Campaign Middle East - July 2022

Page 1



June 27, 2022



June 27, 2022


Havas Middle East and Impact BBDO take home Grands Prix from Cannes UAE work has won an unprecedented two Grands Prix at Cannes Lions, with Havas and Impact BBDO picking up the top prizes in Outdoor and Print & Publishing respectively. The UAE was the only MENA country to win prizes this year, taking home a total of 22 Lions. The Outdoor Grand Prix went to Liquid Billboard by Havas Middle East, Dubai for Adidas. “Making brands meaningful by decoding culture and creating outstanding work is our DNA,” said Dany Naaman CEO of Havas Middle East. “I am extremely proud of the immense talent of our teams at Havas Middle East and of our Cannes Lions recognitions. The Grand Prix for OOH is a win for the whole region and an acknowledgement of the power of communications. I’d like to thank our clients for their trust and support, and our teams for their passion and relentless efforts.” In the Print & Publishing Lions the Grand Prix went to The Elections Edition for An Nahar Newspaper, by Impact BBDO, Dubai, securing a second Grand Prix for the same client. Dani Richa, Chairman and CEO of Impact BBDO MEA, said, “We are very pleased to see Impact BBDO win a second Grand Prix for An Nahar newspaper at Cannes Lions after having won the first MENA Grand Prix in 2019. This goes to show the importance of consistency and determination for change. The irony is that it’s a Grand Prix in Print & Publishing when there was no printing at all – something that shows that the power of an idea can transcend design.” As well as its Grand Prix, The Elections Editiion took a Silver in Print & Publishing, a Gold and a Silver in Direct, a Silver in Media, a Silver and a

Impact BBDO (left) and Havas Middle East celebrate their wins in Cannes

Bronze in Outdoor, and a Bronze in PR. Liquid Billboard also won a Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze in Outdoor, and a Silver in Media. Another campaign for Adidas by Havas Middle East, I’m Possible Billboards, won a Silver in the Entertainment Lions for Sport category. Horizon FCB’s Breakdown With Blockchain for Children of Female Prisoners’ Association won Silvers in Creative Commerce, Digital Craft and Media.

TBWA\RAAD won a Silver in Direct with its Chickenstock campaign for KFC. Twitter Feminine Arabic for Twitter won VMLY&R Commerce MENA a Silver in the Social & Influencer category. The UAE Government Media Office and Galaxy Racer won a Bronze in Media for the Warmest Winter Livestream. Drive2Extremes by Keko for Porsche took a Bronze in Film Craft. Look out for a full round-up from the Lions in next month’s edition of Campaign Middle East.

AD Media hands sales to Starzplay

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

METLIFE SWITCH OFF Coinciding with World Meditation Day on May 21, health insurance company MetLife and Dubai-based creative agency And Us launched a wellness website focused on helping people ‘switch off’. The partnership tackles a growing issue, internet addiction, and its harmful effects through a simple website. ‘Switch Off’ provides users with an array of beautifully designed meditation-style videos and wellness content to boost psychological awareness and mental wellbeing. However, the content is only revealed after users have disabled their wifi and data, completely shutting themselves off from emails, pop-ups, notifications, and distractions.

Public service broadcaster and media company Abu Dhabi Media announced the appointment of regional subscription video on demand (SVOD) service Starzplay to exclusively handle the advertising sales and commercial services for its media brands’ portfolio. As part of the long-term deal, Starzplay, supported by its shareholder E-Vision, will manage Abu Dhabi Media’s commercial and advertising deals for the entire portfolio across the general entertainment fields, including TV channels, radio, digital and publishing, across the MENA region and beyond. Abdulraheem Alnuaimi, general manager of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “Signing this partnership with Starzplay Arabia will contribute significantly to enhancing Abu Dhabi Media’s commercial proposition.”


June 27, 2022

Campaign announces Agency of the Year Awards Middle East Campaign Middle East and Haymarket are proud to announce the Campaign Agency of the Year Awards Middle East. Campaign is launching this dedicated awards for the Middle East, within its Agency of the Year family. With domestic schemes already established in seven markets around the globe (UK, US, India, China, Australia and New Zealand, Japan and Korea South East Asia) and with a separate Agency of the Year Globals launched in 2021, AOTY now receives more than 2,000 entries each year and has established itself as the most significant celebration of agency business success worldwide. The awards will focus primarily on business results, and will reward the best agencies by geography and specialism (UAE, Saudi, creative, media, performance marketing, start-up, etc.) as well as people and teams (account person, creative team, strategic leader, etc.). Entries are now open. The earlybird deadline is on August 17, before which entries will be $500 each. The regular entry fee is $600 and the final deadline is September 21. The shortlist will be announced in October, and the winners in December. “As an industry we are very good at spotting and rewarding great work. The most creative, the most effective,

and more,” said Austyn Allison, senior editor of Campaign Middle East. “But what about the agencies behind that work? An agency is more than the sum of its work. There are people, clients, culture and more. That’s why we’re pleased to be introducing a regional edition of the highly respected Campaign Agency of the Year Awards to reward the very

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

best organisations in the region. The awards will be judged by client-side marketers; they will be fully audited; and they will reward not just the output but the very DNA of this industry. That’s an exciting prospect, and I hope everyone is as eager as I am to see the best agencies in the region recognised and celebrated.” The Agency of the Year judging

panel consists of leading client marketers from across the Middle East Region and worldwide, and judging will be audited by PWC, which has audited Campaign’s AOTY internationally since the scheme’s inception 12 years ago. To find out how to enter and how to partner with the Awards, visit

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.



Inspired by the Jeep brand grill, one of the most iconic brand marks in the automotive industry, Publicis Middle East has created a new language of adventure based on the Jeep brand grill’s distinctive dots and dashes, which have become a symbol of the Jeep brand’s adventurous spirit . Just as Morse code is made up of a series of dots and dashes, the Jeep grill has inspired the Jeep ‘Call of Adventure’ font. Refined to match the exact dimensions of the dots and lines of the Jeep grill, this design language features prominently in a new print and outdoor campaign called ‘The Call of Adventure’, created by Publicis Groupe Middle East.

Property Finder, a MENA’s proptech company, has launched a new campaign titled ‘Your Home Finder’. The integrated brand campaign encourages everyone to think about the true meaning of ‘home’ and reflects the company’s purpose to inspire people to lead the life they deserve. The campaign is anchored by a short video demonstrating how Property Finder, thanks to its search capabilities, can help home seekers find a place that they can call home. The sentiment is depicted in the short film that underpins how a house transforms into a home, along with the different meanings we give to it. The campaign was conceived and executed by multiple agencies. The survey behind the campaign was by YouGov.

Creative agency Publicis Groupe Middle East ECD Tuki Ghiassi Creative directors Anton Marais, Mohamed Bareche

-... --- --- .--. .. -.

abu dhabi






June 27, 2022

Motivate partners with Motion Icon to introduce escalator ads A new, impactful out of home (OOH) advertising solution powered by innovative technology has launched for the first time in the region. Motion Icon aims to revolutionise OOH advertising, having developed a unique and globally patented escalator step branding solution. Brands will be able to access previously unavailable retail space to attract, influence, and convert their audience just before the point of purchase. The technology not only increases safety on escalators, but also improves their otherwise dull appearance, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the property, and provides an elegant solution through which brands are able to reach consumers in a new and exciting way. Motion Icon will be partnering with Campaign’s parent company, Motivate Media Group, to bring this extensive platform to brands across the UAE and KSA, covering shopping malls, airports, exhibition centres, metro stations and many other high-traffic locations. Ian Fairservice, managing partner of Motivate Media Group, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Motion Icon to bring this technology to the region. We’re seeing an increase in demand for OOH services in the UAE and KSA and we’re keen to explore this market. The partnership will

strengthen our core offering and further defines our footprint in media.” Brent Bragge, CCO, Motion Icon, said: “This product itself is uniquely elegant in reimagining a piece of machinery we all know and somewhat take for granted, transforming it into an eye-catching marketing platform. Its simplicity is the source of its impact. This is as much a story about rebirth as it is about advertising. The partnership with Motivate Media Group is a huge

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

opportunity for Motion Icon. Motivate brings unrivalled experience and credibility to the product, and their reach throughout the region ensures that brands are able to roll out impactful campaigns with a singular efficiency.” Christopher Trimble, COO, Motion Icon, said: “We are revolutionising the OOH advertising industry, having pioneered the development of our globally-patented ‘Escalator Step Branding Technology’.”

MENA digital spend is $4.58bn MENA digital advertising spend reached $4.58bn in 2021, nearly a full $1bn increase on the previous year according to the IAB GCC, which released the results of its study on June 16. This reflects an increase of 25.9 per cent over the 2020 investments for the region. Following on from the inaugural 2020 study, this report included more detailed breakdowns and regional granularity highlighting the growth areas for the first time. Social grew to account for as much as 62 per cent of display investment, due to a 38 per cent growth rate vs. non-social at 11 per cent. Video continues to account for more than the European average and now accounts for close to 50 per cent of total investment in MENA, having grown 33 per cent year-on-year. GCC investment makes up 86 per cent of the MENA total. 37 per cent of digital investment was estimated to be through networked agencies Ian Manning, IAB GCC CEO, said: ‘This year we had a significant increase in the number of companies taking part in the process and therefore we are able to provide a much more detailed and accurate picture of the market which benefits everyone.”

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.



