Issue 6 - International Advertising Association



Issue 6 - International Advertising Association
By Lara Haidar,
Sunil John
and Nabil Kazan
Page 32
“You will not get
protection for
everything simply
by submitting an
application, you
need to be very
specific about
what you want
protection for”
Free To Air
A recent Booz Allen Hamilton
review of television broadcasting
in the Middle East analyses the
prospects for Pay TV and the
increasing number of advertisers
interested in reaching out to
the Saudi citizens. Page 16
Mind The Gap
While companies seek to redress
the problems with their own internal
training solutions, the situation
nevertheless has wide implications for
the UAE ad industry and the economy
as a whole. Page 20
Breakaway Brand
Can financial institutions brand their
products and services the same way
FMCG brand their products?
Tarek Sultani, client director at
Landor Associates looks at the
barriers facing financial institutions
in brand development. Page 24
AdVocate gave creative director
Shehzad Yunus from TBWA\RAAD
the chance to do what every creative
person loves to do – separate media’s
wheat from the chaff. Page 36
■ THG Leads the Pack of
Cannes Lions Winners
■ New Corporate Indentity
for Dubai Quality Group
■ International Advertising Community
Promotes Social Responsibility
■ AdForum Data to be
Used in Gunn Report
■ IAA Television ad
Shortlisted at Cannes
■ Horizon-FCB in Kuwait
Wins Five Awards
■ DIFF Selects Communications
Agencies for 2006
■ Dubai to Host 2007 Gathering
of International Press Clubs
Cannes Lions
Launch Dubai Lynx
Cannes Lions International
Advertising Festival have
announced a new awards
competition, The Dubai Lynx,
to be held in Dubai, for the
first time in March 2007.
The annual Dubai Lynx
awards will be managed
and organised by the team
responsible for the running of
Cannes Lions and Eurobest
Awards and will be held in
association with the UAE
Chapter of the IAA and with
support from Dubai Media City.
Entries will be invited from
throughout the Middle East
and North Africa region.
Judging will take place in
Dubai over 4 days, culminating
in an awards dinner and
ceremony on 19 March 2007.
Two juries, comprising of
international leaders as well as
top creatives will judge the two
different sections of entries. There
will be one jury for TV/Cinema,
Print, Outdoor and Radio entries
and a separate jury for Interactive
and Direct Marketing entries,
each headed by a jury president.
Speaking exclusively to
AdVocate from London, Terry
Savage, executive chairman of
the Cannes Lions International
Advertising Festival said: “The
decision to run the Dubai
Lynx Awards was based on the
significant potential growth in
the region and the emergence,
in the global village in which
we operate, of work outstanding
enough to win Lions at Cannes.
We will bring to the region
the brand values of neutrality
and premium execution which
we have developed over many
years running the world’s
leading global festival, Cannes
Lions and Europe’s leading
award event, Eurobest.”
Savage added “We will
be directly in control in all
aspects of Dubai Lynx from
origination of the event to our
state of the art judging systems.
Judges will be supervised by our
own personnel who are used
to running independent jury
rooms. Our ability to reach out
to the creative community in
this regard is unparalleled.”
Tanvir Kanji, president
of the UAE Chapter of the
IAA commented: “By holding
the Dubai Lynx Awards in
conjunction with the organisers
of Cannes Lions, we are assured
of neutrality, expertise and juries
at the best level that we can get
in the region. We expect these
awards to become the standard
for creative excellence in the
Middle East and North Africa.”
After the inaugural awards
in 2007, the Dubai Lynx will be
run in association with a new
event “The Dubai International
Advertising Festival” which will
commence in 2008, bringing
to the region a series of high
profile seminars and other
initiatives aimed at giving
creative inspiration, learning and
networking opportunities to
people working in the region.
Also commenting on the launch
of Dubai Lynx, Mohamed Al
Mulla, Director of Dubai Media
City said, “We are proud to support
the event’s efforts to recognise and
foster global advertising excellence.
Developing talent in the media
industry is close to Dubai Media
City’s own heart. Promoting
Who’s Seriously Online?
(websites) have matured in the
Middle East. After the global bust of 1999, the
online media scene is picking up
pace again. Who are the main
players? Who makes money?
And what’s the long-term
scenario? Mars Mlodzinski
unveils a status report on
the ‘new’ media business.
...Continues on Page 18
contributing a sum of Dhs
50,000 to the Emarati-Lebanese
Friendship Association. The
association continues to raise
funds to alleviate the suffering
of ordinary Lebanese people.
Tanvir Kanji, president of the
UAE Chapter, has invited
members to contribute
generously to help friends
and colleagues in Lebanon.
Terry Savage, executive
chairman, Cannes
Lions International
Advertising Festival
aspiration and achievement in
the advertising industry is one of
our key strategic objectives. The
fruits of our efforts are evident
in the successes of DMC’s
advertising segment, which is one
of its most flourishing sectors.
As Dubai gears up to host
the region’s first International
Advertising Festival, we look
forward to receiving the global
advertising fraternity here.”
Further information
will become available in mid
October when the new website launches
followed by the Call for
Entries in early December.
GCC’s India
economy in takeoff mode, GCC
based companies
are seriously
entering the market. It’s not
going to be easy given the
dynamics of marketing in India.
Hilmy Cader, global CEO
of MTI consulting gives an
insight into what companies
have to look at before hopping
on the India bandwagon.
...Continues on Page 28
Dear friends,
Ramadan Mubarak.
fter the spectacular success of the
40th IAA World Congress earlier
this year, our Chapter in association
with the organisers of the world renowned
Cannes Lions Awards is launching the Dubai
Lynx Awards. This marks the emergence
and recognition of our regional industry
in the global advertising arena. The Dubai
Lynx Awards will further strengthen the
image of the UAE – Dubai in particular – as
the hub of the ad industry in the region.
The videos of several of the Speakers of
the World Congress have been posted on
the website
The summer months of July and August
are generally seen as off-season in our region.
This is certainly not the impression one gets if
one were to scan through the news section of
AdVocate. Regardless of the 40-plus degrees
outside, the industry seems to have taken the
summer in its stride with launches, events and a
whole host of other marketing related activities.
This summer also saw conflict in the
region. On the IAA’s part, we are continuing
to support our brothers and sisters in
Lebanon and raise funds for the rehabilitation
and rebuilding of those affected.
This issue of AdVocate also covers how online
properties (websites) have matured in the Middle
East. After the global bust of 1999,
BPA Releases Gulf News
Audit Figures
announced its audited
circulation figures, indicating
that it is the top-selling
English language newspaper
in the UAE. Obaid Humaid
Al Tayer, managing director
of Al Nisr Publishing,
which publishes Gulf News,
said the paper’s Saturday to
Thursday circulation averaged
91,985 between January and
March this year. The figures
from BPA Worldwide also
showed that the average
Friday circulation during the
same period was 94,247.
Al Tayer also said the
average distribution or
print run of Gulf News
from Saturday to Thursday
between January and March
was 100,609, and on Fridays
during the same period was
103,212. Gulf News is the first
paid-for newspaper in the Gulf
to be audited by BPA. Stuart
Wilkinson, BPA Worldwide’s
director for Europe, the
Middle East and Africa, said,
“Dubai is positioning itself as
a regional hub, somewhere to
invite people to do business.
“As the population and
economy grows, you have
to put order into the chaos.
Auditing is an opportunity for
publishers to show they are
best practice operators.” An
analysis of the BPA figures
the online media scene is picking up pace again.
Who are the main players? Who makes money?
And what’s the long-term scenario? This issue
gives a status report on the ‘new’ media business.
With the emergence of India – as a major
market for products and services, we look
at how brands in the region can best cash
in on a market of a billion plus people.
As always, I look forward to your feedback.
Tanvir Kanji
President – IAA UAE Chapter
Tom Bernadin
Sahar Hashemi
Jack Klues
Jose Anzar
Hameed Haroon
Allen Rosenshine
Tanvir Kanji
Marwan Kai
General Secretary
Nadim Barrage
Najib Trad
Monica Baugi
Vice-President and Area
Director - Middle East
and Africa
Marwan Rizk
PO Box 71104, Building 8
Dubai Media City
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
T: +971 4 390 3232
F: +971 4 390 8362
[email protected]
Group Senior Editor
Riyad Mickdady
Tateo Mataki
Sergio Zyman
Vicky Kapur
reveals that of the Saturday to
Thursday circulation, 91,177
copies were paid for and just
808 non-paid. From Saturday
to Thursday, an average of
89,004 copies were distributed
in the UAE. Friday’s paid-for
circulation was 93,439 and its
non-paid 808, and the UAE
distribution was 90,668.
BPA, which was founded
in 1931 and currently operates
in 26 countries, is the only
circulation audit firm currently
approved by the Circulation
Audit Steering Organisation
(Castor), the auditing
standards organisation created
by the Gulf Cooperation
Council Advertising
Association (GCCAA)
and the UAE Chapter of
International Advertising
Association (IAA).
Deputy Editors
Jacob Joseph
Gopal Bhattacharya
Amelia Rowling
Norman Pearlstine Gregory Lee
Twenty-four of the Speakers of
the 40th IAA World Congress
held in Dubai, March 20 to 23,
2006 have already agreed to
have their speeches posted
on our Congress website
International Advertising Community Promotes Social Responsibility
Responsible, an initiative of
AdForum, and supported by
the International Advertising
Association, a new TV programme
called One Minute of Responsibility
on Euronews provides spots
for non-commercial, social
and environmental causes.
“Since inception, the IAA
has cared about promoting
social responsibility,” says Joseph
Ghossoub, chairman and
world president of the IAA.
The advertising concept,
developed by TBWA/
Corporate has been produced
by Artrack. The first selected
spots are Human Ball by Duval
Guillaume for Medecins Sans
Frontières and Cake by Euro
RSCG Prague for UNICEF.
Herve de Clerck, Dream
Leader of AdForum and
ACT Initiator and IAA vicepresident for corporate social
responsibility, said: “Our goal is
to federate, inspire and promote
great work in advertising and
communication, in favour
of social responsibility and
sustainable development,
and to show how advertising
plays a significant role in
raising awareness in today’s
crucial world issues.”
Anju Govil
Kris Karacinski
Shawki Abd El Malik
PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE
T: +971 4 282 4060
F: +971 4 282 7593
AdVocate is designed and
produced for the International
Advertising Association,
UAE Chapter, by
Motivate Publishing.
Printed by Rashid Printers
KSA National
Centre has announced
its Saudi Arabia National
Readership Survey for more
than publications including
newspapers, weekly publications
and monthly magazines.
Using multi-stage probability
sampling through face-to-face
interviewing, the survey covered
urban centres, suburban and
rural areas in Saudi Arabia.
The total sample for this
survey consisted of 4,964
individuals. Results have
been weighted to represent
the current adult population
structure in the country.
The objective of the survey
was to compile a database
of information about every
publication including:
distribution; popular reading
topics; where it is bought;
where it is read; how long raders
spent reading; and how many
people read the same copy.
The results were analysed in the
form of statistical tables by major
socio-economic factors such as
age, gender, family structure, family
income, occupation, area and other
variables, and by day of the week.
Further details are available
Motivate Publishing Teams
Up with Golf In Dubai
Classic is today referred to
as a ‘jewel’ on the European
PGA Tour, courtesy the
efforts of Team Dubai. Now,
Golf In Dubai will host the
first Dubai Ladies Masters in
October this year alongside
the organisers and promoters
of the Dubai Desert Classic.
Motivate Publishing has been
an integral part of the Dubai
Desert Classic folklore almost
since its inception in 1989. As
patron and official publisher of
the Dubai Desert Classic and
the new Dubai Ladies Masters,
Motivate can take pride in
playing a role in establishing
the credentials of the event on a
world stage. Motivate’s support
to the Dubai Ladies Masters,
underlines its commitment
to Dubai’s sporting season.
“Our relationship with
Motivate Publishing has grown
in strength and stature over
the years. They are part of our
well-knit family and naturally
we are delighted to have their
support for our events for
another four years,” Mohamed
Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman
of Golf In Dubai, said.
“The official programme,
published by Motivate every
year, is a souvenir to treasure.
Featuring comprehensive
previews and reviews of the
Dubai Desert Classic, the
programme has excellence
written all over it.
“Once again we welcome
Motivate Publishing onboard.
Without the backing of the
corporate world it just wouldn’t
have been possible to stage
events the stature of the Dubai
Desert Classic and the Dubai
Ladies Masters,” he said.
Ian Fairservice, group
editor and managing partner
of Motivate Publishing, was
equally upbeat about their
ever-growing ties with Golf in
Dubai. “Our support to Golf In
Dubai forms an integral part of
our commitment to help and
promote our booming city.
“We are proud to be part
of a team that professionally
runs world-class tournaments
Mohamed Buamaim (left), vice-chairman of Golf In Dubai and Ian
Fairservice, managing partner and group editor of Motivate Publishing.
which not only promote Dubai,
but the UAE as a whole.
“We have seen how the Dubai
Desert Classic has matured into
one of the premier events on
the European PGA Tour and I
am sure the forthcoming Dubai
Ladies Masters, featuring a star
cast led by Annika Sorenstam,
will be equally successful, if
not more so. I wish Golf In
Dubai all the best in their
endeavours in projecting Dubai
on the world golfing scene.”
YouGov Acquisition of Siraj
Creates Regional Powerhouse
Top to bottom: Nassim Ghrayeb, MD and partner at Siraj; Nadhim
Zahawi, joint CEO and co-founder of YouGov Plc; Iman Annab, director
and partner of Siraj; Lina Nahhas, director and partner at Siraj.
leading online polling and
market research company,
has acquired Siraj Marketing
Research and Consultancy in
a deal that creates a new force
in the burgeoning research
industry in the Middle East.
The new business – to
be known as YouGovSiraj
– harnesses YouGov’s
cutting- edge techniques
in quantitative polling and
online research with Siraj’s
regional market leadership in
qualitative, consumer research.
In combining these
capabilities, YouGovSiraj will
be uniquely positioned to
tailor a unique proposition
that will give clients a
competitive edge in the
Middle East market.
The purchase price will
comprise a consideration
of approximately $2.18
million (Dhs8 million).
Capitalising on synergies
between the two companies,
YouGovSiraj plans subsequent
expansion across the Gulf
Co-operation Council
(GCC) region, having
established Dubai as its hub.
Siraj, established in 1999,
provides market insight that
draws on the company’s
strong local knowledge and
understanding of the region.
Their services range from
custom and CSR related
research to predicting social
and political trends.
YouGov has been active
in the Middle East since
2004, when it established
a specialist panel of
businessmen and women
across the GCC countries.
In Britain, YouGov’s
clients include a wide range
of national newspapers,
Channel 4 Television and
accountancy practice KPMG.
The business floated on
the London Stock Exchange
(LSE) in May last year,
having been founded in 2000.
Commenting on the
acquisition, Nadhim Zahawi,
joint CEO and co-founder
of YouGov PLC said: “Siraj
is an established company
with a great reputation.
The market research sector
is growing rapidly in the
GCC area and the enlarged
group will be well placed
to provide complementary
services to its growing client
base. The acquisition brings
a highly experienced, Arabic
speaking team to YouGov
and adds further strength
to our team in the region.”
Nassim Ghrayeb, managing
director of Siraj, added:
“Joining forces with YouGov
will allow us to develop
cutting-edge market leading
products, whilst retaining a
boutique approach to service.”
He added: “Importantly,
our enhanced capability
will give consumers a
collective voice with which
to express themselves.”
DIFF Selects Communications Agencies for 2006
Bates PanGulf and public
relations consultants
JiWin are set to roll out
communication and media
relations campaign for
Dubai International Film
Festival 2006 (DIFF).
