the 40 or so judges of the Cannes Young Lions competition in Dubai. The contest pitted teams of young creatives against one another to see who would win the chance to go and represent the UAE in Cannes this month.

Each year the competition picks a charity and the ads are created – in nine hours – against that noble cause’s brief. This year, the client was the UAE Make a Wish Foundation. The foundation grants wishes to seriously ill children between the ages of three and 18, and the brief was simply to raise brand awareness.

Some of the work on display looked like it could have been put together by those children. If their dying wish had been to work at an advertising agency, this might have been what they produced. It might have been quite impressive if the young creatives behind it were, say, at school. But they’re not; they are working at agencies. And not as interns, either; as fully paid-up members of staff. Read the rest of this entry »

Public revelations

In Advertising, Communicate, Dubai, Published journalism, Q&A on November 23, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Saatchi’s outspoken CEO Kevin Roberts tells Communicate that the time for analysis is over. Advertising is going to get ugly

Originally published in Communicate, June 2009

Saatchi & Saatchi global CEO Kevin Roberts was back in town recently to check up on the new regional management at the agency. A year after he created controversy across the Middle East by calling the region’s creative output “awful,” and the quality of work “crap,” Roberts’ agency is hoping to reinvent itself with a restructure. Read the rest of this entry »

Periodical prognosis

In Communicate, Dubai, Interview, Journalism, Published journalism on November 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

The FIPP’s Don Kummerfeld says magazines in the region can survive the crunch, but only if they expand their online scope

Originally published in Communicate, June 2009

Although advertising spend in the Middle East is notoriously hard to measure, the ad revenue from magazines in Western Europe and the US is in decline, and Don Kummerfeld predicts this region will not be far behind.

Kummerfeld is the president of the International Federation of the Periodical Press (FIPP), a global organization that represents magazine publishers and organizes training, networking and licensing fairs. He was recently in the UAE, and told Communicate advertising growth in magazines is likely to be on hold for a while in the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »