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W W W. C A M PA I G N M E .






Exploring immersive
content. p14

Shelina Janmohameds book
introduces Muslim youth mixing
faith and consumerism. p26

Introducing Pepper, Emirates
NBDs new employee. p16
today? There is a segment
What does it mean to be young and Muslim
is more influential than any other,
of the worlds 1.6 billion Muslims that
but also the world around
and will shape not just the future of Muslims,
them: meet Generation M.

the Mipsterz to the

From fashion magazines to social networking,
boy bands, Generation M
Haloodies, halal internet dating to Muslim
, award-winning author
are making their mark. Shelina Janmohamed
this growing cultural
and leading voice
g the mindset of young
phenomenon at a time when understandin
an identity encompassing both
Muslims is critical. With their belief in
not only adapting to Western
faith and modernity, Generation M are
consumerism, but reclaiming it as their

A crucial book at a critical time...

A must-read Lyse Doucet, BBC Chief
International Correspondent


A compelling account of todays
Muslim consumers Paul Polman, CEO
A fresh and insightful perspective
Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP


Sir Martin

A vivid account Farah Pandith, former
Special Representative to Muslim Communities

www.ibtauris. com


Cover design by Arianna Osti


Unparalleled... For those within

and concerned with modern Muslim
author of
communities Professor Reina Lewis,
Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures

Shelina Janmohamed
is the bestselling author of
Love in a Headscarf. She is
an established commentator
on Muslim social and
religious trends, and has
written for the Guardian,
the National and the BBC.

a milestone in
understanding young,
modern, and faithful


Reza Aslan,
bestselling author of
No God but God


02/08/16 19:11

generationM.indd 1



Titles are trivial

Nadim Khoury says the

first step to fostering a
meaningful agency culture
is to break down walls, silos
and heirarchical structures.
Agencies that fail to adopt
an open office culture will
be left behind.


Where are all

the Arabs in PR?
Weber Shandwick CEO
Ziad Hasbani says we need
more Arabs in leadership
roles. Leaders who are
experienced and good at
their jobs.


The user experience has

to be smooth and speed
is part of that. It must be
smooth, glitch-free, not
complicated, but also it has
to be as fast as possible.
Barack Obamas
manager and
advisor to

Asdaa BursonMarsteller lands

Visa PR account
The agency has taken
the credit cards
communications work
from BPG Cohn &
Wolfe in a six-way pitch.


25 september 2016

Axiom Telecom
appoints Buzzman
Dubai-based independent agency
Buzzman Middle East has won a
competitive pitch to handle the
creative account for a new brand by
Axiom Telecom.
Buzzman will handle above- and
below-the-line advertising, as well
as social media for Switch, a new
smartphone and tablet customisation service to be launched by the
UAE retailer.
Four other agencies pitched for
the account, which will cover the
UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Fahad al-Bannai, chief executive
and founder of Axiom Telecom,
said: We were looking to partner
with an agency that understands
our DNA and vision in launching
our new customisation services.
Buzzman has demonstrated
strong strategic planning skills and
creative talent, as well as a deep
understanding of local consumer
Adil Zghaoui, general manager
of Buzzman Middle East, added:
Axiom Telecom is a great local
success story and we are proud to
partner with them to launch the
Switch brand.
The win follows Buzzmans
recent successes landing accounts
with German FMCG and industrial brand Henkel, and Dutch
dairy FrieslandCampina.
The agency moved to Dubai in
2013 when it partnered with Durex
to launch the brands first condom
delivery service.
Founded in 1997, Axiom Telecom is the largest retailer and
distributor of mobile phones in
the region.

New video production

house launches in Dubai
By Eleanor Dickinson

A film production company aimed at

improving Dubais industry has
launched in the city.
Originally founded as a photography studio, Meraki has announced
the opening of its new video division
following a surge in business growth
from regional and global clients.
The Business Bay-based enterprise
has also plans to open a European
base, where the majority of its international work is located.
Meraki currently works with
regional agencies such as Saatchi &
Saatchi Dubai and KSA, MullenLowe Dubai and Riyadh and FP7.
Internationally, the company counts
Ogilvy India, LinkedIn, Porsche
Germany, Havas Worldwide and
Innocean Worldwide among its
client roster.
Hikmat Ghandour, Meraki founder
and former stills producer at Magnet,
said he launched the venture in
response to his growing frustration
with Dubais current industry.
I felt that the production houses
here lack a lot, he explained. They
lack people who need not only
to understand the production logistics, but also the creative behind all
the work.
Their knowledge about the artists
who made our industry what it
is today is so small, which is becoming a very frustrating factor for all
the locally based talents. They
are not helping in advancing this

Change: meraki hopes to create new channels in video production

industry but instead they are pulling

it backwards.
We do want to bring change to
this industry, or rather improvement. Dubai is a city that is growing
extremely fast, but our industry
isnt; hence we would like to catch
up and speed this process up because
it will not only benefit us, but also
everyone else.
A lot of the talent we have been
working with over the past year are

international and we would also like

to continue growing this while supporting the locally based artists,
creating a channel between Dubai
and the rest of the world. Dubai is
the city that has, and will have everything sooner or later, plus the great
weather eight months of the year, so
there can be no excuse for us to make
this city a prime destination for
productions coming from all over
the world.

N e s c a f a r a b i a N a w h y s ay n o ?
Nescaf Arabiana instant Arabic coffee is a great idea,
because making Arabic coffee the usual, drawn-out,
traditional way is neither convenient nor easy, says this
new commercial from Publicis Middle East. Yet, despite
claiming to be just as delicious as homemade Arabic
coffee, the brand has its fair share of naysayers to
convince. However, this campaign tries to win over its
doubters by proving to them that saying no to a good
idea isnt a smart thing to do.
More at:

BranD: Nescaf Arabiana

TITLE: Why say no?
aGEnCY: Publicis Middle East,
rEGIonaL ECD: Jan Leube
CD: Vijay Simon
arT DIrECTor: Nadia Kareem
araBIC CopYwrITEr: Abdel
Hamid Bekhettou
aV proDuCTIon ManaGEr:
Heba Kharouf
proDuCTIon housE: Deja Vu
DIrECTor: Omar Helal

GraND mills first time

Nothing tastes better than mothers cooking.
And if you are staying away from home, just
ask the 85 per cent expat population of the
UAE. Theres some magic in a homemade
meal and in Grand Mills Chakki Fresh Attas
latest film, First Time, The Classic Partnership
attempted to capture that through a mothers
maiden trip to meet her son in Dubai.

BranD: Grand Mills

TITLE: First time
aGEnCY: The Classic Partnership
ECD: Alok Gadkar
assoCIaTE CD: Prakash Elumalai
arT DIrECTor: Vishal Vinekar
proDuCTIon: Vitthal Deshmukh,
Zohra Ameen
proDuCEr: Raman Chauhan


25 september 2016

C&B holds onto Dubai Culture

brief as it eyes regional expansion
By eleanor Dickinson

Publinet-owned communications
agency Cicero & Bernay has retained
the public relations account of Dubai
Culture and Arts Authority following a review.
The agency will work with the
government department to support
the emirates Dubai 2021 Plan to
make the city one of the most
happy, creative and technologically
advanced in the world.
C&B will also support Dubai Culture in its involvement in Expo 2020.
The win comes as the agency
announces its expansion into Jordan
and Iraq through a partnership with
Bashir Mraish Consultancy (BMC).
C&B will work alongside BMC in
Amman and Erbil in areas of public
relations, digital services, media relations, community programmes,
public affairs and issues management.
Speaking of the Dubai Culture
win, chief operations officer of Publinet Group and C&B founder
Ahmad Itani said: We are extremely
honoured to be appointed by Dubai
Culture to support their communication requirements and to help
drive their mandate and strategic
objectives. Dubais art and cultural
scene is an essential element of what
makes the emirate unique, as it
embodies the citys spirit of innovation and creativity.
We look forward to strengthening

art Dubai: C&b founder ahmad itani says culture is an essential element of what makes the emirate unique

Dubai Cultures voice across Dubai

and beyond, and fostering sustained
interest and brand awareness in the
emirates rich, evolving arts and culture scene.
Of the expansion, he said: This
alliance completes a central component of our strategic plan to expand
our network across the whole of

MENA, and complements our

already strong GCC capabilities with
increased competency right across
the region.
He added: We are extremely happy
to combine efforts to deliver impeccable public relations consultancy
services to our respective clients.
Bashir Mraish said: Both of our

agencies have long-established presences within our countries, and

together our combined knowledge
provides the comprehensive expertise that our clients are looking for
across this region.
In June, C&B moved into Saudi
Arabia by merging with Jeddahbased agency Y&D Communications.

CadillaC The pursuiT of nexT

R e n n a m o b i l e b i l l i o n T h i n g s T o Ta l k a b o u T

In the USA, the Cadillac XT5 was

announced via the Daring Pursuits
campaign, which pairs passionate
creators from different backgrounds
to collaborate and share their unique
perspectives. To be relevant to the
region, the Pursuit Of Next campaign
features social media influencers
Ascia AKF, Shamekh Bluwi and
Karen Wazen.

Most blue-collar workers in Oman come

from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
These countries are known for their
rich and versatile culture and heritage,
something these workers miss till their
next visit home. This campaign was to tell
these workers that Renna Mobile is more
affordable than other mobile carriers and
you can talk more by paying less.

Client: Cadillac
title: The Pursuit of Next
AGenCY: Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai
eCD: Richard Copping
CreAtive DireCtors:
Andy Daniluc, Ion Cojocaru
DiGitAl ACD: Karen Wong
CopYwriters: Milad Issa, Mary Fadel
proDuCtion house: Magnet
DireCtor: Amira Tajdin
Dop: Nick Davidson

BrAnD: Renna Mobile

title: Billion things to talk about
eCD: Noufal Ali
Art DireCtors: Renjith Pillai, Snoop
CopYwriter: Vinu V. Krishna
illustrAtor: Arun Gautam
DesiGners: Byju Ravindran, Balqis


25 september 2016

Dubai-based PR agency Asdaa Burson-Marsteller has won the regional

communications account for global
credit card company Visa.
Asdaa pitched against the incumbent BPG Cohn & Wolfe and
reportedly Brunswick, MSLGroup,
Four Communications, APCO and
Impact Porter Novelli.
BPG won the account covering the
Middle East and North Africa from
DABO & Co in 2012.
Sunil John, founder and CEO
of Asdaa, said: This is an important account win for us,
demonstrating the depth and
breadth of our reach throughout
MENA, and the excellent reputation of our finance practice.
Asdaa has also won a Grand Stevie
at the International Business Awards,
run by the US-based Stevie Awards.
The agency won four golds, seven
silvers and 12 bronze awards, which
it will collect at a ceremony in Italy
in October.
Asdaas Arab Youth Survey 2016
won three gold medals: as PR campaign of the year and in the
categories of reputation/brand management, and public service and
global issues.
The Grand Stevie ranked the
agency third in the awards programme, which is open to businesses
across categories and nations. More

getty images

Asdaa Burson-Marsteller bags

Visa, wins big at Stevie Awards

credit: asdaa Burson-marsteller took Visa in a six-way pitch

than 3,800 entries from companies in

60 nations were received. The third
place put Asdaa equal with US tech
giant Cisco, the two companies being
beaten only by Llorente & Cuenca, a
communications agency serving
Latin America, Spain and Portugal,

which was ranked number one, and

US tech company Callidus Cloud.
Asdaa was PR agency of the year in
the Middle East and Africa, with
TRACCS coming in second, and
Djembe Communications third. Its
23 trophies are its biggest haul to

date, and this is the sixth time it has

won PR Agency of the Year MEA.
John said: This is a tremendous
result for us, and it is wonderful to
see our ground-breaking work on
behalf of our clients recognised on
the international stage.

Careem launches
new branding

J o t u n P o w d e r c o a t i n g s W o o d s p i r at i o n W h at W i l l y o u c r e at e ?
Jotun Powder Coatings is a supplier to companies active in industries related to appliances, furniture, building components,
pipelines, infrastructure and general industries. It recently launched its new collection, Woodspiration. To promote it, in
collaboration with creative agency Nomads, Jotun created What Will you Create?. The short video shows a sauna being
built out of aluminium, assembled in the desert and tested by two Scandinavian experts. The production house was
Magnet. The producer was Lucy Dawson and the director was Thomas Simon.


Regional car-booking firm Careem

has launched a new brand identity
to mark its four-year anniversary. It
has unveiled a new logo featuring a
green wink.
The company also has a revamped
strategy that covers product messaging, advertising, community
outreach and company culture.
With the new identity we wanted
to not only focus on the practical
element of what the company is
doing, but also the why aspect of
the Careem story, and the new logo
gives people reasons to believe in it,
said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder
of Careem.
Careem has been growing 30 per
cent, month-on-month, said the
company. It operates in 32 cities
from Morocco to Pakistan. It has
more than 4 million registered users
and in excess of 80,000 drivers across
its network.
The rebranding was carried out by
Careem and Impact BBDO.


The right mix

The number of Arab leaders in the PR industry is growing, but it is not yet where it should be


Now the issue
here is not the
typo in his
business card
because for him,
it isnt a typo its
the fact that he
landed a highlevel job in our
industry without
an ounce of

ts a topic that often divides opinions and not many

discuss it openly: are there enough Arab nationals
leading the regions public relations and communications industry? Are the ones in place doing a
good enough job, and is there a need for change?
About eight years ago, I bumped into an old
acquaintance who had been, since he graduated from
college, in the car rental industry. He told me that he
left that business and now headed up a PR agency that
belonged to the same multinational group. He gave
me his card and his designation read Publics Relation
Head. Now the issue here is not the typo in his business card because for him, it isnt a typo its the
fact that he landed a high-level job in our industry
without an ounce of experience. In the past, connections and networking played a big role in Arab
nationals landing leadership positions across the
communications industry.
Having been in the business for more than 20 years
across the MENA region, I have seen first-hand the
unique impact good leaders can have on their teams
when they fully understand the region and its culture.
For me, a good leader is a good leader, regardless of
nationality. He or she should be able to provide counsel on issues relating to the various local markets, and
understand what works and what doesnt. Being Arab
does not automatically make someone able to successfully counsel on the region and lead a team.
Looking at it from the clients side, some clients feel
more comfortable with senior Arab consultants, and
that is understandable. Local insights, strong language skills and the ability to build firm local
relationships are all invaluable. Sometimes, clients
feel more comfortable dealing with Arabs as they not
only speak the same language, but they feel they
understand them better.
The arrival of many highly skilled professional PR
consultants after the financial crisis in 2008, mostly
from mature markets, contributed to the professionalism and cultural diversity we see in many top
agencies today. This has had a positive impact on
Arab consultants and contributed to their career
growth. So with the expanding pool of local talent


CEO of Weber
Shandwick MENA

we are seeing a movement towards a fairer mix of

expats and Arabs working within the industry. It is
still very slow, but we are moving in the right direction. However, it is not just a numbers game; the
make-up of a good leader is built on much more than
nationality. Leadership positions are now earned
based on your ability to be respected and lead a team.
There is undeniably a strong wave of bright Arab
talent coming through at the moment, but the problem is that not many are looking for careers in the
communications industry. Lets face it, the pay is OK,
but the hours are long. Instead they look primarily at
high-growth industries such as banking and finance,
professional services and government, where benefits
are good. However, the marcomms world is changing
fast, with the continued growth of social media contributing to this change. The fact that PR agencies
are now capable of producing creative, integrated
work, similar to ad agencies, is extremely attractive
to a lot of Arab talent. Our industry is never dull and
we are now at the forefront of change and innovation.
Organisations such as the Middle East PR Association and the Public Relations Consultants
Association have done and are doing a lot to represent
the industry, advocate best practice and offer a wealth
of knowledge to Arab talent. A lot of young talent
gives up too easily because they expect to rise to the
top within a short period, so they dont put in the
effort and time needed to succeed. There is sometimes a misguided belief that your career will progress
quicker by jumping around.
Our industry has come a long way over the last
decade, in terms of professionalising itself and gaining respect as a marketing discipline at the board
level. Today most of the successful agencies in town
have a very senior Arabic consultant as part of their
management team, who has played a key role in their
success. Im convinced this trend will increase over
the next decade but, as leaders of the industry, we
need to do more in terms of attracting, supporting
and developing young Arab talent.
Needless to say, my old acquaintance is no longer
working in PR and has gone back to leasing cars.


Poets vs plumbers

The legal battle between Apple and Samsung over design patent infringement seems to pit the creatives
against the techies but, when it comes to building brands, art and science need to work together
Founding partner,

We now have
a broader battle
between the design
community and Big
Tech, between
creatives and
The Man. Who
wears the trousers
the creative dude
or the tech guy?


nd so the battle of the rounded rectangles

approaches its endgame. The long-running
lawsuit between Apple and Samsung the
former seeking redress for patent infringement has now been referred to the US
Supreme Court. It is the first time in decades that the
countrys highest legal body has been asked to adjudicate
on a design patent issue.
It is a case that has received surprisingly scant attention
internationally. Thats perhaps because it is playing out
in another country, under a law that doesnt hold elsewhere. Perhaps because the UKs own, local chapter of
whats been described as a worldwide constellation of
litigation between the two companies concluded years
ago (it found that Samsung did not copy the iPad). Plus,
its complicated, as testified by the multiple appeals
against the initial $1bn award in Apples favour.
But the Supreme Courts judgment on the issue
namely, what portion of a copied products profits can be
awarded in damages to the patent holder will affect not
just the businesses in question but any company that
invests in design.
It is this broader, some might say existentialist, threat
the value of design in the eyes of the law, if you like
that moved 111 of the worlds leading designers to sign
a letter last month supporting Apples case. Lord Foster,
Sir Paul Smith, Sir Terence Conran, Calvin Klein, Dieter
Rams and Dries van Noten are among the signatories.
They have chosen to add their weight to the debate
not from some deep-seated affection for the Apple brand
indeed, they are at pains to be brand-agnostic but
rather to support the principle, first established by the
US Congress 129 years ago, that it is the design that
sells the article. And, by turn, that profits accrued by
copycat products should be forfeited.

In doing so, they find themselves lined up against tech

giants, including Google and Facebook, that are already
siding with Samsung in the interests of freer innovation
protocols and consumer choice.
So on one hand we have a first-class brand case study
in play. Theres half-a-billion dollars of cash on the table
(the $1bn was cut on appeal) and more in reputational
gain or loss for these two behemoths.
On the other, we now have a broader battle between
the design community and Big Tech, between creatives
and The Man. Exaggerated as that is there is plenty of
nuance on both sides of the argument and its worth
noting that Samsung has successfully counter-sued Apple
elsewhere that narrative appeals, if only because it
echoes broader anxieties in the brand-building and, especially, the advertising business. Just who is wearing the
trousers these days: creative dude or tech guy? Are we
poets or are we plumbers?
The Cannes Lions, born as an offshoot of the Cannes
Film Festival, has been annexed by the big digital businesses just as surely as marketers media plans have.
Media is bought programmatically. Art is giving way to
science. But it is also true that the industry tide may be
turning back towards broadcast, that Nikes Olympics
spot was one of its best ever, that Adam & Eve/DDB still
rocks. Science must still yield to irresistible art.
For all the false opposition of our industry, this is the
era of both, and so a partisan reading of this case is
unhelpful. Apple and Samsung are best served by a legal
conclusion that reverts their gaze to the day job and preserves an appropriate degree of protection for their and
others proprietary design leaps.
Its far better for us all that two of the worlds biggest
brands spend their money investing in design, the oft-forgotten core of brand-building, than on costly legal action.

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getty images

25 september 2016

Driving forces
David Plouffe, campaign manager to Barack Obama and advisor to Uber, tells Austyn Allison about
the crossover between politics and transportation

avid Plouffe was the keynote speaker at

the recent OMD Predicts event in Dubai,
which focused on the twin consumer
drivers of desire and demand. Plouffe
managed both of US President Barack
Obamas successful runs for The White House and
is now chief advisor to Uber, as well as sitting on
the on-demand car companys board of directors.

consistent. So as much as I disagree with a lot of

Donald Trumps policy positions, thats not what
worries me. What worries me is I dont think he
has the temperament to be the leader of the free
world. It concerns me. I think hes a narcissist, I
think he clearly enjoys insulting people and I think
he could make a very dangerous decision just based
on spite.

On leadership
Every [political] system is obviously different and
there is uniqueness to every system and culture and
country. But one of the things I learned was,
regardless of the systems, to be spending a lot of
time where your constituents or citizens are spending their time.
[President Obama] actually gets criticism from
some for appearing on late night TV and doing
interviews with YouTube personalities a lot online.
But thats where people are spending their time. So
if you want to be communicating with your citizens,
yes, you have to engage with traditional media;
thats very important. But you also want to be
spending time where your citizens are spending
their time. When the president does an interview
with a YouTube host, maybe a lot of people in
Washington dont know who that person is, but
people all throughout America do.

On what governmental bodies can learn from

the private sector
Theres one thing thats common. At Uber to a
degree thats very rare in the private sector its
most effective advocates in any of its public policy
discussions have been the drivers and riders. They
are willing to attend rallies, to speak to elected officials and regulators, to engage in social media. It is
very unique.
Obviously in politics the most important and
most effective advocacy comes from the grassroots
and from citizens. There is some commonality
there. What government can learn from the private
sector is that focus on user experience.
You have to understand how people are living
their lives. Of course there are always going to be
elements of security [in politics], but generally how
do you provide the same kind of user experience
that you get shopping on Amazon or from spending
time on Facebook or on some of the local websites?
Too often we go to government websites or government agencies and we almost dread the
So I think [there must be a] relentless focus on
user experience; it cant just be about the outcome.
If someones applying for services or a permit, the
outcomes fine, but if the process of getting there
is frustrating, thats where things have to speed up.

On Donald Trump
Im obviously not a clinical psychologist, but I
believe he meets the definition [of a psychopath].
So why do I feel so strongly about this? I worked
in The White House, where you develop a great
appreciation for the type of person you need to
have in the The White House. Theyve got to be
stable, they have to be thorough, they have to be


On user experience
The user experience has to be smooth and speed
is part of that. It must be smooth, glitch-free, not
complicated, but it also has to be as fast as possible. If youre going in for major surgery, or if
youre applying for permits for a major project,
no one expects that to be done in a few minutes.
But basically, where possible as quick as possible,
as clear as possible, and governments more and
more need to anticipate what their citizens want.
We were talking about demand forecasting. That
can be true for government or at any company.
People just dont want to waste time. If you call
an old fashioned number and you are put on hold
for 20 minutes, people just cant afford that kind
of inconvenience any more.
On pricing
In some markets now [Uber] are moving to upfront pricing, which means you are just told
before the ride [how much it will cost]. Now, it
could still be more expensive because demands
high, but youre told what it is.
So whether its on-demand or surge, why is it
important? There are other options. If the price
is too high you can take a taxi or you can take the
subway, but we always want the car to be available. Why? Because if youve made a decision to
give up your car, [Uber] always has to be there
for you.
What people sometimes miss here is theres a
big principle behind it, which is if youre not driving (whether youve left your car at home or
youve decided youre not going to get a car) you
have to have [Uber] when you want. If demands
very high, like with an airplane or a hotel youre
going to pay a little more.

25 september 2016





Can audience measurement measure up to the changing

content consumption landscape? Eleanor Dickinson
reports from IBC 2016


25 september 2016

ow do you imagine
an audience? This
was a issue under
regular scrutiny at
this years
International Broadcasting
Convention in Amsterdam. With
new technologies and behaviours
gnawing at the edges of
traditional media, as one TV head
viscerally put it, the challenge of
really knowing who is consuming
digital content, has left media
companies struggling. Televisions
crown has been usurped by digital
content, and watching video
behind multiple screens
sometimes at the same time has
become a household norm. Even in
an era when digital-driven
measurement of TV and catch-up
platforms sit comfortably alongside
traditional panel models, the
general consensus at this years
IBC was that technological
advancements will only create
more problems for media analysts,
not solve them.
Its much harder because to
reach scale you have to hit your
target audience in so many
different ways, explains Lee
Rafferty, executive vice-president
of marketing and communications
at US-based TV network
NBCUniversal International.
You now need to tailor content
not only to the brand and
audience, but also to the platform
youre on. Its incredibly
resource-intensive, but the upside
is that now were getting real-time
data from a campaign, which you
can tweak and tailor as youre
going on. Before, we used to
argue which campaign would
work, but now we put [two] on
and optimise from there.
While many on the conference
circuits prefer to think of audience
measurement as driving a more
human relationship between the
brand and the consumer, for
Martin Greenbank, head of
advertising research and
development at UK television
network Channel 4, the concept is
altogether more bestial.
With measuring video as a
whole, is it like an elephant, some
giant beast that will get bigger and
bigger, or like a unicorn, a mythical
entity we will never achieve? he
asks. My view is that it is a bit of an
elephant and that we should not get
too distracted by the myth. An
elephant may seem cumbersome
and slow, but it is faster than Usain
Bolt, believe it or not. And the
industry measurements around
have amazing strength and are a
representative sample of the
populations they represent. Like
elephants, they take a long time to
get there through evolution and
many changes.
Continuing his zoological
metaphor, Greenbank adds: If you

think of spiders, they have

multiple eyeballs. If youre
measuring an ad or content
delivery through a digital measure,
you can only see that its gone to a
digital device. Whereas we know
that, like spiders, households have
multiple eyeballs on the sofa and
you have to be able to describe
that. And thats where we have
moved into: translating digital
measurement into multiple
demographically and discretely
targeted audiences that we can sell
to advertisers.
The important bit here is that
youre not selling something that
is of multiple value; youre using
this information to prove to the
buyer that theyre getting the
people they expect to be reaching
at the start of that transaction. I
think were entering a world
where all these animals are
converging a zoo of
measurement techniques. But it
requires a lot of coordination and
design and, like any successful
zoo, it takes people to build the
zoo, but it takes quite a lot of
zookeepers to make sure they all
work together.
Yet while data harvesting may
make the job easier for media
planners and, as some would
argue, even do their role for them
the information gleaned does
little to influence the content
itself, so Greenbank believes.
I think were talking about
marginal gains, though, when
were using that data he says.
The idea of coming with a better
programme is going to make a far
greater difference to the size and
quality of your audience than
when you tinker around the edges
of using the data. It can be
explanatory and help you deliver to
advertising audiences in a more
efficient and effective way, but
fundamentally for a broadcaster
our core aim is to make better
programmes. And to this point
data has not suggested it can help
design programmes.
But where does this leave social

PrePare to be immersed
If IBC is something of a crystal ball for content-makers then the reading this year would be one word: immersive.
Leading this charge was a preview of Oscar-winning filmmaker
Ang Lees Billy Lynns Long Halftime Walk. Shot in 4K resolution,
3D and at 120 frames per second, its power lay in its ability
immerse an audience into not only the scenes but also the titular
character himself.
Yet though Hollywood remains the natural birthing ground for cinematic innovation, big brands with big budgets have shown they can
deliver experiences beyond the superficially visual.
Most memorably shown at IBC was the camera-maker Canons
Come and see content marketing campaign (pictured opposite),
which saw the global brand use its own 4K technology to film surfers
riding Munichs famous Eisbach River wave in the middle of the night.
Aimed at demonstrating the magnitude of filmmaking using traditional cameras to a generation who have long ago swapped them
for smartphones, the brand used a number of its own products to
shoot the sequences.
Shot over three days, the crew built bespoke rigs to help create
the viewer experience of watching the action from the riverbank .
One 180-degree rig used a wide lens mounted onto the makers
Cinema EOS C300 Mark II, while other rigs were set up in the river
and on the bank to film high-speed and tightly close-knit shots.
Viewers watching the video on their mobile phones can then shift
their viewpoints with a simple tilt of their device, making the experience more immersive.
The intended result was to show a reader how they could take
cinematic-quality stills and video with the ease of shooting on a
smartphone, as Kieran Magee, director of Professional Imaging at
Canon, explained. We have seen mobile phones take over at the
entry-level and snaps level; people carry them everywhere so why
would they carry a camera? he said. But we are now seeing a
group of people who have grown up with smartphones as their
camera choice who are now saying: whats the next step up? Its
those we want to tap into: the people who want to take incredible
shots, but where the mobile phone has its limitations.
Already shown in Europe, the campaign is due for release in the
Middle East later this year.

media platforms such as Facebook

and YouTube? These outlets
arguably now have a bigger role
and influence than television on
viewers media habits, especially
when it comes to news
consumption among millennials.
In the Middle East, the overall use
of online news sources among
youth grew from 40 per cent in
2015 to 45 per cent today, with
social media up from 25 per cent to
32 per cent, according to Asdaa
Burson-Marstellers 2016 Arab

I think were entering a world

where all these animals are
converging a zoo of measurement
techniques. But it requires a lot of
coordination and, design and, like
any successful zoo, it takes people
to build the zoo, but it takes quite a
lot of zookeepers to make sure they
all work together.

Youth Survey. While audience

reach on a superficial level is easily
measured in terms of click and hit
numbers, understanding real and
conscious engagement levels
continues to dog media planners.
Last year, Exponential MENAs
Amer M. Attyeh told Campaign
how videos of short emotive
experiences would become a
strategy staple.
However, at IBC, Ricky Sutton,
founder of Australia-based video
analytics company Oovvuu, took
a more pessimistic approach.
According to him, content quality
itself has little overall impact.
Facebook genuinely does not
care what is being watched, he
says. Whether its a kitten being
sick in a bucket or someone
shooting drone footage or a
brilliant TV view, they just dont
care. Its just a view, it has an ad
against it and they sell it and make
money. And I think thats a real
problem. He adds: I think with
the Napalm girl story [when
Facebook in September removed
copies of a Pulitzer-winning
photograph of a naked child
running from an attack during
the Vietnam War], they showed
this week that they are out of
touch with their responsibility.


25 september 2016

Q Should media planners

be afraid of the algorithm?
Does the explosion of automation mean the roles of planning and buying will become redundant?

rogrammatic buying has long

been hailed as the Holy Grail
of the media industry, with
data and targeting likely to
continue leading the conference
bandwagon well into 2017.
As algorithms and analytics
become increasingly smart and
sophisticated on a daily basis,
the industry can keep track of the
avalanches of big data reaching it
from all mediums.
Streamlining this overwhelming
tide of information has been
touted as offering agencies better
efficiency and accuracy and, in

doing so, providing a largely

apathetic audience with something
reasonably meaningful with which
they can interact.
But would a future in which
100 per cent of media can be
targeted and bought through
an algorithm be a bright one?
Uber trials and European
tests on driverless cars have
already left millions of drivers,
especially in the heavy-goods
industry, fearing a grim future of
unemployment ahead.
So should planners and buyers
not fear a time when their jobs can


just as easily and efficiently be

done by a computer?
No, believes Nour Montasser,
biddable media executive at
MEC, but a stronger collaboration
between man and machine needs
to be fostered.
If algorithms are conceived and
programmed at the fingertips of
mankind, what reason do we have
to assume we cannot understand
(or, better yet, manipulate) their
functionality? I like to think of
algorithms as the personalities of
my working partners.
To maintain a successful

relationship, we must first invest

time in understanding how our
partners work. Once we secure
this knowledge, it is up to us
as the reasoning party to sculpt
the algorithms decisiveness
toward achieving the strongest
desired result.
Likewise, Richard Addington,
director of planning at OMD
UAE, believes that people will
always be essential to create
more tailored media strategies
that will ultimately help brands
and agencies navigate an
increasingly complex landscape.




Richard Addington
Director of planning,

Syed Qarib
Technical lead,
Hug Digital

Nour Montasser
Biddable media executive,
MEC Interaction

Samer Majzoub,
Media director,

Rather than fear the everchanging landscape,

planners should embrace
change. Thinking with
algorithms should be a
natural part of the planning
process. Data and analytics
will continue to play an
increasingly key role in
unlocking better

With technology
continuously evolving and
reshaping the media
landscape, planners need to
use this available technology
in order to drive better
results. In todays user-driven
digital economy, planners
need to harness the the
algorithm, to keep pace
with their customers.

I like to think of algorithms

as the personalities of my
working partners. To
maintain successful
relationships, we must first
invest time in understanding
how they work. Then it is up
to us as the reasoning party
to sculpt the algorithms
decisiveness toward the
strongest desired result.

Planners should not be

afraid of algorithms, nor shy
away from them; they need
to acquire the required
knowledge and embrace
this technology in order to
unlock its potential. If used
properly, it could support
them in their day-to-day job,
having a remarkable impact
on clients business.

Things we like...
Twitters aggressive new trolling stance
In the wake of Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones
experience of receiving a torrent of targeted
racist and sexualised tweets, Twitter CEO Jack
Dorsey announced the
platform would become
a lot more aggressive
in tackling online abuse.
Speaking at Dmexco via
video link, where he was
interviewed by WPP
CEO Sir Martin Sorrell,
Dorsey admitted the
brand had not thought
cohesively about
putting its resources
behind the issue.


Robotic bank clerks

Customers tired of the souldestroying trips to the bank
may soon be served by a
Japanese human-shaped robot
named Pepper, which is to be
employed by Emirates NBD to
liven up their experience.
The four-foot, artifical intelligence
humanoid will initially just perform
at marketing and promotional
functions, but the bank has said
the softly-spoken Pepper will
be making appearances
at selected stores in the
near future.

...ANd oNe ThiNg we ReAlly doNT

Romanticising colonial rule
A Brisbane bar called British Colonial Co. has
found itself at the centre of a media storm after
marketing itself as trying to recapture the stylish
days of the British Empire. Critics accused the
venue of romanticising the colonia era.