Media planning and
buying agency MindShare
has retained the DIFF account
for the second consecutive year.
There has been a
considerable increase
in public awareness and
participation at the festival
through advertising and
publicity in previous
years. Organizers say it is
now important that the
cultural objective of the
festival be highlighted,
to help foster audience
involvement. Commenting
on the selection of Bates
PanGulf, Shivani Pandya,
DIFF Executive Director
of Festival Operations said:
“During the pitch, Bates
Pan Gulf demonstrated
its ability to effectively
translate our core values
into strong advertising,
providing us with confidence
in their ability to further
assist us in our efforts.”
The main advertising
campaign for DIFF 2006
will break during the last
quarter of the year. However,
the festival will continue
with other initiatives and
activities as a run-up to
the event in December.
The appointment of
JiWin, the public relations
arm of Dubai Press Club,
follows DIFF’s strategic
decision to reach out to an
extensive media base in the
UAE and the region and a
large segment of filmgoers,
industry professionals and
media representatives.
Media planning and
buying agency MindShare
presented a well-defined
and detailed proposal on
media strategies, which
won the festival account.
New Corporate Identity for Dubai Quality Group
Group (DQG), a non-profit
organisation dedicated to
raise the general performance
level of the local business
environment, has relaunched
its new corporate identity to
reflect the increasingly global
nature of Dubai and the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed
bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President
of the Dubai Department of
Civil Aviation, Chairman and
CEO of Emirates Group and
the patron of Dubai Quality
Group, unveiled the new logo.
The new corporate identity was
created by “Client Advertising”
to reflect the stamp of quality
that Dubai always excels in and
further strengthens DQG’s
status as an organisation that
strives for corporate excellence.
This is part of DQG’s
strategy to meet the additional
requirements warranted by the
changing ground realities.
Group and the patron of Dubai Quality Group while receiving the award from Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chairman of DQG.
THG Leads the Pack of Cannes Lions Winners
scored an unmatched hat-trick
at the Cannes International
Advertising Festival 2006 with
Wunderman claiming the
region’s first Cannes Gold Lion
for direct marketing and Team/
Y&R scooping two Silver Lions.
The group’s quality of work
was further validated with
Team/Y&R having a total of four
finalists at Cannes, including one
entry which was the first Middle
East-made television commercial
to be shortlisted as a finalist.
“We are proud that we
have been able to contribute
in associating the Middle East
and North Africa market with
world class communications
work,” said Joseph Ghossoub,
THG chief executive, at a
media briefing in Dubai.
“This has been a great year
for THG, and it is not over yet,”
added Ghossoub, who is also
the chairman and worldwide
president of the International
Advertising Association.
The direct marketing specialists at Wunderman proudly display their Cannes Gold Lion; and a description of their winning campaign.
Wunderman won in the
direct marketing category
for Microsoft - ‘Gotcha’
— a campaign to tackle the
use of unlicensed Microsoft
software in the Middle East.
The most common way
people obtain pirated software
is via friends and colleagues.
As such, Wunderman sent out
a brown paper envelope (each
of the 3,000 mailers was handwritten to make it look as if it
had come from a friend). On
opening it, the receiver found
a CD with a hand-written
post-it note. Within seconds
of loading the CD the PC
appears to crash. Moments later,
a message appears to say that
pirated software could actually
make this happen. Results
showed that 49 out of 3,000
prospects purchased Windows
Genuine Software within five
days of receiving the mailer.
The campaign closed with a
response rate of 9.91 per cent,
which is 3 times higher than
what Microsoft had experienced
with mailings in the past. The
mailer earned rave reviews from
people and was received by them
in quite good spirits. Many
Microsoft retailers reported that
people buying Genuine Software
actually recounted the shock
they got when a certain fake
CD from Microsoft made their
PCs crash for few a minutes.
to a mere 2 per cent that were
converted into customers on
the basis of regular advertising
in the consumer magazine.
While the initial investment
of creating your own custom
publication is slightly higher than
running an advertising campaign,
the ROI is substantially greater.
In the scenario mentioned
above, the cost per sale in a
custom publication was only
$4.90 as opposed to $125 using
conventional print advertising
in a consumer publication.
In a market that has become
saturated with publishers that
have not been honest about
their circulations, the Middle
East is primed for a custom
publishing push, but in order
for this to happen, marketing
managers must be willing to
reallocate significant portions
of their budgets to producing
custom publications.
In addition to fully regulating
the editorial content an
experienced custom
publishing house will be
able to advise its clients on
how to influence the overall
costs of the publication, by
tweaking circulation numbers,
frequency, pagination and
mode of distribution.
While many publishers
have dabbled in custom
publications in the region,
there are no resounding
success stories outside
the airline industry, and
this is largely attributed to
the absence of specialist
custom publishing
houses in the region.
is aiming to promote custom
publishing as a potential
brand-building exercise.
Leading Brands Publishing
a UAE-based boutique
publishing house, specialises
in exclusively producing
custom publications for
its clients, setting out the
benefits of producing such
publications and explaining
the true numbers behind
Return on Investment (ROI).
However, as managing
director Mars Mlodzinski
pointed out, the company also
has to change attitudes among
the business community
which has become sceptical
due to a lack of auditing.
“There’s no question that
measuring the success of a
custom publication is a tricky
proposition, and ROI, as with
many marketing initiatives, is
difficult to gauge,” says Mars
Mlodzinski, managing director
of Leading Brands Publishing.
“Custom publications such as
newsletters and magazines
have to be an integral part of a
long-term strategy to promote
and build brand awareness,
fostering customer loyalty and
sales in the process. And while
we all love to see an increase in
dollar signs at the end of every
project, success in custom
publishing terms is not always
easily defined in black and
white numbers. This is where
we step in – to conceptualise,
write, design, print and
distribute custom publications
that are successful and that
produce tangible results.”
To put custom publications
in quantifiable terms, market
research carried out in the
United States revealed that the
conversion rate into sales was
drastically higher in custom
publications than it was using
conventional advertising in
mainstream publications.
The study was carried out by
monitoring two publications
with an annual circulation of
100,000 copies (one custom,
one consumer) that targeted a
similar demographic with six
issues being produced per year.
The study revealed that
57 per cent of people that
read the custom publication
purchased a product or
service as a direct result of
what they read, as opposed
Ex-US Transport
Chief Joins Hill
& Knowlton
has appointed former US
Secretary of Transport Norman
Y. Mineta as vice chairman.
Mineta, who served
under both the Bush and
Clinton administrations
has a distinguished career
including 20 years in the US
House of Representatives.
He was also the chair of the
National Civil Aviation Review
Commission and cabinet
service under the last two
United States presidents.
Mineta joined the
administration of President
George W. Bush in January
2001, becoming the 14th
Secretary of Transportation
and was the longest serving
secretary in the history of that
cabinet post. He was formerly
Secretary of Commerce under
President Bill Clinton.
Mineta will be based in
the firm’s Washington DC
office and will report to Paul
Taaffe, chairman and CEO.
Cross Cultural
Media Usage and
Attitude Study
the IAA and Zayed University
joined forces to conduct a
survey of 1,115 UAE residents
in all seven Emirates last fall.
Each respondent was asked
70+ questions about media
usage and attitudes. The survey
covered such topics as media
ownership, types of media used,
language of media used, media
used for different types of
entertainment and information,
importance and satisfaction
with the media used, and
attitudes about advertising.
Importantly, the men
and women interviewed
were selected based on their
nationality. This means
that all of the information
captured can be analyzed in
terms of the nationalities of
the survey participants, as
well as other demographics.
The six nationality groups
are: UAE Nationals, Arab
Expats, Indians, Other South
Asians, Westerners whose
native language is English
and Westerners whose native
language is not English.
The results of this research
will be issued in five reports
between October and
December. The scheduled
reports are:
■ Media usage
patterns in the UAE
■ TV programme type
viewing behaviour by
nationality, education,
age and gender
■ Internet usage by
nationality, education, age
and gender
■ News topics importance
and satisfaction by nationality,
education, age and gender
■ Interaction of nationality,
education, age and gender
on advertising attitudes.
announced it has begun an
extensive advertising campaign
for Dubai Properties’ Corporate
Brand and the developer’s
Business Bay Project. The
move follows Leo Burnett being
chosen by Dubai Properties,
a member of Dubai Holding
and one of the five master
developers in Dubai with
free-hold status, to be its lead
brand agency following a
competitive agency review.
Leo Burnett’s work for the
rapidly expanding company
will focus on a campaign
that will emphasise the
developer’s commitment to
a journey of excellence, and
its ability to create a unique
environment for the lives of
its customers. The Business
Bay campaign will accentuate
Dubai Properties’ commitment
to making an environment
conducive to the success
of businesses of all types.
“We have been impressed by
the quality of Leo Burnett’s
planning, strategic interpretation,
creative interpretation, and
positive team interaction,” said
Nizar Khoury, chief marketing
officer at Dubai Properties.
“This is a company that has
in its presentations managed
to challenge itself and to
think outside the box. We
are happy to have them
represent us in one of our most
important developments and in
highlighting our overall corporate
brand,” Khoury continued.
Kamal Dimachkie, managing
director of Leo Burnett Dubai
and Kuwait, said: “This is a
fascinating time for the property
market in Dubai with a myriad
of challenges. With a new
development being announced
every other day, how do you
create a brand, which will
stand out and stand the test
of time? I think for the team at
Leo Burnett this is what we do
best: that is create brands which
are enduring and not just create
awareness. This is what defines
us as an agency and we are
very excited to be part of this
campaign with Dubai Properties.”
Nizar Khoury, chief marketing officer for Dubai Properties (left), and
Kamal Dimachkie, managing director of Leo Burnett Dubai and Kuwait.
Marketing Does Wonders
for Egyptian Tourism
Egyptian celebrities featured in the successful Nawart Masr commercial.
to Egypt from other Arab
countries was up 15 per
cent between January and
June this year, which trade
sources attribute to successful
marketing, the abundance
of airline services and the
traditional holiday period.
The largest leap was seen
among visitors from Qatar
(86.9 per cent), followed by
Palestine (17.4 per cent) and
the UAE (11.9 per cent), and
their tourist nights rose 63.8
per cent, 26.9 per cent and
25.1 per cent respectively.
Saudi Arabian visitors
increased 8.9 per cent to
42,245, cementing its position
as the premier regional market
and fourth biggest overall
after Germany, the UK and
Italy, while Bahrain arrivals
increased 8.3 per cent to 1,574
visitors. Lebanon and Libya
also performed strongly, both
recording double-digit growth.
“Cairo remains the busiest
route from Dubai by volume
and we are seeing more
short breaks, thanks to the
increasing number of flights
in and out of the UAE,” said
Munir Sherwani, manager
for Al Rais Holidays.
“The Sharjah-Sharm
El Sheikh flights on Air
Arabia are going fully
booked and interest in
Alexandria is growing.”
The success of the ‘Nawart
Masr’ (‘You Light Up Egypt!’)
campaign, which placed
Arab visitors at its heart, was
one of the key factors in the
visitor upturn. The campaign
highlighted the cultural
similarities involving Egypt
and its neighbours in North
Africa and the Middle East.
Reinforcing Egypt’s tourism
message, popular Egyptian
celebrities including Yusra,
Omar Sherif, Hakim, Nour
Al Sherif, Sherine and many
Marketing has boosted the appeal of Egypt’s ancient wonders.
more, have opted to lend their
celebrity to the cause, serving
as tourism ambassadors for
the country whose popular
media extends well beyond
its national boundaries.
Even non-Egyptian stars
who have come to call Egypt
home are onboard. Young,
rising film star featured in the
highly acclaimed Yacubian
Building, Tunisian-born
Hend Sabry, and Moroccan
singer Samira Said.
A nine-country
roadshow, which toured
the region earlier this
year, further strengthened
links between Egypt and
its close neighbours.
Entrepreneurs Examine
PR in a Changing World
competitive age, when events
anywhere have an impact
everywhere, building lasting,
trusted brands has never been
more challenging. That was the
message of a series of addresses
to a gathering of Dubaibased Indian entrepreneurs.
Members of The Indus
Entrepreneurs (TiE), a notfor-profit organisation that
promotes entrepreneurship and
wealth creation, attended the
event. The theme of the evening
was ‘The value of PR in today’s
competitive world,’ an issue of
crucial importance to this group
of independent businesspeople
operating in Dubai’s fastchanging environment.
The core of the evening’s
activities included presentations
by Sunil John, partner and
managing director at ASDA’A
Public Relations; and Samit
Bhatta, general manager,
Sales and Marketing, Damas
Jewellery. The two presentations
were followed by a lively
Q&A session, in which TiE
members posed hard questions
about the value of PR and the
best means to communicate
with customers and clients
in an age characterised by
what John called “continuous
partial attention.”
“The world has changed,”
argued John, who insisted
that globalisation, including
technological change and
corporate and government
scandals, has brought with
it an erosion of public trust
in traditional institutions.
“Openness, dialogue,
credibility and transparency
are therefore now all keys to
effective communication,”
he told the audience. “In the
new global village, building
trust is what matters most
to any brand – whether it’s
corporate or governmental.
That’s why building bonds of
trust is what PR is all about.”
Dubai World’s Limitless Taps
Enterprise IG’s Branding Skills
Global Branding Agency’, has
announced the completion of
an exciting project involving
the creation of the new
brand identity for Limitless.
Limitless, is part of Dubai
World, a Dubai government
conglomerate that houses DP
World and Nakheel amongst
other leading businesses. As
the Dubai property market
features a multitude of property
developers, Limitless wanted
to stand out through a unique
brand identity. This innovative
corporate branding will help
establish their business not
only across the region, but also
within international markets.
The property boom in Dubai
has been astonishing, with a
property value of $45 billion
in the development stage and
a further $45 billion currently
being conceptualised. Limitless, a
sister company of Nakheel, is one
of the top property developers
in the region and is seen as an
integrated property development
company with global ambitions.
The challenge was to develop
a distinctive brand promise
and identity that would allow
Limitless to build a compelling
and credible reputation in an
extremely competitive market.
The brand needed to gain local
and international recognition
quickly enough to sign up with
industry partners and undertake
large development contracts.
‘Grow’ to Brand Qatari Diar’s Moroccan Project
estate investment company,
has appointed Dohabased communications
agency Grow’to deliver the
branding and communication
campaign for the company’s
first regional development
in Tangier, Morocco.
Al Houara is set to be
Tangier’s new exclusive address
and tourism hub with worldclass facilities including a
five-star hotel, coastal chalets,
exhibition centre, golf club,
restaurants and a kasbah – an
ancient-style bazaar – offering
traditional handicrafts.
Grow will be responsible
for developing Al Houara’s
brand strategy in the lead-up
to the project’s sales office
launch, which is scheduled to
open in the coming months.
“In all aspects of Qatari
Diar’s developments we establish
new global standards from
master planning to marketing
by selecting agencies and
partners that are high-calibre
specialists in their field,” said
Leanne Arnold, director of
marketing at Qatari Diar.
“Under the direction of
Grow, Al Houara’s brand
will build on the benchmarks
set by Qatari Diar’s Lusail
development, but will be unique
in its own creativity and highimpact marketing,” she said.
Grow’s managing director,
Anthony Ryman, added that Al
Houara’s branding will reflect
the cultural significance of
Tangier and the development’s
commitment to fostering
a sense of community for
visitors and residents.
“The Al Houara branding
will echo the development’s
philosophy of being a sustainable
community that has integrated
into Tangier’s historic area,”
explained Ryman. “Because we
are a communications agency
grounded in branding, we will
develop a holistic, integrated
campaign that communicates
the experience that Al Houara’s
guests and investors can expect.”
Horizon-FCB in Kuwait Wins Five Awards
Kuwait, part of Horizon
Holdings won five awards
at the Kuwait Rewards
Excellence in Advertising
awards. The ceremony
was held on June 2, at
Hilton Kuwait Resort
and was organised by
ArabAd magazine and
IAA Kuwait Chapter.
The company won gold
awards for two of its ads –
those for IKEA and Mr Baker.
There were also silver
awards for another IKEA
ad, the silver award
for the Mr Baker TV
commercial and bronze
awards for the KDC ad.
Besides the five awards,
Horizon-FCB received
three further nominations.
These were in fashion
(MaxMara), travel and
tourism (Turkish Tourism
Board), and beauty (La
Colline Anti-Age Cream).
Said Zeineddine, general
manager of Horizon-FCB
Kuwait, said: “Winning five
awards and being nominated
for another three was a great
result for Horizon-FCB in
Kuwait which recognised the
significant creative capital we
have within the agency. We
submitted 19 entries in the
KREA Awards Ceremony, and
our success demonstrates the
high standards that our clients
have come to expect from us.”
Al Aan Sticks to Own Content
Team Al Aan (R-L): Nisreen Sadek, Director News, Ihab Hamoud,
Programming Director, Rania Fouda, Media consultant for launch
campaign, Zoya Sakr, Head of Corporate Communications and
Hussein Ali Ahmad, the Director of Sales and Marketing.
one of the first Middle Eastern
broadcasters to produce all its
own content and shows. Recently
launching with full content 24
hours a day, Al Aan TV is an
innovative new station created
specifically for the Arab audience.
“As well as being informative,
the programming will be
exciting and fun - the region’s
first example of “infotainment”
- television that educates as well
as entertains. Our programming
enables personal growth and, at
the same time, makes people’s
lives better,” says Zoya Sakr, Al
Aan TV’s Head of Corporate
Communications. “Focusing on
the issues that effect life in such
a rapidly developing region,
Al Aan TV reflects a variety of
realistic issues that affect today’s
Arabic viewers through open
and accessible programming.”
Broadcast from its headquarters
and news studios in building 1 of
Dubai Media City, Al Aan TV
is strategically carving a niche in
the Arab television landscape. Its
extensive research has identified
a gap between the big news
broadcasters in the region and the
lighter entertainment channels. in Gunn Report
announced that it will be included
in the 2006 Gunn Report, the
industry’s annual ranking of
agency creativity. In the past, only
major award festivals were used
in Gunn’s analysis to determine
which agencies performed best.
“Although it’s been a cardinal
rule of the Gunn Report never
to disclose the shows that are
included and those that are not, I’m
making an exception in this case.
Reaching over 350,000 advertising
professionals around the world
each month, AdForum is providing
a unique and unprecedented service
to our industry.” said Donald
Gunn, founder and chairman of
The Gunn Report.“Including the
25 most requested and viewed ads
by industry professionals over a full
year gives an importantPeople’s
Choiceaspect to the rankings.”
The Gunn Report is published
once a year in November and
has become the definitive
resource for determining which
agencies have performed best
each year in terms of creativity.
IAA Television AD
Shortlisted at Cannes
for the 40th IAA World
Congress in Dubai was among
the 25 finalists shortlisted
at the Cannes International
Advertising Festival in June.
The ad, which was
commissioned by the IAA’s
UAE Chapter, shows an old
lady who is unable to claim a
prize over the phone because
she has an old-fashioned
rotary-dial phone instead of a
modern touch-tone phone.
Known as Change Before It’s
Too Late, the commercial features
limited dialogue in the form of a
recorded message on the phone,
which informs the lady: “You are
the 1,000th customer. To claim
your prize please press one”.
The commercial, which
was entered into the Film
Category (Corporate Image),
was conceived and scripted
by Team Y&R’s Dubai office
alongside the IAA and produced
by Filmworks based in Dubai.
Tanvir Kanji, president
of the IAA’s UAE Chapter,
said: “This commercial was
originally intended as one of
three commercials with the
same theme, ie. Change or get
left behind. However when
we saw the first cut of this
commercial there was no doubt
in our minds that this was it.”
Danni Thomas, senior writer
at Team Y&R, said: “The IAA
World Congress was all about
change, so when we were asked to
do a commercial we thought the
idea of old-fashioned technology
would be a great hook. It was a
simple but powerful message.”
The 40th International
Advertising Association
World Congress was held in
Dubai from March 20 to 23
and was attended by 2,000
delegates from 67 countries.
Standard Chartered Focus on
Teamwork and Partnership
Bank has launched a new
global brand campaign to
reinforce its philosophy of
teamwork and partnership. The
new campaign concentrates
on international team sports,
building on the sports images
used in previous campaigns.
The campaign is being
implemented through a
full range of print media
including outdoor, magazines
and regional media. The
campaign is being reinforced
further via pan-regional
television providing coverage
in nearly 40 countries.
Lucinda Semark, group
head of marketing for Global
Consumer Banking at Standard
Chartered Bank, said: “The
focus this year moves away
from individual sports and
instead features multinational
team sports: football, rugby,
hockey and rowing to name
just a few. Team sports are the
perfect reflection of Standard
Chartered’s partnership
philosophy. Their appeal
crosses cultural and
generational borders and
really shows the human
spirit at its best.”
A new TV commercial
for Standard Chartered,
developed by TBWA\
Events,a new B2B magazine,
has been launched by Motivate
Publishing. The new magazine
capitalises on Motivate’s experience
in publishing travel and business
magazines, as well as exhibitions
and events management.
Middle East MICE & Events
provides authoritative, informative
and educational content for
MICE (meetings, incentives,
conferences and exhibitions)
Singapore, demonstrates the
value of partnership through
the story of Henry Wanyoike
who, with the help and
commitment of his running
partner Joseph Kibunja,
overcame the loss of his
sight to become an Olympic
gold medallist and a world
champion marathon runner.
Ian Carvalho, account
director at TBWA\RAAD
said: “Energy, commitment,
passion and focus are key
partnership dynamics, and
by using real athletes in real
situations we have been able
to deliver these emotions in a
way that has a strong feeling
of honesty and reality to it."
Dubai to Host 2007 Gathering
of International Press Clubs
Association of Press Clubs
(IAPC) announced at its
annual General Assembly in
London that the next General
Assembly will be hosted by
the Dubai Press Club, the
founding member of the
IAPC and permanent general
secretariat of the association.
This year’s General Assembly
in London on June 1 and
2 discussed the agenda for
the year and charted out
steps to further broaden its
services and leverage the
competitive advantages that
exist between IAPC members.
The meeting marked
the signing of the London
Declaration by the members of
the International Association of
Press Clubs and the European
Federation of Press Clubs.
The London Press Club
will hold the presidency of the
IAPC for the year 2006-2007.
The presidency is rotational and
is decided through election by
the IAPC member Press Clubs.
The London General
Assembly was the largest
gathering of Press Clubs in the
world with more than 26 Press
Clubs represented including
Press Clubs from Europe,
America, the Far East, Asia,
Africa and the Middle East.
Mohammed Al Mansoori,
executive director of the Dubai
Press Club, stated: “It was
extremely gratifying to witness
such a huge participation
from across four continents.
“The interactive sessions
proved that there is need to
engage more members of
the press from various parts
of the world to set up their
own press clubs, which could
then be integrated into the
wider global body of the
International Association of
Press Clubs,” Al Mansoori said.
“The London meeting also
underlined one of the main
objectives of the IAPC, which
is to encourage the formation
of press clubs in parts of the
world where a collective of
journalists as yet does not exist.
“We believe that by
doing so, we shall enhance
better reporting and
freedom of expression,”
Al Mansoori added.
Track Revolutionises it’s Identity
based in Dubai, has announced
that it will now be known as
Track Communications. The
change of name reflects the
agency’s rapid development and,
according to the company, “a
fresh 360° approach, offering total
integrated marketing solutions to
clients in the UAE and GCC”.
As well as the name change
the agency has rebranded and
updated its corporate identity
with a logo that symbolises the
meaning of Track – putting one’s
New Magazine for MICE
business on the right track.
Seri Musallam,
managing director of Track
Communications, said: “Where
there’s growth – there’s change.
Track Advertising has developed
into a full-service agency hence
the name change and we
want to become known as the
communications specialists.
We are passionate about what
we do and the design of our
new logo reflects this.
“Track Communications
believes the key to success is a
mixture of quality, timely delivery,
creativity and the ability to think
outside the box. Our market is
dynamic and so is our team; we
see ourselves as a key part of our
clients’ teams; we work alongside
them to achieve their marketing
objectives. With our new approach
we now have the right tools to
help our clients achieve success.”
The Track Communications
has grown and developed rapidly
since its inception and now
supports a diverse portfolio of
clients with a range of throughAdVocate
and event planners, hospitality
industry professionals, venue
managers, travel agents, airlines and
government tourism departments.
Catering for everyone from
leading multinational corporate
executives to the secretary booking
board meetings, Middle East
MICE & Events covers both
in-bound and out-bound MICE
business, with regular features
including destination reports,
what’s new, people on the move
and advice such as getting the
basics right, site inspections
and planner’s check-list.
The launch issue included
a special focus on the UAE
and Barcelona as destinations,
and an exclusive interview with
former No.1, Greg Norman, a
report on the new Abu Dhabi
National Exhibition Centre (due
to open in 2007), a comparison
of the most expensive beds in
the Middle East and a survey of
venues for out-of-town meetings.
The Arab Spirit of
Business Innovation
are competing to win $1
million in funding as part of
the Arab Business Challenge
on Al Arabiya News Channel.
The competition involves
200 teams from across the
Middle East and North
Africa whittled down to two
winners in September 2006.
It is an initiative of
Young Arab Leaders and
the Arab Business Angels
Network founded by Dubai
International Capital (DIC),
part of Dubai Holding.
“Dubai International
Capital is proud to sponsor the
challenge in order to promote
the spirit of innovation
across the Arab world, and
to offer the opportunity
for a group of young Arab
entrepreneurs to see their
dreams become reality,” said
Sameer Al Ansari, the CEO
of DIC and a member of
the Young Arab Leaders.
Symantec Upgrades its
Customer Communications
has recently revamped and
redesigned its communications
to provide its entire customer
base with help, suggestions
and the latest security updates
to improve the performance of
their IT systems with a high
level of protection in place.
The first in a series
of initiatives adopted by
the security giant is the
distribution of a Home and
Home Off ice Security Monthly.
This monthly newsletter
aimed at small users focuses
on providing an overview
of the top security threats
of the month, together with
ways to combat them.
“The home and home office
user comprises a very large
proportion of Symantec’s
customer base”, said Kevin
Isaac, Symantec’s regional
director for the Middle
East and North Africa. “It
therefore becomes necessary
to provide a value added
service such as this newsletter
in order to ensure that the
customers are up to date with
the latest in security trends
and capable of protecting their
systems and their environment
from malicious code attacks”.
Kevin Isaac, Regional Director
for the MENA, Symantec
Symantec has also started
issuing a newsletter to its
channel partners. This
comprises of specific news
targeted at each of the five
specialisations: security
management, system and
storage management, data
management, application
performance management
and insight and expertise.
The content of the
newsletter revolves around
general Symantec news,
region-specific news and
news on EMEA marketing
campaign programmes
and Pan-EMEA events.
Showtime Increases Sports Bouquet
pay-TV network in the
Middle East, has signed an
agreement with Arabic sports
channel Al Jazeera to add the
best in international football
action to its developing
portfolio of sports channels.
From September 1st,
Showtime subscribers will
have 6 sports channels to
choose from including Al
Jazeera Sports +1 and +2,
Showtime’s newly launched
sports channels, Sportsnet
World and Sportsnet America
as well as Extreme Sports
and Eurosport News.
Teaming up with Al Jazeera
gives the region’s sports fans
unrivalled access to many of
the world’s greatest sporting
events through one service.
For example, Showtime
subscribers will now be able to
view all of the games played
in two of the world’s most
important football leagues
– Italy’s Serie A and the top
flight in Spain, La Liga. In
addition, subscribers will also
be able to view the English
FA Cup, Portugal’s ‘Superliga’,
The English Carling Cup and
the Qatari football league.
Meanwhile, Showtime’s
Sportsnet channels launched in
May will continue to impress
rugby and golf fans with
events such as the 2007 Rugby
World Cup, the prestigious Six
Nations tournament, the Ryder
Cup and European PGA
Tour Golf and the English
Coca Cola championship.
The decision to team up
with Al Jazeera is part of
Showtime’s commitment to
develop a diverse portfolio
of channels and programmes
for all types of content, from
live and exclusive sporting
events to the best of western
entertainment for all members
of the family. Showtime is the
ultimate choice, offering the
best of sports and the best of
Western entertainment in the
region through one service.
Peter Einstein, President
and CEO of Showtime Arabia
said, “We are truly pleased to
be able to offer our customers
a broad range of the highest
quality and most diverse mix
of international sporting
events and championships.
With the addition of the two
premium channels Al Jazeera
Sports +1 and +2, whether you
are a fan of football, rugby,
motor racing or golf, this
provides choice as Showtime
has put the very best in sports
entertainment in one place.”
Subscribers to Showtime’s
Platinum and Movie Premiere
packages will receive Al Jazeera
+1 and +2 at no additional
cost, while subscribers to
the other packages will
receive the channels only
when upgrading to Platinum
or Movies Premiere.
Al Aqariya to Promote RAK Airport Business Park
Ta’sees has announced the
signing of an agreement with Al
Aqariya Media Group, a leading
media conglomerate based in
Dubai Media City, to promote
its Airport Business Park
project in Ras Al Khaimah. The
Airport Business Park is a USD
272 million (AED 1 billion)
project located in the Ras Al
Khaimah Airport Free Zone.
The agreement was signed
between Saad Ibrahim Al
Moosa, President of Ta’sees, and
Engineer Mohammed Saleh,
President of Al Aqariya Group.
The Airport Business Park
project in Ras Al Khaimah
consists of 10 commercial
towers, each one comprising
10 floors, in addition to eight
11-floor residential towers,
two tower blocks comprising
furnished apartments, a luxury
hotel and a cargo village. The
park will also host a building for
Dnata Travels on a total land
area of 1.6 million square feet.
Engineer Mohammed Saleh
said, “Al Aqariya Media has
been actively promoting real
estate developments in the UAE
and in the Arab world, and our
support to the Airport Business
Park in Ras Al Khaimah is in
line with our commitment to the
growth of the property sector.
Al Aqariya Media will promote
the park locally and regionally,
and we are committed to offer
all media and promotional
LogicaCMG picks
Asda’a PR
Stuff and MIMS to Make Regional Debut
Nabil Y Khalil, director of
LogicaCMG’s Global Telecoms in
the Middle East and North Africa.
Consultancy has been
appointed as the official PR
agency of LogicaCMG for
the Middle East. Asda’a will
be responsible for covering the
communications activities for
LogicaCMG’s telecoms business
in the GCC and Egypt.
LogicaCMG, which is headed
in the Middle East by Nabil
Khalil, is a world leader in
telecoms for intuitive messaging,
intelligent charging, content
enablement and customer
intelligence management.
Haymarket Publishing Group,
based in London with offices
worldwide, have entered into
licence agreements with UAE
based Motivate Publishing
to produce Middle East
editions of two of their leading
publications, Stuff and MIMS
First published in 1996, Stuff
has been transformed in the last
six years, into the world’s best
selling gadget magazine and the
fastest growing readership in
the men’s lifestyle sector. Stuff
Middle East will be the 21st
international edition and will be
packed with fast paced news and
reviews of the latest technology
products – plus a healthy dose
of lifestyle and sports kit.
Launched in 1959, MIMS
is published monthly and is
the UK’s leading prescribing
reference with more than
3,500 formulations of major
branded and generic prescription
products. All major medicines
available on prescription are listed
and key information about each
Saad Ibrahim Al Moosa,
president of Ta’sees, and
Engineer Mohammed Saleh,
president of Al Aqariya Group.
support to help attract investor
attention to this unique project.”
“The Airport Business Park
exemplifies the unprecedented
construction boom in Ras
Al Khaimah. The fact that
a highly reputed firm like
Ta’sees is associated with the
product’s active ingredients,
uses and dosages. Motivate
Publishing will take
over the publishing of
MIMS Middle East from
December 2006, initially
on a bi-monthly basis. It will
be distributed to the existing
database of over 5,000 doctors,
general practitioners and used
by nurses and pharmacists.
Ian Fairservice, Motivate’s
managing partner said “We
see these licence agreements
with Haymarket Publishing as
a significant strategic move for
Motivate linking us with one of
the UK’s leading publishers and
expands our already successful
portfolio to now include B2B
and men’s lifestyle publications.
The latest survey by Synovate
reveals that 87 per cent of
respondents in Saudi Arabia
and 43 per cent in the UAE
feel that having the newest
high-tech gadget is important.
Additionally, 49 per cent of those
surveyed in the UAE and 32
per cent in Saudi Arabia love
project will ensure that the
park is developed in accordance
with high international
standards,” Eng. Saleh added.
Saad Ibrahim Al Moosa said,
“We are delighted to join hands
with Al Aqariya Media, who has
built a reputation as a leading
media group in the region
with interests across the media
spectrum. This agreement holds
great importance for Tasees
with regard to our promotional
strategy for the Airport Business
Park, and we expect to gain
considerable mileage from
this alliance by leveraging the
reach and popularity of Al
Aqariya’s various media arms.”
“Al Aqariya has diverse media
interests and boasts a significant
new technology and couldn’t live
without it. This is in line with our
own research and reinforces our
decision to publish Stuff Middle
East.” Commenting on MIMS,
Fairservice said “Healthcare
is one of the fastest growing
industry sectors in this region
so we are confident that there
will be increasing demand for
MIMS Middle East from medical
professionals. It will also provide
presence in the broadcast, print
and electronic media segments,
which influenced our decision
to team up with the Group. This
partnership will help us promote
the Airport Business Park to a
cross-section of audience in the
Arab world,” Al Moosa added.
Al Aqariya Media Group
is the first media group in
the region to offer dedicated
property media services and
has a team of experienced and
qualified professionals. The
company’s media interests
include Al Aqariya News, an
English news channel; RENA,
a first-of-its-kind real
estate news agency; and
two magazines - Al Aqariya
World and Billion Plus.
a valuable service through the
detailed up-to-date information
contained in every issue.”
Susan O’Hare - publishing
director, Stuff, said: “We’re
delighted to be working with
Motivate at such an exciting
time. 2006 has been an
exceptional year for Stuff as we
continue to deliver a product
that capitalises on the
growing wave of personal
tech. We share our reader’s
addiction to the latest gadgets
and have created a product that
showcases kit in a way that makes
their habit fun, compulsive and
instantly rewarding. The key to
Stuff ’s global appeal lies in an
ongoing strategy of delivering
a quality product that identifies
closely with its readers.”
Peter Welland, Haymarket
Medical’s managing director
said “Motivate provide
publications of the highest
quality throughout the Middle
East and Haymarket Medical is
delighted that MIMS Middle
East is in such capable hands.”
gets ready for rationalisation
In the KSA, TV is still the centrepiece of family entertainment with a higher preference for general entertainment
Arabic programmes and general interest channels. A recent Booz Allen Hamilton review of television
broadcasting in the Middle East looks behind this trend to analyse the prospects for Pay TV and the increasing
number of advertisers interested in reaching out to the Saudi citizens.
elevision viewing finds itself at the centre stage
for family entertainment in the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with a strong bias
towards free-to-air TV (FTV) compared to a rather
lukewarm response to Pay TV (PTV ) channels.
A recent Booz Allen Hamilton review of television
broadcasting in the Middle East has said that
preference for FTV channels in the KSA stems from
the fact that TV viewing still remains a collective
family exercise thereby sparking traditional attitudes.
“The KSA’s substantially lower penetration rate
of 6 per cent [of PTV ] results from a lower share
of upper and middle class households and more
significantly, greater concerns over the liberal nature
of PTV content,” the review has pointed out.
Consequently, the general bias among
Saudi viewers is towards entertainment and
general interest channels, with a section of
those who have been labelled as ‘TV addicts’
(against ‘usual TV viewers’) showing a marked
preference for movies and music channels.
Given the bias towards general entertainment
content and the size of the KSA market, the
vast majority of general interest, Pan-Arab FTV
channels are targeted at general entertainment.
The attitudes towards TV are clearly manifested
in the dominant ratings performance of general
interest channels such as MBC and Dubai TV.
However, the Booz Allen Hamilton report has
also detected an undercurrent of viewers preferring
more thematic and progressive programming. The
improved ratings performance of movie channels
such as Rotana and MBC2 reflects the gradual
trend towards more thematic viewing habits in
the KSA. In addition, the equally strong ratings
performance of LBC and Rotana Clips signals the
growth of more progressive TV viewer segments.
Despite a rising demand for thematic and
progressive programming, TV ratings show that
the majority of KSA viewers remain among
the traditional fold. The featuring of Saudi TV
and Al Majid TV in the top 10 channels in the
KSA confirms the persistence of conservative
viewing preference among Saudi families. Overall,
mainstream Saudi viewers appear to prefer moderate
FTV channels with smaller yet sizeable segments
preferring more progressive programming.
Besides fears that the possible liberal content
might not be compatible with the general trend of
collective TV viewing by families, the other factor
that is pushing PTV to the background is the easy
availability of good content beamed through the
numerous FTV channels. Such concerns (of liberal
content), together with the abundance of good quality
TV content targeted at the Saudi viewer by PanArab FTV channels and terrestrial Saudi TV are
diminishing the perceived value of the PTV offering.
Also adding to the strain is the comparatively
low level of income in various classes of the KSA
population. Although PTV subscriptions are priced
at nearly constant prices across the UAE, Kuwait
and the KSA, PTV is less affordable in Saudi given
the relatively lower income levels across all classes.
The review however, says that given the low
penetration levels there appears to be high potential
for growth for this segment of television broadcast in
Saudi Arabia. Overall, the KSA appears to have strong
potential for future PTV penetration across all classes
if the issues with PTV perception, different value
proposition versus FTV, and affordability are addressed.
Given the social demographic construct of the
population and the fact that a relatively young
population is coming to the fore in the next 10-15
years, things are set to change. The younger population
is educated and nurtured in a different environment
and therefore much more tuned to progressive Arabic
content and even non-Arabic content. This generation
of viewers is driving a more individual consumption of
TV, particularly in the higher socio-economic classes.
“We predict that PTV will reach almost one third
of the total households,” says Karim Sabbagh, vicepresident, Booz Allen Hamilton. As an indication of
things to come, the 2005 ME market for SMS2TV
chat services is estimated at about $80 million with
youth accounting for more than 60 per cent.
Since the middle of the 1990s, there have been
three PTV operators in the Middle East – Orbit,
Showtime and ART. Their subscriber base has grown
substantially during the past four years in the core
markets: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Egypt.
PTV subscribers in these countries increased from
an estimated 340,000 to an estimated 1,020,000
between 2002 and 2005 – a compounded annual growth
rate of over 44 per cent. The main growth driver has
been the push to acquire more differentiated content
and all three channels have invested considerably in
securing exclusive rights for premium content.
However, the PTV market continues to remain
underdeveloped. With an overall market size of roughly
$220 million and given the challenges, the Middle
East market could be classified as underdeveloped and
somewhat sub-scale. At the same time, addressing these
challenges would pay dividends on two fronts. First,
it would allow PTV operators to raise their monthly
average revenue per user (ARPU) figure from the
current modest level of $18-20 towards the $40-60 levels
for leading platforms. Secondly, it would allow them to
penetrate the sizeable untapped segments of the market.
TV channels are crowding the Middle East (Bahrain,
Egypt, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar,
Sudan, Syria, UAE and Yemen) market with an eye
to the growing number of household and potential
viewers. The Middle East audio-visual market with
over 190 million inhabitants is particularly large
and attractive for broadcasters and advertisers.
The review has pointed out that already more than
200 free-to-air TV channels are available to most
households in the Middle East via direct-to-home
(DTH) technology with many leading channels
eager to improve content and market share. “Industry
leaders such as MBC, LBC, Rotana, Al Jazeera and
Saudi TV are committing substantial investments
to create a strong portfolio of channels and secure
attractive programming rights,” the review mentions.
The review points out that the market is not only
expanding, but is also witnessing “fundamental changes”
in socio-economic structures. Strong economic growth
is gradually favouring the advent of a larger middle
class. This will create a market of approximately 13
million households with medium to high income level
in Egypt, the KSA, Kuwait and the UAE by 2015.
It is estimated that by 2015, the share of the population
over 25 years of age could reach 65 per cent in the
UAE, 63 per cent in Kuwait, 51 per cent in Egypt
and 49 per cent in the KSA driven by the transition of
young teenagers to adulthood. This young generation
of viewers is driving a more individual consumption of
TV, particularly in the higher socio-economic classes
in which multi-TV equipment is extensive. With
today’s younger generation of viewers accounting for
a growing share of the population and progressively
forming the nucleus of future households, their TV
preferences are shaping future consumer demand.
The fact that the proliferation of FTV has been so
extensive and at virtually no running cost that the
Middle East viewer may be getting better valuefor-money than those in the Western countries
“Middle East viewers now enjoy an FTV line-up
that at least matches if not considerably surpasses
those in the Western countries,” the review states.
From the availability of a mere 18 channels in
1993, the Middle East collectively has a bouquet
of over 200 channels. Most TV households today,
with the exception of Egypt to some extent, can
access a particularly comprehensive line-up of both
generalist and thematic channels at no running cost,
through the simple acquisition of a satellite dish.
“FTV will ultimately consolidate as the number
we have today exceeds 200 accessible channels and
a number of these are public service broadcasters,”
says Sabbagh. Additionally, today all broadcasters
are in one pool making differentiation difficult.
With time, these will be restructured and regulated
making room for private broadcasters.
Despite growing interest among advertisers, the market
share of FTV is only a small portion of the overall
advertising pie in the Middle East. So much so, that
the advertising revenues may not be enough for the
industry at large and that a good number of channels
may not be making enough to cover the costs. The
probable scenario is that only a handful of leading FTV
broadcasters are marginally profitable at present, whilst
thematic channels are loss making for the most part.
The net advertising revenue for FTV channels
was estimated at around $410 million in 2005; $330
million of this went to the top eight channels and the
rest ($80 million) to support all the other channels.
Whether commercial networks will rationalise their
investments behind loss-making channels remains
highly uncertain in the short term. This clearly implies
consolidation as the government starts to rationalise
this sector. “Public broadcasters provide a specific
function and the government might even propose a
funding arrangement for a few of them on the lines
of BBC, but all the others will have to learn to swim
or sink on their own,” says Sabbagh. For example,
Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) is already
a privately owned, commercially run company.
Intense challenge for increased share of the advertising
market is coming from the growing print media. The
constrained development of TV advertising spending
results from, among other things, strong competition
from the print media. In addition, intense competition
amongst FTV networks for advertising revenues has led
to irrational and non-transparent commercial practices.
Rationalisation and revenue consolidation for
the FTV industry is unavoidable. Small channels
could be integrated as part of a broader portfolio
on the lines of the Fox portfolio in the US. Only
then could the industry drive economies of scale.
However, in itself, there has been a significant rise
in advertising through the FTV channels during the
past couple of years. During the past five years, the
FTV sector has grown rapidly and attracted increasing
attention from advertisers. Advertising revenues
have grown by an estimated annual average of 20
per cent on a net basis between 1999 and 2004.
The growth in advertising revenues has been
driven largely by economic deregulation in key
sectors in the Middle East, most notably in
telecommunications, financial services, insurance,
real estate, tourism and entertainment creating
new categories of advertisers in the process.
The review is, however, optimistic that the advertising
revenues would start to flow in soon. Continued economic
development, an increasing base of Pan-Arab advertisers
and continued deregulation should spur six per cent
net advertising market growth per annum during the
next five years. In addition, emerging signs of increased
transparency and economic rationality provide room for
renewed optimism. In fact, most large FTV networks
have recently conducted extensive cost-reduction efforts.
As for PTV, each of the three service providers
– ART, Showtime and Orbit has a different profile
and different ‘go to’ market strategy. Showtime tends
to focus on premium western content; Orbit offers
more of a mix between western and Arabic content
and ART tends to localise as much as possible and
has focused, in particular, on premium sports content.
This is reflected, in turn, in the revenue generation by
each of these channels. “We estimate that the average
revenue per user ranges from below $10 per month to
more than $50 per month, depending on the service
provider’s positioning. This puts, by way of example,
Showtime with an estimate ARPU of more than $50
per month in the league of European players, but the
construct of their viewers is different,” says Sabbagh.
The lower share of advertising revenues flowing
into TV may be partly due to the absence of a
common rating measurement. In the absence
of a common and reliable rating measurement
methodology, advertisers lack the critical tools to
make efficient media buying decisions. Inflationary
rate cards and growing advertising inventory
have led to increasing price discounts and more
generally speaking, diluted the attractiveness of
TV as a medium of choice for advertisers.
Though broadcasters have shown incipient
signs of changing for the better, areas of concern
remain. In 2005, irrational ad-sales inventory
management and pricing discount practices
have been reported to come under increasing
control. Despite these positive perspectives,
significant risks and discontinuities remain.
Once a rating system is put in place the
asymmetry of information will go away. “But for
that to happen we need a regulatory framework that
requires very explicitly to define the role of public
broadcasters vs. private broadcasters and also that
the currency that is used to measure performance
in a uniform manner across the industry,” argues
Sabbagh. Today media buying units are trading
their own currency defined by their own agendas.
As a first positive sign, the government has
already announced its intentions of looking at
licensing of private broadcasters in the area of
thematic channels. In fact, Saudi could set a
precedent that other markets will follow.
Continued from page 1...
Seriously online
fter the spectacular bust in 1999,
the Internet, in business terms, went
through a period of consolidation and today
seems to be built on a far solid foundation. Users,
especially in the West, are now far more confident
in what the Internet has to offer them. Where they
may have once been hesitant to disclose personal
information or credit card details to business or
e-commerce sites, they are now self-assured
e-consumers who are thriving in the virtual world.
For the sceptics among us, it can be argued that
there is a 1999-type vibe with the upsurge of new
web ventures and bloggers becoming cult-like
celebrities, which was the case with the emergence
of superstars only seven years ago. Event
organisers around the world are selling out seminars
and exhibitions on the back of terms like ‘new
media’ and ‘convergence,’ and when you look around,
everyone seems to be getting into the game.
The trouble is that no one has actually bothered to
identify what the game actually is and what the rules
of operation are, which in a way differentiates what
is happening today from the roaring 90s. Back then,
investors were throwing huge amounts of money at
half-baked business models that sounded incredibly
tempting because they identified a means of capturing
the whole world as their potential market. There was
a slight issue with that theory though, in that there
weren’t nearly enough customers willing to pay online,
which quickly put these ambitious ventures to bed.
Admittedly, the global online market has matured
since then, and for the first time there seems to be
a suggestion that there’s no shortage of potential
customers, with even specialised blogs and media sites
that focus on unusual subjects getting thousands of
unique visitors per day. What is lacking though, are
solid, fundamentally strong business models that can
make money from the tens of millions of prospective
clients who are spending their time in cyberspace.
It’s on the back of this that the Internet industry
across all sectors is growing by leaps and bounds,
and recent studies indicate that online retail sales
will grow to an estimated $117 billion by 2008,
while business-to-business online transactions are
expected to yield over $8.5 trillion – yes, trillion.
While the Middle East doesn’t really play a
significant role in terms of hard numbers, this is a
market that is beginning to mature. Online media in
the region has also gained a lot of momentum in the
past 18 months and the region boasts a selection of
quality business-to-consumer and business-to-business
portals such as AME Info, Zawya and Al Bawaba.
“Once people ‘discover’ the benefits of online
media, they tend to get hooked. Another healthy
sign is that all Arab telcos and governments are
investing heavily in infrastructure for more Internet
connectivity and broadband,” says Lars Nielsen,
sales and marketing director, AME Info.
There’s no denying that money is pouring into
online ventures, and private equity firms invested
$130 billion last year, largely on ‘sure-thing’ sites that
had solid business plans rather than companies whose
financials were anyone’s guess. Closer to home, AME
Info was bought out by Emap Communications
for a deal that was reported to be in the region of
$29 million – an indication that online media in
the Middle East is starting to be taken seriously.
“Because AME Info understood the online
advertising model early on and embraced it, it led to
the first major acquisition by an outsider of a local
media company, and it happened to be in the online
space,” says Hani Jabsheh, CEO, Al Bawaba Group.
Looking around the web, there are numerous
other reasons to be optimistic. The front pages on
America’s most popular sites such as Yahoo!, MSN
and AOL are booked for up to the next 18 months,
which has subsequently prompted a double-digit rate
increase. A year ago, MSN was charging between
$25,000-$50,000 for a 24-hour prime position on its
web page – the price today stands at $1 million.
To attract that kind of advertising support,
media sites have to address to key areas: keep the
content fresh and come up with innovative ways
to secure as many revenue streams as possible.
Using a regional example, AME Info, which is now
arguably the most successful media site in the region, has
been a great exponent of online advertising,
direct marketing via email, e-newsletters,
sponsorship sales, online surveys and competitions,
video and radio production, and content licensing,
at the expense of making the site resemble
the lion enclosure in Fierce Creatures.
While companies such as AME Info have diversified
their revenue streams, online media sites, if they hope
to stay afloat as business entities, are reliant on two
forms of income: advertising and content sales.
“Content sales is a very unique business to us in the
region, and I think that this will continue to grow. We
are seeing most of the world’s major brands moving
online, and as such, many will require content for their
sites, which is where we come in,” says Jabsheh.
While selling content is a lucrative business, everyone
knows that the real money lies in securing advertising.
The good news is that there’s been a significant 26 per
cent increase in global online ad spend, a figure that
has now exceeded $6 billion, which is indicative that
the industry has moved from the experimentation
phase, and is beginning to commit sizeable portions
of its marketing budget to online media. With print
media being in some disarray in the Middle East, it
opens the door for online media to stake its claim.
According to Elie Khouri,
regional managing director
of Omnicom Media Group
(OMD), Emirates airline
(one of OMD’s clients and a
member of Castor), (Circulation
Audit Steering Organisation,
the auditing standards
organisation created by the UAE
Chapter of the International
Advertising Association and the Gulf Cooperation Council Advertising Association) has
stated that the alternative to publications that are
not audited is online. Emirates has successfully
built a strong online brand through consistent
Internet advertising to sell tickets and holidays
online, which is an excellent example of just how
potentially effective web-based advertising can be.
With many international advertising agencies now
beginning to see the benefits of online advertising,
websites may still be undervalued, and online
advertising is still perceived as being a bargain. Using
the United States as an example, a 30-second spot on
Desperate Housewives costs a heart-stopping $500,000.
“There’s no comparison between the rates charged
for online advertising and those of old line media.
Once you get past the major portals and websites,
most sites are practically giving the space away,” says
Danny Crane, marketing director,
Online zealots have generally accepted this disparity
as part of the inevitable transition from old to new
media. The problem is that the overall ad numbers
have remained obstinately low and are nowhere near
the critical mass required for those private equity
folks in three-piece suits to feel comfortable about
leveraging their investment into a new media venture.
While advertising spend has been on the up-andup, advertisers, it seems, still remain gun-shy about the
web, which isn’t great news for online media companies
trying to figure out how to make serious money.
“There is still a degree of conservatism amongst
advertisers and media buyers in the region that needs to
be overcome, but it is a work in progress and fortunately
many big advertising agencies have seriously embraced
online advertising by setting up dedicated departments
to handle online and interactive media,” says Nielsen.
The challenge for new media lies in trying to convince
companies and advertising agencies that online ventures
are viable options for them. “Online
media has the benefit of being highly trackable,
meaning that even if your name isn’t as well known
on other sites, you can prove your worth through
statistics. Our site currently serves nearly 800,000
page views a month from close to 50,000 visits,” says
Sam Whatley, managing partner,
While regional sites wait for an increase in ad
spend to support their ventures, businesses have
turned to alternative means of making money on the
web – not necessarily by charging subscribers to view
their content – but to charge for online services where
they act as intermediaries. And it’s a sound business
model because by building a solid subscriber base,
your traffic automatically increases, which in turn
gives you the ammunition to approach advertisers.
“As a company that is based in the UAE, we
realised that launching a professional-services site that
would be dependant on regional traffic would be a
tricky proposition. As a result, we opened our site to
media professionals across the globe, in a bid to secure
worldwide traffic from our core audience. Once we
achieve our traffic and subscription objectives by offering
competitive sign-on packages, this will make the site
far more marketable when it comes to approaching
advertisers, and kicking into the next financial stage,” says
Danny Crane, marketing director,
Creative Training:
Several clear messages emerge
from any analysis of training in
the UAE advertising industry,
particularly the lack of training
courses for highly-skilled
executives and creatives.
While companies seek to redress
the problems with their own internal
training solutions, the situation
nevertheless has wide implications
for the UAE ad industry and the
economy as a whole.
e spoke to three managers to glean
their thoughts about some of the
pressing issues – Ravi Rao, managing
director of OMD, Elie Haber, director and head
of buying for Mindshare, and Aubert Fernandes,
managing director of Turning Point Advertising.
They said agencies often overlook training because
staff are selected and recruited overseas, adding that the
most obvious impact of this is that it pushes up costs
and prices for the client. The lack of sophisticated career
development cadres means the UAE advertising industry
has struggled to break through into the league of more
mature markets and is doing all it can to keep pace.
However, it is not all gloom. The industry
can be buoyed by a few positive measures, such
as the creation of in-house training centres, the
growth of multi-disciplinary on-the-job training
and a range of bright ideas for the future from
some of the managers we interviewed.
What qualities do employers look for in new recruits?
We asked employers what they look for in the CVs
of their candidates and the answer was a variety of
qualifications, depending on the role in question, plus
a wide range of ‘soft skills’ that would enable the new
team member to adapt, communicate and progress.
Ravi Rao MD of OMD said he always
looks out for the following attributes:
■ Experience in strategic planning
■ Evidence of out-of-the-box thinking
■ Competency in using basic MS Officebased products (PowerPoint); good general
computing skills are essential.
had little confidence in being able to recruit a full
complement of staff from the UAE market.
The majority of people are brought from
Beirut as fresh graduates and receive an intensive
training in Beirut for one month by media experts.
Then they are brought to the assigned offices.
“Once people are selected, they go on an intensive
recruitment course until they have all the necessary
information about the GCC, demographics, as well
as the history and profile of our clients,” Haber said.
“Recruiting people from Beirut is in line
with the trend in this market for bringing
people from either Beirut or India. There are not
sufficient numbers coming through locally.”
Haber added that Mindshare is currently attempting
to fill several vacancies and that he was keen to ensure
they had the highest qualifications. “Recruits should
have university degrees, but agencies are recruiting
people who do not have degrees. It sometimes becomes
difficult for them to cope with the demands of the
role and if you put people from different backgrounds
together it can really damage the whole environment.”
The question of training has been widely neglected
by the UAE media and advertising industry as a whole,
according to Haber, who believes there is a need to
establish better training facilities for prospective recruits.
In addition, he said many companies neglect the need
for on-the-job career development post-recruitment:
“This is where companies can gain a real return on
investment”. Experts should be brought in every two or
three months to update the knowledge of the team.”
In-house training is a major focus at Turning Point
Advertising, where new recruits spend several weeks
shadowing various members of the team in order
to gain an understanding of the entire company.
Managing director Aubert Fernandes said
he learnt the importance of holistic on-thejob training while working at Unilever.
“It means the new recruits learn more about the
way their role fits into the wider team and what other
people expect of them. When new recruits are learning
about other people’s work, we often find they have new
talents and might be more suitable in a different role.”
Fernandes said that this kind of on-the-job training
becomes even more important due to the lack of
training providers in the UAE. He said new recruits will
typically spend time as a member of each division of
the company, ie. design, copy writing, client servicing,
business development and media management.
It has further advantages in helping the new
recruit to adapt to the new working environment,
Fernandes said. “The deferred starting time gives
new people some breathing space at the crucial first
stages. They can get to know everyone and they can
launch their work better when the time arrives.”
■ Numerate
■ Driven and passionate
■ Strong written and oral communication skills
■ Detail conscious, forward planning,
and good organisation skills required
■ Familiar with project planning systems and
allocation of resources to meet stringent deadlines
■ Ability to work under pressure
■ Negotiation skills
However, Elie Haber, director of Mindshare, added
that while his company has exacting standards they
OMD’s Dubai office has its own training facility,
the OMD Academy, which was created two years
ago to formalise the company’s training and to
harmonise the curriculum across the company.
The academy’s programme includes a range of
formal sessions designed for different levels of seniority
and the academy has this year increased the number
of presentations and classes to provide support on
more specific issues. Staff members are also invited
to present their work or initiatives to the rest of the
team, which doubles as presentation training.
The academy has benefits for clients too, since
their representatives can benefit from training.
There are also two training conferences each year,
where people from the whole OMD network
gather to sharpen their skills on a specific topic.
Senior staff from the global OMD network are
often invited to conduct these presentations.
Ravi Rao MD of OMD said staff training is based
on an annual performance appraisal, self assessment and
the corporate plan. Training is overseen by a specialist
of both the individual’s skills and training overall.
He added that training at OMD has a dual
emphasis: “It’s a combination of evaluation
during the recruitment process, where we evaluate
the level of understanding and technical skills,
and training provided by our two networks.
“This also comes in different shapes and sizes. There
is on-the-job coaching by team leaders for their team
members, conducted on a very ad-hoc basis. Refresher
courses are done on request or when deemed necessary.
We have more than 30 refresher courses during the year.
“Lastly, we also book our employees on outside
courses, conferences and seminars, based on the
relevance to their job or career progression.”
Many companies in the UAE display a lack of
awareness about the intricacies of advertising
and this continues to present problems for the
industry, the ad agency managers said.
Most of our correspondents agreed that when
the client, or its marketing manager, is unaware
of what advertising can achieve, it leads to a
situation where high standards are not expected.
This in turn affects the mindset of advertising
and media agencies who pursue cheaper options
or are led to believe that training and the
maintenance of high standards are not important.
Aubert Fernandes, MD of Turning Point
Advertising, said: “It’s sad but the standards required
by some clients in the UAE are not as demanding
as they should be. As such, some companies think
that the skill set required is not very high.
“As such, the need for training is not felt so
acutely. Historically, the UAE has been a trading
hub where services such as advertising have
been seen as an unnecessary expense. The diverse
nature of the city also makes advertising difficult
as advertisers and clients are left wondering
which cultural buttons they should press.”
So what’s the answer? Elie Haber of Mindshare
believes training of prospective clients can provide a
solution. “By making clients more media savvy –
and we would be obliged to give the training – we
can serve our clients in a more meaningful way.
“We do this at Mindshare, giving training
to clients and brand agencies so that they can
understand the media landscape, as well as the details
of their ad spend. We do this every six months
and it is always appreciated by the clients as they
can understand our language and techniques.”
Fernandes at Turning Point also provides
insight for his clients, but believes another
factor will gradually make clients more ‘ad
savvy’ – the developing business landscape.
He said: “As the economy gains pace then the
whole issue of advertising awareness will
come into common focus. Companies are
becoming more professional according to
international benchmarks and are developing
a more strategic impression of marketing.”
Ravi Rao of OMD said his company’s
academy was designed with clients in mind
too. “We have already delivered tailored
sessions for several client teams,” Rao said.
Where are training providers?
Advertising executives believe there is a general and
acute lack of training sources in the UAE. Ravi Rao,
managing director of OMD, said this was the crucial
factor in the creation of his company’s academy.
“There is plenty of generic advice on training, but it
becomes a lot more difficult when you are trying to
fill specialist disciplines such as ours,” Rao said.
Aubert Fernandes of Turning Point Advertising
said his company had attempted to overcome
the training deficit by creating a link between
his company and Indian universities. “We tested
the idea, because it is widely applied in the West,
and took in a couple of trainees from an Indian
university. At first, we were not sure whether it would
pay off, but I think there are always benefits.”
Elie Haber, director and head of buying at
Mindshare, said there is not only a lack of training
courses available, but a lack of knowledge within the
industry about where such training can be obtained.
Industry experts are at least optimistic about the future
of training in the UAE advertising industry and they
listed a number of trends to watch in the future.
These include:
■ Online training
■ Video conferencing
■ General use of technology
■ More training of clients
Elie Haber, director and head of buying for
Mindshare, said: “Technology will become even
more important in our industry. You get lots of
people who are good at analysis and research,
but technology continues to be a weakness in
this part of the world. When you are tech-savvy
you can use it to give yourself or your company
more time to focus on something else.”
Ravi Rao, managing director of OMD, said: “Online
training, provided through companies’ intranets, seems
an interesting development. Video conferencing could
also help bring international best practice more easily.
Dubai companies
spreading their
brands overseas
While global companies are making
a beeline to establish a presence in
bustling Dubai, a few home-grown
companies, with not much history
of their own, are going on
aggressive expansion plans to
establish a global presence for
their businesses and brands.
few such companies are the leading hospitality
group, Jumeirah, the real estate giant, Emaar
and the major ports management company,
DP World, that are all well on their way to becoming
easily identifiable brands in large parts of the globe.
Jumeirah and Emaar, both set up in 1997 and
DP World International, established in 1999, are all
spreading their wings across the world. Jumeirah today
manages premier hotels in major cities including New
York, Shanghai and London. That’s not all. Future
expansion is all set to be at a breakneck speed with
the company targeting to manage 40 hotels by 2009,
all in the premium, luxury range of properties.
The Emaar group has also been expanding rapidly
with billions of dollars worth of investments lined up
in several countries across the world. Joint venture and
projects have been lined up in India, Egypt, Turkey,
Morocco, Syria, Pakistan, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia
would entail an investment of $26.6 billion, the single
largest foreign investment in the Kingdom while the
planned $4 billion investment in projects in India is
the largest FDI in the real estate sector of the country.
DP World, on the other hand, in its short
period of existence, has spread globally across
continents to operate nearly 19 major terminals
and five major ports across the world.
Hectic behind the scenes activities are on in these
companies to meet the expansion targets. Jumeirah,
for example would be selecting the location of its
next hotels from among 60 cities identified by it.
“We have identified 60 cities across the world as ‘Aclass’ destinations. We are looking at North America,
Asia and Europe. In the US, we have identified cities
such as Los Angeles, Washington and Boston, while
our target cities in Europe are mainly the capital cities
such as Paris and Berlin among others. In Asia, we
have larger plans for China,” said Bill Walshe, chief
marketing and business innovation officer, Jumeirah.
Backing its fast-paced expansion overseas,
the Jumeirah group has set aside $4 million
for 2006 to promote its brand in the overseas
markets. “At the beginning of the year, we have
earmarked $4 million on campaigns to popularise
our brands internationally,” Walshe said.
Going forward, Walshe hinted that the
company’s advertising spend for brand presence
overseas could only get bigger than the 2006
kitty that has been set aside. “Next year onwards,
I do not see our annual advertising spend
going below $4 million annually,” he said.
Walshe said that the $4 million does not
include the brand promotion efforts being made
by the individual properties to popularise their
brands. “Other than the $4 million set aside by
Jumeirah, all our hotels have parallel ad spends
to popularise the brands and their other facilities
such as their restaurants. Together that would
be another substantial amount,” he said.
Walshe said that the company plans to make a
bigger splash overseas in the coming days. “At present,
our advertising efforts to promote the Jumeirah
brand are limited to print and online. We plan to
make a splash on the TV screen shortly,” he said.
With more countries likely to be targeted for
the promotion of the company’s brand, Walshe
said: “We are presently directing our advertising
campaigns mainly in the US, Germany and China.
We plan to include more countries soon.”
According to Walshe, the effort at promoting
the Jumeriah brand is to project the company as
one that would offer a ‘unique experience’ to its
customers. “The essence of our brand, the core
message is ‘Stay Different.’ That is really the theme.”
He said that the brand wants to convey to its
customers that Jumeirah is a premium hospitality
brand that would provide a distinct experience
compared to others. “We want our portfolio to always
be unique. We want to create new experiences and
to recreate what others have put on offer. Ours is a
luxury brand that offers five-star deluxe comfort.”
Walshe said that other than luxury hotels, the
other focus area for the company’s expansion would
be theme parks. The company presently runs the
‘Wild Wadi’ – a water theme park in Dubai.
“We have recently been awarded the contract to
manage Aqua Dunya which is part of the Dubailand
project. Managing theme parks is an integral part
of our business and expansion plans,” Walshe said.
Barriers to breakaway
brand development
Can financial institutions brand their products and services the same way FMCG brand their products?
TAREK SULTANI, client director at Landor Associates looks at the barriers facing financial institutions in
brand development.
hen it comes to choosing a coffee brand
everybody has a passionate opinion.
Some people buy into the Starbucks
experience, some to the Dunkin Donuts quick fix,
while for others there is always that store around
the corner that just does everything right.
It’s fascinating to see how marketers have
been able to take the service of ‘delivering a
commodity’ like coffee and create so many
different brand phenomena around the world.
What’s more fascinating is how only a scarce
number of financial institutions have been
able to turn their service of ‘delivering a
commodity’ into a strong differentiated brand.
As much as the complexities of the back office
activities differ, what is actually important in terms
of building a brand are the first and last nodes.
These nodes represent the points of greatest
interaction with customers and hence have the
biggest effect on developing the brand. In most
cases, a good quality product is the minimal cost
of entry to compete, not a brand differentiator.
So why have coffee outlets been able to master
the creation of branded experiences while banks
have struggled to achieve the same level of success?
The series of logos on the next page demonstrate
the strength of recognition of some brands as
opposed to those in the finance industry. While
the brand marks for companies in the first row
are all recognised visually, using symbols without
the need for a name next to them, the brand
marks for companies in the second row are all
driven by word marks. You know you have a
strong brand when you don’t need to bluntly
communicate who you are on every communication
you produce. Pictures speak a thousand words.
There are several barriers to breakaway brand
development facing financial institutions in
the region, some intrinsic to the industry and
others relating to specific organisations.
The best example of this barrier is that people in
the finance industry reading this article would argue
that their flow chart is much more complicated
than that of a coffee outlet. This is probably true
to a certain extent, however, to build a breakaway
brand, you need to reassess the whole nature of how
things are historically done within the industry.
The whole banking industry is based on adopting
best practices, setting benchmarks, developing
standard operating procedures, which are great
for operational efficiencies, but detrimental to
creating a differentiated brand. This is applicable
mainly to retail banks, especially in the region.
The cycle consists of the boring queue, the teller
behind a desk, the countless forms on the table
and the automated telebanking service.
Brands like Yo! Sushi have been able to take a
product that is available almost on every street,
innovate and break down the cycle of similar to create
a differentiated brand with global success. Banks
should understand that they do not need to look
or act like a traditional bank anymore. Just imagine
banking at your local ‘Starbank’ from Starbucks
while you sip your coffee and download MP3s.
If brand consultants had a dollar for every time
a client says to us; ‘We want to position our
company as the biggest and the best’, we would
start an investment firm. This type of approach to
brand building is the bi-product of the economic
boom the region has been witnessing over the
past decade. In many cases demand outweighs
supply by folds and companies rush to reap the
profits by catering to more customers then their
resources allow them to properly manage.
I have rarely heard a financial institution say we
just want to be positioned as the most convenient
retail bank, a niche player with a focused selection
of services targeted towards customers who want
quick, easy and comfortable interaction with
their bank. And less rarely have companies stuck
to the mission statements and positionings laid
out in their strategic plans. Once the money
starts coming in, strategy takes a back seat.
This is the difficulty in creating a brand and
implementing it. Brands are not about being
everything to everyone or having a nice logo, they
are about trade offs. It’s easy to determine what a
company wants to be, but the trick is to determine
what it is NOT and then stick to those beliefs.
The Body Shop is an example of a company
who understands these trade offs and has built
its brand around its core values, listed below.
In an attempt to increase their bottom line,
they could choose to buy cheaper products or try
to sell to a wider audience, thus acting against
their principle tenets. However, this compromise
would dilute their brand equity and over time,
have a negative impact on their profits.
Every economy hits a plateau or recession
sooner or later, and that’s where the balance shifts
and the customer becomes king. It is then that
the companies who have invested and carved a
brand for themselves will reap the return on their
investment and be able to come out on top.
“If this business were split up, I would give
you the land and bricks and mortar, and
I would take the brands and trade marks,
and I would fare better than you”
John Stuart, chairman of Quaker.
Just because it is difficult to put an actual figure
on the value of an intangible brand and input it
into the balance sheet does not make it any less
valuable than a tangible million-dollar factory.
Take any decent shoe and stick a ‘check’ mark
on it and watch how it would fly off the shelf.
Finance institutions are driven by facts and
figures; their products are notes with face values, and
currencies, which state exactly what they are worth
on both sides. So how can a $100 bill at Bank Brand
A be worth more than a $100 bill at Bank Brand B?
The answer is simple. Its for the same reason
Evian can sell a bottle of water at three times the
price of your local water – the power of a brand.
This is reflected in stock prices of companies such
as P&G, Nestlé and other powerhouse global
brands. Banks in the region need to start looking
past their tangible assets and consider the added
value of their intangible assets over the long term.
In the PC industry, there is Michael Dell and
Steve Jobs. In the software industry there is Bill
Gates and Larry Ellison. In the coffee business,
there is Howard Shultz. In the bookstore business
there is Jeff Bezos. All these entrepreneurs singlehandedly revolutionised their industry.
Unfortunately, their counterparts in the finance
industry date back to the 1800s. Marcus Goldman
and JP Morgan established two of the most prominent
investment firms in the world. Till this day, these firms
represent the strongest brand names in investment
banking. The question is why are they still around? Why
hasn’t a young entrepreneur taken on the investment
industry, revolutionised it and turned Goldman to
a challenger instead of a market leader. Other than
the fact that Goldman makes competition difficult
by keeping its act together on mostly all fronts, the
cost of entry into the industry is extremely high.
While Dell and Gates could drop out from university
and start their businesses in their basements, no one
would be able to enter the finance industry with less
than a couple hundred million dollars. And once
you aquire that level of investment, no matter how
entrepreneurial the founder may be, he will always
be guided by the cycle of the similar and best
practice, rather than by passion, risk and innovation.
Suddenly you have created a business and a brand
that is just a bit different, but not different
enough to breakaway.
“To get something done, a committee should consist
of no more than three men, two of whom are absent.”
Banks are big institutions, with interconnected
departments that are supposed to seamlessly
communicate with each other and work together to
provide a consistent level of service and quality. Very
little change can actually be implemented without buyin from the heads of the departments. Each department
tends to have its own culture, directed naturally by
the department head. Political agendas, personal
rivalries and management style differences usually
lead to a lack of cohesion in how the business is run.
Even a CEO with a strong vision and determination
finds it challenging to get his vision to trickle down
the ranks, and become a holistic corporate vision.
This issue is even more challenging in the region,
where banks are considered a lifetime employment
opportunity. Once you join the family, you become
a member of the family forever. With a long roster
of senior staff that have been around for 15 years
doing the same job, the same way, it’s practically
impossible to instal a new corporate culture and
bring on change to truly create a new brand.
So, until the CEOs of regional banks have the vision
and the ability to personally drive the brand building
process internally and make sure everyone is either
in line with their vision or off the boat, re-branding
remains an aesthetic exercise with empty promises.
Where would Brand Dubai and HH Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President
and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai,
vision be if he had to consult and get buy-in from
everyone who has an opinion on how to move forward?
“A successful leader lays down his vision, specifies
its goals, shows the path to its development and
then makes sure it is executed” - HH Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, VicePresident and prime minister of the UAE and
ruler of Dubai, (translated to English from his
Arabic book, My Vision; sentence 4; page 41).
The five points above are some of the most
challenging barriers to breakaway brand development
in the finance industry. The common theme that
runs across most of the points is ‘change’.
For many reasons, we are naturally resistant to
change and this reflects on how we run our lives and
our businesses. Fear of failure, risk aversion, or just
comfort with the status quo limits our ability to explore
opportunities and approach things differently. Society
reinforces this resistance. Breakaway brands, just like
breakaway individuals, are the ones that accept change
as necessity, a stepping-stone for development and the
next chapter in a journey of continuous evolution.
It is change that makes brands stand out from the
crowd and creates differentiation. This differentiation
leaves an emotional effect on anyone interacting with
the brand. For businesses, a new logo or brand mark
is the symbol of change – a company’s way of saying
that they have evolved. However, it is only a sign. To
create a successful brand, the logo needs to be part
of a bigger plan that includes actual premeditated
change within the organisation, affecting the
way it operates and ultimately having a beneficial
functional or emotional effect on its customers.
The timeline for such a transformation could take
years and several attempts. IBM had to reinvent itself
several times over its history and continues to do so
to adapt to the requirements of today’s markets.
Short-sightedness of some businesses in the region,
and their preoccupation with reaping profits during
a booming economy without the foresight to prepare
for more intense competition and a shift in market
forces, sets them up for a quick down fall in the future.
In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down
on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the
future to run over him”.
Continued from page 1...
From the GCC to India
The branding dynamic
he new ‘Asian Dynamo’ is set to hit the
world. The booming Indian economy
and consumer markets are attracting the
attention of all marketers across the globe. The
analysts are in consensus on the fact that the Indian
consumer markets are changing at a rapid pace,
with unprecedented growth in disposable incomes,
the development of modern urban lifestyles, and
the emergence of the new kind of trend-conscious
consumers that India has not seen in the past.
The Indian economy is growing at a whopping
8.1 per cent with inflation at just around 4 per cent.
The foreign exchange reserves are about $150 billion
with exports at $80 billion growing at the rate of
26 per cent. Increasing income levels and rising
consumer spending will keep the robust growth
of the economy up. Adding to this is the overall
growth of the services industry, manufacturing on a
global stage, infrastructure growth, mature political
economy with development as its core agenda.
At the current growth rate of the economy, India
would be adding nearly one France every three and
a half years and one Australia every year, to become
the third largest economy in the world by 2050.
In terms of the consumer base, India has crossed
the 1,000 million mark, out of which, almost 420
million consumers are less than 25 years of age
– making India one of the youngest nations in the
world. The Indian middle class is about 450 million
consumers and 22 million consumers are added to this
tally every year. Almost 67 million have an average
annual income of $32,018 the same as Milan! The
great Indian middle class is comprised of almost
56 million people in households earning between
$4,400-$21,800 a year, with the upper-middle and
high-income urban households estimated to grow to
38.2 million in 2007. India’s market for consumer
goods could reach $400 billion by 2010 making it
the fifth largest market in the world with a growth
rate of 15-20 per cent per annum in the sector.
Apart from the macro indicators, the Indian
industry is witnessing high growth in all of its
major business sectors and hyper growth in
retail, realty, hospitality and financial services.
The Indian retail market is aiming for the stars and
is witnessing a huge revamping exercise as traditional
outlets make way for new formats. The retail market
is expected to grow at the rate of 36 per cent by 2008;
the retail sector is estimated to increase three-fold
from the present; and the organised retail sector is
expected to grow stronger than GDP growth in the
next five years driven by changing lifestyles, strong
income growth and favourable demographic patterns.
India’s vast middle class and its almost untapped
Madura Garments, part of the Aditya
Vikram Birla Group – a $6.5 billion
conglomerate with operations in 20
countries, has a marked presence
across the value chain in the apparel
industry. It has operations from wood
pulp, fibre, yarn, fabric to apparels.
Madura Garments is a market
leader in India with a turnover above
$100 million, which is growing at
a rate of 20 per cent per annum
Madura Garments has perpetual
rights for the manufacture and sale of
international brands like Louis Philippe,
Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Allen Solly
Women’s Wear, Peter England, Peter
England – Elements, Byford, and SF
Jeans. Madura Garments also contracts
manufacturers for global brands like
Marks & Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo
and Ralph Lauren among others.
The credibility of Madura Garments
is enabled by the state-of-art
design studio with an international
team headed by the well-known
European designer David Platon;
and the investments in R&D to
retain technological leadership, as
well as investments in the talent
under the experienced leadership
of Hemachandra Zaveri.
Madura Garments’ strategy is
to consolidate and build its brands
into mega brands, through various
product categories, collections and
retail expansion in India and overseas.
The company has already established
its brands at chain stores in the
Gulf region such as Lulu Centre and
K M Trading in Dubai. It also has
exclusive retail stores such as Planet
Fashion at Karama Centre, Dubai and
Yateem Centre, Bahrain. It has been
exporting products since 1992 to the
UAE and its brands are available in
most countries in the Gulf region.
When asked why with such market
dominance within India, they were
looking outwards, Vikram Shivdas, head
of Branded Exports said, “It is quite
natural and logical too for MG to have
its presence in the global market. MG is
already doing business in 12 countries
which includes the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain,
Kuwait and Oman in the Middle East,
Philippines, Male, Mauritius, Indonesia,
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal with
a turnover of $5.5 million ( FY 20052006) at wholesale price. In the next
two to three years we plan to grow to
around $20 million in branded exports
alone. In view of this we need to expand
our market, enter into new markets
and new countries. Since we have
a portfolio of brands of international
repute and a range of products inspired
by the latest international fashion
trends/styling and manufactured to
international quality standards we are
confident of entering into new markets/
countries and establishing ourselves.’’
Madura Garments, in line with its
strategy to expand its channels and
increase its brand footprint in the
region, approached MTI Consulting for
assistance. “To achieve our aggressive
expansion across the Middle East
we need to identify franchisee’s
and alliance partners who can map
us across the region. We look at
consultancies like MTI to identify
such potential partners and work
together until closure,’’ said Shivdas.
