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December 20, 2020

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A M OT I VAT E P U B L I C AT I O N

#286

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TOP 10 DIGITAL & SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

TOP 20 INTEGRATED CAMPAIGNS

TOP 10 PITCHES TOP 20 FILM CAMPAIGNS

TOP 10 MEDIA MILESTONES

THE ANNUAL

TOP 10 MOVERS AND SHAKERS


December 20, 2020

INTRODUCTION

CONTENTS

W

4 REVIEW OF THE YEAR

ell, thank goodness that’s over. Time both sped up and stood still in 2020. (By ‘2020’ I mainly mean the coronavirus bits; January and February were part of another era altogether.) The days under lockdown seemed to drag, as we were stuck in the same home, with the same people – or lack of people – for an eternity. But when we look back at what we had done, without the mental time-stamps of meeting people, doing things and going places, last month seemed as close as yesterday. Now we are returning to normal, or – to use a phrase that’s become as familiar as a ticking clock – ‘the new normal’. In parts of the Middle East, people are returning to offices and events are even coming back, albeit with social distancing measures in place. We are lucky here to have a less pernicious flu season than that which has seen countries in Europe and further afield go back into lockdown. Even where the virus is still rampant, the administration of vaccines has provided a ray of light at the end of a grim tunnel. Nothing will ever be the same. But nothing ever is. Covid-19 has brought about many changes as a direct reaction to its primary health and secondary economic effects, and it has also accelerated much digital transformation. In July, Publicis Groupe media agency Zenith predicted that for the first time digital advertising would account for more than half of global adspend in 2020. It had previously forecast this milestone would arrive in 2021. People spent a lot more time in front of screens, and as an industry we have reacted to that, putting more and better (or at least that’s generally the plan) marketing in front of everyone staring at their computers, phones and tablets. Will this mean the world has become more hooked on digital? Or will it mean we have a new appreciation for real-life interactions? There can be few among us who aren’t looking forward to meeting people without having to wear a mask, and to leaving our homes without fear of contagion. This will always be The Year of Covid. And most of us will be grateful when it’s gone. For now, we can look back and reflect on it with a little more perspective. See you all next year.

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8 TOP 10 NEWS STORIES 9 TOP 10 MEDIA MILESTONES 10 TOP 10 PITCHES 12 THE YEAR IN ANGHAMI 14 TOP 20 FILM CAMPAIGNS 16 TOP 1O DIGITAL & SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS 18 TOP 20 INTEGRATED & ACTIVATION CAMPAIGNS 22 TOP 10 MOVERS & SHAKERS 24 MARKETING SOCIETY WINNERS 28 TOP 10 YOUTUBE VIDEOS 30 THE YEAR IN TWITTER 32 THE YEAR IN SEARCH 33 WARC PREDICTIONS

AUSTYN ALLISON

EDITOR, CAMPAIGN MIDDLE EAST

34 TOP 10 SPIN

Motivate Publishing Group Head Office: 34th Floor, Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 427 3000, Email: motivate@motivate.ae Dubai Media City: Motivate Publishing FZ LLC, Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: Motivate Advertising, Marketing & Publishing, PO Box 43072, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, Email: motivate-adh@motivate.ae London: Motivate Publishing Ltd, Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER. motivateuk@motivate.ae www.motivatemedia.com EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Managing Partner and Group Editor Ian Fairservice Editor Austyn Allison Editorial Intern Sofia Serrano DESIGN Art Director Sheila Deocareza Junior Designer Thokchom Remy ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Tel: +971 4 427 3000 Chief Commercial Officer Anthony Milne Group Sales Manager Nadeem Ahmed Quraishi (+971 50 6453365) Group Marketing Manager Anusha Azees PRODUCTION General Manager S. Sunil Kumar Assistant Production Manager Binu Purandaran HAYMARKET MEDIA GROUP Chairman Kevin Costello Managing Director Jane Macken The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the readers’ particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review. Campaign Middle East includes material reproduced from the UK Edition (and other editions) of Campaign, which is the copyright of Haymarket. Campaign is a trademark of Haymarket and is used under licence. The views and opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily those of Haymarket Magazines Limited or those of its contributors.

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December 20, 2020

THE YEAR IN REVIEW Coronavirus dominated the advertising and communications industry as much as any other sector in 2020. Many changes brought about by the pandemic are here to stay, writes Austyn Allison


December 20, 2020

O

n the whole, 2020 was an annus horribilis, an absolute stinker of a year. It may not have killed off as many of our favourite celebrities as 2019 did, but – from the coronavirus pandemic to police brutality to Trump’s destructive megalomania reaching new heights – it plumbed new depths for global crappiness. It also brought about a lot of change. Much of it was bad. Some of it was good. Some of it is still to be decided. ‘The new normal’ is a catchphrase that has haunted the lips of marketers since long before Covid-19 emerged. But it’s taken on a whole new meaning. In the past 12 months we have changed the way we live, the way we work, the way we interact and more. When all this is ‘over’, whatever that means, more will return to the way it was than some of us would like or expect. But lots will stay changed. All the talk about remote working, flexible offices and virtual meetings will no longer be hypothetical, but is now a real issue that needs to be addressed, tackled, negotiated, discussed and actioned. There will never be consensus, of course, and already we see the frogmarch-back-to-the-office factions lining up against the digital-nomad-daydream factions. But now the conversation about work-from-home is based on experience not hypothesis. We’ve been reading for a few years about how millennials and Generation Z are prepared to change jobs in return for reduced pay but the option to work remotely, particularly in those data- and tech-led professions where it’s a jobseeker’s market. But now the rest of us can join in. While we have already seen a return to the office in the Middle East, it’s generally under more relaxed terms than the nine-to-five (plus-plus) that those of us who can carry our work around on laptops were used to before. Covid-19 has pushed digital transformation at all levels. The way we work, communicate and live has become more digital. Just look at how we now scan QR codes to call up the menu in restaurants. Messaging has evolved over the year, always against the backdrop of the coronavirus, and even when marketers haven’t mentioned the health crisis. Although there will always be some brands who are seen to capitalise on a catastrophe, by and large the lack of opportunism was reassuring. Instead, we saw a lot of empathetic messaging, positive and inclusive cheerleading and moral support. One of the big debates after the initial lockdown in March was when to change gears. When was it OK to shift from in-it-together and safety-is-our-numberone-priority communications to actually starting to sell again? Even influencers drew praise for dropping their idealistic, aspirational masks and daring to show some relatable human frailty as they struggled along with the rest of us to cope with 2020. Just like people in a crisis, businesses reacted in different ways. Some did the right thing, some did the wrong thing. Some stuck to their guns while others changed how they reacted according to the situation on any given day. For long into the future, many brands will be judged on how they acted over the course of this last year. With conversation, empathy and the personal touch making marketers seem more human, consumers have been finding out who their friends are, and who they will want to hang out with in the future. This will also affect talent acquisition, as prospective hires factor into their next move how companies treated their staff when the going got tough. There are more people out of work now than before the crisis, but as the economy picks up again digital talent in particular will be even more in-demand than we might have predicted this time

‘‘AS MARKETERS DIALLED DOWN THEIR SPEND – THROUGH PANIC, CAUTION OR NECESSITY – THEIR AGENCY PARTNERS SUFFERED ALONG WITH THEM. ”

last year, and that talent will want to work for the good guys. Aside from the niches – such as digital, data, tech, medical, internet-of-things, and so on – where accelerated demand has driven accelerated growth, we are in a global financial slump like nothing before. Since the 2008 global economic crisis, the media, marketing and communications industry has been sharing the pain of its clients. As marketers dialled down their spend – through panic, caution or necessity – their agency partners suffered along with them. This has led to job losses, takeovers, downsizing and more. Some big agencies have merged. In the wake of 2019 mergers – Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson became Wunderman Thompson; VML

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and Y&R became VMLY&R – this year saw more arranged marriages within WPP. Shopper marketing agency Geometry is to be folded in under VMLY&R to form VMLY&R Commerce. And AKQA is merging with Grey. Big names have left their posts abroad and at home. Mindshare’s global boss Nick Emery took a video call in the loo and was fired. Ajit Varghese quit as global president of Wavemaker. Interpublic Group of Companies CEO Philip Roth is stepping down to be replaced by Philippe Krakowsky. There have been some big changes at the very top. In the region, notable departures (in roughly chronological order) include: Bechara Mouzannar at Publicis Communications; Adil Khan at Saatchi & Saatchi; Ramsey Naja and Philippa Clayre at Wunderman Thompson; Nadim Samara, Eric Mirabel and Layal Takieddine at OMG; Kamal Dimachkie at Publicis Communications; and Mazen Hayek at MBC. 2020 has been tough. The largest change within the media industry came when MBC, the region’s biggest broadcaster and a regional playmaker, announced it was taking its media sales in-house. This means it is ending its long-standing agreement with Choueiri Group, a partnership that has been one of the backbones of the regional media market. MBC is building a new headquarters in Riyadh, which it will move to within the next few years. The shift from the region’s biggest TV budgets flowing through a Lebanese-run company based in Dubai to a Saudi-owned organisation based in the kingdom is likely to have long-running cultural as well as business implications for the industry. After that announcement was made in September, news from MBC has been coming thick and fast. It has announced leadership of MBC Media Solutions (MMS), its new sales unit. MMS will be run by CEO Ahmed Al Sahhaf, previously general manager of consumer marketing communication at national telco STC. The chief operating officer is Nadim Samara, from OMG. Marketing will be headed by Samara’s former colleague Layal Takiedine. In November, MBC announced a deal with Rotana Media Group, once seen as its main rival, to bring that broadcaster’s