25 september 2016

Building up a Twitter following

Maisie McCabe asks Twitters global marketing chief Leslie Berland about her plans to make a brand
that is facing declining growth and steadily losing ground to Facebook more attractive to advertisers

Age 38
Lives new York City and San Francisco
Family Husband and two sons
Car im a city girl either a cab or uber
Interests outside work Whatever my boys
are into at any given moment. Currently:
Paw Patrol and Pokmon
Favourite tweeter too many Everyone
i follow together makes my daily twitter
experience hilarious, compelling,
eye-opening, shocking amazing
Guilty pleasure Chocolate
Most-used emoji
Last books read The Outliers by Kimberly
McCreight and Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr Seuss (last night)
Motto Always show up


Colin Stout

eslie Berland, Twitters global chief marketing officer, is reminiscing about

following the NBA on Twitter last
season. She wasnt glued to expert commentators during games but instead
watching out for what Ayesha Curry might say
next. The wife of US basketball star Stephen
Curry is an enthusiastic user of social media and
occasionally tweets herself into trouble.
Whereas sport stars loved ones were once
only ever viewed through the lens of a TV
camera during a brief break in the action, now
they can have their say in real time alongside
everyone else. I think thats whats so powerful
about Twitter, Berland explains. You hear
from voices you would never hear from before.
Its so interesting and so dynamic, its truly
unlike any other platform.
Twitter is betting big on sport. Recent rights
deals with the NBA, NFL and Sky Sports for
Premier League highlights form part of its
renewed emphasis on immediacy. A new global
marketing push that kicked off at the end of July
positions Twitter as the place where people find
out whats happening, after research found that
people who dont use Twitter assume it is just a
social network.
Were going from a multiscreen world to onescreen, which is Twitter, Berland says. I
believe that is extremely game-changing. Experience is deepened on Twitter, heightened on
Twitter and more dimensions are added when
youre watching and connecting with other
people on the platform.
Berland joined Twitter in February after
nearly 11 years at American Express. As a marketer, she worked in partnership with Twitter
extensively, pioneering social commerce and
encouraging people to support local retailers
through the Small Business Saturday initiative.
She says any time American Express wanted to
do something that was completely breakthrough, that had never been done before, it
went to Twitter. Part of Berlands role is to
encourage other marketers to do the same.
The fact that marketing to advertisers is only

Berland: wants Twitter to be the place brands go to do something that has never been done before

an element of Berlands job is a testament to how

far the companys 150-strong marketing function
has come in the past 18 months. After initially
focusing on business users, Twitter has built out
its consumer marketing proposition, bringing in
Sony Musics Niamh OReilly to run EMEA.
Berland says they look at both segments in the
same way, targeting existing and potential users
or advertisers. PR also came into the fold last
week, following the departure of comms chief
Natalie Kerris after just six months.
Ensuring this global work is informing local
activity will be key. Since joining Twitter, Berland has spent time in London (where she met
UK agency Lucky Generals), Dublin and Paris,
and she will visit Japan, Singapore and Australia
this year. It seems to be going well. The energy
and the passion she has brought in has been phenomenal, UK managing director Dara Nasr
says. Shes very receptive to our suggestions and
has been very close since day one.
Its a crucial time for Twitter. The platform is
under intense pressure from investors after failing
to replicate the growth of rival Facebook. Twitter
reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth in
three years for the April to June 2016 period, up
20 per cent year-on-year compared with Facebooks 59 per cent growth in the same quarter.
Berland says Twitter is on a very good trajectory
and a number of recent changes to make the product more intuitive are having an impact already.
We have a brand that means so many things
to people, and Leslie brings a real clear sense of
focus on the most important elements of that
brand, Twitters co-founder and chief executive
Jack Dorsey says. Even though shes pretty new
to the company, shes been engaged with Twitter

as a marketer for most of our existence, so she

knows the power as well as anyone here.
Executives who worked with Berland at American Express say she spent more time with tech
companies than agencies in her previous role.
Lauren Crampsie, worldwide chief marketing
officer at Ogilvy & Mather, regards the New
Jersey native as a mentor and describes her as a
sort of perfect woman, whether thats in the
office, as a mum at home or with her husband.
As well as adjusting to working between New
York and San Francisco, Berland will need to
adapt to being part of a different type of marketing function. Anna Bateson, a former director of
global consumer marketing at YouTube who now
works at Guardian Media Group, contrasts being
at a company where marketing leads product
development with de veloper-led tech giants
where there is a limit to what marketing can
deliver in terms of change.
The real power and the real insight that marketing can bring is what the users want, Bateson
says. Ask what is the magic the platform brings
to users and make sure that flows back into how
the company approaches everything. Twitter
needs to regain some confidence and believe in
the brand and the magic of the product rather
than trying to be something theyre not.
Twitter has suffered from being compared with
Facebook and it is telling that Berlands new positioning was unveiled a day before Twitters
disappointing results and two days before Facebooks knockout ones. The work Berland has
started should help investors and users understand the platform better. But they will have to
accept that it might never get to shoot hoops at
the level of Facebook and Google.






25 september 2016

Open sesame
An agency will live and die by its culture.
Often written off by agencies, culture is regrettably one of the most overlooked and neglected
aspects of the workplace in the corporate world.
And leaderships justification? Its unscientific,
unquantifiable and doesnt add value to the
bottom line.
Although agency leaders may be right about the
first point, the second is highly debatable and the
third is just utterly wrong. Time and again agencies that have chosen to put people first have
demonstrated that the right office culture can
transform an entire business and take it to new
heights, more so than any of its other assets. This
is even more monumental in creative businesses,
where employees innovation is directly linked to
the companys performance, output, client satisfaction and, ultimately, its bottom line.
We are all aligned on the fact that the industry
is ever-evolving, and we have witnessed rapid
changes in media habits over the last few years.
What this means is that we need to quickly do
something that will potentially allow agencies to
thrive as others struggle to survive across markets.
And this thing we must do has nothing to do with
strategy or talent.
Dont get me wrong, strategy is crucial and talent
is an absolute necessity. But without the right culture, the former might struggle and the latter will
hiccup. At the other end of the spectrum, adopting
a culture that fosters innovation and encourages
communication naturally leads to better strategies
and empowers brighter talent that can collectively
tackle challenges, improve performance and help
agencies not only think, but act outside the box. It
will help an agency not only stay on top of market
changes, but become a trend-setter too.
The question that presents itself is this: how do
we build a workplace that skips traditional hierarchy and does away with conventional wisdom
while fostering innovation, meeting clients expectations, improving margins and maintaining an
agencys edge over its competition?
The answer that stares us in the face is and will
remain by fostering an open culture. It is an easy
thing to state, yet hard to implement. Silos must
go, walls must disappear, and hierarchy has to take
a back seat. Anything and everything that hinders
innovation and performance has to go. It is a big
challenge, but a necessary one.
A business model will live and die by where we
put people on our priority list. By placing them
right at the top and creating an environment that
encourages open communication, values collaboration over responsibilities and harnesses staffs
unique skills and talents, we build something that
is almost impossible to replicate.
When walls were torn down and desks faced
one another, magic started happening. The work
place instantly became livelier and more vibrant.
That is to say that by scrapping hierarchy and
placing more value on input and communication
we no longer have employees; we have active
team players. A truly diverse team that approaches
challenges with equally diverse pairs of eyes and


getty imAges

An agency without walls, silos or hierarchy is a happy agency. And a profitable one, writes Nadim Khoury.

Adopting an open culture

means that an agencys
vision, mission and core
values do not remain
inanimate words on paper.
a broad set of skills.
Adopting an open culture means that an agencys
vision, mission and core values do not remain
inanimate words on paper. They become an innate
part of our day-to-day lives. It means that our team
members are no longer tackling tasks, but working
towards the realisation of a common goal and a
shared vision they all believe in. Titles are trivial,

while collective contribution and effective collaboration are not. And all should be done in a way
that is unique to individual agencies, giving each a
culture that we can call our own.
Looking back, we can easily say that building
an open office culture has had a direct impact on
our agencys balance sheets and makes an evident
contribution to the smiles on clients and employees faces.
Agencies that fail to adopt an open office culture
will be left behind. Meanwhile, those that recognise the value of creating the right culture and take
active steps towards developing one will continue
to thrive, innovate and lead the pack. It will take
time and effort, but it will pay off well very well
in fact, and in the very near future.
Nadim Khoury is chief operating officer of Grey
Group MENA


Culture shock

Every agency must establish its own unique culture and identity it helps to keep our industry vibrant

Chief creative officer,


First, weve got to keep the playing field fresh. Its

tough, because all agencies are being asked similar
questions by clients and are answering them using
virtually the same tools and methodologies.
Cloning each other is going to kill the vibrancy
of Agencyland. But if each agency develops its own
unique culture, well breed diversity in our own
little microcosm and that could help keep the
industry vibrant and interesting.
Second, a really strong personality and culture
provides a strong foundation for the people working within it. At work, at home, wherever, a strong
foundation allows people to find their greatness.
Third is the most important point. The multitude
of channels, the complexity of data, the desire for
genuinely useful customer experiences mean that
when briefs come in, theyre answered by a shedload of people. Unless theres a unifying culture,
working together becomes a big headache.
While having a unifying culture sounds simple,
it means a million things and has to penetrate a
million places. A real culture influences every aspect
of your business top to bottom, inside and
out. And thats tough because it has to be grown
and nurtured, it has to evolve with the team and
cant be plucked off a shelf along with the latest
piece of hardware.
Apart from coming up with the best creative ideas
(big and small), culture is the most important thing
we need to establish, to articulate, to live and die

Culture galvanises people

and drives innovation. Any
difference in culture, wherever
you find it, fosters unique
thinking, exciting differences,
tensions and creativity
by. Because culture galvanises people, it influences
attitudes, builds belief and drives innovation. Think
about it: any difference in culture, wherever you
find it, fosters unique thinking, exciting differences,
tensions and creativity.
Try being as innovative in tech as you can without
a culture that respects where innovation can take
you and you will soon see the importance of culture.
Try delivering against a really complex comms campaign (when youre stretched to the gills with the
time and resource available) and youll see the benefit of working with like-minded teams whose
shared objective and MO is to deliver a brutally
simple result.
Were not suggesting people drink the Kool-Aid.
Instead, we need and want independent thinkers
who can sync together in a common culture to work
together and make a difference.
I started with a bit of Wilde, so will end with him
too: Know Thyself was written over the portal of
the antique world. Over the portal of the new
world, Be Thyself shall be written.



scar Wilde said: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

On one of my train journeys home
last week, I was supposed to be thinking about the content of this article.
But I got sidetracked by people watching. A bunch
of 17-year-old mates in the carriage were just hanging out with each other. It should have been easy,
enjoyable. But it was the opposite. No-one really
seemed themselves. No-one seemed natural. Everyone was putting on a persona, trying to impress
and get noticed. It was exhausting to watch.
And it is exhausting. The process of becoming
yourself is a time-consuming one and, at times, a
real headache. The same is true when establishing
the identity, personality and culture of your agency.
Weve recently reviewed ours at Lida and it involved
a period of really intense hard work.
But the process of establishing who you are as an
agency is more important now than ever. Why?




Our business
A new name for an old idea
CSR and CRM are abbreviations used by marketing people.
They stand for Corporate Social Responsibility and Customer
Relationship Marketing.
Dave Trott is the author
Like most marketing terms, theyre new names for old ideas.
of Creative Mischief,
The simplest way to summarise them is: do something good, and
Predatory Thinking
and One Plus One
the goodwill you get back will mean increased sales.
Equals Three
But the ideas really arent new at all.
Take price tags, for instance.
They were probably the first examples, 150 years ago.
The first person to use them was John Wanamaker in Philadelphia.
In 1861, he opened his first store.
He was a deeply religious man and he was impressed by the retail practices hed seen among
The Quakers were the first people to have fixed prices for goods.
Previously, goods were haggled over at point of purchase.
If someone looked affluent, the retailer would charge more.
But if the customer was good at haggling, theyd bargain it down.
This wasnt the Quaker way.
They said it led to dishonesty and greed.
They said everyone should be equal.
If every man is equal before God, every man should be equal before
So Quaker shops had fixed prices on goods it didnt vary, whoever
wanted to buy them.
John Wanamaker took this a stage further.
He had the price displayed on every single item in the store.
There was no haggling.
At first this was unpopular people liked to haggle.
They thought they got a better deal.
But Wanamaker had a satisfaction guarantee printed on the back of
every price tag: money back if not satisfied.
That was remarkable.
No-one anywhere had ever done that before.
Suddenly the fixed price was seen as a mark of quality instead of a bad bargain.
Price and quality were fixed, like the law.
The store had an unbending commitment to providing the fairest treatment for every customer.
And their reputation soared.
Wanamaker continued to improve the retail experience.
For the customers: the first store with electric lights, elevators, telephones.
For the staff: medical insurance and pensions.
In fact, Wanamaker became the first retailer to buy a full-page newspaper ad.
He employed the worlds first full-time copywriter, John Emory Powers.
And sales doubled, from $4m to more than $8m.
His store grew to two million square feet.
After his death, in 1952, his family sold the store for $60m the equivalent of $1bn today.
So Wanamaker successfully employed the principles of CSR and CRM, which began with the
People who built huge businesses out of fair and honest trading.
People who practised CSR and CRM hundreds of years before any marketing department existed.
People who did it not because it was a marketing gimmick, but because it was the right thing to do.
And in doing it, they became very, very successful.
As it was said at the time: Doing well by doing good.

employed the
principles of
CSR and
CRM, which
began with
the Quakers

In advertising a secret
weapon that keeps you
going is not enough. You
actually need a room full
of ammunition.
I must say, despite all the stress and the
pressure, our business remains the biggest
motivation that keeps me going. Creativity
is and will remain my only drive and will
never stop seeding passion. There is
nothing more intellectually fulfilling than the
process of finding the right idea. Be it in the
way we manage or in the way we
articulate and design. Creativity is not an
individual effort; its a collective exchange
of great thoughts, smart reflections,
innovative ideas and artistic expressions all
metamorphosing into one integrated, wellcrafted story that has a tangible and
Thats what
keeps me going.
The fact that
every day there
is a new
challenge, that
we take every
single task so
emotionally and
turn it into a
mission, as if we
are saving the
world with every
single brief. This
CEO, MullenLowe MENA
feeling is selfmotivating,
every day, again and again.
Advertising is a world of constant
progress and nothing is the same twice.
New insights, new trends, new
technologies, new tools, new possibilities
arise every single day; thats why we have
to stay curious, updated and informed on
all levels and all subjects, from geeky
games launches to nerdy economic facts.
We re-invent ourselves every day, trying
to embrace the changes around us while
adapting new models that resonate with
the needs of our industry. We connect and
work with the brightest minds and the most
interesting souls, helping brands from soaps
to governments build success. We engage
with the poor and the rich, the young and
the old, the conservative and the wild.
Now tell me, if you wake
up with this in mind, do
you still need an external
secret weapon?




Raise the bar,

one inch at a time
Back to school. Again
Now that the back-to-school campaigns are done, dusted, and
consigned to that folder labelled recycle for next year, I hope that
Ramsey Naja is
everyone responsible for those cruel abominations will reflect on the
damage they have done and repent in the most meaningful way their
faith provides.
For an industry that prides itself on feeling the consumer pulse so much that it borders on
sexual harassment, the sheer callousness these campaigns represent is frankly mind-boggling.
Here you are, jauntily skipping between autumn leaves as you try to catch that colourful
butterfly when, bang, back to school! barks that billboard at you, back to school! screams the
shop front and back to school! is the reminder from every media channel you come
into contact with. It is enough to make you feel like the
victims of a vast conspiracy concocted by brands that
just hate to see you having a good time. Worse, it is
enough to make you hate those brands for the rest of
your life.
So allow me to apologise, please, on behalf of all of us,
to every child out there and to every child that we have
been, not just for putting them through that same
traumatic experience every year, but mostly for the
neglect that this repeated faux-pas represents, along with
the barbaric lack of empathy it suggests.
Our industry has regularly reinvented new ways to
celebrate Christmas, Valentines Day, Eid and World
Hugging Day. It has come up with delicate and sensitive
ways to communicate with diarrhoea and hemorroids
sufferers and invented a blue liquid for you-know-what.
And yet, come September, it blunders and blusters in the
most heartless fashion, and with our most vulnerable
audience. In fact, weve been doing this for so long it is no
wonder the new generation hates our guts.
I know this sounds frivolous. After all, back-to-school campaigns are meant for parents.
Indeed, that same billboard announcing the bad news to pupils is likely to make its intended
target actually dance with joy and relief. But regardless of such considerations, with the arsenal
of tools and channels at our disposal today, not to mention the kind of thinking that enables us to
sugar-coat the bitterest of pills, we would be fools to keep recycling that obsolete package. If we
want to enlist new fans to our industry, we might as well go back to school ourselves.

For an industry
that prides itself
on feeling the
consumer pulse
so much that it
borders on
sexual harassment,
the sheer
callousness these
represent is frankly

It all started back in 1997 in Nicosia, Cyprus. I

was blown away with my uncles creative mind
and how he toyed with ideas, words, images
and colors by bringing them to life as a
beautiful piece of art. Thats how I discovered
advertising and my journey began. Ever since
that moment I was focused on working at Leo
Burnett and being a Burnetter.
A few months after graduation I received a
call from Leo Burnett asking if Id like to
join their team, and without hesitation, my
answer was a resounding yes. The rest, as
they say, is history. A decade later, this
continues to be my dream job. It is a
fascinating, dynamic industry that morphs
and evolves with time and the ride has
been exhilarating.
My current leadership responsibility is with
ARC Worldwide, the shopper-marketing
agency that was
under Leo
Burnett, but as of
August 2016 was
realigned into
This recent
move has already
taught me very
valuable lessons,
shaping me as a
professional, as a
woman and as a
leader. It is important to have a
foundation of
strong personal
Group communication
principles that
director, ARC
moulds and
Worldwide MEA
shapes your
professional personality and reflects on your
interactions with your peers, clients and
colleagues. With that in mind, my advice to
the young generation aspiring to a career in
communications, or in any other industry, is to
follow these steps:
GO FOR THE W: Have the winning mentality of

an achiever and make every day count.

INTEGRITY: Live by your values and high

standards. Dont accept mediocrity.
SELF-MOTIVATION: Realise your potential and

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11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER.
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then push it to its limits.

Youre as good as your last delivery keep
raising the bar, even if its only one inch
at a time.

STICKINESS: Its not always greener on the other

side. Good things come to those who wait.
FLAIR: Be confident and speak your mind; be
heard, but at the same time be humble.
Arrogance and power struggles are
SOLUTION: Every problem has a solution at the
end of the day. Some problems are more
complex but youll eventually find a way
around them.


Do you want to be in my gang?

There are a couple of articles in this issue that
address the topic of agency culture.
The chief creative officer of Lidor in the UK, Trefor
Thomas, quotes Oscar Wilde, who encouraged us
to Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
Agencies should be free to be themselves,
Thomas says. Cloning each other is going to kill
the vibrancy of Agencyland.
And a couple of other contributors suggest
ways to ensure agencies are true to themselves, or
at least are not shoehorned into a dreaded
corporate mould.
Grey Groups Nadim Khoury preaches breaking
down walls and silos. You may have heard this line
before, but if you keep hearing something there is
a good chance its true.
Adopting an open culture means that an
agencys vision, mission and core values do not
remain inanimate words on paper, says Khoury.
He adds: They become an intimate part of our
day-to-day lives. It means that our team members
are no longer tackling tasks, but working towards



Jeremy Bullmore is a former

chairman of J Walter Thompson and
WPP. If you have any questions,
email or
write to PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE

the realisation of a common goal and a shared

vision they all believe in.
And Kevin Chesters, chief strategy officer at
Ogilvy & Mather London, encourages us to form
gangs. Its a load of fun, he says.
His 10 key characteristics of successful gangs
include code, an enemy, symbols, fear, damage
and swagger.
Personally Im not so sure of the wisdom behind
embracing gang culture as an agency model. In
most of the gang stories I know, horrific amounts of
violence lead to death and heartbreak in the end:
The Wire, West Side Story, Gangs of New York,
The Breakfast Club
But I can sort of see where Chesters is coming
from, at least.
Advertising is, by its nature, creative. Even the
suitier side of this business deals in creativity. And
creativity needs identity to thrive, a sense of
collective individuality.
Now Im going to encourage you to put
Campaign down (dont worry; you can come

I dont work in advertising

(Im in PR for my sins)
but Ive started reading
Campaign because Im
contemplating trying to make the
switch. But Im really worried agency
suits will not take me seriously. What
can I do to demonstrate Im a credible
Youve not made a good start. You
seem to be slightly ashamed of being
in PR (for my sins); and, anyway,
for my sins is a clich. If you
approached an advertising agency in
exactly the same way as youve
approached me, any lurking
prejudices they might have about
public relations people would be
confirmed. You come across as a bit of
a loser: low in confidence and slightly
apologetic about being alive.
If any ad agency is to look at you
with interest, theyll have to believe
that you could add to the resource
they can offer their clients. And so
will you.
And maybe you can. Its entirely
possible that you have an intelligent
understanding of how your clients
and specifically your clients CEOs
are seen by their peers, the press and
parliamentarians. Its entirely
possible that, while the most senior of
agency people are lucky to see a
clients chief marketing officer three
times a year, you have open access to
their CEO. That while agencies earn
their keep by enhancing their clients
brands, youve been entrusted with
stage-managing their AGM, which
their chairman sees as the most
important manifestation of the
corporate brand: the brand that

back to it later, I promise) and turn to our annual

Power Essays supplement, free with this issue of
the magazine.
In it, industry shapers discuss how the media,
marketing and advertising world looks today and
how to make it better.
At the heart of those
essays is the question of
what brand of culture
from the top, from the
bottom and from within
works best for
individuals, agencies
and the industry as a
Now Im off to
get a gang
tattoo on my
Who wants to
join me?

shareholders own, analysts analyse,

recruiters scrutinise, graduates
contemplate, unions challenge,
financial editors dissect and
parliamentary select committees
summon at the merest whiff of
misdemeanour. If you have a feeling
for all this, and have the nous and the
contacts that can help steer corporate
brands safely through the
treacherous shallows of capitalism,
then you have a lot to offer.
Agencies probably think that you
spend your time issuing ill-written
press releases and pouring out
prosecco. If this is true, I cant see
why any agency should want to add
you to their overheads. But as a
knowledgeable guide to the grownup world, not just of marketing but of
business, you could be invaluable.

Our biggest client is

launching a drinks brand in
his spare time. He is asking
for significant time and effort from
our agency to come up with a brand
and strategy for no financial reward.
He also keeps asking me to invest. I
see no market for his as-yet-nonexistent brand how do I decline
without offending him?
Difficult. The more you remind
him that hes abusing his position
and cheating his own company of
time and attention, the more
sanctimonious youll sound. And
you certainly shouldnt invest or
at least not cash.
But you could turn this into a
valuable agency training exercise.
Tell your client that youll happily
take this business on but on your

own terms. Youll staff the account

only with volunteers. Each of those
volunteers will be granted an agreed
number of phantom shares in the
non-existent drinks business, so that
they can feel theyre working for
themselves. Whenever theres a clash
of priorities within the agency,
paying clients will get precedence.
Time sheets will be kept, with
notional costs recorded.
Creating a drinks brand is an
excellent test of an agency group:
positioning, naming, label design,
pricing, heritage are difficult enough.
Getting distribution will be an
unfamiliar problem for your
volunteers and theyll be all the
wiser for having encountered it.
And if the brand becomes a modest
success, those phantoms will morph
into real certificates and your
volunteers will become shareholders.
Your unprincipled client may reject
this suggestion (I hope he doesnt) but
he can hardly be offended by it.

Ive been approached about

a job at a new agency but I
dont think I want it. Is it
always worth having a chat or does
it send the wrong message?
Beware of chats: they dont exist.
Once an agency has decided it wants
to hire someone, the machine is
turned on. Money, flattery, titles,
flattery, MBAs, non-contributory
pension schemes and flattery are
strewn in your path. You never knew
you were so wonderful and you may
never be again. Such chats can infuse
you with deep-seated dissatisfaction
for the rest of your working life.



Shelina Janmohamed, author of a new
book on young Muslim consumers, says
faith and consumerism can work in
harmony if marketers drop the stereotypes

elcome to
Generation M:
the young
Muslims who
are changing

our world.
The numbers are big. Huge, in
fact. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO and
founder of the WPP group, says
this is one of the 21st centurys
most important economic forces.
Paul Polman, the CEO of
Unilever, explains they are rapidly
representing 25 per cent of the
global population and deserve all
attention and respect.
Theyre right. Theres a segment
within a global population of 1.6
billion whose characteristics
involve being young, living in some
of the fastest growing economies,
being increasingly middle class and
being very brand conscious.
Brands need to pay attention to
Generation M.
Generation M believe faith and
modernity go hand in hand and that
they deserve the best of both.
Consumption in line with their
faith principles is a badge of their
identity. They are inspired by their
faith to live a fully engaged life with
the world around them. They
believe todays world can and should
make their own faith stronger and
better. They are proud of their faith
and see it as a force for positive
good in their societies and the
world around them.
They refuse to accept the
stereotypes about them. They also
refuse to accept the constraints
placed upon them in the name of
their religion. They are inspired by
their faith to address wider
challenges in the world, and they
do this in many ways: through


religious devotion, through

charitable works, through the
development of arts and culture,
through business and enterprise.
Their youth should be particularly
attractive to businesses: about a
third are under 15, and nearly two
thirds are under 30. For Western
brands in particular, seeking growth
against the backdrop of ageing
populations and slow global
economic growth, the Muslim
consumer opportunity offers a fresh
space. More than that, Generation
Ms influence will reach beyond just
Muslims to wider communities.
This is a huge cultural and social
shift at an epic global level,
underpinned by politics and

economics. The statistics are

certainly eye opening and thats
why its such a crucial business story
that must be addressed right now.
But for anyone in the creative
industries looking to get to the
heart of the shifts, it is about more
than numbers; its the human
stories we seek, in order to build
brands and to connect. And what a
story Generation M is telling us.
Theres a whole new culture in
front of our eyes.
Too often, this rising culture and
consumer group was thought to
have been served by putting a halal
label on meat products or sending
out an Eid greeting.
Thats not even close.
Communicating with this group
effectively is not as simple as
pasting on a halal label,
photoshopping a bowl of dates and
a pretty lantern onto Ramadan
adverts or adorning a poster with
crescent moons to celebrate Eid.
If only.
These young Muslims are actively
incensed by both the stereotypes
perpetuated in advertising and the
lack of sophistication and
understanding of a whole new
Muslim lifestyle. Theres more.
Generation M consumers want
engagement all year round, not just
during Ramadan.
Their faith affects everything. In
earlier research we found that more
than 90 per cent of Muslims said
that their faith affects their
consumption in some way. Its not
about religiosity or theology, but
there is something here that means
this lifestyle is holistic across
categories. Its what I call the four
Fs: food and drink, finance,
pharmaceuticals and health, and

fun. Estimated at more than $2.6

trillion globally, with an additional
$2.6 trillion for Islamic finance, the
question for brands is: why are they
being so slow to respond?
In Muslim minority countries
brands are only just beginning to
realise the opportunity, but its
early days. In the UK, LOreal this
month featured a Muslim woman as
part of a campaign. In the US, the
iconic New York City street carts
The Halal Guys have been taken up
for franchising across the country.
One of Apples adverts opens with a
shot of a woman in hijab running
wearing her Apple headphones.
Android, Jeep and Coca-Cola have
all showcased Muslim women in
their adverts.
Turn your attention to South
Asia, and Indonesia has one of the
most vibrant markets aiming at
Generation M Muslims. Wardah
Cosmetics is a leading name in
Indonesia in halal beauty. Halal
beer, renamed malt, is a thing.
And Generation M women like
Malaysias Yuna, Indonesias
hijab-wearing X-Factor winner
Fatin Shidqia and fashion designer
Dian Pelangi, who showcased in
London and has 4 million
Instagram followers, are paving the
way for young Muslim women to
put their case in public for a change
in their terms of engagement.
Even in the Middle East, where it
can be easy to slip into assumptions
that the Muslim audience is generic
and homogenous, we can see
businesses responding. From high
fashion to halal internet dating,
from eco-mosques to crowdfunding
and social enterprises, this segment
is alive. Most notably, the Dubai
government has announced its

intention to become the global
capital of the Islamic economy and
is nurturing small businesses to
offer this innovation and
Yet despite such examples of
growing success, some brands
initially find it hard to wrap their
heads around marketing to
Generation M Muslims in Muslim
majority countries.
Unwilling to wait or be treated as
second best, these consumers are
setting up their own new
businesses, to growing success.
They understand the target
consumer and are developing
products and communications to
suit their needs. Thats because not
all Muslims are Generation M, and
because marketing to Generation
M requires that deep knowledge
and execution. And this is
particularly true for Western
brands where subtlety and
sophistication are particularly
required to show to Generation M
that this is about becoming a brand
ally and not about exploitation.
The digital space is their home,
offering anything from high
fashion to internet dating to
organic cosmetics. The internet has
given them access to wide audiences
and the economics of online has
allowed their businesses to flourish.

And, equally, having access in

cyberspace to a vast array of
products and services specifically
tailored to their hope to live a full
Muslim lifestyle has allowed
Generation M to purchase these
products and reinforce their shared
Muslim identity.
Generation M is creating a whole
new visual look. A new soundtrack.
A new language. They are playful
and humorous and arent afraid to
poke fun at themselves. This is the
case particularly among women.
In fact, if we were going to pick
one face of our global future, she
would be a woman, urban and
digitally connected, and she would
be Muslim. She is determining her
own life and is busy setting her own
agenda. Brands need to start
reflecting a shift in her lifestyle in
both products and communications.
There are some incredibly
interesting tensions within
Generation M that brands can
usefully engage with, supporting
these new heroes and ensuring they
act as a friend and support in living
their chosen lifestyle.
How should they balance the
question of enjoying the good
things in life through consumption,
while avoiding the pitfalls of
consumerism? How should they set
up businesses, or seek responses

Generation M is creating a whole

new visual look. A new soundtrack.
A new language. They are playful
and humorous and arent afraid to
poke fun at themselves. This is the
case particularly among women.
from brands while holding back
from commercialisation and
exploitation? How do you drive
purchase and premium products
while avoiding extravagance? Or,
thinking specifically about fashion,
how do you assert the right to
self-expression without veering into
ostentatiousness or immodesty?
These questions become
increasingly important when we
look at their convergence and
often leadership of global trends.
Consumers more generally are
seeking greater accountability and
transparency from brands. They
are looking for products more
specifically tailored to their
preferences. And they are thinking
holistically about the supply chain
from whether workers have been

paid fairly to whether

communications are ethical to how
products are recycled. This
crossover appeal is built on the
language of values to cut across
What brands need to do next is to
escalate the Muslim consumer
opportunity up their list of
priorities but only if they can
commit to understanding
Generation M and offering a
sophisticated response. The payback
will be a segment of consumers that
is increasingly affluent, young and
most importantly of all is
waiting for brands to whom they
can offer their loyalty.
Shelina Janmohamed is
vice-president of Ogilvy Noor

What does it mean to be young and Muslim today? There is a segment

of the worlds 1.6 billion Muslims that is more influential than any other,
and will shape not just the future of Muslims, but also the world around
them: meet Generation M.
From fashion magazines to social networking, the Mipsterz to the
Haloodies, halal internet dating to Muslim boy bands, Generation M
are making their mark. Shelina Janmohamed, award-winning author
and leading voice on Muslim youth, investigates this growing cultural
phenomenon at a time when understanding the mindset of young
Muslims is critical. With their belief in an identity encompassing both
faith and modernity, Generation M are not only adapting to Western
consumerism, but reclaiming it as their own.

A crucial book at a critical time...

A must-read Lyse Doucet, BBC Chief
International Correspondent
A compelling account of todays young
Muslim consumers Paul Polman, CEO of


A fresh and insightful perspective Sir Martin

Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP

A vivid account Farah Pandith, former US

Special Representative to Muslim Communities

generationM.indd 1

Cover design by Arianna Osti



Unparalleled... For those within

and concerned with modern Muslim
communities Professor Reina Lewis, author of
Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures

Shelina Janmohamed
is the bestselling author of
Love in a Headscarf. She is
an established commentator
on Muslim social and
religious trends, and has
written for the Guardian,
the National and the BBC.

a milestone in
understanding young,
modern, and faithful


Reza Aslan,
bestselling author of
No God but God


02/08/16 19:11


25 september 2016

The Firm: life inside

an agency gang

Being in your very own posse is a lot of fun but also great for business. Kevin Chesters explains why

ve been thinking (and talking) a lot about

gangs recently here at Ogilvy & Mather.
Its brilliant to be in a gang. Remember just
how ace it felt when you were a kid? All the
best agencies Ive ever worked for or with
when I was a client felt like one. From the Hells
Angels to the Disney Club, from roller derby girls
to the Jets and Sharks. Being in a gang gives you
a sense of purpose and an infectious confidence,
and is generally a whole heap of fun.
I think agencies can learn a lot from what makes
gangs successful because the most successful
agencies all act like them.
In a gang, you stand together, you struggle
together, you win together, sometimes you lose
together but, most importantly, you have a
strong sense of who you are, what you believe in
and the values you share. The best ones dont
compel people to join and they arent full of
people who are half-engaged (or staffed with
those slightly ambivalent to the success of the
whole). And if youre in, youre all in. And in the
great diversity debate, the best gangs dont discriminate based on age, sex or race. If you want
in and you share the values, youre in. Its a great
feeling to be on the inside and, conversely, it is
pretty miserable when they wont let you in.
Ive been lucky in my career to be part of agencies with a strong sense of who they are and what
they believe in. And I think this is what makes
great agencies so attractive in a business context,
and any agency can achieve the feeling with a
little bit of work.
There has been a lot written about the science
behind gang culture and what makes gangs successful (perhaps effective is a better word).
Governments on both sides of the pond and academic experts in criminology and sociology have
been studying it. I think it boils down to 10 key
CODE: Get a shared set of values and buy into
them. Believe in them and you live by them, every
day. No good if theyre just some bulls**t from
management to stick on a stress ball. The best
gangs live by their code and discipline those who
dont live up to it.
AIM: Have a mission and make sure everyone
knows what it is (and what they can personally do
to help achieve it). Gangs normally have a simple

Gangs instil fear in their

opponents. People worry
when they are coming.
People tremble when they
have to face them

London Rockin Rollers and Chesters: gangs build a sense of purpose and an infectious confidence

and (reasonably) achievable aim. Know where

youre going and dont stop until you get there.
Google started in a garage.
LOYALTY: All the best gangs are loyal to one
another because they love and trust one another.
They take time over who they admit and have a
set of expectations for those they allow inside the
tent. Not everyone gets in. Good. Take your time
picking the gang.
PRIDE: They love the gang and they are proud
to tell people they are part of it. They feel part of
something special because if you get it right, you
are part of something special.
ENEMY: It always helps to have a focus. Who
dont you like and who dont you want to be like?
Who is currently occupying your rightful turf?
Got it? Shift them, together.
SYMBOL(S): Its not a boring corporate ID
thing. All the best gangs have a set of powerful
symbols that help them identify themselves to
each other (and others). Display with pride.
PLACE: It could be a tree stump or the back of
the bike sheds. But gangs have a place where they
feel safe and where they identify with their code
and kin. Its not just your office, its your home.
Be proud of it.
FEAR: OK, this might make some feel uncom-

fortable. But whats great about gangs is that they

instil fear in their opponents. People worry when
they hear they are coming. People tremble a bit
when they know they have to face them. Could
you say the same about your agency?
DAMAGE: Gangs are feared because people
know they have been. For agencies, this means
the impact that your creative work leaves on culture and on category norms. For people to take
notice, they have to notice you first. Gangs always
leave a mark.
SWAGGER: A gang walks with a bit of swag. They
know how good they are, they know how strong they
are and they also know that they cant lose.
So what happens when you put all those things
together for your agency? You walk a little taller,
you act a little braver, you speak with more
authority and, because of that, you tend to win
more than you lose. It makes you one thing:
This is why agencies are at their best when they
are pitching: a hothouse environment tends to
forge closer bonds between smaller groups of
team members and create gang-like conditions.
But if all that sounds a little bit serious, lets not
forget what I said earlier about a really key characteristic of being in a gang. Its a load of fun.
Kevin Chesters is the chief strategy officer at
Ogilvy & Mather London









Asianet Middle East
Asianet News
Sony TV
Star Gold
Star Plus
Mazhvil Manorama
MBC Bollywood
Zee Aflam
Kairali Arabia
Life Ok
Zee Cinema
Zee TV
B4U Plus
Bangla Vision
Hum TV



Rating %

Source: tview, delivered on behalf of EMMC by Kantar Media. tview is responsible for
providing estimates of the number of people watching television at any given time in the day,
obtained from a panel of television-owning households within the UAE. The data that tview
provides includes which channels and programs are being watched, at what time, and the
demographic details of individuals who are watching. The data provided is on a minute-byminute basis for channels received within the UAE whether terrestrial, satellite or subscription
(cable/IPTV) based. The representative sample used in this report is gross 850 homes, net
750. The above left table is a data sample from all households for the period of 28th Aug to
3rd Sept, 2016, and the above right table is the Indian viewing group during the same period.