The process started with the
The hotel and tourism sector
in India is among the fastest
growing in the world. According to the World Travel and
Tourism Council, global tourism is projected to grow at 5.8
per cent in 2004 and 4.5 per
cent over the next 10 years
retail industry are key attractions for global retail
giants wanting to enter newer markets. India has been
ranked fifth in the list of 30 emerging retail markets
and predicted an impressive 20 per cent growth rate
for the organised retail segment by 2010. India’s total
retail market is estimated at $202.6 billion which is
expected to grow at a compounded 30 per cent over
the next five years. With the organised retail segment
growing at the rate of 25-30 per cent per annum,
revenues from the sector are expected to triple from
the current $7.7 billion to $24 billion by 2010. The
share of modern retail is likely to grow from its current
two per cent to 15-20 per cent over the next decade.
India has allowed 51 per cent FDI into brand
retail companies. The luxury brand market in India is
pegged close to $500 million growing at 15-20 per
cent per annum. A recent ACNielsen survey on Global
Consumer Shopping Habits says that the world’s
largest shopaholics can be found in Asia; 32 per cent
of Indians go shopping once a month with 22 per cent
on a weekly basis. This provides an opportunity for
companies to launch global premium brands in India.
Driven by positive growth in the economy,
infrastructure and real estate in India is also booming.
The year 2006 started on a promising note when the
government of India opened the construction and
development sector in February 2006, and allowed
100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under
the ‘automatic route’ in order to spur investment in
the vital infrastructure sector. The relaxation of the
FDI ceiling saw big names like Dubai-based Emaar
Properties – the largest listed real estate developer
in the world – joining hands with the Delhi-based
MGF Developments to announce India’s largest FDI
in the realty sector amounting to over $500 million
in projects having capital outlay of $4 billion.
The number of malls in Mumbai, Bangalore, New
Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune was expected to grow
to about 250 by 2010 as against 40 now. In terms
of total area, there was 12.40 million square feet
(mnsqft) of mall space available in these cities.
India is also embarking on a major infrastructure
building drive to support its high paced economic
growth. Currently India is about to finish one of the
world’s largest infrastructure project’s – the Golden
Quadrilateral – a road network that will connect
identification of potential markets
within the MESA region including
Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,
Iran, Kuwait, Syria and Egypt, among
others, where one could find the
target consumers for the brands of
Madura Garments. The next step
was mapping these markets for
potential brand placements and tieups for retailing in the Gulf region.
These potential partners that
had been identified were met with
personally by our regional consultants
who presented the credentials of
Madura Garments to all the identified
prospects to check their initial interest
in the concept. Once the initial interest
was identified, it was necessary to
start detailed discussions with the
potential parties in identifying the
right fit option from Madura Garments
between an exclusive brand outlet (for
brands like Louis Philippe and Van
Heusen) and Plant Fashion (multibrand outlet) based on the potential of
the locations, the footfall catchmentarea for the potential store, the target
consumers, potential competition, and
the product mix options. It was also
necessary to conduct background
checks on the interested parties and
the fit based on the requirements of
Madura Garments. Based on these
detailed discussions, MTI rated the
best fit of the interested parties and
Madura Garments’ requirements
and developed a prioritisation list
for each party per market. Following
which, MTI facilitated the tie-up
discussions with Madura Garments
to finalise the strategic alliances.
the major consumption centres to the major ports
and supply centres. There are many projects that are
coming up for sea ports, airports, roads, bridges,
power, etc. This sector will see an unprecedented
boom for the next five years and may taper down,
but will still be growing at an above average rate
compared to other countries in the world. The large
builders, real estate and infrastructure companies
from the GCC will find these developments
attractive for entering the Indian economy.
The financial sector is also in the process of rapid
transformation. Reforms are continuing as part of
the overall structural changes aimed at improving
the productivity and efficiency of the economy.
The role of integrated financial infrastructure is
to stimulate and sustain economic growth. The
$28 billion Indian financial sector has grown at
around 15 per cent and has displayed stability for
the past several years, even when other markets in
the Asian region were facing a crisis. The financial
sector’s big guns from the Gulf region will see huge
potential in this sector of the Indian economy.
Another lucrative opportunity lies in the
hospitality industry, which is also showing signs of
positive growth and boom. The hotel and tourism
sector in India is among the fastest growing in the
world. According to the World Travel and Tourism
Council (WTTC), global tourism is projected to
grow at 5.8 per cent in 2004 and 4.5 per cent over
the next 10 years (2005-2014). India will be one of
the fastest growing markets, as it grew at 10 per
cent in 2004 and generated economic activity of
$39 billion. According to the WTTC, India will
grow 8.8 per cent between 2004-2014 to generate
economic activity of $90 billion by 2014.
The Indian healthcare industry is not behind either
and is expected to grow by around 13 per cent per year
for the next four years. In India more than 50 per cent
of the total health expenditure comes from individuals
versus a state level contribution of below 30 per cent.
At the current pace of growth, the healthcare spending
in the country will double over the next 10 years and
the total healthcare market could rise from $22.2
billion currently (5.2 per cent of GDP) to $50 billion
– $69 billion (6.2-8.5 per cent of GDP) by 2012.
Some of the other sectors that are looking attractive
are Telecom with 131 million subscribers; Passenger
Vehicles market with a sale of about 85,000 units/
A Japanese JV Company
was gearing up to enter
the high potential Indian
market with a new range of
high-quality value-added
sleeping equipment and
products and accessories
based on a detailed
market-entry feasibility
done by international
strategy consulting
firm, MTI Consulting.
The Company
specialised in
manufacturing semifinished mattresses for
international markets, and
last year embarked upon
a strategic restructuring
of its operations with MTI
Consulting, wherein the
company decided moving
up the value chain by
manufacturing finished
products and entering
the Indian market with
these high-quality valueadded products under
a global brand name.
It was necessary to do
an extensive opportunity
assessment in India for
the company’s products
and developing a business
strategy that would
ensure a smooth entry
into the Indian market.
A proprietary entry
model was customised to
the specifications of the
client and the intricacies
of the Indian market. The
solution drew its detail
from extensive primary and
secondary research on the
market, the consumers, the
competition, the channels,
the value proposition and
the macro- economy. This
research was analysed
to develop a snapshot of
the market opportunity
that exists for the
company. The snapshot
detailed the nature of
opportunity in terms of
month; FMCG with a market of $10 billion and
growing at 30 per cent CAGR; White Goods with
a market size of $5 billon and growing at 11 per
cent; Urban Household mortgages market being $77
billion in 2008 and growing at 40 per cent CAGR;
domestic and international air traffic grew by 24.2
per cent and 18 per cent respectively in AprilDecember 2005; to add to this Indians withdrew
$50 billion using credit cards. What all this says is
that the expansion in the Indian market is robust,
all around and is poised for an explosive growth.
India provides a great opportunity for the national
and international players to expand and be part
of a booming economy and to take advantage of
the rising tide. India provides companies with an
opportunity to expand their operations, grow their
top line and bottom line and also diversify the
business risk through a multi-country presence.
The GCC companies can cash upon the blank
cheque called ‘India’ by investing in the different
business segments and then grow with the economy.
The tremendous potential of India
in terms of economic growth,
consumer base, consumption
patterns, manufacturing
capabilities, sophisticated
financial infrastructure with
dependable legal and accounting
system combined together, makes
India an opportunity that
cannot be ignored by the GCC
players aspiring to rule the power
corridors on a global platform.
value, volume, geographic
origin, segments and
competition within
the segments among
other details related to
market dynamics. Given
the opportunity, MTI
Consulting developed
the best fit strategy for
entering the Indian market
supported by the requisite
structure and systems.
After a market entry
was successfully
developed, the company
asked for assistance
in the implementation
of the entry plan.
The Japanese JV
Company has already
begun developing new and
innovative product features
like Anti-Stress, Anti-Dustmite and Anti-Allergen
mattresses together with
a range of new sleep
accessories that have been
designed to complement
the main product range of
mattresses. The company
has also started a detailed
research and development
for developing a range
of speciality products
focused on health needs
like orthopaedic and spine
care products, which were
identified as potentially
profitable segments
in a detailed ‘productmarket gap analysis’.
As part of the turn key
implementation, the client
has also requested a
new global brand identity
for the company’s new
product range, along
with conceptualising
profitable marketing
solutions for the company
in terms of product mix,
pricing, promotions and
channel management.
* Please note that
the client name is
not disclosed.
The tremendous potential of India in terms of economic
growth, consumer base, consumption patterns,
manufacturing capabilities, sophisticated financial
infrastructure with dependable legal and accounting
system combined together, makes India an opportunity
that cannot be ignored by the GCC players aspiring
to rule the power corridors on a global platform.
Large and small corporations in the GCC region
with an ambition to increase their top line, bottom
line and diversify risk by expanding operations
to different markets need look no further than
India. One of the important aspects is that
companies should gain help in order to enter new
markets. This usually comes in three phases:
■ Assessing the opportunity a market provides
■ Developing the market entry strategy
■ Handholding in implementation
or turnkey implementation
Market Opportunity Assessment is designed to
help GCC companies assess the size and nature
of opportunities exploitable in the Indian market
given its competencies. It details the statutory
requirements for a presence in India, and involves
an in-depth analysis of the macroeconomic
The market opportunity will be presented to the GCC client
in the form of a model representing the opportunity in
various segments; the size of each segment, the challenges
each segment poses; competition in each of the segments
and the competencies of client that can be leveraged
in each of the segments.
elements, industry, key competitors and consumers.
Opportunity assessment will involve both primary
and secondary research using quantitative and
qualitative techniques to identify:
■ Opportunities: geographical location, size
and potential, type of segments that exist and
how the segments are being serviced currently
■ Key competitors: competitors, competitive
stance, USP, loyalty, network, quality,
services, coverage, flexibility, advantages and
disadvantages, pricing and key success factors
With information on the size and nature
of the opportunity, it is important to map the
competencies of the GCC company that can be
leveraged in the Indian market scenario. Both
will be threaded together to map out in detail the
opportunities that the client can exploit in India.
The market opportunity will be presented
to the GCC client in the form of a model
representing the opportunity in various segments;
the size of each segment, the challenges each
segment poses; competition in each of the
segments and the competencies of client that
can be leveraged in each of the segments.
This module will also provides the client
with details of the statutory requirements of the
market under study for any type of entry and
outlines the legal and compliance requirements.
The second phase of the solution involves strategy
development detailing the entry strategy for
the GCC client, the structure, the geographical
presence, the systems, the staff, and the investments
that are required to sustain the strategy.
Depending on specific requirements of the GCC
client, a business plan can be developed to assess the
returns that can be expected from the Indian market’s
operations. This Market Entry Strategy will be linked
to the existing strategic plan of the client. The Entry
Strategy will be presented in the form of a one-page
strategy map detailing the strategy, systems, structure
and staff. This will further be supported by a model
detailing the various tasks to be undertaken for market
entry with staff members responsible and dates.
The third stage of the solution is ‘Implementation
Hand-holding/Turnkey Implementation’. Depending
upon the specific requirements of the GCC client,
there might be a need for an external agency
to hand-hold in implementation by taking up
turnkey implementation of the strategy involving
identification of suitable partners, locations and
personnel, as well as liaising with the authorities.
This can help GCC companies enter India and
realise their growth and diversification ambitions.
Your organisation has done
a lot of work in the Indian
Subcontinent region. What
is the main attraction?
What we find attractive and
what GCC companies ought to
be finding attractive about India
is the population of 1.2 billion.
Hands down, India is one of the
world’s most attractive markets.
For foreign companies, India
is not only an appealing sales
market, but also an attractive
industrial base and a good source
of cost-effective services.
How optimistic are you
about the Indian market?
India bills itself as the world’s
fastest-growing democracy, has a
growing consumer base, a strong,
diverse 300 million middle class.
That’s an eye-catching number for
growth-minded global companies.
Half of India’s population of roughly
1.2 billion is under the age of 25.
So far at least for the next 20
years, India will have a growing
population of people in their prime
working years. The Indians are
buying homes, cars, and other
products at rates never seen
before in the Subcontinent; this is
proof to the evident opportunity.
What opportunities do you
sense for Middle East- based
companies in India?
The services sector contributes
more than 50 per cent to the GDP;
this is where a huge opportunity
exists. The demanding needs of the
Indian consumer poses a challenge
to foreign companies. The following
are key sectors where companies
from the Middle East can grab
a piece of the Indian market.
Firstly, retail, consumerism
and brand proliferation have
fuelled organised retailing. The
structure of retailing is developing
rapidly with malls becoming
increasingly common; about
150 new shopping malls are
projected to come up by 2008.
Secondly, infrastructure to
support the fast paced economy, is
gearing up. Heavy investments are
needed in sectors like roadways,
power, aviation, telecom and
housing among others. The Indian
market is currently witnessing a
boom in the real estate segment.
Lastly, financial services – the
increase in income levels opens
up a gamut of opportunities
for financial service providers.
Insurance, banking, mutual funds,
capital markets are some of the
key growth engines. The industry
is undergoing a transformation
with an increasing emphasis
on the service component the
consumer seeks. Oil, natural gas
and heavy engineering are some
of the other sectors in the B2B
segment that are poised for growth.
What competencies can
the Middle East-based
companies leverage in India?
Non-availability of trained
manpower, especially at the
management level, poses a key
risk for the retail sector. The
experience garnered by retail
companies in the Middle East can
be used to gain an upper hand in
the growing retail market. Similarly
the experience in realty and
infrastructure will come in handy for
the Middle East-based companies.
What are the factors for
success in the Indian market?
Foreign players entering India
need to customise their offerings
to suit the diverse needs of the
Indian consumer. Global dish
with a local flavour will tickle the
Indian taste buds. The consumer is
very demanding and this poses a
challenge for marketers to innovate.
What are the road blocks?
Limitations on FDI are a key
hindrance to companies planning
to venture into India. Besides,
there is multiple-point octroi or
entry tax collection. All these add
to the cost and complexity of
distribution as these necessitate
multiple warehouses and do
not allow for centralisation of
certain procurements given the
incidence of local levies. This
poses a challenge. Also, it’s
difficult finding suitable partners
who have the same longterm objectives, as largely the
firms are small and family-run
especially in the retail segment.
That’s where we can partner
with firms to ensure efficient
entry and transition into India.
Snakes on a Plane:
Communicating in the Internet age
Imagine that you’re the boss of a major Hollywood studio. Every day, you’ve got to weed through the piles of
unsolicited scripts that land on your desk and decide which ones to greenlight and which ones to toss in the bin.
But how do you separate the potential blockbuster from the likely flop? How do you know which script is the
next Titanic and which is the next Waterworld?
onsider the unlikely case of
Snakes on a Plane, a New Line
Cinema release that hit screens
in the United States in mid-August.
The title pretty much says it all; this
action/horror movie is about what
happens when 500 snakes get loose on
an airplane. Sounds amazingly stupid,
right? Then again, as the satirist H.L.
Mencken famously said, “No one
ever went broke underestimating the
intelligence of the American public.”
That’s a sentiment apparently shared
by New Line’s co-chairmen, Michael
Lynne and Robert Shaye. The pair
eventually greenlighted Snakes on a
Plane, although the film was given
a tiny production budget, including
next to nothing for PR or marketing.
Not too long after, though, one of the
scriptwriters, Josh Friedman, described
the project on his personal blog, or
online diary. And here’s where the story
starts to get interesting – and where it
holds some extremely valuable lessons
for communications professionals,
whether they’re based in the US,
Europe or here in the Middle East.
By nearly all accounts, word of
mouth is the single most effective
form of marketing. Whatever product
or service your client has to offer,
nothing will improve sales or boost the
company’s image like positive word
of mouth. Unlike traditional forms
of marketing and advertising, word
of mouth offers instant credibility.
Why? Because people tend to trust
people they know. Indeed, according
to the 2006 Edelman Trust Barometer,
published earlier this year by our own
international affiliate, there has been a
“steady decline of trust in traditional
figures of authority and [an] increase in
the credibility of the average person.”