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December 20, 2020

channels and content to the Shahid VIP videostreaming service. As this issue of Campaign was going to press, MBC announced that Sam Barnett, who left the company a year ago, would be returning to his CEO role. Marc Antoine d’Halluin, who had been in that post since Barnett left, will now be an advisor to the board. Although MBC and Choueiri Group grew and shaped the industry together, MBC is far from the only media owner Choueiri Group represents. It has a wide portfolio across all channels, and in December it announced the renewal of its contract with Dubai Media Incorporated, the UAE-based group behind seven television stations, three radio stations, two newspapers and several digital properties. Choueiri’s Digital Media Services remains the strongest regionally headquartered force in online media. On August 4, a massive blast in Beirut’s port killed more than 200 people, injured more than 6,000 and caused billions of dollars of property damage. Many advertising agencies were among the offices devastated by the explosion, and their staff among the casualties. The whole region rallied in support but it will be some time before Lebanon fully recovers. Meanwhile, neighbouring Israel signed a US-brokered treaty normalising ties with the UAE and Bahrain. Israeli agencies have started to forge partnerships and set up shop in Dubai, and that collaboration is likely to accelerate in 2021. The Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity was first postponed and then cancelled this year, as was its older and larger sibling the Cannes Lions. The events were in good company, though, as live festivals, conferences and awards shows around the world were scuppered by coronavirus. Expo 2020 Dubai was pushed to 2021, and so was the Tokyo Olympics. However, you can’t keep a good show down, and Lynx made a comeback online, hosting Lynx Live in October and giving the region’s creative community its fix of inspiration. In December, Dubai’s annual Gitex event ran a socially distanced edition that included the Marketing Mania show. And later in the same month, we at Campaign broadcast our Marcomms360 – Predictions 2021 event online. A stellar line-up of speakers endeavoured to forecast what next year holds in store. We, like many others, have spent the year developing our webinar skills to bring quality content to people in a safe way. We also launched our podcast series, On the Record with Campaign Middle East, in partnership with Snap. You can find it streaming on Anghami. When lockdown was imposed in March, everyone shifted the way they do business, and Campaign was no exception. We began posting more online to keep the industry informed in real-time, and reduced our frequency from every two weeks to once a month. We also made our magazine available online for free through Issuu, in line with our stablemates at Motivate Media Group. This made sense as the government placed limits on print distribution to help stop the spread of the virus. Our magazine never went away and is still a strong part of our brand, but we are staying monthly for the time being, and continuing to build our digital presence. We even joined Instagram. Are you following us yet? Social platforms got a massive boost this year, as people looked for ways to keep in touch with friends and family they couldn’t physically meet. The focus of content creators often shifted from idealised and aspirational to more rough-edged and honest. Nowhere was this more pronounced than on the TikTok platform, which kept Generation Z and the rest of us entertained with home-produced videos. Parent company ByteDance launched its TikTok for Business division to help marketers tap into a growing audience, and other platforms also doubled down on building up their commercial offerings for brands.

‘‘SOCIAL PLATFORMS GOT A MASSIVE BOOST THIS YEAR, AS PEOPLE LOOKED FOR WAYS TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY THEY COULDN’T PHYSICALLY MEET.”

According to marketing intelligence service WARC’s latest data, online video was the only ad format to see growth this year. Even online advertising saw a -0.3 per cent decline, the first time it has not grown in 20 years. All this negativity – at home, abroad, at work, out of work, in our personal and professional lives – has taken a toll on everyone, and the advertising industry can be particularly prone to mental anguish. We have a lot of talented creative people working extraordinarily hard under massive commercial pressure. That’s a recipe for stress, burnout and worse. Agencies, industry bodies and individuals have been focusing more on mental health this year than in the past, and that can only be a good thing. At Campaign we published brave articles by MullenLowe’s Matt Butterworth and freelance creative Shehzad Yunus, among others, and plan to carry on looking at the invisible pressures facing our friends, families and colleagues. We are keen to help dismantle the taboos surrounding mental health, and to provide a voice to those doing good work in the field. We also continue to champion women in the industry, by providing a voice to the many talented women rising through the ranks, driving the industry forward and leading from within and from the top. We have seen our share of ‘manels’, panels consisting only of men (and have been guilty ourselves), but we continue to encourage and amplify female voices. In our latest list of Marketing Game Changers, half the names were women. The majority of our Faces to Watch, the rising stars within agencies and (from this year) client-side marketing departments, are female too. This is promising for the future, and long may it continue. Across the world, vaccines are being administered. It is our industry that must take on the spectres of fake news and scepticism of science to persuade people to get involved, to wear masks and do the right thing to end the reign of the coronavirus. Messaging and communications have never been more important from an existential point of view. As the world heals, it will evolve to a new ‘new normal’, which will be followed no doubt by a new-new new normal. And so on. The industry has challenges ahead, no doubt. But it will rise to them, whether it does that from the office or from home or from a tropical beach. And Campaign will be here to chronicle its successes.


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On 3 April, the Cannes Lions was cancelled because of the coronavirus, and five days later Dubai Lynx followed suit. Lynx had initially been postponed, from its scheduled dates in March, until October. It still ran a three-day streamed event, Lynx Live. The 2021 awards will be announced next year.

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Houbara Communications launched in Dubai in February, born of CEO Loretta Ahmed’s acquisition of Grayling Dubai from its parent company Huntsworth in 2019.

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In March, independent communications consultancy, Leap Communications opened its doors in the UAE. Managing director Kareem Farid said he will be focusing on the mental wellbeing of his team. In May, the region faced a new style of Ramadan. The Holy Month is traditionally a time to get together with family and friends, but this year it was held under lockdown and amid social distancing rules. Brands from Pepsi to Omantel were quick to celebrate new ways of coming together while staying apart.

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On 19 July a rocket containing the UAE’s Hope probe took off for Mars. From celebrating the world’s first countdown in Arabic to sending Emirati influencer Khaled Al Amiri to scour Dubai airport for Flight UAE001 to Mars, brands celebrated the milestone with creative executions.

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Campaign officially launched its podcast series, On The Record with Campaign Middle East, in association with camera platform Snap. It is presented by Campaign’s editor, Austyn Allison, and hosted on local music streaming site Anghami.

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In the run-up to the UAE’s 50th anniversary, Campaign’s parent company, Motivate Media Group, announced an initiative to provide $1m in free advertising and marketing support to homegrown UAE SMEs.

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In November, agency holding group WPP announced two internal mergers. Seven-year-old Geometry is to be folded into a new company under VMLY&R, VMLY&R Commerce. Grey, the 103-year-old creative agency, will 4

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NEWS STORIES

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merge with digital shop AKQA to form AKQA Group.

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Last month streaming platform Spotify launched Sawtik, an initiative to celebrate and amplify the voices of emerging unsigned female artists in MENA, following research that unveiled their deepening underrepresentation in the region’s music scene.

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In December, the Dubai World Trade Centre hosted its technology and business conference Gitex, which was comprised of five shows including Marketing Mania. It was widely seen as a signal to the world that international-scale live events are returning after a year when many had been cancelled because of coronavirus.


December 20, 2020

TOP 1

MBC GOES IT ALONE In September MBC Group, the biggest media company in the region, announced it would be launching an in-house ad-sales unit and ending its long-running partnership with Choueiri Group. MBC has also announced a partnership to stream content from Rotana Media Group, long seen as a regional rival.

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NATIONAL MEDIA COUNCIL ORDERS PAUSE IN PRINT DISTRIBUTION In March, as the UAE prepared to go into lockdown, the National Media Council, the body that governs the country’s media, announced a temporary pause in the distribution of magazines. Regular subscribers could still receive their copies, though, as could large outlets in shopping centres. The move placed particular emphasis on printed material in public places. Cinemas were also closed during lockdown.

OSN LAUNCHES STREAMING SERVICE WITH NEW BRANDING In April, OSN unveiled its new streaming service, with new branding, replacing its Wavo platform. It also added Disney + Originals content in an exclusive deal, adding to its content licensed from HBO.

BRANDS TO CUT BILLIONS FROM GLOBAL ADSPEND In its latest predictions, data service WARC foresaw a drop of $63bn, or 10.2 per cent compared with 2019. The drop, due to worldwide lockdowns under Covid-19, hit traditional media harder than online.

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TIKTOK INTRODUCES TIKTOK FOR BUSINESS As remaining ad spend moved to digital, platforms had a busy year offering more and more solutions to brands. One of the notable moves in this area was the introduction by relative newcome TikTok to launch TikTok for Business, created to help marketers tap into the platform’s more-than 500 million users.

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UNSTEREOTYPE ALLIANCE LAUNCHES REGIONAL ARM Convened by UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, the Unstereotype Alliance launched its UAE National Chapter with a coalition of partners committed to tackling harmful stereotypes of women and men in media and advertising. The UAE National Chapter will focus its work on broadening the representation of women and men in non-traditional roles.

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FUN ASIA NETWORK TAKES OVER SHOCK ME FREQUENCIES US-headquartered Fun Asia Network, which acquired 106.2 Big FM from Zee Network in January this year, has also added two more popular frequencies – 107.1 and 97.8 – to its portfolio. The FM stations, previously operated by Shock Middle East, have been rebranded as Luv and Beat, and will be headed by well-known radio veteran Digby Taylor.

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MEDIA MILESTONES 6

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CHOUEIRI RENEWS WITH DMI In December, Choueiri announced it was renewing its contract with Dubai Media Incorporated. It also represents numerous other media groups, and its digital advertising arm, DMS, is an industry leader.

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P&G HIKES ADSPEND In a rare bit of advertising optimism, FMCG giant Procter & Gamble raised its annual advertising expense by $575m, or 8.5 per cent, to $7.33bn in the year to June 2020, according to its annual report. It was the first annual increase since 2016 and came despite the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

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KFC STARTS USING BLOCKCHAIN FOR DIGITAL MEDIA BUYS Working with its media agency Hearts & Science, KFC has implemented an innovative blockchain platform for its digital advertising and media buying. The brand hopes its decentralised, shared-ledger approach will empower KFC with greater and more efficient digital ad transparency to create trust in the advertising supply chain. 9


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WAVEMAKER WINS PERFETTI VAN MELLE At the start of the year, Perfetti Van Melle Middle East appointed Wavemaker as its media agency of record, to manage strategic communication planning, offline and digital media planning and buying for its complete portfolio of brands, including Mentos, Chupa Chups, Smint, Fruitella and Alpenliebe.

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AND US WINS SHAHID In early December, following a multi-agency pitch, MBC Group appointed Dubai-based independent And Us Dubai as its creative agency of record for the streaming video-ondemand platform Shahid VIP, overseeing its strategic planning, marketing communications, design and branding. The win was the third big account And Us bagged in 2020, following successful agency-of-record pitches for Bahraini Telecoms giant Batelco and Hardee’s across MENA.

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NETIZENCY WINS TIKTOK FOR BUSINESS After working with TikTok for Business for a virtual launch event, local digital shop Netizency announced it had won the TikTok For Business MENAT assignment. Netizency will be responsible for the social and digital content, as well as event branding for TikTok for Business in MENAT.

CHEIL MENA WINS VW In February ad agency Cheil MENA was named creative agency for Volkswagen Middle East. The win came after an extensive three-month pitch process, which included four other agencies also based in Dubai.

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CARAT WINS MERAAS Carat MENA has been awarded the media responsibilities for Meraas, the Dubai-based holding company managing a diverse portfolio across real estate, dining, leisure, hospitality and healthcare.

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HAVAS WINS COTY Coty, one of the biggest beauty players in the world, has awarded its social media business to Havas Middle East. The agency will be the social media agency of record, responsible for social media strategy, creative, content creation and community management for the consumer beauty brands of Coty Middle East: Bourjois, Max Factor and Rimmel.

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HORIZON FCB & BPN WIN DHL EXPRESS Following a regional pitch that extended over a period of four months, courier firm DHL appointed Horizon FCB and the creative agency’s sister company BPN to manage its creative and media business for the MENA region, with focus on the GCC, Egypt and Morocco.

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SCIENCE & SUNSHINE WINS VIRGIN MOBILE Virgin Mobile UAE in January selected Dubai-based independent creative shop Science & Sunshine to handle creative duties for the digital mobile service, following a competitive pitch involving several agencies.

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CARAT WINS KRAFT HEINZ IN MENA The Kraft Heinz Company announced that following an intensive competitive review, it has chosen two agencies to support its media planning and buying around the world. Four media agencies participated in this eight-month global review. It will use Starcom in the US, and Dentsu’s Carat in other markets including MENA.

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NOMADS WINS PEPSICO Nomads has been awarded a two-year digital retainer contract with food and drink company PepsiCo and will be handling all strategic and creative development of PepsiCo’s Corporate digital and social media presence.


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For enquiries, please contact +971 4 427 3040 or create@motivate.ae


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December 20, 2020

THE YEAR IN

ANGHAMI

In 2020 the regional audio-streaming platform saw 24 million streams of branded content, and an average of 20 minutes per user spent on branded content

TOP THREE BRANDED SONGS (BASED ON STREAMS) 1 Sonet El Hayah (feat. Hussain Al Jassmi) 2 Sting Ya King 3 Enta El Nos5a El Aslya Enta Estsna2i (feat. Bahaa Soltan & Mahmoud El Esseily) TOP MOODS AND MOMENTS 1 Morning 2 Romance 3 Workout 4 Evening 5 Chilling 6 Driving 7 Sad 8 Feeling Good 9 Sleep 10 Focus


PARTNER CONTENT

December 20, 2020

Adtech’s foundations are breaking A

fter years of unrestrained growth and little liability, the adtech industry is being confronted with the consequences of its decisions. Between talks of a cookie-less future and the implications of data privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA and beyond), the cracks in the ecosystem are becoming increasingly obvious. My career in media, publishing and adtech, has given me a first-hand view of the exponential growth of our industry and how the complexity of adtech resulted in infinite revenue streams and subsequent misconduct, as companies raced ahead to win. With growing concerns about data privacy, cookies, measurement, fraud, and antitrust issues surrounding adtech, one thing is clear: adtech has grown too big for its own good. Misconduct is hard to understand or track and, to find the best way forward, we as a collective industry need to look inwards and candidly explore how we got here in the first place.

ADTECH, THE BEGINNING

For a proper diagnosis, let’s go back to when advertising relied on exchange or barter. Websites sold ad space, and advertisers bought ad placements – a model that lasted until ad networks became mediators between advertisers and publishers. Aggregated ad inventory from the web went on sale, enhancing the opportunity for additional ad networks to start up. With increasing competition, the challenges for both buyers and sellers in understanding the various placement of ads and their placers also soared. With the exception of a few premium publisher portfolios, most publishers eventually found it difficult to maintain brand identity, whereas marketers struggled to track their ads and safeguard their brand image. While the process was complicated, everything else remained quite simple, when programmatic advertising entered the market.

ENTER PROGRAMMATIC

By now, the entire scope of the adtech industry had changed, with ad-buying undergoing automation through auctioning. With limited inventory available for sale in real time, mass competition kicked in. What programmatic advertising did to the industry is very similar to what online classifieds websites did to newspaper classifieds. It was beneficial in many ways, making buying and selling more efficient, while

measuring real-time effects, but the downside of automation resulted in decreased productivity, and the industry-wide loss of the decision-making process. Prior to this technological advancement, the entire system embraced transparency, a rationality lost due to automation, in terms of ad placements. It not only increased competition, but placed the burden of competition on software engineers, to deliver the best possible outcomes. Despite the negative impact, programmatic advertising had truly arrived. Success could be measured quickly, the availability of ad spots increased, and that too, for a wider audience base. The surge in vendors boosting online auctions to buy inventory and sell ads resulted in another obstacle – attributing the conversion rate of audiences.

THE ADTECH LAYERS

With so many players buying and selling ads from the same brands to the same customers, determining who made a better purchase became confusing. Addressing the challenge of attribution, ad agencies introduced the “last-touch attribution” model as web analytics, giving sale credit to the last touchpoint of the relevant campaign. Although aimed at simplifying the process, this model made vendors compete even more desperately to win that credit and impression. Judgements or targets no longer mattered, as advertisers focused on delivering volume to increase probability of conversion. This led to biased consumer insights, linking up everything together with causation, fallacious optimisation, redundant budgets for advertisements and a clumsy experience for audiences. To cover up this mess, additional metrics (linear and last-click attribution, first interaction, etc.) were created as adtech became ever more entangled and additional metrics inflated expenses. Today, a third of our industry is not attributed. This highlights how one of the most convoluted systems, which increases competition every single day hides behind our huge high-tech industry, and it needs to end now. Such metrics will not work unless we come up with something robust to reduce complexity, bring transparency and build everything back up from scratch, all while maintaining the prime necessity of consumer privacy.

THE RENAISSANCE

Size makes any industry difficult to regulate, and with the adtech building not cemented properly, a void is created for principles guiding us. Today, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic calls for consolidation. We must replace old metrics while infusing laws to safeguard ethics, which do not carry loopholes. A like-minded team capable of addressing fundamental issues like scamming with real-time bidding, attribution, laundering impressions, etc., would be needed to ensure transparency and consumer privacy. Small yet dedicated task forces who can deliver intelligent solutions are needed, as opposed to industry mammoths complicating the process. An agile and ethical approach is the key to understanding and solving the industry’s issues. By taking baby steps to decode our problems, we can ensure our survival. Otherwise, browsers will continue to control the operation of adtech.

“Small yet dedicated task forces who can deliver intelligent solutions are needed, as opposed to industry mammoths complicating the process. An agile and ethical approach is the key.” By Imad Sarrouf, head of publishers, ad technology, DMS (a member of Choueiri Group)

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HONDA #StayHome Agency: Memac Ogilvy Dubai Director: Amin Soltani

NISSAN Ode to Empty Roads Agency: TBWA/Raad

OMANTEL Ramadan Agency: Leo Burnett Production house: 35Film

PAMPERS Hope is Born Agency: Leo Burnett Director: Jad Rahme Production house: 1505 Studio

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BOSE Dear Neighbour Agency: Wunderman Thompson Dubai Director: Thiago Prestes Production house: Asteroide

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EMARAT Expect the Expected Agency: House of Comms Director: Ali Mostafa

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IKEA Kings & Queens Agency: Memac Ogilvy Dubai Director: Virgil Ferragut

HOME CENTRE A Dad’s Job Agency: FP7 McCann Director: Tahaab Rais Production house: Dejavu

ARWA DELIGHT BBQ Agency: And Us Production house: Good People Cairo

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THE EMIRATES NATION BRAND Flight UAE001 Probe to Mars Creative: Public Diplomacy Office Production: Socialeyez

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STC Twist of Fate Agency: J. Walter Thompson KSA

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SPOTIFY Listening is Everything Agency: FP7 McCann

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DELIVEROO On-Time Tastes Better Agency: And Us Production house: Good People Cairo

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ETISALAT The Sound of Togetherness Agency: Impact BBDO Abu Dhabi Director: Luis Aguer

Production house: Big Kahuna Films PANADOL COLD & FLU The Naughty Parrot Agency: Wunderman MENA Directors: Cassio Braga and Carlos Kulpa

DAKAR 2020 Official Teaser Agency: Delphys ME

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KITKAT Even Technology Needs a Break Agency: Publicis Dubai

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AL MOSAFER Stories of Mecca Agency: FP7 Riyadh Director: Tahaab Rais Production house: Dejavu

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MAKE UP FOREVER Rouge Artist Directors: Seth Wright and James Hulbert Production house: Lightblue Media

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LG Wear Love More Agency: HSAd Director: Rory McLoughlin Production house: Boomtown Productions

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DIGITAL & SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS

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NESCAFE Stay Close From Far Agencies: Zenith and Publicis ME To celebrate how we #StayCloseFromFar, Zenith & Publicis Middle East transformed @nescafearabia’s Instagram grid into a building, made up of different balconies showcasing stories of connections. They called on people to submit their own stories, and used those to add to the ever-growing montage.

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BURGER KING Pay Cut Whopper Agency: Wunderman Thompson Burger King UAE offered people discounts that match their pay cut percentage with the Pay Cut Whopper campaign. The well-timed campaign, created by Wunderman Thompson Dubai, promoted the burger chain’s new mobile app by providing customers this option on all homedelivery orders for the duration of their workplace pay cuts.

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ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA @wordsmithalisa Dubai-based content creator and Instapoet Alisha Patel (@wordsmithalisha) was part of a maiden global social media collaboration with luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna, which sought to draw poetry into mainstream content marketing. The partnership came about as Ermenegildo Zegna believed that during Covid-19 a collaboration to create something meaningful and inspiring, with a positive message, was important. Patel said she was drawn to the work by the fact that a luxury menswear behemoth was wildly enthusiastic about the power of empathetic content to embrace change and help break stereotypes around masculinity.

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COTY Snapchat AR lenses Beauty brand Coty knows that beauty sales in-store depend on visibility and access to tester products, which a beauty assistant often explains and promotes. However, testers are no longer allowed

in-store, in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus. Coty worked with camera app Snapchat to find a solution centred around augmented reality (AR). They developed 17 lenses for Coty’s Bourjois, Max Factor and Rimmel to allow shoppers to try on lipstick and foundation virtually.

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KFC Anything But Ordinary Agency: Memac Ogilvy & Mather UAE KFC Middle East launched its Kentucky Burger in an ‘Anything But Ordinary’ way. It took advertising a step further to where no one has advertised before, in Spotify Premium. Partnering with three big artists in the regionb – Flipperachi, Moh Flow and Shébani – KFC gave its fans and listeners the complete feel-good experience. It turned the no-ads platform into its media space. While fans of the artists enjoyed listening to their music on the premium service with no interruptions, they also noticed their artists sharing imagery of themselves with burgers through their cover photos, bios, profile pictures and events.


December 20, 2020

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TIKTOK FOR BUSINESS Open Day at the Hive Agency: Netizency Following the trend of virtual events during the pandemic, TikTok for Business launched by gathering an online community for an Open Day at the TikTok Hive – a virtual conference centre. When guests logged in, an enthusiastic man in a unicorn onesie welcomed them to the platform before leading them to an interactive Reception, the “homepage for the day”. In the Reception – a virtual hall adorned with cushions, virtual personas and TikTok videos – visitors had access to different spaces including the Auditorium, the Directory Hall, the Exhibition Hall, the Lounge and the Resource Centre. They could also download a virtual goody bag of wallpapers, PDF brochures, graphics and other conference-style freebies.

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BUGLES Crunch Time Agency: Socialize Socialize created a TikTok-first hero video packed with deep-fried memes, random visuals that changed every second and a new dance move set to infectious music. TikTok is a new platform for the brand but made complete sense for this campaign as it is massively popular with the Gen Z audience in the region.

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CLOROX Workouts Challenge Agency: Horizon FCB Binge eating, binge watching and binge sleeping? Sounds like your lockdown? Sounds like everybody’s lockdown. And what’s better exercise for an intense cleaning session? Introducing the Clorox Workouts Challenge live on TikTok, where Horizon FCB combined the disinfecting power of Clorox with a workout routine that’ll bring a smile to your face, keep your body active and make your home sparkle. Working with influencers living in the Middle East, Clorox got everyone moving, mopping and disinfecting.

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SHAHID X SPOTIFY An Ad For the Last Bad Ad You’ll Ever See Agency: Socialize If you can’t beat them, join them. With more and more consumers leaning towards ad-free on-demand entertainment, video streaming platform Shahid and music streaming giant Spotify created an annoying ad to promote their ultimate ad-free entertainment bundle, allowing subscribers of Shahid VIP to receive six months of free Spotify Premium subscription. Spotify and Shahid, along with their agency Socialize, launched their bundle by creating what they mean to destroy. Socialize produced the most annoying ad ever, combining all of the advertising tropes that we as consumers have grown to despise, all under the promise that it would be the last bad ad we ever have to see, provided that we opt in for this new bundle.

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RAKBANK RakFoodie Technology partner: InMobi Tapping into the burgeoning food culture in the UAE, Rakbank launched its own foodie platform, Rakfoodie, which offered discounts at thousands of restaurants. But, being a late entrant in a cluttered market, it needed to find a new way to stand out and outsmart the competition. Rakbank built its strategy around FOodies, LOcations and MObile (FOLOMO) and built a data hub with InMobi to target users who were banking with the competition.

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MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM GLOBAL INITIATIVES World’s tallest donation box Agency: MullenLowe MENA This initiative put the iconic skyscraper’s 1.2 million lights up for sale to raise funds and provide meals for coronavirus-hit communities during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

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KFC Napkinized Agency: TBWA/Raad In March, to celebrate the freedom that comes with eating with your hands – and to emphasise that eating at KFC is always a fun and super-casual experience, KFC turned its menus, placemats, food bags, posters, flyers and even its cashier receipts into tissue napkins of different shapes and sizes. That was before lockdown, of course. By August the brand had put its ‘finger-lickin’’ slogan on hold due to Covid-19 fears.

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VW MIDDLE EAST Kinetic Agency: Crisp Productions Volkswagen Middle East partnered with long-term UAE-based artist Maddy Butcher to create an artistic take on the new Volkswagen Brand. Butcher produced an energetic mural entitled Kinetic over three days. Then sections were cut away and made into 50 standalone artworks.

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MASTERCARD Astronomical Sales Agency: FP7 McCann Dubai Leveraging a rare solar eclipse, prices on shopping site Noon were diminished with the sun. Since the eclipse reached 97 per cent, Mastercard holders also received 97 per cent off an array of pre-selected products. But only for the brief window of almost-total coverage. Once the sun started revealing itself again, so the prices increased as well, until the eclipse and the sale were over.

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MCDONALD’S Iftar Sand Clock Agency: Leo Burnett McDonald’s Saudi Arabia created a novel new way to advertise its products during Ramadan without being disrespectful. It turned outdoor McDonald’s Drive-Thru screens into Ramadan Iftar Sand Clocks. Falling grains of sand slowly reveal the exact time customers can break their fast. The grains of sand come together to form a McDonald’s meal.

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GEOMETRY Handle on Hygiene Agency: Geometry In May, WPP creative commerce agency Geometry reintroduced its ‘Handle on Hygiene’ technology to provide retailers with the opportunity to implement a safe, customer-first response in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. The

innovation was conceived in 2015 for Lifebuoy. It applies a thin layer of sanitiser liquid to any supermarket or store trolley handle – killing 99.9 per cent of germs – with one simple swipe.

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LUSH & DELIVEROO 30-Second Soap Agency: And Us Soap brand Lush, in collaboration with Deliveroo, created a self-timing soap designed to completely dissolve after 30 seconds of vigorous use – precisely how long you are recommended to wash to make your hands clean and safe.

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PEPSI My Homeland Soft drinks brand Pepsi launched its ‘My Homeland’ campaign for Saudi Arabia’s 90th National Day celebrations. The campaign included the release of a song celebrating the Kingdom’s achievements and values, and limited edition designed cans and packs. The song, entitled ‘My Homeland’, is performed by; Dalia Mubarak, Ayed and Sultan Alrasheed.

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VISA Where you Shop Matters During Covid-19, Visa has taken a stance supporting small businesses within our communities, helping them build and grow. The movement is all about giving small businesses the space they need to showcase what they have

to offer. Visa’s platform lets customers follow the journeys of some SMEs, discover their inspiration and learn more about their offerings.

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VW The Journey Agency: Socialize Volkswagen decided to let its cars take a back seat in its latest digital video series, The Journey. The series aims to combat the unrelatable and inauthentic portrayal of ‘success stories’ by revealing the truth behind the road to greatness, through a series of candid, open interviews with company owners in Dubai. The Journey offers an unfiltered look into the lives of entrepreneurs. The campaign also featured a podcast produced by Amaeya Media.

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LEBANESE ARMY PeaceCamo Agency: TBWA/Raad To celebrate its 75th anniversary, The Lebanese Army introduced The PeaceCamo, a new camouflage pattern that portrays messages of peace and unity, inspired by everyday life. On August 1, soldiers marched the streets of the capital wearing illustrations of people embracing, kids playing, couples holding hands and generations coming together, taken from real-life moments in which the army has helped the people of Lebanon.


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BOSE Noise-O-Meter Agency: Wunderman Thompson Work-from-home was standard operating procedure this year, but not all home offices are equally quiet. So Bose took a unique approach to offering savings on its newest noise cancelling headphones: the louder your home office, the bigger your discount. Noise-O-Meter, developed by Wunderman Thompson Dubai and launched in the UAE, measures ambient noise levels and instantaneously converts the decibels into discount coupons.

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RAKBANK Memotraits Rakbank introduced ‘Memotraits’ (Memory + Portraits), transforming emotional data into abstract art with the help of an electroencephalography (EEG) headset. It invited unsuspecting FC Barcelona fans to participate in this unique social experiment, all documented in a video content piece. The participants were connected to an EEG headset that monitored human brainwaves and turned them into data as they watched FC Barcelona play in a football match. As the participants shared their memories, the headset captured three types of emotions: concentration, excitement and relaxation.

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SNICKERS Hunger Insurance Agency: Impact BBDO To help people cope with their blunders – and to make sure they don’t happen again – Snickers launched Hunger Insurance, the only insurance that covers you for the mistakes you make when you’re hungry. Whether it’s something small like losing your keys or a bit more severe like forgetting an anniversary, as long as you can prove you were hungry at the time, you’ll receive a pay-out of free Snickers, minus a small excess, of course. To make a claim, people have to visit the website and speak to the Hunger Insurance chatbot, provide a few details of their hunger blunder and receive a coupon.

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THE EMIRATES NATION BRAND OFFICE First Arabic Countdown Agency: TBWA/Raad Emirates Mars Mission and The Emirates Nation Brand Office collaborated with TBWA\Raad on the first Arabic countdown to blast-off of the Hope probe, kicked-off with an emotional manifesto film that addresses the pride in every citizen of the MENA region. The campaign celebrates “a new era for Arabs in space”, inviting people to share their #FirstArabicCountdown to the space mission.

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OPPO Find More The campaign saw phone brand Oppo work with content creator Emkwan, Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja, and photographer Jumana Jolie – to create a video series aimed at inspiring the people to continue pushing their boundaries of creativity, deliver content that reflects their potential and essentially strive for more. Oppo gained 920 million impressions through diverse media channels, with more than 10,000 followers interacting with the content.

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TISHTASH #TishtashThru at Costa Coffee Agency: TishTash In September the #TishTashThru event attracted more than 200 influencers and media to the Costa Coffee DriveThru on Al Wasl Road in Dubai for a Covid-friendly event. Fun, motivational messages greeted cars as they wound their way leisurely through the drive-thru, with brands represented by PR agency TishTash showcasing their seasonal launches, allowing attendees to get an exclusive but safe preview of new products and ventures from the comfort of their cars.

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LEGO Al Madina Front Page Agency: Havas To celebrate Saudi Arabia’s National

Day, on September 23 the front cover of Al Madina newspaper was completely recreated using Lego. The teams of Havas Middle East in Dubai and Riyadh collaborated in real-time to build, photograph, design and distribute the newspaper made with Lego to newsstands across Riyadh and Jeddah, all on the same day.

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OPPO TikTok #FameOpportunity Global technology brand Oppo announced the winners of its TikTok #FameOPPOrtunity contest, following a successful six-day window for participants from across the MENA region to show off their talent. Three winners were selected based on the overall quality and creativity of their video submissions. #FameOPPOrtunity invited TikTok users to get creative with their own 15-second video to the Reno4 Series song using Oppo’s branded effect and specially created choreography.

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UNILEVER Anthem Through a Face Mask Agency: Impact BBDO Dubai This moving performance from Shehzad Roy on Pakistan’s Independence Day was a powerful and timely statement that aims to inspire Pakistanis to continue taking proper precautions against the spread of Covid-19 to eliminate the possibility of a second wave.


PARTNER CONTENT

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December 20, 2020

A different sort of change Sustainability could be one of the greatest leadership challenges of our era, says Kantar Insights’ Fran Owens

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he topic of sustainability tends to invoke a mixed response in the Middle East – from a view that it’s not meaningful to the region, to one that it is relevant to every living organism on this planet. While not a total lefty, I’m definitely on the side of the latter. The sustainability conversation needs proper attention and focus. It needs to be front-and-centre for all forward-looking leaders sooner rather than later. Interestingly, the Middle East from a government and public perspective, is leading the way on aspects of the sustainability agenda. And, from a business perspective, while there are undoubtedly some incredible proponents in this space, it’s also fair to say there are many laggards. It is clear that if humanity is ever to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, as laid out by the United Nations, by 2030, no single part of society can do it alone. Is a business sustainable if it uses recycled materials in packaging but doesn’t provide safe or decent work for its employees? Or employs children as part of its labour force? In fact, do we all even know the depth of our own supply chains and how far this goes? Somehow in man’s efforts to progress, we‘ve managed to prioritise profit over people and left many behind. So, what has all this got to do with marketing? Brands and businesses don’t exist in a vortex. They are part of the tightly woven fabric that knits societies and communities together. They provide meaning and structure to people, their interactions and their lives. They are not everything, but they are something. And as they provide meaning, they also have a part to play in driving and supporting change. Covid-19 and the brutal murder of George Floyd and the #blacklivesmatter movement brought alive not only many of the inequalities that we allowed to exist in our societies, but also how very deeply entrenched some of these are. One of the most insidious ways to do the wrong thing is to dress it up as normality. As humans took their foot off the proverbial accelerator, we saw our planet able to breathe with less emissions and

wildlife returning to habitats previously deserted. This moment in time profoundly captured the stress we have been putting our beautiful planet under. LVMH, F1, Unilever, Nike and so many more brands are examples of what we all can be and do when we step up to the plate. They are examples of brands that both stand for and kneel with people and say, ‘This matters, we think this too, we are with you.’ While economies and businesses scramble to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and brand owners seek to understand the subsequent changing consumer attitudes and behaviours, we need to continue to reflect and act purposefully. These tragic events, these crises provide us with an opportunity to do better and be better. They shine a light on areas we need to step up in if we are going

to make any meaningful difference whatsoever. We need to make sure these realisations don’t fall off our radar as we resume our build-back-better mentality of driving our businesses forward. I was born in the Republic of Ireland in the 1970s – but my grandparents had to go to war during the 1916 Rising to achieve that for people like me to enjoy. And they paid at times a high price for this. The values that underpin my model of the world have primarily been built and reinforced over the years by the view that if you want things to be better, thinking and feeling isn’t enough. You must do. And so here we come to the elephant in the room. Another word for sustainability is change. Change requires courage. It requires people to stand up and be

counted. To think beyond the immediate task (which includes making profit), to the broader agenda and implications. Not just to execute but to excel while deploying the moral compass. And the problem with this is that in many businesses that’s what leaders sadly don’t do. The don’t excel. They execute. They don’t stand up. They can’t be counted on. They fail in the basics of right and wrong. Whose job is it to drive this change? The CEOs? In my view, yes – to set the direction. But leaders of change are found at all levels and in all businesses. We need to keep asking questions of ourselves in our businesses as leaders, as colleagues and as custodians of this planet for the generations to come. We need to lead ourselves, our brands and our businesses better. We need to be accountable. Brands have their part to play, and we can do our bit. As brand custodians and business leaders we have a duty of care to our planet, our people and ourselves to focus efforts on helping achieve those Sustainable Development Goals by bringing them into the mainstream consciousness. This will require crosscommunity collaborative efforts, intelligence and resilience, united and working towards the same objective. Ultimately, it’s down to choice. What legacy do we as CEOs, CMOs, brand managers, agency partners and human beings want to leave behind? Sustainability is unquestionably one of the leadership challenges of our era, but it’s one we need to face head-on if we want to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. Inaction is not an option. Here are three simple things you as a brand leader can do today to drive real change: 1. Don’t accept the status quo. Regularly ask yourself what you, your brand and your business can do to make things better. 2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Even if you are the only voice in the room… so far. 3. Act with purpose. Take quick and immediate action to improve things. By Fran Owens, CCO at Kantar Insights Middle East, and board member of The Marketing Society Middle East


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December 20, 2020

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In June it was announced that Nadim Samara would be leaving Omnicom Media Group. He had been CEO since June 2019, and headed up OMG agency OMD before that. Elie Khouri, the group’s executive chairman, added the function of CEO to his role, a title he had held until Samara’s promotion last year. In November, Maroun Hassoun was named regional general manager of OMD MENA.

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Publicis Groupe announced the departure of Kamal Dimachkie, chief operating officer of Publicis Communications– UAE and Lower Gulf, in October. Dimachkie was a senior executive who joined Leo Burnett in February 1985. The Groupe has appointed Samer Shoueiry to assume the COO role in conjunction with his current responsibilities as the chief digital

Ahmed Al Sahhaf, who had been general manager of consumer marketing at Saudi telco STC. In December Mazen Hayek, MBC’s official spokesman and group director of PR and CSR, left the company.

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Adil Khan, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Middle East, stepped down in April, handing leadership to Ramzi Sleiman. Sleiman, the regional growth director of Publicis Communications MEA, assumed the role of managing director of the creative agency. In October, Khan announced that he would be opening a regional office of Brand New Galaxy, a marketing and tech agency, along with Zubair Siddiqi, former managing director of UM MENA in Dubai.

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After 25 years with WPP’s J. Walter Thompson network, Ramsey Naja stepped down as regional chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson in June. He had been CCO for 17 years. He continues his popular column with Campaign.

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Dimachkie was not the first high-level departure from Publicis Groupe this year. In January, chief creative officer Bechara Mouzannar left. He too had been with the Groupe for more than 30 years.

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As part of a global restructure, WPP PR agency Hill + Knowlton Strategies’ Europe and Nordics operations now answer in to Dubai-based Bashar AlKadhi. AlKadhi was previously CEO of METIA (Middle East, Turkey, India and Africa), and retains leadership of those geographies in his new role as CEO of H+K EMEAx.

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Regional broadcasting giant MBC Group launched its own media sales operation, MBC Media Solutions (MMS). In November it announced its senior management including chief operating officer Nadim Samara (previously CEO at OMG) and CEO

Interpublic Group of Companies’ Initiative media agency, part of the Middle East Communications Network in the region, has a new CEO, Bassem Massoud, who will continue as sister agency Magna’s CEO as well. His new role was announced in October, shortly after Lee Boden, regional managing director of Initiative, left the agency.

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Industry veteran Shant Oknayan in June joined ByteDance, the parent company of video-sharing platform TikTok, as general manager of global business solutions across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT). Oknayan was previously group director of Facebook in the region. Other hires at TikTok include Sami Moutran as senior director of business marketing and communications, and Fahad Osman as regional director of global business marketing.

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Aimee Peters has returned to the region as group head of marketing and corporate communications at Mashreq Bank. She was previously head of marketing for global B2B coverage and capital markets at HSBC, a company she joined in Dubai in 2010.


PARTNER CONTENT

December 20, 2020

Accenture leads through change and brand purpose The company has announced a new ‘360-degree Value’ approach By Alexis Lecanuet, regional managing director for Accenture in the Middle East

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company’s purpose has never mattered more than it does today. Traditionally, there have been moments in history when it has become necessary for a company’s purpose to evolve or be more clearly articulated. We’re living in one of those moments now. Companies and their leadership are being held accountable to new standards that have nothing to do with what they are selling, and everything to do with if and how they respond to political or social change. Customers are judging companies and basing their loyalty on the actions a company takes and its adherence to its purpose and values. According to Accenture’s ‘Care to Do Better’ September 2020 report, approximately 70 per cent of workers expect that companies will start to behave more responsibly and equitably than they did before the pandemic. Roughly one in two workers agree that the ethical, sustainable and moral values a company holds will become more important to it following the pandemic than they were before. Considering the new normal and today’s evolving business ethos, Accenture announced its new purpose – to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity – that will guide the company’s strategy, its priorities and the opportunities it creates for its more than 500,000 employees. This purpose has been integrated into a new global ad campaign, its biggest campaign in a decade, and is based on Accenture’s enduring formula for market leadership: embracing change and continually transforming its business to create value through leveraging the talent and ingenuity of its people. Today, Accenture is pioneering ‘360-degree Value’ – and helping clients transform and reinvent their businesses, reskill their employees or simply become more sustainable through transitioning to the cloud to ensure clear financial return. Moreover, today’s new reality has brought incredible change and enormous opportunity. Exponential shifts in technology were altering the way we work and live before Covid-19, and now its impact has further accelerated change, requiring companies to reimagine

everything and requiring economies and entire industries to rebuild. Undoubtedly, we are at a new inflection point – the impact of Covid-19 has put companies on the fast track to the cloud. New Accenture research shows that 80 per cent of executives look to the cloud to mitigate uncertainty and lower risk. The cloud is a catalyst in helping organisations achieve the speed and agility critical to meeting new challenges and seizing new opportunities. To facilitate companies in achieving these efficiencies, we recently announced the creation of Accenture Cloud First, a new multi-service group of 70,000 cloud professionals, with an investment of $3bn over three years.

“Approximately 70 per cent of workers expect that companies will start to behave more responsibly and equitably than they did before the pandemic.”

Achieving speed and agility is more crucial than ever for organisations to meet evolving challenges and seize emerging opportunities. Organisations must look ahead with urgency – but also with optimism. They must also deliver value responsibly. At Accenture, we are embedding sustainable, responsible business practices in all our services across every area of our company. To deliver on that promise, we recently unveiled three industryleading environmental goals. First, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2025. Accenture will make actual reductions in emissions through powering offices with 100 per cent renewable energy, engaging key suppliers to reduce their emissions, and equipping its employees to make climate-smart travel decisions. Second, to move to zero waste. By 2025, Accenture will reuse or recycle 100 per cent of all e-waste, such as computers and servers, as well as office furniture. Also, it will eliminate single-use plastics in all locations after the Covid-19 pandemic. Third, to plan for water risk. Accenture will develop plans for all its facilities to reduce the impact of flooding, drought and water scarcity in high-risk areas by 2025, while also measuring and lowering water use in these locations. Lastly, the pervasive and deep impact of the Covid-19 crisis is changing current business models and leading people and leaders worldwide to look beyond today to a very different future. Training and development in new technologies is mandatory. These include automation, agile development and intelligent platforms, among others. In conclusion, identifying your purpose is not just a statement of social impact. It highlights both the value and the values that you wish to represent in the market. Purpose is the North Star for your organisation’s ethical behavior and drives your business decisions and bottom line. Most significantly, it represents what a company stands for every day and guides future actions and activities.

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December 20, 2020

MARKETING SOCIETY WINNERS Emirates, and Visa’s Mohammed Ismaeel honoured at inaugural GCC Awards

Khaled Ismail, chairman of The Marketing Society UAE and vice-president of communications for Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa at Tetra Pak, said: “Our region boasts a remarkable talent pool of marketing leaders and brands, and we felt it was really important to recognise the contribution they make to marketing and business in general in what has been a challenging year for our industry and society. Huge congratulations to Emirates and Mohammed Ismaeel on being our inaugural and very deserving winners.” The winners were selected by an elite judging committee, made up from 20 of the region’s top CMOs, in a virtual judging day. The committee also announced an Outstanding Leadership award to all marketing and communications professionals from health bodies around the region who have battled continuously through Covid-19 and provided world-class marketing excellence in keeping the public calm, educated and informed.

Khaled Ismail (left) and Mohammed Ismaeel

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mirates and Mohammed Ismaeel from Visa were named as the first winners of The Marketing Society Awards GCC at an inaugural ceremony which took place in December in the company of 60 industry leaders. Emirates took the crown of Brand of the Year, in partnership with Landor & Fitch, from a shortlist that included Dubai Airports, Majid Al Futtaim, Noon and the UAE Ministry of Health. The Brand of the Year category highlights those brands that have demonstrated agility and pace by reacting to evolving situations, put customers at the heart of their decision-making and embodied bravery at their core. Mohammed Ismaeel, Visa’s senior vicepresident of marketing for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, took home the Marketing Leader of the Year award after being selected as the winner from a shortlist of six leaders from across the region. Last year’s winner was Vino El Khatib, chief brand and marketing officer, Majid Al Futtaim. The full 2020 shortlist includes: Banali Luthra Malhotra, director of marketing, Rakbank Mahmoud Mirza, marketing director, Muvi Cinemas Mohammed Mousa, head of marketing, Floward Siddarth Sivaprakash, head of marketing, Home Centre, Landmark Group Trixie LohMirmand, executive vicepresident, Dubai World Trade Centre

The Inspirational Leader award was given to the whole Dubai World Trade Centre team and their executive vice-president Trixie LohMirmand for the success of the GITEX event, bringing the largest in-person tech show in the world in 2020 to Dubai. DWTC’s Trixie LohMirmand

From left: Landor & Fitch’s Ashish Banerjee; Valerie Tan of Emirates; Khaled Ismail


December 20, 2020

MATTER OF FACT

News, views & trends from across the spectrum

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NOW IS THE FUTURE

USER-GENERATED CREATIVIT Y As we near the closing of 2020, a year that encouraged industries to reinvent their targeting and how they engage with their audiences, it behooves us in the communication field to look back at the year and identify the trends that took precedence and that will probably proceed to influence the medium in 2021 and beyond. During a phase when no one was capable of predicting the next best thing, marketers found themselves in a quandary, incapable of identifying or creating a market for themselves. With 42 per cent of people around the world spending an increased amount of time on social media, brands turned their attention to user-generated content (UGC), effectively handing over the reins to their key stakeholders who were getting creative within the confines of their homes with home décor, kitchen experiments and virtual games to maintain positivity through the isolation period. UGC during the pandemic granted brands the opportunity to identify and take advantage of prevailing trends, keeping them up to date with evolving consumer needs without the need to allocate large budgets for promotional material.

Ahmad Itani is a passionate educator and entrepreneur Founder and CEO of Cicero & Bernay Public Relations.

UGC IS EFFECTIVE IN ESTABLISHING TRUST IN THE CURRENT DIGITAL ERA

Elevates

People always seek uplifting content that acknowledges and helps them manoeuvre difficult situations.

Connects

UGC allows brands to meet customers within the digital landscape, a medium where they already spend most of their time.

Empowers

UGC strengthens and encourages a sense of community.

Bonds Facilitates

UGC presents brands with content directly from their key stakeholders.

UGC taps into a need for human connection at a time when meeting physically is not easy. Source: Socialmediatoday.com

GAME CHANGER Lead with your voice

Spotify is launching ‘Sawtik’ — Arabic for ‘your voice’ — a new initiative that will support Arab female musical artists in the MENA region by providing them mentorship in the form of education, networking opportunities and marketing support by superstar Latifa. This is a great addition to the growing cultural scene in the region, that will highlight its hidden talents.

B R E A K I N G T HE NE T Another day, another record

The pandemic hindered so many things, but it did not stall the community spirit in the name of entertainment and celebration. PepsiCo scored a global record for passing a football in the world’s largest online video chain with more than 460 football enthusiasts from across the globe. Congratulations, and let’s keep the positivity going.

#N OT Zip up your branding

American fashion brand GAP found itself in a commercial quagmire when it attempted to captalise on the divisive environment occupying the landscape in the USA. The approach, a GIF of a red and blue sweatshirt being zipped and unzipped, was accompanied by the message, “The one thing we know is that together we can move forward.” At a time when people are losing their jobs, or undergoing financial hardships, companies need to take a step back and share thoughtful sentiments that are not brand-related to invest in future customer loyalty.


PARTNER CONTENT

December 20, 2020

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Striking the right balance between influencer and brand content Garnier Ultra Doux partnered with popular influencer Mimi to boost brand equity, awareness and drive sales. The natural hair care brand needed to tread the fine line of being authentic while carrying a solid marketing message.

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’Oréal haircare brand Garnier needed to produce educational yet entertaining content to promote its newest range, Almond Milk. Its goal was to raise brand equity and drive sales for its natural care megabrand. The main target audience was women in Saudi Arabia aged 15-50, interested in beauty and natural hair care products. Garnier decided to leverage its relationship with Meryem Karim, a popular influencer better known as Mimi on her Instagram handle @Eswaratti. She has 1.6 million followers. In partnership with Mimi, media agency UM and Facebook Creative Shop, L’Oréal created an authentic communication platform to educate consumers on Ultra Doux’s newest range, and in particular its leave-in cream. The marriage of native influencer and brand content was the perfect mix to increase brand awareness and drive purchase intent. The campaign ran throughout July 2020. From a client perspective, L’Oréal’s challenge was to find the optimal mix of branding. The content needed to remain native and authentic to Mimi’s style, but still communicate the unique selling points of the Ultra Doux range and to drive enough brand awareness. When the campaign went live, both brand assets and influencer assets outperformed the benchmark view-through rates, proving

that their target audience found the content both interesting and relevant. The influencer assets drove twice as many click-throughs as the brand assets. The campaign’s success demonstrated the confidence consumers have towards beauty-savvy and locally relevant influencers. Myriam Bunni, senior brand manager at Ultra Doux, says the campaign results confirmed her team’s hypothesis that the combination of brand assets and influencer content would outperform other scenarios tested in a brand lift study. The campaign resulted in an overall lift of 7.6 points in ad recall, 2.4 points in brand awareness, 2.1 points in message association and 1.6 points in purchase intent. The results from the brand lift study were key to shaping L’Oréal’s strategy for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021. They also encouraged the establishment of continuous measurement to monitor improvement on the basis of awareness and purchase intent. The effect on sales reflected the brand lift study results. Sales volume of Garnier Ultra Doux leave-in cream rose by 55 per cent in the month of the campaign, compared to previous months. The cream hit record levels of market share in Saudi Arabia and became the best-selling product in Garnier’s e-commerce portfolio.

“The campaign’s success demonstrated the confidence consumers have towards beauty-savvy and locally relevant influencers.”


PARTNER CONTENT

December 20, 2020

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Ahmed ‘Fizo’ Younis, Creative Shop lead, Facebook At Creative Shop we believe the use of influencers or content creators doesn’t really replace a solid brand advertising strategy. We were very happy to see the results from our fruitful collaboration with L’Oréal proving that creating a harmonious approach between influencers’ content and advertising assets can generate the most positive impact on brand metrics. 3

The influencer assets drove twice as many clicks.

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Myriam Bunni, senior brand manager Ultra Doux Hoping to learn how to strike the perfect balance between brand content and influencer content, we launched the first quadripartite regional test. The marriage of native influencer and brand content was the perfect mix to increase brand awareness and drive purchase intention. The positive findings of this test have clearly redefined our content and media strategy moving forward.

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Austyn Allison, editor, Campaign Middle East July was not an easy time for sales, and I’m sure it was particularly challenging for hair and beauty products, as people were only just coming out of lockdown. However, Garnier and UM look to have taken advantage of the new-found connections consumers forged with their favourite influencers during the dark days of Covid-19. The results show how effective this sort of strategy can be when all parties involved strike the right balance between the influencer’s authentic voice and the brand’s marketing message.

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Influencer: Mimi (@Eswaratti) Creative: Garnier/Facebook Creative Shop Media agency: UM

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December 20, 2020

TOP

10

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

(trending in the region, ranked by Google)

1

Channel: Anasala Family Title: Biggest gender reveal ever. About: A couple hosted the ‘biggest gender reveal ever’ at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

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Channel: Mohamed Ramadan Title: A fight between Radwan El Prince and his brothers. About: A scene from popular Egyptian drama series El Prince, showing a family conflict.

3

Channel: MBC The Voice Kids Title: Most influential moment in the history of the show: two brothers meet while judges cry and the audience applaufs. About: An Iraqi contestant in MBC The Voice Kids meets his brother after five years, while performing.

4

Channel: Assomi & Waleed Title: Unbelievable vibes at Waleed’s engagement party. About: Waleed, a popular star on kids’ channel ‘Toyor Al Janah’, was filmed during his engagement party by his friend, who’s also a creator.

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Channel: AlMirbad Title: Covid-19 enters the house of Mohamed and his uncle. About: A funny sketch that highlights the importance of social distancing and restrictions to avoid the virus.

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Channel: AbuFlah Title: We’ll build a mosque on the occasion of reaching 5 million subscribers. About: A popular gaming creator on YouTube recorded a video celebrating his reach reaching 5 million subs on the channel.

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Channel: Sasuki Aliraqi Title: A new secretive place and tricks in PUBG Mobile. The new mobile update. About: New places to discover in PUBG Mobile’s recent update. Channel: Different and diverse ideas Title: Easy and fast amazing recipes without an oven. About: An easy recipe for a dessert that can be prepared without an oven.

Channel: Iraqi Comedy Channel Title: My brother Marwan sleeps in the school. About: A sketch that narrates the story of a kid who always plays PUBG and falls asleep in the classroom.

Channel: Atro Title: Locked a YouTuber inside a room – PUBG Mobile About: A recorded video from a PUBG game with a group of gaming creators.

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December 20, 2020

THE YEAR IN TWITTER

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s 2020 draws to a close, Twitter’s end-of-year reflection showcases the unique way the year unfolded across the platform. Through a data-pull of Tweets, hashtags and handles, Twitter highlights the stories that have led public conversations across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

THE UAE During a tumultuous year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took the lead in Tweets, with the high engagement in the UAE throughout 2020. His most liked Tweet of the year was sharing his prayers and condolences with the people of Lebanon, following the Beirut explosion. Life has taught me (‫ةايحلا_ينتملع‬#) In a continuation of previous years, His Highness shared his knowledge and experiences with the public,

accompanied by the hashtag #_‫ﻋﻠﻤﺘﻨﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺤﻴﺎة‬. Here is his most liked Tweet: 1 #Life_has_ taught_me that life goes on... as one stage ends, another begins... and things pass you by only for another opportunity to present itself... just as night and day interchange... life is renewed... and man always returns to the path God sets.. .he does not despair, he does not cease. Rather, he lives with a continued determination of creating a life. Initiatives announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Twitter His Highness also announced a

number of initiatives through his official Twitter account, which is followed by over 10 million people. Here are some of the most retweeted highlights of what His Highness announced through Twitter: 1 The inauguration of Al Wasl Plaza, the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site. 2 The launch of a ‘Mystery Shopper’ app to rate government services. 3 The completion of the Hope probe’s transfer to its launch site at the space station on Tanegashima Island in Japan. 4 The conclusion of the 10 Million Meals initiative, that easily exceeded its target figure. 5 The launch of the New Media Academy. 6 The successful launch of the Hope Mars probe. 7 The launch of the UAE’s first independent biomedical research centre. 8 The signing of an agreement with NASA to train Emirati astronauts for potential missions to the International Space Station (ISS).

9 The launch of the first Emirati and Arab mission to explore the moon, the Emirates Lunar Mission. 10 The announcement of the second Emirati satellite, MBZ-SAT. 11 Announcement of the exact arrival date and time of the country’s Hope probe.

Fastest growing UAE government accounts 2020 also witnessed a fast-paced growth for the Twitter accounts of UAE government entities, as communities looked for greater connection while staying up to date. Here are some of the fastest growing UAE handles of the year: 1 The official UAE Government (@UAEGov) 2 Dubai Police (@DubaiPoliceHQ) 3 Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) 4 Ministry of Interior, UAE (@MOIUAE) 5 Abu Dhabi Police (@ADPoliceHQ) 6 Dubai Health Authority (@DHA_Dubai)


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EGYPT While the world was faced with unprecedented times in 2020, Egyptians took to the platform to laugh their way through it, with humorous Tweets and memes. Some of the top retweets include: 1 Comedian Mohahmed Henedy (@OfficialHenedy) jokes about the warm weather. 2 Tazz Muhammed (@TazzMuhammed) shares a video of himself singing Disney’s Hakunna Matata. 3 Aml Osama Wahbi (@WahbiAmi) shares a funny video of children arguing with one another. The most liked celebrity Tweets in Egypt Many of this year’s most liked celebrity Tweets were in reference to the pandemic. While some celebs urged people to stay safe, others focused on staying positive while making their followers smile. The most liked celebrity Tweets include: 1 Egyptain actor Youssef El Sherif (@ElSherif) shares a photo of himself at an office. 2 Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy (@ahelmy) shares a photo of himself joking about the summer that does not seem to be in sight due to Covid-19. 3 Professional football player at Al-

Ahly SC Moamen Zakaria (@MoamenZakaria) shares a thankful message with his followers, following their prayers and support while he was sick with Covid-19. 4 Tunisian professional football player Ferjani Sassi (@FerjaniSassi) celebrates testing negative for Covid-19.

5 Comedian Mohahmed Henedy (@OfficialHenedy) urges his followers to stay home.

The fastest growing celebrity accounts in Egypt This year also witnessed fastpaced growth for the Twitter accounts of Egyptian celebrities, as communities looked to them

for support, entertainment, and humour. Here are some of the fastest growing Egyptian actors’ handles of the year in terms of following: 1 Mohamed Henedy (@OfficialHenedy) 2 Ahmed Helmy (@ahelmy) 3 Yasmine Sabri (@yasminesabri) 4 Youssef El Sherif (@ElSherif) 5 Amir Karara (@AmirKarara)

celebrating the win of the Mohammed Bin Salman Cup. 8 September - Al Hilal player Mohammad Al Shalhoub (@mbsh_10) celebrating his time before he retires. 9 October - Al Hilal club (@Alhilal_ FC) celebrating a new team member. 10 November - Al Nasser club (@AlnassrFC) sending a victory note.

The most Tweeted football club hashtags: 1 ‫اﻟﻬﻼل‬# (Al Hilal football club) 2 ‫اﻟﻨﴫ‬# (Al Nassr football club) 3 ‫اﻻﺗﺤﺎد‬# (Al Ittihad football club) 4 ‫اﻟﺸﺒﺎب‬# (Al Shabab football club) 5 ‫اﻷﻫﲇ‬# (Al Ahli football club) The most Tweeted football matches 1 #‫( اﻟﻨﴫ_اﻟﺘﻌﺎون‬Al Nassr_Al Taawon) 2 #‫( اﻟﻬﻼل_اﻟﻨﴫ‬Al Hilal_Al Nassr) 3 #‫( اﻟﻬﻼل_اﻻﺗﻔﺎق‬Al Hilal_ Al Ettifaq) 4 #‫( اﻻﺗﺤﺎد_اﻟﻬﻼل‬Al ittihad_ Al Hilal) 5 #‫( اﻟﻨﴫ_اﻟﻔﺘﺢ‬Al Nassr_Al Fateh)

KSA Dominated by Al Hilal football club, here are the most retweeted sports Tweets in Saudi Arabia per month: 1 January - @SSuwailm congratulates Al Nassr football team.

2 February - The official AFC Champions League account (@ theAFCCL_ar) congratulates the Al Hilal team. 3 March - Al Hilal club (@Alhilal_fc) celebrating their win of the AFC. 4 May - (@SSuwailm) posting a good

luck message by (@PauDybala_JR). 5 June - Al Nasser player Abderrazak Hamdallah (@hamedallah_9) wishing luck before a massive game. 6 July - Al Hilal club (@alhilal_FC) celebrating two AFC wins in a row. 7 August - Al Hilal club (@Alhilal_FC)

The most Tweeted football players: 1 @hamedallah_9 - Abderrazak Hamdallah from Al Nassr 2 @bafgomis - Bafétimbi Gomis from Al Hilal 3 @samialjaber - Retired footballer Sami Al Jaber from Al Hilal 4 @mbsh_10 - Retired footballer Mohammed Al Shalhoub from Al Hilal


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December 20, 2020

GOOGLE’S YEAR IN SEARCH Search engine reveals its trending terms in the UAE in 2020

G

oogle announced its Year in Search results for the United Arab Emirates. The annual lists share the most trending search queries that had the highest spike over a sustained period in 2020 compared with 2019. The lists, which include the top trending searches, people, events, sports, series and movies, are generated by looking at trillions of aggregated and anonymised searches. Spam and repetitive queries are then removed to build lists that reflect the spirit of 2020. While it was no surprise that coronavirus was the top trending query, elections and sports also caught UAE residents’ attention this year. The US and Bihar elections ranked second and seventh in the top trending queries in 2020. The interest in US elections was also evident with PresidentElect Joe Biden, US President Donald Trump and US Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris ranking first, second and third respectively under trending people. Other politicians included the Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The interest in world events and sports reflected the diversity of the UAE. The Indian Premier League, Champions League and NBA ranked third, eighth and 10th respectively in the top trending queries. Meanwhile, the explosion in Lebanon, the Taal Volcano’s eruption and the Australian Wildfires were among the top 10 most trending world events. On the entertainment front, Money Heist, Soorari Pottru, Contagion and Del Bechara were the top four trending movies and series in the country.


December 20, 2020

33

WARC FORECASTS G

lobal advertising spend is on course to fall by 10.2 per cent, or $63.4bn, to $557.3bn this year, led by sharp cuts in investment among the automotive, retail and travel & tourism sectors as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to marketing intelligence service WARC. The latest projections, based on data from 100 markets worldwide, represent a downgrade of 2.1 percentage points compared with WARC’s previous global forecast of -8.1 per cent made in May. It will take at least two years for the global ad market to fully recover, with a forecast 6.7 per cent rise in 2021 only enough to recoup 59 per cent of 2020’s losses. The advertising market would need to grow by 4.4 per cent

in 2022 to match 2019’s peak of $620.6bn. Excluding the $4.9bn in campaign spending during the US presidential election cycle, the global ad market is set to contract by 11.0 per cent, or $68bn, this year. In absolute terms, this is worse than the last recession in 2009, when the ad market contracted by $61.3bn (-12.9 per cent). Further, after accounting for inflation, the real ad market decline is double the rate of the 2009 recession. Traditional media have had a torrid year, accounting for the near entirety of the advertising market decline in 2020. Globally, spend is down by a fifth (-19.7 per cent), or $62.4bn, to a total of $253.9bn, with linear TV (-16.1 per cent, down $29.9bn) seeing the

largest absolute cut to ad budgets. Cinema (-46.5 per cent, down $1.5bn), out of home (-27.3 per cent, -$11.3bn), newspapers (-25.5 per cent, -$9.8bn), magazines (-25.4 per cent, -$4.0bn) and radio (-18.4 per cent, -$5.9bn), along with TV, all recorded their worst performance in WARC’s 40-year history of market monitoring. Most are expected to see growth in 2021, though this is more a reflection of a poor 2020 than a steady recovery. The online advertising market, 54.4 per cent of this year’s total, is flat (-0.3 per cent) at $303.3bn, though this was the first year growth had not been recorded since the Dotcom crash in 2000. Online video is the only ad format to have its prospects upgraded in the

latest forecast; viewing leapt this year as nations imposed stay-at-home orders to quell the outbreak of the virus, and adspend is on course to rise by 7.9 per cent to $52.7bn this year and a further 12.8 per cent in 2021. Adspend within the automotive sector is down by a fifth (21.2 per cent), or $11.0bn, to $41bn this year, meaning the sector is responsible for almost one in five (17.4 per cent) lost dollars. The retail sector also curbed spend dramatically; a total of $54.3bn is 16.2 per cent ($10.5bn) lower than in 2019. The travel & tourism sector was acutely impacted and this has resulted in adspend falling by more than a third (-33.8 per cent, or $8.4bn) to $16.4bn.


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December 20, 2020

10 THE SPIN

TOP 1

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The Spin was recently served this ad for, well, ads. Which is pretty meta when it is delivered to a magazine about advertising. But we wonder what sort of existential crisis the designer was having as he sat there, laughing at his laptop, eating his baby food, and finally just apologising. For what?

2

Who doesn’t love stationery, right? And who doesn’t love the smell of fresh wood shavings? But while “number two” might call to the American mind what many of us think of as an HB pencil, it’s got a slightly different connotation in other parts of the world. And might not the most alluring name for a perfume.

company behind it with accusations of worker exploitation and worse. That’s probably not the reaction his employers were looking for.

4

Are you stuck for ideas for Valentine’s Day? Trying to think of a way to really up the romance stakes and with a few thousand dirhams to spend but still on the lookout for a discount. Then look no further than this offer. What better way could there be to say “I love you” than asking your mother-in-law to join your special evening?

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The Spin would like to remind Dubai’s newspapers that just because the Year of Tolerance is over, headlines like this are still not OK.

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Here’s how to do hand sanitisation the wrong way. When pictures emerged from Saudi Arabia of a man dressed in a sandwich board that dispenses hand sanitiser, the world’s media was quick to jump on the

The Spin was super excited to see this act coming to Dubai. “First time in Dubai,” said the restaurant. We love Daft Punk. But then we looked closer to see the small “tribute” tucked sneakily into the

graphic. We weren’t the only ones to feel a tad deceived. “You mean the tribute is the first time in Dubai, or the fact that you are hosting an event?” asked one commenter. The venue hasn’t answered.

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The Spin is quite delighted at the phrasing used to advertise Emirates Loto. The draw is, we are told, “changing lives one ball at a time”. Is there any better way to change one’s life, we wonder.

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(Not pictured, obviously!) As small businesses struggle from the effects of Covid-19, help can come from all sorts of places. The Spin recently received an email from a US company called Stripchat (we don’t know how they got our email, we swear) that describes itself as “a leading free online adult entertainment and live camming platform”. It is offering complimentary marketing to businesses affected by Covid-19

through “free advertising on its site via branded t-shirts worn by popular cam models”. Or, presumably, not worn by the end.

9

The Spin is all for celebrating past glories, and there were many ways the official Olympics Twitter account could have chosen to mark what would have been the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Games. But perhaps screening a film of the 1936 event in Berlin, often referred to as ‘Hitler’s Olympics’, didn’t drum up the feelgood factor we were all looking for.

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The Spin might seem all fun and frolics, but in truth we’re grumpy so-and-sos. Which is why we plan to avoid renewing our bus pass in Ajman. A door that won’t open unless you smile at it sounds like a cross between The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or simply existential hell.

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Campaign 20th December 2020  

The Annual - 2020- review of the year

Campaign 20th December 2020  

The Annual - 2020- review of the year