Hot Topics for Advertising Creative Mornings:

and Marketing Specialists Exploring the magic
September 27, 2016, Dubai
of the mind through
the Challenge Chambers

The PR Measurement
October 12-13, The Address
Hotel Dubai Marina, Dubai

September 29, 2016, 8.15am-9.15am, In5,

Boutique Villa #7, Dubai Knowledge Village
Law firm Al-Tamimi & Companys technology,
media and telecommunications team is running a
workshop aimed at UAE-based advertising and
marketing specialists.
It will cover the advertising regulatory environment in the UAE and the role of the National
Media Council, local law considerations around
native advertising, the role the Department of
Economic Development plays in promotions and
competitions, regulation of customer surveys and
licensing issues, and more.
The event is free to attend. To book a place, email

The founders of the Challenge Chambers will be

sharing insights into how the mind plays with our
perceptions and how this can affect us. The event will
be hosted by James Piecowye, the host of Nightline
on DubaiEye 103.8FM and lecturer in communication and media sciences at the Dubai campus of Zayed
Creative Mornings is a global breakfast lecture series for the creative community.

The two-day event, themed Measurement in an Age of Integrated Communications, investigates the value of effective measurement for PR and
communications professionals across
all industries within the private sector,
government and NGOs.
Delegates will hear from leading academics, PR agencies and clients from all
over the world about how they use valuable insights to manage reputation,
track complex issues across multiple
media and determine return on investment. The event is supported by



Maggi Too often the promises made in commercials fall flat. (BO)

Dubai Parks and Resorts It was a missed opportunity to have some real fun with the brand. (SSP)

Isuzu A novel boys and their toys approach to showcasing tongue-in-cheek benefits. (SSP)

DXH Simple, clean and powerful. (BO)


5 NissanThere is nothing really distinctive in an execution showing a man

driving a car through the streets of Dubai. (SSP)


Private View
General manager,
Impact BBDO

I tend to subscribe to the Byron

Sharp theory: in order for
communication to be effective, it
needs to be noticed, remembered
and understood. Im afraid that with that in mind
most of this work stumbled at the first hurdle. That
being said, there was one piece of work in here that I
felt had standout potential, told a story that
engaged, and delivered its message concisely.
MAGGI (1) It has got some appetite appeal going for

it and enough there in terms of branding cues for me

to be sure of who is talking to me. However, with no
real storytelling and a fairly formulaic approach, I
wont be remembering this one and Im afraid I
wouldnt have noticed it in an ad break.

DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS (2) Im left feeling a bit

deflated after watching this one. Showing a laundry
list of the attractions feels like the obvious execution
here. It was a missed opportunity to have some real
fun with the brand. For such an experiential
offering I would have expected to see the emotional
payoff brought to life in some way.
ISUZU (3) This one would have passed the Byron

Sharp test with flying colours. An entertaining

series that invites further watching. There are some
hit and some miss executions in there, but the whole
is greater than the sum of the parts. A novel boys
and their toys approach to showcasing tongue-incheek benefits like the fact that the car doesnt
explode. I would be interested to know how the
content was disseminated, as it would be a shame if
this was left to languish on the YouTube page.
DXH (4) The Dubai Health Experience is an
interesting initiative; it deserves communication
that does a clearer job of explaining the offering and
raising awareness. Im going to assume that this
execution ran internationally as the imagery and
copy spends precious time selling Dubai vs the
health tourism itself. Would the real subject please
stand up?
NISSAN (5) There is nothing really distinctive in an

execution showing a man driving a car through the

streets of Dubai. It appears to almost be a
prerequisite for the category, so Ive seen this one
before and can attribute it to half a dozen other cars.

Co-founder and creative
director, Baroque

Except for the DXH and Dubai

Parks and Resorts ads, these
commercials have been made in
the spirit of the old era. Fabricated
truths about a product wrapped up in smart, cool
packaging and often served with humour. They
postulate about a product instead of convincing us
why we really need it.
The MAGGI SOUP (1) commercial is beautifully
made, with gorgeous images of healthy ingredients
that look like they will make a great tasting soup. It
might be true. But too often the promises made in
commercials fall flat. This is why people hate and
distrust commercials. Id be more convinced if I
saw a contest between a Maggi soup and a soup
made on the spot by a cook using the same
ingredients as Maggi. Then have real people not
actors taste both and compare.
The idea of a family walking in the desert and
suddenly being surprised by Shrek and the rest of
the characters from DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS
(2) various venues is good. The only thing that
confused me a little was the storytelling in the
beginning. The cut from the running children to
the shoes and the sand moving beneath their feet (a
nice reference to Jurassic Parks trembling water
cup effect) needed a little more time to play out.
I watched six of the 10 ISUZU (3) films, which use
toy cars instead of the real thing. Since the target
group isnt children, I dont see the attraction here.
Nor are the visuals beautiful, interesting or funny.
But most importantly, I dont get an impression of
the real car. Again, the brand is telling us how great
its product is. It would be far more interesting and
convincing to see real people testing the car and
hearing what they think.
The design idea behind The Dubai Health
Experience (DXH) (4) ad is beautiful and
informative and a very precise expression of its
core message about an excellent world-class
healthcare service embracing life. Simple, clean
and powerful.
With the NISSAN ad (5), we are again faced with
assertions that can be easily questioned: if you
drive this car, you will be cool and have a great
relationship with your kid. Why? Isnt this mere
postulation? And why should I buy this car? In
what way is it better than any other car in its price
range and category? I want to be convinced that
this car is the one I have to buy. This is the kind of
old-era commercial that doesnt treat the
consumer as an intelligent human being.


Project: Oat Soups, the Way it

Should be
Client: Nestl/Maggi
Agency: Publicis Middle East Dubai
Regional ECD: Jan Leube
ECD: Ramzy Haddad
Arabic copywriter:
Abdel Hamid Bekhettou
AV production manager: Heba
Production house: The Talkies
Director: Frank Martin Schmidt

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Project: Where Amazing Meets

Client: Dubai Parks and Resorts
Agency: DDB Dubai
ECD: Firas Medrows
Group creative director: Zahir Mirza
Creative team:
Kapil Mayekar, Victor Haffling
Production house: Big Kahuna Films


Project: Diesel Power

Client: Isuzu Middle East
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai
ECD: Richard Copping
Creative director: Raja Rizkallah
Creative team:
Jeton Morina, Tala Ali, Milad Issa
Social media manager:
Ghida Arnaout
Production manager: Jackie Angel
Production house: Action House


Project: Embrace Life

Client: Dubai Health Experience (DXH)
Agency: BPG Bates
Associate creative director:
Micky Kalita
Senior art director: Alaa Jazmaati


Project: Built-in Confidence

Client: Nissan
Agency: TBWA\Raad
Creative director: Manuel Borde
Art directors:
Gabriel Gama; Oswaldo Sa
Guilherme Grossi; Alex Pineda
Production house: Stoked



Netizency has hired TAMARA
HABIB to take on the role of
business director for the digital
marketing agencys Dubai office.
Habib has worked in advertising
for 17 years, with her last 11 years
spent at Leo Burnett. There she
was group account director, leading
a multidisciplinary team that
handled Groupe Bel, Richemont,
Jotun and Masafi, among others.
Having been lured to the dark
side, Habib will be tasked with
working her magic and bringing
her wisdom to an exciting bunch
of netizens, with the twofold
objective of enhancing the
agencys digital advertising
offering and rendering it more
scalable through structure, an
agency spokesman said.
Initiative MENA has announced the
appointment of WADIH
SHAMMA as regional investment
director. He will lead the media
agencys trading across the region,


managing director of BMI

Holding in Lebanon.

with a mandate to set up and develop

a comprehensive trading strategy.
Ramzy Abouchacra, regional
managing director of Initiative
MENA, said: We are excited to
have a veteran like Wadih join our
team. He understands the
challenges lying ahead and is
positive about applying ways to
strengthen our partnerships.
Shamma has more than 20 years
of experience in media, marketing
and advertising, including 12
years with MCN, Initiative
MENAs parent company. His
most recent position was as

Scottish digital and event

production agency 20/20
Productions has appointed JOHN
DEYKIN as director of its Dubai
office, which was opened in 2015.
Deykin moved to Dubai in 1980
and worked in brand management
with clients including Emirates
Group before moving to
Motivate, the publisher of
Campaign, in 2011. He is well
known for his broadcast work on
Dubai Eye 103.8, where he has
presented a number of
arts-focused radio shows.
Speaking about his new position,
Deykin said: It is very exciting to
be working with such a talented
creative team as it expands
strongly into the Middle East
market. 20/20 Productions is
known for its ambition, forward
thinking, innovative approach and
strong management.

Asdaa Burson Marsteller has

announced three promotions to
managing director level. SAMEH
HAMTINI will oversee the
regional network and the firms
enterprise and technology
practice. KELLY HOME will run
the corporate practice. And RON
HALL has become managing
director of the brand communications practice. MARGARET
FLANAGAN has also returned to
the company as chief strategy


The Spin
The Spin was forwarded an invite from Dubais
Anantara resort to attend its Guinness World
Record attempt to make the worlds largest
mango sticky rice. The location is in the main
pool area, so were bringing our swimming
trunks as this sounds like all our best and most
horrific dreams rolled into one.
Dunkin Donuts in Egypt has shown questionable
judgement in a now-deleted post on Instagram.
The copy roughly translates as: White: full
beauty. Black: half beauty. Underneath, the
brand says, Because were not racist, well eat
both. Which will you choose? The Spin will
choose to address racism in less ambiguous
terms and through channels other than doughnut
promotions if thats all right with everyone else.
While browsing regional online shopping site
Dubizzle, The Spin was pleased to find this
Brand new Antique wach for sale. Its all in the
timing, right?


In association with


Welcome to the 2016 edition of Campaigns Power Essays, where the leaders
heading up some of the biggest and most industry-shaping companies in
Middle East media, marketing and advertising share their thoughts on the state
of the industry and where it is heading.
Among the themes running through this years essays are the further blurring
of lines between creative and media roles; the primacy of data (or otherwise);
and the immediacy with which marketers must react to their consumers.
The evolution of social media as an industry has immensely blurred the lines
between every other service offered in the realm of marketing, says Tamanna
Moolchandani from MEC. This means that channels are not only less
separated, but also more integrated. She adds: Where there used to be
agencies for creative, media, public relations, direct marketing and more,
recent years have seen the need for more tangled one-stop shops.
MECs Vikrant Shetty says that in the old days, the art was left to the creative
agencies and the data science justification was done by the media agencies.
Thats no longer the case, though, and to create great content, it is important
to have the right balance of art and science. This is a common topic: how to
balance creativity and data.
Interesting Times Ashraf Mansour cautions against getting too caught up
with the data and science, though. He says brands are too often guilty of
thinking more like economists than advertisers.
Digital platforms allow more access to data than ever before, but lets not get
carried away with digital primacy, says Starcoms Christopher Sparks. We
need to measure actual behaviour, he says, in reaction to all the mediums in an
advertisers arsenal.
Are local clients ready for the changes that are afoot? The immediacy with
which social media allows brands and their agencies to respond to consumer
feedback is unprecedented. But, says MECs Marie Abiad, regional brands
have yet to adopt these live platforms. She adds, we as an industry have to
rethink our approach to communication planning.
Two of this years essayists address what MullenLowes Mounir Harfouche
calls Trumpology. Harfouche offers antidotes, while Mansour concedes that
the presidential nominee is at least interesting.
The advertising industry is going through big changes and its challenge is to
adapt to these without losing touch of the basics.
Read on to see how industry leaders suggest we proceed. Their approaches
may differ, but few would disagree that the market, like Trump, is interesting.
Austyn Allison
Editor, Campaign Middle East

Cover design:

By Nadim Samara, OMD



By Elda Choucair, PHD



By Nicholas Sparks, Starcom


By Micha Kuspit, Zenith



By Ravi Rao, Mindshare


By Abdullatif Alsayegh, Alsayegh Media



By Marie Abiad, MEC



By Vikrant Shetty, MEC Wavemaker


By Tammana Moolchandani, MEC



By Tarek Miknas, FP7


By Mounir Harfouche, MullenLowe



By Manoj Khimji, The MediaVantage



By Ashraf Mansour, Interesting Times



By Alok Gadkar, The Classic Partnership


Motivate Publishing Group

Head Office: 34th Floor, Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 427 3000, Email:
Dubai Media City: Motivate Publishing FZ LLC, Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845
Abu Dhabi: Motivate Advertising, Marketing & Publishing, PO Box 43072, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, Email:
London: Motivate Publishing Ltd, Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER.
Editorial Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Group Editor and Managing Partner Ian Fairservice Editorial Director Gina Johnson Senior Group EditorBusiness Division Guido Duken Editor Austyn Allison Senior Reporter Eleanor Dickinson Design Senior Art Director Tarak Parekh Senior Designer Charlie Banalo
Picture Researcher Hilda DSouza Advertising enquiries Tel: +971 4 427 3000 Chief Commercial Officer Anthony Milne Senior Sales Manager Nadeem Ahmed
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The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for
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granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review. Campaign Middle East includes material reproduced from the UK Edition (and other editions) of Campaign, which is the copyright of Haymarket. Campaign is a trademark of Haymarket and is used under licence. The views and opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily
those of Haymarket Magazines Limited or those of its contributors.

Got a view?


Campaign ME



Decoding demand and desire

Big isnt necessarily better when it comes to data, says Nadim Samara
Nadim Samara


rade has been the fiber of

human societies for more
than two millennia, taking
several forms during that
time. The barter method gave
way to the mercantile system, where
recognised forms of currency yielded
purchasing powers beyond the
previous means of quantity and
quality of goods or services.
In a way, nothing has changed: we
still trade with recognisable physical
or virtual forms of transaction. Consumers still select their desired brands

based on the five needs Maslow

described in the 1940s. Brands still
aim to maximise their revenues from
volumes sold, trying to optimally
anticipate demand levels. Our economies are still fundamentally based on
consumers demand and desires, with
companies working towards meeting
them with supply and satisfaction.
These timeless principles are as
current today as they have ever been.
Yet the velocity with which people
navigate their instantaneous
moments, make lifestyle choices and
embrace cultural trends have put the
utility of big data under pressure. Our
experience from more than a decade
of advanced analytics in this region
has sharpened our minds to focus on
nano-data instead. Converging these
individual data points to catalyse

insights, we inject more confidence

and more accuracy into our decisions
and further refine our approach.
David Plouffe, Obamas campaign
manager for his two successful runs
to the White House, and currently
chief advisor and board member at
Uber, put things into perspective at
this years OMD Predicts: Models
like these dont start out perfectly, but
they can approach perfection with
enough discipline and eventually predict behaviour with incredible
accuracy. That was how the decisions of where Obama would show up
the next day were made: the marriage
of rich data and qualitative insights is
proven to be a winning combination.
Naysayers will argue that this
region lacks the data structure that
Plouffe enjoys in the USA. His recent

Uber experience will prove otherwise, as the company has used detailed
nano-data to decipher how to optimise its experience, costs and,
ultimately, revenues. This region is
indeed ready to leverage data: the
people in this region continue to
embrace technology while remaining
rooted in their traditions. Walid
Hadid, OMDs head of analytics,
rightly states that: The data, technology and analytics are available
here and its up to the brands and
their agencies to work together in
taking the next step.
This region has truly evolved from
the Middle East to the Middle West,
a modern and diverse melting pot
where we consume, produce and scale
content our way while relying on
global platforms. If, fundamentally,
consumers havent changed, technology has certainly altered the way they
manifest their basic needs, their
desires, their wants and, ultimately,
their demands. Each consumer is
becoming more and more visible to
us; we believe this is the key to
unlocking better brand and business
performance now.
As we look to influence consumers
choices when they demand and desire
brands, we know they pursue different
journeys across various sectors. Weve
learned from past consumer journey
models and aggregated more than 100
advanced analytics studies in this
region to decode our consumers journeys in the Middle East and North
Africa. Our study has built on what
our EMEA chief planning officer Neil
Hurman describes as demand opportunities. Understanding how
consumers navigate their purchases
with different dwell times, various
intensities, certain focus levels and
other parameters across each phase of
these journeys is vital to stimulate further growth. Our behaviour as
consumers shapes the actions of the
brands our industry manages; their
role within the purchase basket, their
narrative within our lives and, ultimately, their business performance.
Its clear we have what we need to
listen, digest, and act on what our
consumers are saying. Harnessing
the skill sets, resources, technology,
infrastructure and passion to glean
insights from reams of data is a strategic imperative we must design and
implement to perform better. Only
then will we be able to hone what
hasnt changed and apply new techniques to what has. Only then will we
be able to translate data into actionable insights to unlock better brand
and business performance.