What does this have to do with Snakes
on a Plane? Just about everything. Shortly
after Friedman’s brief blog posting
about the script, the movie became an
Internet phenomenon. Within days,
the Net was buzzing with rumours,
jokes, songs, fake posters and even
mock trailers. Then news filtered out
that actor Samuel L. Jackson, of Pulp
Fiction fame, had been cast in one of
the two lead roles. Suddenly, everyone
was talking about this movie that had
little more than a working title.
Snakes had been slotted as a minor
movie in New Line’s 2006 schedule
but, as a direct result of the incredible
response in the blogosphere, the studio
increased the production budget
and began its own online marketing
campaign. A promotional website
was launched, including an online
competition for amateur musicians to
submit their own songs to the final
soundtrack. Viral videos proliferated,
including both real and fake Podcast
trailers, while Jackson and other actors
made the rounds of American latenight TV. At nearly no cost to the
studio, Snakes had become the bestknown movie no one had ever seen.
At the time of writing, the movie was
still poised for release. So, for now, it’s
too soon for anyone to judge whether
all that publicity in virtual reality will
actually translate into real-world profits.
But one thing is nevertheless sure:
pretty much by accident, New Line
Cinema stumbled into the future of the
communications industry. Snakes on a
Plane, for better or worse, is where we’re
all headed. The sooner we figure that out
– and embrace the transformative power
of new technology – the more effective,
and profitable our businesses will be.
Here in the Middle East, such
statements are likely to sound like so
much hot air. After all, across the region,
Internet penetration rates are mostly
very low, and activities like blogging
are still in their infancy. Day by day,
however, penetration rates are growing,
especially in countries like the UAE,
while the number of regional bloggers
is also fast expanding. Here in Dubai,
for instance, just about everyone in the
communications industry now turns to
local blogs – such as Secret Dubai Diary,
Grapeshisha, One Big Construction
Site and The Emirates Economist
– when they want to get a sense of the
underground pulse of the emirate. The
blogosphere is the new Arab street.
While there are now thousands of
Middle Eastern bloggers – who write
in Arabic, English and sometimes a
combination of the two – the numbers
here still pale beside those in the world’s
most technologically advanced market,
the United States. According to a
Pew research study released in June,
12 million American adults, or four
per cent of the population, currently
maintain their own blog, while a
further 45 million, or 20 per cent of the
population, say they regularly read blogs.
Those are astonishing statistics, even
in a country as big as the US, which
has a total population of 295 million
and an online user base of 147 million,
especially since blogs themselves have
only been around for about nine years.
Also noteworthy is the fact that more
than half of all American bloggers are
under the age of 30, while another third
are between 30 and 50. ( Just two per
cent of bloggers are over the age of 65.)
Originally known as weblogs, today’s
blogs have evolved significantly from
the first online diaries that appeared
on the Net. As a medium, blogs now
encompass everything from political
Lebanese TV and production industry
Nabil Kazan looks at how the Lebanese
broadcasters have adapted to the frequent
political disruptions.
advocacy and citizen
journalism to celebrity gossip and
social networking. From the sublime
to the ridiculous, blogs are frequently
intensely personal and yet, at the
same time, completely anonymous.
Like so much new technology, blogs
are also unconstrained by physical
geography. To communicate with
the wider world, all a blogger needs
is a PC, an Internet connection and
plenty of imagination. But while
earlier technological changes – like
the invention of, first, moveable type
and then the mechanical printing press
– mostly led to an increase in the size
of our shared public space, today’s
communication revolution is taking us in
the opposite direction. We increasingly
turn to those media – whether they are
print, broadcast or online – that most
closely reflect our own point of view.
In the region, that’s one reason why we
read blogs like Secret Dubai Diary and
watch shows like Arra’i wa Arra’i Akhar,
Al Jazeera’s hugely popular talk show.
Worldwide, the explosion of
information and entertainment options
is taking place simultaneous to the
decline of traditional media. Presented
with far more choices, consumers are
choosing those narrowly targeted sources
of information that mirror their own
prejudices. Consumers are also changing
channels because, quite simply, they
have lost trust in traditional media.
“Societies create structures of
authority for producing and distributing
knowledge, information and opinion,”
says Nicholas Lemann, dean of
the Columbia Graduate School of
Journalism. “These structures are always
waxing and waning, depending not
only on the invention of new means of
communication but also on political,
cultural and economic developments.”
As people have lost faith in
traditional structures of authority
– including government, business and
media – they have gravitated towards
alternatives. According to the Pew
survey, 95 per cent of US bloggers turn
to the Internet as a source of news,
while 47 per cent said they sometimes
follow the news as reported on other
blogs. Considering that few bloggers
have the time, resources or initiative
to actually report stories first-hand or
even fact-check their work, however,
it seems clear that the rise of so-called
citizen journalism will eventually
lead to some kind of backlash. In the
meantime, having a strong opinion
appears to trump reporting the facts.
If most bloggers tend to lead with
their hearts, other citizen journalists are
taking a much more straightforward
tack to the world’s front pages and
satellite news networks. “The best
original Internet journalism happens
more often by accident,” says Lemann,
“when smart and curious people with
access to means of communication are at
the scene of a sudden disaster. Any time
that big news happens unexpectedly, or
in remote and dangerous places, there
is more raw information available right
away on the Internet than through
established news organisations.”
Ordinary people using their cellphone cameras provided the first,
and frequently most gripping, images
of the London terrorist attacks, the
South Asian tsunami, Hurricane
Katrina and the recent bombing of
Lebanon. These witnesses to tragedy,
with no apparent agenda, were able
to accomplish something that would
have been impossible just a few years
ago: to share their experience, via
new technology and in nearly real
time, with the rest of the world.
This unique kind of communication
is both instant and instantly credible;
it is the ultimate word of mouth.
It’s not such a great stretch, then,
to link the marketing of Snakes on
a Plane to the reporting of realworld disasters. Both examples show
how the means of communication
have changed. More important, both
examples show how the meaning of
communication has changed, too.
Today, for all kinds of reasons, we
increasingly place our trust with people
like ourselves, who share our likes and
dislikes, our values and our prejudices.
Today, thanks to new technology, we are
able to share information with those same
peers, through text, image and speech,
in something approaching real time.
The challenge for communications
professionals is to engage with this
incredibly fragmented audience, which
is right now reading Secret Dubai
Diary on a cell phone while listening
to an iPod. How can we do that? By
engaging this new kind of audience in
a genuine dialogue, rather than simply
dictating the terms of discourse through
traditional means and traditional media.
In that sense, and despite the lightning
speed of technological change, what
we’ve got to do is just go back to basics.
We need to listen to what’s being said
out there in this strange new world.
We have to hear what’s being said,
and then respond in kind. In this age
of terror and technology, we have to
give the people what they really, truly
want. Thankfully, at the moment, that’s
fairly obvious: 500 great big snakes,
slithering down the aisle of a jumbo jet.
Sunil John is managing director
of ASDA’A Public Relations,
the exclusive affiliate of Edelman
he global focus
on Lebanon
during the past
five weeks has given a
tremendous boost to
broadcasting quality
and viewership of all Lebanese TV
stations. Namely those with multi
satellite coverage such as LBC Sat,
Future TV and New TV. Whilst they
may have lost some local advertising
income, it’s important to keep in mind
that ad spend during the summer
is usually low anyway. Let’s also
not forget the Pan-Arab Ramadan
campaigns and the industries involved
in the rebuilding of Lebanon that
will largely compensate this loss.
Meanwhile most of the cited
channels never stopped recruiting
talent, buying or producing new
programmes and enhancing
their corporate image.
In the first week of the war, most
film production projects were put
on hold. Some local TV productions
continued as normal, but those for
Saudi or GCC clients were cancelled
due to the closure of Beirut airport
(and for many other obvious reasons).
After it became clear the war was
to be a long one, many Lebanese
production companies temporarily
used existing facilities in Amman,
Dubai and Cairo. It was particularly
difficult to arrange for senior Lebanese
production teams to leave the country
during the 33 days of blockade. One
production company commissioned
a bus for 20 people who travelled
through Syria all the way to Amman
in a 25-hour long journey. The next
day they were shooting like normal
(we mean film shoots, of course).
Lebanese producers have a long
history of working in difficult
conditions. Despite wars, lack of
infrastructure and inflationary costs of
production, they developed a guerrilla
warfare approach to production
in which the whole world is their
studio. Flexibility and adaptability
became a Lebanese speciality.
Mobility and lightweight production
units meant that production
could be scheduled anywhere.
Let’s end on a true story:
Not so long ago, a Lebanese editor
travelled to Dubai carrying his
current projects on his hard drive.
You guessed right; he carried on
editing in his hotel room the next day!
Nabil Kazan is the director
of Dubai-based Telcast Mena.
Brandishing Brands
Lara Haidar takes a look
at the legal aspects of
ensuring brands have
a long life.
ll businesses operate using brands.
A brand name is a name that
has a personality. It is the brand
that defines the image of the product or
service that a company is offering. That is
why brands, or trade marks are one of the
most important elements in any business.
And that is why successful companies
spend a lot of money on branding, and
sometimes re-branding, every year.
Brand development or advertising
agencies work closely with companies to
create a brand that identifies with those
companies’ products or services. And
there is a right way and a wrong way
to create a brand. The whole purpose
of having a brand is having something
that is going to be a long-term tool
for the business; so companies need to
know that that tool is something they
can keep using into the future and also
that it is something they can properly
protect so that they can stop other people
using it as well. Agencies therefore
can advise their clients at the point of
brand creation, that there are ways of
protecting the brand and that is through
brand or trade mark registration.
Which brands should be protected?
If you look around at the various trade
marks that you come across in a day
(remember everyone who sells any
kind of product or service uses some
kind of trade mark), you will see that
sometimes they are words only eg. our
brand ‘therightslawyers’. A registration
for this means that no one else could use
the mark which includes or is similar
to the words ‘therightslawyers’. You’ll
see stylised versions of word marks, for
example the particular font in which
the words Coca-Cola are written on the
beverage can be registered, this protects
the actual way the words are depicted
and gives different protection than for
the words alone. There are also logos,
for example the McDonald’s ‘M’, the
Mercedes three-point star in a circle and
so on. The final alternative would be a
slogan, for example Nike’s ‘Just Do It’.
The next thing to figure out is where
your brand should be protected and a
good starting point is where you sell
or plan to sell your products/services.
What I usually advise clients is to think
about what their major brands will be
and in what countries in, say, eight to
12 months – that is what you should
seek to protect by trade marking now.
The reason for this is simply that the
trade mark process can take a while,
particularly if you are doing a number of
applications at once. On timing, even in
the fastest jurisdictions around the world
and even assuming there are no problems
as part of the application process, you
will be looking at an average of six
months as a minimum from the date
of application. Ultimately, it will come
down to a cost-benefits analysis. Where
do you want to spend your money?
Which goods & services?
So once you know which brands and
where, then you need to figure out what
for. The way trade marks work around the
world – including in the Middle East – is
that (almost) every Trade Marks Registry
is split into 45 different classes which list
every type of product or service you can
think of. Basically, whatever business
you are in will fall into one or other of
the classes. Remember though that you
will not get protection for everything
simply by submitting an application,
you need to be very specific about what
you want protection for. That’s why
you get different companies using what
looks like the same mark, but for very
different goods or services ‘POLO’ is
a car, a fashion brand and a sweet!
One useful exercise to undertake at
the time of brand creation, is brand
clearance. Basically,conducting a search
against the class of goods and services
against which a brand will be used to
determine what rights (if any) already
exist in relation to this brand in a specific
territory. One thing I often get told
by clients is that they already have the
name registered with the Economic
Department. It is important to know that
in many countries, including in the UAE
for example, there is no synchronisation
between the government bodies which
regulate the grant of trade licence and
approval of trade names (the Economic
Department and/or the Municipalities in
the UAE) and the Trade Mark Registry
in terms of clearing the trade names
against the Trade Marks Registry’s
database prior to granting approvals.
As a result, trade marks often compete
with company names as identifiers of the
origin of goods and services. A common
belief is that these signs confirm similar
rights to the holder or registrant. This
misconception and the different legal
or administrative regimes under which
these different types of registrations
operate have opened ground for much
confusion in relation to who owns
the actual right to use the name. As a
company in the process of setting up or
re-branding, one way of avoiding potential
trade name disputes and, possibly, a
costly re-branding exercise, is to run a
simple and often relatively inexpensive
brand or name clearance search first.
This would determine whether the
proposed trade name or trade mark is
available for use and, could potentially
save the company a lot of money.
The author is Lara Haidar
at therightslawyers
Creative Director
The pen is mightier than
the sword. And this
couldn’t be more apt than
when a creative director is
asked to critique a bunch
of ads. The first thought
that crosses the mind is
to use it like a proverbial
sword and hack those
hideous ads to pieces.
Granted, there’s a whole
lot of unmitigated rubbish
that is churned out on
a regular basis. But there
are few bright sparks that
bring redemption to
our industry.
For instance, the outstanding work for
Dubai Sports City done by Tonic.
The idea is big and simple: Dubai Sports City will
soon be the hub of international sport and will
bring the entire world of sports to our shores.
The result: sports centres all over the
world will become redundant.
The art direction is simply stunning.
It looks every bit international.
A great idea executed brilliantly.
While on the subject of great ideas, there’s one
particularly powerful ad done for drink driving by
Brandcom. The visual looks seemingly normal.
A nice shot of the side-view mirror of a car. You
look at it closely and reality hits you at 200 km/h
The reflection in the mirror shows a view that is
upside-down, as if your own car has flipped in an
accident. Thought-provoking. Intelligent. Simple.
It’s heartening to know that
there are still quite a few ads
that I like, which is not so
bad. This is precisely why
I decided to pay tribute to
the great work we as an
industry are beginning to
produce, rather than point
fingers at our weaknesses.
If all of us roll up our sleeves
and produce better work,
no global big-shot from a
big network will ever say
disparaging things about the
standard of advertising here.
3 4
Print ads aside, there’s an ambient media piece
(by Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai) for La Vache Qui
Rit (The Laughing Cow) that I really liked. A real
hopscotch grid was drawn on the ground at a
leading park in town and the pebble was replaced
with a huge rock. The message was simple:
La Vache Qui Rit with vitamins to make kids
stronger. The idea was big, just like the rock.
Now to the Lowe self ad. It’s not every day that
you see an ad that’s so beautifully crafted. The
attention to detail is spellbinding. The headline
is provocative enough to raise eyebrows, as
well as raise your interest in the body copy. You
are drawn into the copy, which is well-written.
It is an intelligent ad which urges people to change
the way they think and be disruptive. It coaxes
them into thinking differently and shows them how
they will be rewarded if they change. And how
does it do it? Not by telling a story set in Europe
or America, but by telling them a story that’s set in
our own Arabia. If some visionary maverick could
change people’s preferences several centuries
ago (1341 years to be precise), why can’t we do
it in an evolved, ever-changing UAE today?
All one can hope is that the story in the ad had
better be true.
Quarterly monitor
The Pan Arab Research Center
(PARC), in association with
Advocate, provides an insight
into the regional media spend
Spend in ‘000s ($)
Total Media level
† Asian media in the Arab World. Advertising frequency is a measure of the number of advertising transactions.
Advertising space is measured in standard equivalent space units. One unit is equal to one 30-second TV,
radio or video commercial, a half-page newspaper advertisement, a full-page magazine advertisement.
Data Watch is produced with the co-operation of the Pan Arab Research Center, a member of market research
organisation Gallup International.
Pan Arab
Total Media level

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