In association with

Produced by


PHD explores the forces that will shape our future and how
they will enhance the way we live, work and play.

Monday 10th October

Westin Habtoor City


Sponsored by | Follow the conversation

online with #phdbscape @phduae


Will you get through?

To deal with ever-increasing choice, consumers are using a plethora of filters that brands will have
to learn to work their way through, says Elda Choucair
Elda Choucair


n slightly over five decades, weve

gone from very little to possibly
too much choice. The economic
prosperity weve enjoyed since
the Second World War has
created the perfect conditions for
every need and want to be fulfilled
many times over. Consumption
habits are altering almost beyond
recognition. If buying cycles were
once long and decision-making
processes slow, more and more were
seeing instantaneous purchasing
decisions that are being fulfilled
increasingly fast. To get to that
point, were relying on a number of
filters, defined according to our own
unique needs, to sift through tonnes
of information and the enormous
choice of brands, products and
services. To succeed in the future,
marketers will have to navigate that
treacherous path to the consumers
Considering the number of hurdles
on the way, be they gatekeepers, editors, friends, curators or other forms
of influencers, the journey to a consumers mind is reminiscent of
Ulysses Odyssey. These filters, which
shape what we see on Amazon,
Netflix, Google or Facebook, help us
focus on what is essential to us in this
age of choice.
If we used to target people through
demographics and psychographics,
through the prism of their media consumption, were now targeting
behaviours, needs and preferences in
an increasingly refined way. The next
level will be to communicate directly
with individuals at scale and at any
given time, which means we will have
to decode these filters in order to
bypass or influence them. Instead of
distributing a message to millions of
people, we will deliver millions of

personalised messages to individuals

There will be a raft of new people
joining the ranks of marketers: data
analysts, architects and strategists,
marketing technologists, whose role
will be to build data structures housing consumer and user data. They will
be expected to excel across disciplines
from data to engineering, experience
to real-time planning. This blend of
marketing and customer relationship
management will create virtual profiles based on peoples preferences and
consumption habits.
According to US design software
company Adobe, about 83 per cent of
retail marketers believe they provide
personalised experiences for consumers today. On the other hand, only 29

per cent of consumers agree that

retailers actually offer them personalised content or offers. Clearly there is
room for improvement.
After decades of complaining about
data paucity, were now dealing with
a staggering amount of information.
More than data, though, what we seek
is the actionable insights we can elicit
from it. Wed better get proficient in
this, as the data tsunami to be
unleashed by wearables, avatars and
AI-powered virtual personal assistants
(VPAs) promises to be overwhelming.
Beyond insights, this will lead us to
finally achieve the mass personalisation that weve been dreaming of, the
kind that enables the optimum performance for businesses. In its simplest
form, marketing will be addressing

the individual in a perfect manner, but

it goes further. Just imagine: a personal pill-making machine that tracks
the results of its dosage and modifies
it to achieve better results using the
users biometrics data. Or a personal
avatar with your exact measurements
that stores would keep to make your
chosen items fit you perfectly.
We will soon reach an age when
brands wont talk to consumers
directly but to gatekeepers, machines
or code designed to liberate us from
buying decisions or menial tasks.
Advertisers will seek to influence
algorithms, avatars, VPAs and other
devices in their brands favour, with
marketing technologists finding ways
to have them brought to the forefront
rather than being filtered out.
Today, many brands and platforms
believe that the promise of personalisation and relevance is enough for
consumers to part with their data. Yet
there is still resistance from people
who see in this a threat to their privacy
and a price too high for better ads.
Many organisations make money out
of consumer data, but consumers
themselves do not. If that were to
change, maybe that resistance to sharing data would dissipate.
To achieve this, we need to transform the relationship between brands
and consumers. Besides treating them
like individuals rather than part of a
mass, and giving them tailored messaging and experiences, we could find
ways to reward them for giving us
what we really want: their undivided
attention. In this cluttered media
world and busy life, this is the ultimate
yet increasingly scarce commodity.
The problem with the abundance of
choice is that it limits our collective
attention. Instead of paying media to
carry their messages, brands could pay
consumers directly. The curation or
filtration process could apply similarly
to ads and content, on the basis of
value to a particular individual. Ads
wouldnt be interruptive any more
and this would go a long way in pushing advertisers to make them relevant,
appealing and valuable to consumers.
The rules of engagement are already
changing and, with the rapidly evolving technological and cultural
landscape, getting through will
become harder before it gets easier.
Navigating the filters that people will
use to compute the abundance of
choice will create several challenges,
but the resulting personalisation will
deliver on long-term marketing goals.



The magic formula

If brands can measure and understand market data at speed, the results will be abundant, says
Christopher Sparks. But first they must master technology
Christopher Sparks

Client managing
director at Starcom

n theory it is a simple formula:

right consumer + right message +
right time = right result.
Technology continues to inch us
ever closer, making this formula a
measurable reality. Engineers and
data scientists are continuously
coming up with new ways to cluster
audiences autonomously and deliver
a brands message through a dynamic
mechanism at scale. This is amazing,
considering that just a few years ago,
targeting meant that you planned
based on the affinity of an audience
for a TV program.
What is troubling is that technological solutions have lagged behind
in the most important part of this
equation: the right result. There is
an old saying: If you cant measure
it, you cant manage it. I find it
interesting that in a time that marketing dollars are ever more
scrutinised, we still rely upon a
patchwork of methodologies to link
investment to sale. Advertisers are
most likely estimating their return
through brand impact studies or different modelling exercises, neither of
which keeps pace with the decisionmaking of the consumer. Today,
consumers are highly connected and
expect an experience that is more
responsive and more relevant. Without the ability to understand real
consumer behaviour, it limits the
advertisers ability to provide the
experience that a consumer desires.
In 2016, we as an industry should


not continue to accept the current

practices; rather we need to push
ourselves beyond the norms to find
solutions to the barriers that block us
from a greater understanding of real
consumer behaviour. I believe that
there are three barriers we need to
overcome in order to actually prove
the value of our efforts back to various businesses across the region.
The first barrier is the overreliance
on claimed data. There are a couple
of challenges here. First is the consumption of the advertising itself. I
have heard endless debates around
how digital data is real and offline
data is a pure estimate. There is
some validity to the discussion, but
it misses the bigger challenge. Without understanding of real time or
even near time consumption across
all media is an estimation of the relative impact of each exposure by
channel. This forces evaluation of

each channel individually or the use

of proxy metrics, which leads to the
second challenge. Asking consumers
questions about their media consumption, a brand, a campaign, their
purchase intent, etc. allows for a significant amount of misattribution
and can often conclude with no correlation to actual sales. If the goal is
to understand behaviour, we must
measure actual behaviour.
The second barrier is speed of
understanding behaviour. Admittedly, the digital medium has upped
our expectations when it comes to
understanding and reacting to consumer behaviour. Advertisers want
to know how consumers are reacting
in order to adjust their decisionmaking and have success now and
not later. However, today we have to
wait to collect enough data points to
do modelling, have proxy metrics or,
even worse, wait for an annual

survey that is out of date before you

even receive it. Some will argue that
consumption behaviours dont
change drastically over time and it
would be difficult to optimise across
all mediums. Some of that is true,
but digital proves that consumers do
react differently to different communications and even the slightest
adjustments can have an impact on
the campaign. Now imagine having
a similar understanding and opportunity across media and its hard to
imagine any advertiser turning down
such an opportunity.
I believe that technology can solve
these two problems. In fact, this is
what technology does best. It provides feedback on behaviour and
does so with speed. At Starcom, we
are working hard with tech companies from around the globe to either
develop or import solutions to our
region. We have been encouraged by
some of the initial thinking and the
opportunities it provides to understand behaviour in near time. We
have also been encouraged by the
support of industry partners in the
region and discouraged by the reluctance of others.
This brings me to the final barrier,
namely industry action. When we
talk to senior-level clients, other
agency partners and media suppliers,
one of the biggest frustrations is the
lack of true actionable data. The
reality is that it will remain a frustration until enough people are hungry
enough to change the situation. In
no way am I underestimating the difficulty of the solution. I realise that
behavioural understanding is hard to
begin with and it is even harder when
you are trying to solve it across several countries with different
regulations and agendas. Yet leaders
of this industry should push behind
the difficulties and develop a solution that will benefit all parties. Just
imagine a scenario where agencies
are able to provide better recommendations and be agile in
optimisations. Suppliers would be
able to understand their strengths
and weaknesses compared with all
other mediums. Clients would get a
much clearer picture of their return
on investment. And consumers
well, they would get the experience
they desire from the brands. Unfortunately this is a barrier that
technology cannot solve. The only
solution is pure effort and willingness to invest in a better future.

25 september 2016


Last months data is yesterdays news, says Micha Kuspit. Today media agencies must constantly monitor
touchpoints and predict consumer behaviours as they move to become business partners to their clients

Micha Kuspit

Data & analytics

director at Zenith

We should all learn

from modern digital
media planning.
Each touchpoint
is constantly
evaluated against
its performance so
that the message is
served where and
when it works best.

ts an interesting time for marketers.

Thanks to the rapidly changing
world and advancements in
technology, our capabilities to
communicate with customers,
understand what they want and fulfill
their needs are better than ever.
However, if we want to seize those
opportunities, we need to evolve the
way we think about working with each
other. Media agencies are becoming
the leaders in driving that change.
Traditionally, the role of media
agencies has been to drive mediabuying value for their clients. This led
to the formation of the agency holding companies that we know today,
with the aim of leveraging economies
of scale to deliver to clients. However,
in this age of automation, data and
economic uncertainty, media-buying
value is no longer enough. To compete in this environment, against new
competitors, agencies are having to
progress in shifting the conversation
away from cost and reach and towards
tangible financial returns.
We are already quite far along that
road. Thanks to marketing mix modelling we have an accurate

understanding of the various elements

that affect sales and other business key
performance indicators we wish to
track in order to measure the exact
impact these elements have on returns.
The implications of these insights are
profound, as this information enables
agencies to measure the impact of
their activity against client business
objectives. This granular visibility
across these elements also enables
agencies to identify potential challenges and bottlenecks across the
entire customer journey, allowing
optimisation across all touchpoints,
not just media.
These insights drive a shift in conversation, allowing agencies to do
more than simple media buyers and
become business partners with our
clients, working in tandem to drive the
business forward.
However, there are gaps in the current offering and, as a result, marketing
mix modelling cannot serve as the
ultimate tool for planning communications. The biggest issue is the time
factor. It takes at least two months to
run a study, plus additional time to
gather and clean all the data. In prac-

tice, those studies are being conducted

once or twice a year at best and the
results are often lagged. As a result we
are seeing this kind of modelling more
suited for strategic planning rather
than more dynamic optimisation of
touchpoints, and its value here is
becoming increasingly limited due to
the constant changes driven by digital.
We should all learn from modern
digital media planning. Each touchpoint is constantly evaluated against
its performance so that the message is
served where and when it works best.
This approach could be extended to
other channels as well.
Applying such an approach gives us
opportunity to use those sales models
more dynamically. Imagine a scenario where each weeks latest sales
data is being benchmarked against a
model, providing an instant feedback
on performance. This means that if
a new TV creative is working much
better than average, we can act
immediately. If the agency can
upweight weekly intensities on that
campaign or quickly launch it as a
pre-roll on YouTube, this boost of
effectiveness can be used to generate
additional revenue.
Lets go one more step forward.
Thanks to modern machine-learning
techniques, we can build models that
will predict demand for weeks forward. Knowing ahead that there will
be more people entering the category
will allow brands to cut a bigger slice
of this growing pie. Those few weeks
can be used to launch a tactical campaign or an in-store promo.
This is starting to happen. However,
for it to become standard practice
marketers and agencies need to evolve
their relationships. This agile
approach to planning requires agencies to change how they collect and
work with data. Building data warehouses still wont do the job by itself,
unless supported with the right talent
and leadership. Without this shift,
agile planning becomes just a buzzword on a PowerPoint slide.
At the same time, marketers need to
embrace this process and trust their
agencies with more than just their TV
discounts. This will allow both parties
to make the best of their resources
(because yes, data is still a valuable
resource) not only once or twice a year
when strategies are being built, but to
make informed decisions on a daily
basis. Through this, agencies are one
step closer to becoming partners in
clients businesses.


25 september 2016

Start learning to surf

Theres a wave of change coming, says Ravi Rao. Smart brands need planning and agility to ride it
Ravi Rao

CEO of Mindshare MENA

hen you read

Norm Johnstons
book Extra Sense,
it makes you
realise we all need to learn to surf.
As global chief strategy & digital
officer of Mindshare worldwide, he
is incessantly unlearning, learning
and re-learning to keep up with the
pace of what is affecting all
To quote what he says: Like all
waves, the opportunity (and the
threat) is to determine whether and
how you will prepare for the next
round of disruption.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn, another
surfer, once explained, you cant
stop the waves, but you can learn
how to surf. This brings me back
to the Middle East, where the next
round of disruption is here.
Slowdown, tough economic conditions and seemingly tighter
business conditions are a reality.
But when did we ever have infinite
Johnston continues by saying: So
get your surfboard out and get ready
to heighten your senses.
What are the senses that he is
talking about? The consumer is now
elusive, has a much shorter attention
span and is trying everything in his
means to block ads, forget ads that
are not relevant to him and even
simply forgo brands that he or his
parents have used for a long time.
I would say it is time for a backto-basics approach, which is
hard-core planning and not hiding
behind efficiencies for efficiencies
sake. Nobody is discounting the
ability to negotiate, find ways of getting the lowest cost per point, which
is a must. But what is the point of
simply satisfying procurement and
missing the real point of brands
touching consumers at the oppor-

The consumer is now elusive, has a

much shorter attention span and is trying
everything in his means to block ads,
forget ads that are not relevant to him and
even simply forgo brands that he or his
parents have used for a long time.
tune moment, the right moment of
initiating a trigger to buy with no
post-purchase dissonance?
Connection planning needs to
become the norm. Connection planning is a function and role that
works across an adaptive marketing
framework to ensure that we are
fully integrating all aspects of a clients media activity as well as better
customer experiences and business
outcomes. The key benefits to the

client then are a better business outcome across all media, and real
agility and speed for both brand and
demand opportunities and activities.
Isnt this what we are always supposed to do? Unfortunately, the
planner seems to have taken a back
seat in an era of clients ordering TV
GRPs by the kilo.
In this fast-changing media environment of the third digital wave,
which includes wearables, connect-

ing the dots with the consumer is

key to making the most of real, fastmoving data.
To do this, we bring in a Planning
for Agility (P4A) strategy. This is
about helping brands to pre-plan
and develop the processes, assets
and guardrails necessary to act
quickly during culturally and/or
competitively relevant moments.
The best example in this region is
what Vimto did during last Ramadan. The drink is synonymous with
Ramadan, and in this region consumers love bling. So whats better
than a personalised bottle available
from only one store in the GCC?
Vimto opened a pop-up shop for
four weeks in Bloomingdales at
Dubai Mall. It partnered with
Swarovski, and consumers could
now see their name in shiny crystals
or even give their loved ones their
own bottle of Vimto. Priceless.
The right moment, the right cultural context of gifting and the right
action drove positivity for the right
brand. Sentiment for Vimto moved
from below 50 per cent to 70 per
cent within the first day of activation, resulting in high consumer
engagement backed by planned
content and reactive content for
high talkability. @VimtoArabia was
chosen as one of the top five brands
of Twitters Ramadan Brand Index,
which is based on the average
volume of engagements during the
first week of Ramadan.
Evians real use of moments
from Eid to Halloween and even
National Fries Day in social media
is another great example of P4A. Go
ahead, plan for it not on a hunch,
but based on hard data, and a calendar for appropriate messaging and
action. In essence, P4A uses data to
adapt but it is reliant on people,
ideas, creativity and collaboration.
Consumer engagement alone
is not sufficient, but consumer
stickiness to the brand is vital for
brand growth or you get submerged
in a drive for the lowest cost per
thousand impressions and miss
the real reason for advertising or
even communicating.
Tighten your belts, negotiate
better, but get back to the basics.
Back to real planning. I try not
to repeat Norm, but he keeps
coming back to me: Get your surf
board out and get ready to heighten
your senses.
Theres a huge wave on its way.



Global neighbourhood
The term local means more than the colour of your passport. Abdullatif Alsayegh looks at
what ties people of the UAE to the world

Abdullatif Alsayegh

Founder and CEO of

Alsayegh Media

he world we live in is
constantly evolving. This is
evident more so than ever in
the UAE, a hotspot of
creativity where nationalities
from all around the world have come
together to create a new society. We
are all global citizens, increasingly
aware of what it takes to be global
thinkers. Aware of the trends in the
industry from Tokyo to New York,
in no other place do the best of every
society come together like our home,
the UAE.
For many expats, the UAE is a

short stop, represengint the exciting

years they will look back on when
they got to be part of something
incredible before retreating to their
life back home.
But what of those who stay here?
Consider this: if a brand is looking
to build loyalty, would it reach out to
those who are here momentarily or
those who have lived here for generations and plan to continue their
journey in the UAE?
Regardless of nationality and passport, and aside from the nearly 20
per cent Emirati population, there is
a high number of people who would
consider themselves local to this
region. Those born in a world-class
DHA hospital, those who attended a
local school, those who know where
to get the best cup of karak or the
layout of the souks like the back of
their hand.
As marketers and communication
leaders, how often do we think about
these people? Are the campaigns we
create tailor-made to consider them,

or a catch-all based on desktop

research and assumptions, where we
hope they will be caught in the net
weve released into the ether?
Gone are the days when significant outreach could be made without
strong data. It is our responsibility to
know the difference between the
mindset of a woman in Dubai versus
a woman in Fujairah. No longer is it
enough to operate in the Sheikh
Zayed Corridor (that is, maintain
insights and target the area between
Trade Centre and Media City). We
must look beyond that, to those from
Old Dubai, New Dubai and all
across the seven emirates who now
have purchasing power.
And yet when brands look to break
into this market, often times they
head to a global agency that may not
be actively involved in shaping the
local culture. I am proud to say that
at Alsayegh Media, we have built a
team of 150 members from all
around the world. They represent
more than 50 nationalities and speak

85 languages, yet each and every one

of them is a local in their own right.
Ask anyone from our directors to our
admin the difference in Arab mens
fashion (the ghutra and kandura),
and they can explain how (and why)
Qataris wear it a certain way, Saudis
another, and Emiratis yet another.
While building our agency, which
has been active for more than five
years now, it was essential to choose
members who had local insight.
When were considering a holiday
abroad, despite having millions of
Google search results and images at
our disposal, were always more convinced by a citizen or previous visitor
to that country, or someone who has
actually lived the journey. There is
no substitute for living and breathing the experience. And at our core,
that is the ethos of Alsayegh Media.
This balance between local
insights and global thinking is of pivotal importance in paving the way
ahead. We know the global trends:
augmented reality and virtual reality
will become household truths; social
communication is moving towards
real-time live videos; Generation Z
and millennials are playing in the
same arena with the same gadgets
and applications.
So how do we harness local
insights to build a life-long loyalty
for the brands that want to play in
this market?
Well, lets begin by expressing
what we know about the people of
the UAE. We are largely multicultural and deeply rooted in the respect
of culture and tradition. On the
other hand, we are highly innovative,
and have one of the highest social
media penetrations in the Middle
East, particularly across Facebook,
Twitter and LinkedIn. Snapchat is
on the rise and our population
eagerly embraces the latest trends in
digital technology such as AR/VR.
See any overlaps yet?
As it turns out, we have built a
society of tomorrow-ers. A multicultural population, a significant
number of whom are local to the
land regardless of nationality, who
are tech-savvy and hungry for the
new best thing under the united
vision of a smarter future.
The over-riding local insight is
that we are globally aware.
So how would you, as a brand,
begin to leverage this? And who
would be the right fit to action this
for you?



Here and now

Space to ponder is sparse in todays media landscape, says Marie Abiad.

Real-time marketing means brands must think on their feet
Marie Abiad

Strategic planning
director at MEC MENA


he term real-time marketing

has been an industry buzz
word in the past couple of
years. Various trend reports
identify real-time marketing
as one of the trends to watch out for
in the coming years, highlighting its
potential for transforming brand
What is the state of real-time marketing in our region? What are its
implications for our industry? What
needs to change to develop ongoing
real-time marketing communication?
What are the paybacks of investing in
real-time marketing?
Looking back at the emergence of
social media platforms, brands had
to rethink the way they communicated with consumers; having time
was no longer a privilege. Content
had to be created frequently and rapidly to stay relevant and engage with
the ever-growing online communities. But there was still room for
planning, scheduling and organising
our communication. Community

managers, content calendars and

content themes were created and
have become the norm.
Today, with the growing popularity
and allure of real-time platforms, the
need for real time marketing has
become a harsh reality. Snapchat
started the trend and the other platforms followed suit, with Facebook
and Twitter investing in their own live
products Facebook Live and Periscope. Likewise Instagram launched
Instagram Stories, the latest addition
to that app.
In todays world all the social media
platforms have a live/real-time product rolled up and ready to attract
brands and consumers alike. Consumers are embracing the platforms,
sharing everyday moments big and
small to tell their todays story. Still, it
seems that regional brands have yet to
adopt these live platforms.
One of the earlier and most popular
example of real-time marketing was
the Oreo Dunk in the Dark tweet
during the Superbowl blackout. Since
then, more and more brands have
responded to real-time events such as
the World Cup, the controversy
around the colour of that dress and,
lately, the Pokemon Go phenomenon. Brands grabbed these
opportunities to create consumer
engagement and relevancy. These

Real-time marketing
is challenging our
processes and
our structures. Our
approaches to
consumer research,
strategy, planning
and creative
process have to
be tweaked to be
more timely and
were the first attempts at real-time
marketing. Needless to say, some
brands have got it right, while others
got some backlash from consumers.
But then again all these examples
were short-lived, one-off examples.
Moving forward, the challenge for
marketers and brands is going to be:
how can we make real-time marketing an ongoing strategy and a way to
engage with consumers regularly?

What needs to change? The answer

may be a lot, and the cost of entry
could be high. Entering the new realm
of real-time marketing means that we
as an industry have to rethink our
approach to communication planning.
Our traditional process of developing communication which requires
proper consumer research, insights,
strategic planning, creative development, distribution and measurement
is a long and thorough process that
is revisited till all stakeholders feel
confident about the end product and
are ready to go and live with it.
Real-time marketing is challenging
our processes and our structures. Our
approaches to consumer research,
strategy, planning and creative process
have to be tweaked to be more timely
and reactive.
Well need always-on structures that
not only have the capability to identify
an opportunity and act on it but also
have the authority to go and live with
it while its still relevant. Which means
we may have to create new team structures and skillsets in place.
Things are moving faster than ever
and its forcing the industry to embrace
new behaviours. In the pursuit of perfection, campaigns are not launched
unless all parties feel confident about
the content we put out there. This is
not going to be possible with real-time
marketing. Well be required to think
on our feet, trust our instincts and dive
head-on into new waters. Achieving
Perfection will not be attainable; there
will be no room to test and retest the
assets. Real-time marketing is about
taking a calculated risk. Content and
a lot of it will be created in real time.
With no room for prior planning,
having access to the right data in a
timely manner is crucial and having
the teams to analyse the data will be a
vital part of any marketing initiative.
The role of the planner as we know
it could change and a new function,
real-time planners, could surface.
These people will have to have the
right mindset, know the pulse of
things and know their audience inside
out, with a deep understanding of the
culture. Marketing plans and media
planning calendars will have to be
more broadly defined, with room for
flexibility. New challenges will arise,
lessons will be learned, some will succeed and others will fail and a select
few will master the art of brand storytelling in real time.
The question remains: will real-time
marketing improve my brand metrics
and drive sales? Time will tell.



The art and science

of content planning
For content to be relevant, meaningful and engaging, agencies hearts and minds must work
together, says Vikrant Shetty
Vikrant Shetty

Director of client servicing

at MEC Wavemaker



or centuries, art and science

have played a critical role in
media/advertising and in this
respect, content planning is
no different. The fusion of art
and science is critical for an effective
communication plan. It is important
for us to know and understand our
audience (science) to ensure the
content we create will appeal to
them (art). The absence of either
one of them would only make the
content we are creating less effective
and impactful for our audience.
With the continuous rise of digital
content, the fusion of art and science
has never been so apparent. Even a
simple action like opening your
social feed or YouTube involves art
and science: every display or piece
of art is backed by real-time numbers. There are so many apps today
that allow you to create visually
attractive content from a simple
post to a quick video. But there is a
science behind it. Once it is
uploaded, the backend scientists are
at work giving you real-time numbers of views, likes, shares and more
in-depth details for data seekers like
us. The information available at our
finger tips is unbelievable and offers
some great learning when producing
your next piece of content.
However, there is a flip side to all
of this.
The influx of data can also create
confusion. Multiple sources tend to
use different metrics to measure
content. Hence there is no common
benchmark for measuring all this

data and information. At MEC,

content is put through a funnel to
measure its effectiveness. This tells
us exactly where we are losing our
viewers and in turn helps us improve
the creativity of the content. It
could be as simple as giving it a
faster edit or avoiding blatant product placements/integrations that
lead to drop-outs.
In spite of all this data, there is no
simple answer to creating the most
ideal content.
So there is a constant debate over
the ideal length of video content.
For some, it should be short and
quick to avoid losing viewer interest
or drop-outs. But I would disagree.
It all depends on how engaging
your content is. Lets take XDubai
as an example. They are the leaders

how consumers
behave at different
touch points in
the purchase
journey helps us to
focus our creative
energies into
content ideas that
they will engage

in adventure sports in the region.

You would expect them to produce
short, snappy, adrenaline-filled content. But on the contrary, the video
content they produce is not your
usual bite-sized content. If you have
watched the Emirates Jetman video
or even Ford Ken Block, the average video length is between six and
seven minutes. These videos have
garnered millions of views. If the
video can make your jaw drop or
tickle some of your emotions then
most probably your average viewer
wont be counting the number of
seconds that have passed while
watching your content.
On the other hand, look at the
content that BuzzFeed produces. It
is super-engaging, short and snappy.
They probably dont spend much on
producing the content. So it all
depends on how creative and engaging your content is for it to perform
well online. Therefore, trimming
down your content may not be the
answer to making it more engaging.
The recent formation of MEC
Wavemaker has further strengthened
our core objective of bringing
together the art and science of content planning. We believe that to
create great content it is important to
have the right balance of art and science. Understanding how consumers
behave at different touch points in the
purchase journey helps us to focus
our creative energies into content
ideas that they will engage with. Its
important to get the right content at
the right place at the right time for it
to be impactful and effective.
In earlier days, to create a TVC or
any piece of content, the art was left
to the creative agencies and the data
science justification was done by the
media agencies. But now, the lines
are blurred and, at Wavemaker, we
try and do just that. For any piece of
content we produce for our brands,
we merge art and science as part of
our offering.
Like science, which is ever-evolving, we too are progressing towards
making our content not only visually attractive but scientifically
justified, enabling us to produce
content that is relevant and meaningful for our consumers.


Blurred lines

You cannot be a siloed specialist any longer, or even a jack of all trades, says Tamanna Moolchandani.
Tomorrows leaders must be masters of their universe


Business unit director



still remember the day my little

sister came to me and told me she
landed an internship. When she
said it was at an agency and I asked
what department she would be
working in, she responded with
social media.
I scratched my head and looked at
her with concern. I remember thinking to myself, Is she going to handle
her bosss Facebook account or something? This was in 2007.
Today, the evolution of social media
as an industry has immensely blurred
the lines between every other service
offering in the realm of marketing.
Who could have predicted its avalanche-like impact upon the industry
I knew like the back of my hand?
At client meetings, I remember sitting around a table with each agency

in their own corner pitching in their

thoughts only where their expert
opinions were applicable. This week,
however, I sat in a meeting room full
of new-era creatives, basically the new
description for account executives and
account managers.
Todays recruitment ads look a bit
like: Wanted: executive experienced
in digital, social, search, PR, media,
events, programmatic, offline media,
data, etc. A successful candidate is
skilled at managing under pressure,
people management and balancing
profit and loss. And please, no old
school thinkers.
If youre working in the marketing
industry in this day and age, be prepared to be more than just a jack of all
trades because, with full-service agencies resurfacing and disciplinary silos
becoming a thing of the past, everyone is expected to be a master of all
trades. Where there used to be agencies for creative, media, public
relations, direct marketing and more,
recent years have seen the need for
more tangled one-stop shops.
The easy access to information on
the web has created an infectious curiosity within the industry, which has

led to the desire to drive innovation

and progress. Channels are now more
integrated than ever before. With live
tweets being streamed onto talk shows
and answered in real-time, or Instagram posts being used to push vending
machine triggers, the lines between
activation and social media are
blurred. With the rise of social media
influencers leveraging the power of
word-of-mouth within their communities to advocate for brands, the lines
between PR and social media are
blurred. The lines continue to blur
between each discipline with the constantly evolving technology were
witnessing, day-by-day.
Clients are seeing this happen in
front of them and, instead of opting
to sign up for multiple specialist agencies, they have started to see merit in
trimming down their agency portfolio
and putting their eggs in fewer baskets, so to speak.
So what does this all mean for agencies and the teams within them?
For individuals, the impact is quite
evident, especially since the industry
entrants drive the impact at hand.
With every new generation of account
executives and account managers, we

are starting to see more diverse skillsets. Account executives now come
with the ability to create fresh content
and design their own mock-ups, while
account managers are able to pull
their own data and form their own
insights and strategies.
If you have been in the industry for
a while, start learning what your content teams are up to, figure out what
the latest design trend is, or extract
data to do your own primary research,
because if you are not in the loop of
every team at any given point, you are
more than just a few steps behind.
For agencies, when a client brief
comes through, it is no longer a task
to be broken down for the creative
team or the ads team or the digital
team. The teams have integrated to
become one and the same. This has
been a direct consequence of the
landscape change and client demands.
Without integrating the teams
together, the story starts to get disjointed and, since we are in the era of
great story-telling, without a meaningful tale its more than challenging
to sell to the audience.
As we strive to make happier clients,
deliver quality work, affect lives and
systematically seed our brands into
cultures, we must seize the opportunities presented in todays highly
complex ad landscape: an opportunity
to partner with each other in new and
energising ways; an opportunity to
stretch the definition of creative as
we know it; an opportunity to seek out
non-traditional forms of advertising
in a culture that embraces disruptive
methods; and, most importantly, an
opportunity to share knowledge
between disciplines and learn from
each others experiences.
The complexity of the creative
sphere today requires not only a scale
of thinking beyond our comfort
zones, but also enough objectivity and
transparency to realise the need for
more than one entity. As account handlers, we must work integratively with
other teams and agencies to achieve
the end result, a successful campaign.
If you take something away from
this article, let it be that the true way
forward lies with creative and strategic thinking, partnerships and
alliances, and transparency with your
teams and clients. The power to
push these initiatives lies in the palm
of the account lead. In the wise
words of somebody familiar with
the web: With great power comes
great responsibility.



Capturing the buzz

Like bees in a hive, the industry must work together to tackle its problems or it will bumble into
obscurity, says Tarek Miknas
Tarek Miknas


have grown double-digit since the

Almost everything I hear, almost
every conversation I have, just about
every article I read, digs a little
deeper into my insecurity about
how to navigate the future of our
The industry today is like a bee
that has been trapped between the
interior of a curtain and an open
window. And those trapping it can
either take the time to safely get it
back out into nature and allow it to

do its thing, or just swat it against the

wall, wipe clean the splat, and find an
algorithm to take its place.
Perhaps over-simplified, but the
only way we can get ahead is to come
together with the other worker bees
and build a hive that flourishes for
all. And the active ingredient in the
real ProzAD will be made of the
natural, organic, free range, Omega
3-infused honey that well produce
together as an industry. Like a bee,
alone we can only do so much.
The very formula of how were

eeling Tired? Drowsy? Never

have enough time for yourself
or your family. Never have the
opportunity to re-charge, live,
and get the input out of life
that you used to apply to your work?
Are you up at night unsure of your
next revenue drop? Nostalgic for the
media commission and the 15 per
cent margins on creative? Do you
find yourself reminiscing back to the
day when you had to look up what in
the world procurement meant?
Try ProzAD. A new and improved
formula that will treat your anxiety
and panic. ProzAD will give you the
permission to pretend that if you
sign out for a while, itll all go back
to the way it used to be.
Side effects will include a detachment from reality and the certainty
of falling so far behind that you
might just have to sign out forever.
If that doesnt work, pick a different industry where in time youll
probably find that its going through
the same kind of transformation and
that the only way to push forward
will be to get out of a very comfortable space and dive into a 12-metre
wave that could very well drown you
if you dont get past it to more tranquil waters.
How about going client-side with
a big multinational? Maybe Unilever, whove most recently splurged
$1bn on Dollar Shave Club, accelerating the companys transition
away from its traditional bricksand-mortar dependency. Not your
cup of tea? How about Dominos
Pizza, who now describe themselves
as a tech company that sells pizza?
Having restructured its operating
ethos, Dominos now makes $2bn in
e-commerce, which represents
more than half of its sales (which

Almost everything I hear, almost every

conversation I have, just about every
article I read, digs a little deeper into my
insecurity about how to navigate the future
of our business.

paid insists on structures that are

today inefficient. We charge based
on hours delivered by people. This,
by default, gives power to procurement to compare agency rates
and scope-of-work evaluations with
the same logic used to buy staplers
for a company at the best cost.
The only problem is that ideas are
intangible, which challenges a likefor-like comparison.
And with lowering margins, once
shareholders get their bit at the end
of the year there is nothing left to
put back into the company for
research and development, the
experimentation needed to uncover
the real ProzADs secret ingredient.
So, its business as usual. Plus.
Which typically means a whole lot
more of paragraph one of this article.
Whats the point of this essay? Is it
just to get stuff off my chest? Or to
offer the magic thread solutions that
will stich everything back up again?
Or is it a call to arms? When I started
writing, it was a bit of the first, with
the aim to reach somewhere productive and ending with a plea to our
industry: Help!
The exciting bit about this problem is that today, the solutions will
not be offered by an HQ in New
York, Paris or London. The solutions will be stumbled upon, with a
great deal of experimentation and a
huge appetite for change, by any
market that takes on the challenge,
be it in the Middle East, Guatemala
or Azerbaijan.
We are better poised than anywhere else in the world to be first; to
make a difference to our industry
globally from the MENA region.
The fact that most of our networks
have multiple offices in the region
allows us to play with just about any
variable that could be considered.
We have high-cost markets, low-cost
markets, localised markets and
regionally-led markets, with every
type of client you could dream of
asking for.
Perhaps if we all were to experiment, to share with one another
what worked for us and what didnt,
it would speed up the solution. Perhaps we can forge the next silver
bullet together.
And may, just maybe, well all find
a way to sleep better at night. To
reassure our margins, to reinvigorate our industry, to re-establish our
role and to seriously make a meaningful difference.



25 september 2016

Beyond Trumpology

Advertising must be about more than greed, ego and fear, says Mounir Harfouche. Done right,
it can make the world a better place

Mounir Harfouche

CEO of MullenLowe MENA

nfortunately, I cant
separate the Trump
everything else happening
around us, especially in
advertising and marketing.
You may well ask: why Trump?
Today, Trump is the true embodiment of where our industry is
heading. And what does Trump
stand for? He stands for the individual ego, the over-dramatised fear,
the want over the need. A reckoning
that true leadership has a greater
purpose that serves as a lighthouse,
guiding people to a better world.

Trumpology is the theory of selfishness and destruction, one that is

limited to scoring personal wins, forgetting the greater reason to exist.
The principles at the foundation of
brands and marketing also hold true
for how leaders, nations and institutions are built. Everything should
have a human purpose, a strategy and
a plan or else it will ultimately fail.
Sadly, none of these principles is
being followed. Today, we are all
about the short-term gains, with very
little thought given to human purpose. The new world has transformed
the way we live, act and react. Com-

petition is massive; everyone is a

threat. Today we struggle to succeed,
for greed is the new religion. No one
to judge anymore; the right and the
wrong are sleeping together and the
future is a mess.
And in the eye of this Trumpology,
the chaos of innovation and technology, the democratisation of creativity
and entrepreneurship are all tools
used to sell more. Products, ideologies, services anything one can
imagine, because this is becoming
the only way to survive. As a result,
we see a drop in quality, ethics and
professional values. It has plagued
the schooling system, businesses
enterprises, politics and religion.
Trumpology has also infected our
industry. Many brands are struggling
in their old systems and perceptions.
They lack this one vision that connects with people and turns their
products into a brand that delivers on
a human insight. They lack relevance
because they have nothing to offer
more than their products, and they
lack value because they are adding
none to people beyond the shelf.
Take Omo as a great example to
follow. Unlike others, Omo took the
high road and sought a greater role to
play. It revolutionised the category by
encouraging dirt. Omo understands
that kids need to be encouraged to get
dirty because by exploring and playing they develop their mental and
physical abilities. Suddenly the reason
for Omo to exist has become purposeful. The problem has become the
solution and the role of the brand has
gained credibility.
Trump is like those many other
detergent brands. He is not thinking
beyond the shelf. He does not want
to understand the need behind the
need so he could suggest realistic and
positive solutions that would break
peoples fear and trigger better living
for all.
If brands will not assume the
responsibility they have, they will fail
themselves and the people. Peoples
sentiments need a vision that could
elevate their situation. They need
brands to bring real change that will
improve their everyday being. Their
loyalty will be conditioned from now
on. They will expect brands to participate in their development, health,
education, safety and comfort.
Lets take Unilever as an example.
Its a purposeful company. Why?
Because its mission is about something more profound than just selling
products. Unilever understands that

the future of its business is a better

world. Led by a great man, Paul
Polman, it is committed to playing a
major role in the future of our planet,
by contributing seriously to better,
sustainable living; improving health
and wellbeing, reducing environmental impact and enhancing the
livelihoods of millions around the
globe. Unilever understands that as
one of the most powerful companies
in the world, it has to invest its position and make the future of the world
its own responsibility.
Dubai is a city that started with a
vision that has quickly become a great
purpose with a plan. It too has realised that a successful performance is
directly linked to the wellbeing of its
people. So it found its greater purpose: make the people that live in
Dubai the happiest. Simple, human
purpose is driving the strategy of
every governmental and non-governmental body. It is at the core of every
investment and every development.
Dubai wins the approval of every
resident, simply because it managed
to create a collective ambition that fits
the aspiration of all.
Toms. With every product you
purchase, Toms helps a person in
need. One-for-one. How great is
this. To be able to turn a simple business model into a major corporate
responsibility by believing that the
brand can improve lives through its
business and vice versa.
Apple. Steve Jobs purpose for
Apple was to make a contribution to
the world by making tools that
advance humankind. It revolutionised
the way we work, learn, play, create
and connect. It empowered people
and industries by creating new possibilities for an entire new generation.
People need more from all of us.
So I invite everyone to rethink
their reason to be. To appreciate the
responsibility that we are given as
leaders in any field by realising that
we can and should contribute to help
build a better world.
We need to realise that a better
environment is a happier society. A
safer city is a positive state of mind.
A profitable business is a productive
consumer. A great nation is based on
inspired citizens.
We must realise that brands should
find their soul and that advertising
should tell their stories in a truthful
and inspiring way. Otherwise, people
will no longer vote for us.
Accept my apology but the future
doesnt need Trumpology.


25 september 2016

If you want your slice to get

bigger, get a bigger pie
To grow business in the region, says Manoj Khimji, marketers would do well to look outside the region

Manoj Khimji

Managing director
of The MediaVantage

ny guesses at the most

common phrase heard
inside media agencies in
the Middle East this
year? Yes, thats right:
Its a really tough year, clients arent
spending, nothings getting signed
off. Man, its all about the oil price,
and theres a recession coming, etc
etc, etc.
Some of this is certainly affecting
a few people, but what surprises me
in this whole equation is that isnt it
part of the role of a media agency to
come up with more efficient and
effective strategies when its clients
need it most? Sure its great when
every client brief results in a $3m

media budget and every media plan

gets signed off. But what about
when the people you were previously spending $3m to reach are no
longer buying your clients products? What happens when your
working day is spent listening to
and reciting the phrase above to
suppliers, colleagues and anyone
else who may be suffering?
Perhaps the answer lies in helping
your clients look for different consumers. Perhaps we need to look at
the 96.95 per cent of the worlds
population who dont currently
reside in the Middle East. Perhaps
we should tap into the other 7bn
people in the world to buy our real
estate, fill our hotel rooms and sit in
our aircrafts. Perhaps we need to
feed our clients a bigger pie.
Whilst the international ad budgets of a sparse few clients has
increased in 2016, the bulk of clients
have receded their budgets, scared of
what lies beyond. The gross domestic product (i.e. the total value of all
goods and services manufactured
and produced) actually increased by
3.4 per cent globally in the past 12

months. In the Middle East, paradoxically, it decreased by 7.1 per

cent, amounting to an almost 11 per
cent swing in financial performance
compared with the rest of the world.
The economists among us will be
familiar with the law of diminishing
marginal utility, whereby the more
we use or consume a product, the
less the benefit and the enjoyment
becomes, and its utility to us as a
consumer ultimately diminishes.
Take, for example, a friend we will
call Sara. Saras mighty hungry and
decides to buy five slices of pizza to
satisfy her appetite. The first slice is
divine and she gains a massive
amount of positive utility and high
benefit from consuming it. The
second slice sees her appetite pretty
much satisfied, and the third and
fourth slice almost become a chore
to scoff down. Sara doesn't even eat
her fifth slice, as the utility and need
have decreased completely.
We can teach the same lessons to
advertisers here, who have been so
predisposed with fighting over the 9
million UAE consumers, that the
utility (media, in this case) has

diminished for both the client and

the consumer more so during
tougher domestic times.
The obsession over volume
rebates, fighting for 2 per cent extra
discounts and zero agency fees
means many agencies and clients are
missing the bigger picture. The
UAE today is one of the most
sought-after markets in the world. If
we let that sink in for a moment, we
realise that there are literally billions
of ready consumers around the
world, waiting to be communicated
to from brands in the Middle East.
In 2015, there were 5.7 visitors for
every resident in the UAE roughly
translating to the inbound market
being six times the size of the domestic market for advertisers. What
about corporate customers? I hear
you ask. In the 12 months from June
2015 to 2016, Dubai and Abu Dhabi
overtook every single American city
in terms of popularity for long-haul
meetings, incentives, conferencing
and exhibition groups. Las Vegas,
long the home of the industry convention with its allure of casinos and
debauchery, is now playing third
fiddle to corporates wanting to bring
their valued staff and key clients to
the mighty UAE with its tall, shiny
buildings and record-breaking theme
parks. Who would have thought?
The numbers and stats are one
thing, but what about the quality of
the media? The media opportunities
in the rest of the world are significantly more developed and
innovative than the ones local media
owners are able to produce. Take, for
example, the Museum of Feelings
activation in New York, the 360degree interactive campaign at
Waterloo Station, or the spying billboard for the movie Snowden in
Toronto and the ability of media
such as The Times UK or the Hindustan Times in India to seamlessly
integrate print with mobile and digital. With a plethora of high-quality
platforms and genuine investment
into innovative content delivery, why
shouldnt Middle East brands be
seeking to eat from a bigger pie (and
one where the utility has not yet
Staying on the theme of debauchery, as Bill Clinton once said, The
price of doing the same old thing is
far higher than the price of change.



Why interesting Trumps right

Interesting Times Ashraf Mansour explains why the sensible option is not always the answer
Ashraf Mansour

Founder and strategy

director of Interesting Times

have a confession. From the

moment I began following the
campaign I wanted Donald
Trump to win. Now, before you
turn the page in disgust, I assure you
I do not agree with his political views
or his behaviour. I simply had a point
to prove.
When I spoke to people in our
industry about the primary I asked
them to make a decision based on the
candidates campaigns. Donald
Trumps campaign can be described
as interesting, while his competitors
campaigns revolved around ideas that
were both true to the GOP brand and
the 55 million Republicans that the
candidate was to represent.
But in a way it all boils down to a
single question: whats more important? Interesting or right? Nearly
all of our colleagues that I spoke to
said that being right is more
important. And its that response
that inspired me to write this article,
because, unlike the marketers
I spoke with, I think that our industry could learn a lot from the
Trump campaign.
The first lesson is that interesting
is much more important than right.
I am not advocating for brands to
lie, but rather I want to challenge
them to choose the quality of interesting over being sensible or
When the Cadbury Gorilla was
launched, I was in London attending
a meeting full of marketing and
advertisings most highly acclaimed
professionals. One of those professionals shared the advert with us and
everyone, myself included, trashed
it. We deplored its lack of branding,
comprehension and relevance. It was
destined for failure. Of course, earlier this year, Cadburys Gorilla was
voted the best British advert of all
time. Not by marketers, but by
viewers. The ad contributed to a

double-digit growth for Cadburys

confectioneries. It was interesting.
Or what about the way we market
food? Campaign after campaign,
weve been taught to never utter a
bad word about our product or to
even be particularly honest. Each
bite must trigger euphoria, a gastronomic orgasm. That is until
Marmite told us that its OK to hate
their product and Pot Noodle audaciously declared that its dirty and
you want it. Both of these incredibly successful campaigns told the
truth. They were not afraid to
polarise or even alienate people.
They, like Trump, understood that
you dont need to be liked by everyone, only loved by some. In the
fight to win some peoples hearts,
youre going to need to step on
others toes. Donald Trump insulted
the Pope. Advertising has a lot of
catching up to do.
But why is it so hard for brands
and marketers to do something
brave? Because were too often guilty
of thinking more like economists
than advertisers. In classical economics all decisions were based on
reason and legacy. The flaw being
that human behaviour isnt always
reasonable. Often that behaviour is
emotional. And we cant predict

emotions like we can predict numbers. Donald Trump does not merely
play to our emotions; he plays to our
most powerful emotions. Unlike his
fellow republican nominees, Trump
dares to constantly be interesting.
A few years ago at Cannes, BBHs
John Hegarty told his fellow advertisers that no matter how much they
believed otherwise, marketing is
more art than science. Our scientific approach to marketing results
in boring, tedious work. One only
has to look at the proliferation of ad
blockers to understand the publics
detest for the work we create. Yet
the main problem with our pseudoscientific approach is that we are
not scientists. Sorry to break the
news to you.
Of course thats not to say there is
no role for science in marketing, but
rather that the industry is not yet
structured in a way to embrace
recent advances in the behavioural
sciences. Again, its all our fault.
You see we are an industry
stricken with denial. Day-to-day
conversations are littered with buzzwords: big data, engagement rates,
CRM, loyalty. But somewhere
along the way we began to neglect
the very basic premise of how communication really works. Dont

forget that after you rifle through

all the data that youve obtained
through your prestigious CSR platform youre still going to need to
speak to your consumer.
Cornell University recently published a bit of research into why
business and marketings top executives say that they seek creativity
(that is, the interesting), only to
reject it when it is presented to them.
The study found that creativity is
new, its interesting. However, new
and interesting make people feel
uncertain and our brains hate uncertainty (CFOs Im looking at you).
They want clear projections, formulas and the full ins and outs. Business
is designed to minimise risk. This is
why, unless it is part of the companys culture, brands do the most
interesting work when they feel like
they have nothing to lose.
Interestingly enough the study
also likened a bias against creativity
to feelings of racism, which of course
brings us full circle. Now thats not
to say that Trump is a racist or that
he is even in any way creative, but
one thing is for sure: Donald Trump
does not allow ideas of right or
correctness stand in the way of
being interesting. And thats something that we can all learn from.



Making the right turn

Taking a calculated risk to move from vertical to horizontal thinking can make a big difference,
says Alok Gadkar
Alok Gadkar

General manager and

executive creative director
of The Classic Partnership

story in a book is very

different from a story on
the screen. What is read
is different from what is
seen. What is heard
varies from what is felt. This was the
turning point. This is when I realised
the difference came not in the art of
story telling but in the science of
story telling.
Consumers dont buy brands.
They subscribe to stories.
It was in early 2014 when I was put
at the helm of managing creativity
and business. I knew the dual role
would be challenging but the
thought of elevating the creative
cool whilst keeping the business
objectives and growth was something I was prepared for.
During this period, the industry
was resonating with several buzzwords: digital, social, data, mobile.
One word was being swept by the
undercurrent: vertical. Almost all
agencies were engaging around
this philosophy.
Looking closely at this word got
me thinking. If all the fish in the
ocean, big and small, are being swept
by this undercurrent, shouldnt we
be swimming in the same direction
too? So we took the plunge and got
into the vertical flow. Six months
down the line something in me
prompted me to re-look at our jour-

ney. Maybe, just maybe, we should

go against the tide. And that was
what we exactly did. Gutsy move, as
we werent sure what the outcome
would be. But then again, the future
favours the brave.
Our game plan for the battle ahead
was simple: break down the walls and
defy convention. So instead of going
vertical, we redirected our movement to follow the horizontal wave.
We did this by creating an incubator
that filters and organises our clients

Our game plan for the battle ahead

was simple: break down the walls and
defy convention. So instead of going
vertical, we redirected our movement to
follow the horizontal wave.

requests into the right pool. This

creation helped us tell the story in
the most compelling way. It may
sound complicated and laborious but
the reality was far from it.
Our three-step approach simplified things. We asked ourselves:
1. Have we got the insight right?
2. Have we evaluated the insight
vs the dynamics of the market?
3. Have we placed the idea in the
right slot to capitalise on it rather
than copying it?
Very often, we have clients come to
us with requests like: Can we go
viral? We need to own a brand
property, We need to do something with a CSR angle, or Lets
just focus on radio.
Were cool with this but wait a
second: Would this work? we
asked ourselves. Of course, we want
to make a difference and naturally I
wanted us to do well. But then there

was also the fear that a wrong move

could lead to us being served as an
exotic seafood dish on the table.
There was also another side to
our incubator, which required our
talents to operate seamlessly. So
the usual cries of, I dont do
posts, How can I do something
on Instagram? Why should I
come up with PR ideas? or Activation is something Im not familiar
with, had to stop. Either you swim
or you will sink was how the newly
designed incubator functioned.
Safe to say, our talents adapted
relatively quickly to the change
in environment.
Nearly all horizontal marketing
campaigns begin with a realisation.
One discipline recognises there is an
opportunity to partner with another
discipline. The practices that form
the partnership must each bring an
enhancement in some way to the
process of marketing the product
and presenting it to a larger audience. Once the partnership is
formed, the focus becomes the communication effort by itself.
We have to always choose to be
optimistic in our approach because
that will certainly have a positive pay
off, both in terms of business objectives and on creativity levels. By
simply bringing down the walls
of each discipline, we can build a
commendable portfolio of good, collaborative work.
I was once told by a client that he
wanted to go digital because that was
what every business is doing. Ironically, a huge portion of his business
inflow came through the efforts of
traditional advertising.
After asking ourselves and evaluating the dynamics, and putting the
incubator to work, we arrived at a
solution: activation. And yes, it
worked very well for our client and
validated the power of identifying
the right channel.
In a nutshell, the journey was
quite simple: plot your clients objectives; plan within the incubator;
bring down the walls; and procreate,
as you never know how far off the
horizon is.
This brings me to the thought on
why the horizon is often referred to
for any positive outcomes. Perhaps
its a sign. Perhaps its something
worth discussing. Who knows what
we may discover.
Sleep on it; or, in other words, go


People dont buy advertising.

People buy stories. At Group Partnership,

we believe in the power of storytelling.
After almost two decades in the

communication business, our belief has only

grown stronger. Stories trigger conversations.

Stories turn businesses into brands.
Stories engage. Be it in 60 seconds,

140 characters or a 3600 communication.

A WPP Company I