Adidas launched a one-of-a-kind interactive 3D billboard in Downtown Dubai as a part of its Run for the Oceans global movement that encourages people to come together to help end plastic waste through sport. The billboard displayed Dubai residents’ collaborative impact in real-time as the initiative took place from May 23 until June 8. In line with the brand’s ongoing sustainability efforts, the movement offered that for every 10-minute run, Adidas’ long-standing partner Parley will clean up the equivalent weight of one plastic bottle from the oceans. A live counter on the billboard showed the minutes tracked on the Adidas running app, leading to plastic bottles disappearing from the wave; the more people ran, the cleaner the wave got. Havas Middle East paired up with Bureau Beatrice to illustrate the premise of the campaign.

The Saudi underground music scene is booming. Pepsi, for its new creative campaign, ‘Thirsty for Music’, has joined forces with Snap to launch five limited-edition interactive cans featuring classical and new musical instruments that celebrate the ever-evolving Saudi musical scene, accompanied by traditional Saudi cultural iconography reflected in architecture, traditional textiles, artefact, and more. Incorporating the full Pepsi lineup of Pepsi Blue, Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi, each can represents a specific instrument and sound bite, including oud, guitar, drums, keyboard, and darbuka. Scanning the Snapcode brings the particular instrument to life, animating the can alongside various audio bites from the campaign’s soundtrack.

June 27, 2022


IMMEDIATE IMPACT The Young Lynx Academy announces its competition winners. By Ishwari Khatu

WINNERS’ WORDS MARIAM SAMY, SENIOR STRATEGIC PLANNER, WUNDERMAN THOMPSON “The academy honestly exceeded my expectations. The talks organised were super insightful and a great chance to learn from the big names in the industry. It was also a great way to get to meet the talent out there from other agencies that we normally wouldn’t have got a chance to meet, let alone work together with.”


rganisers of the Young Lynx Academy, held on June 13-14 at business incubator space In5 in Dubai, announced the winners of their 24-hour hackathon. The winning team consisted of five creatives from different agencies: Mariam Samy, Mary-Anne Trant, Nourhan Khalidi, Malaka Shoukair and one of Campaign Middle East’s Creative Faces to Watch 2021, Sachi Ediriweera. Set by Emirates Nature – WWF, the hackathon brief focused on the organisation’s Leaders of Change programme. Participating young creatives were grouped into teams and challenged to produce an idea to raise awareness and increase sign-ups for the programme within the Gen Z demographic. The winners proposed a digital metaverse world known as ‘Emir8’, representing UAE’s eighth emirate. Identifying Gen Z’s need for instant gratification, the team’s Emir8 concept offered digital land on sign up, which displayed the real-time results of the participant’s real-world efforts in the Leaders of Change programme. The gamification of the experience would help encourage further participation to completely transform their lands from barren to flourishing while comparing and sharing lands within social circles.

SACHI EDIRIWEERA, SENIOR EXPERIENTIAL DESIGNER, VMLY&R “The academy had some amazing speakers and, importantly, helped us meet some amazing likeminded individuals. The competition was intense and fun. As we were paired with those we had met on the same day, it was a testament to the power of teamwork. Of course, our team’s win made the experience all the more memorable.” “The team identified and created a solution to one of the most challenging issues that conservation organisations face: demonstrating impact immediately,” said Monica Cooney, head of strategy and impact at Emirates Nature – WWF and a judge of the competition. “Their strategy brings volunteers along the journey by creatively integrating the metaverse with real-life conservation work, highlighting the contribution of each individual and illustrating how digital innovation can mobilise people for good.” The academy also conducted sessions featuring Leo Burnett Dubai creative director Giorgia Fattoracci, Google creative strategy lead Ali Cheikhali and TBWA/RAAD chief innovation officer Jennifer Fischer. In an interactive session, communication consultant Bina Mathews offered further insight into individual growth. Held by the Dubai Lynx team, Young Lynx Academy is a free academy designed to support young talent and help them move to the next level of their careers. Creatives under 32 participate in the annual two-day event featuring career-enriching activities such as keynote talks from regional creative leaders and the 24-hour hackathon. Dubai Lynx takes place in March.

MARY-ANNE TRANT, SENIOR ART DIRECTOR, LIGHTBLUE “I’ve always believed in pushing every brief – challenging the creative into uncomfortable territories. During the hack brief, we really worked as a team to do just this. Every idea we had, we thought, ‘How can we elevate this? How can we take it one step further to really resonate with our target audience?’ And I guess it worked.” NOURHAN KHALIDI, MOTION/ GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND ARTIST, BOOPIN “I really enjoyed it and it was a really great experience as it covered several aspects of the world of creativity and advertising. And it was really helpful to meet different creative minds from different agencies and ages.” MALAKA SHOUKAIR, COMMERCE CONTENT SPECIALIST, PUBLICIS GROUPE “A memorable experience filled with insightful creative thinking, enticing competition and brilliant talent. An experience I’m extremely proud not only to have taken part in but also to have won.”


June 27, 2022

INDUSTRY FORUM: Q Is regional content good enough?

June 27, 2022

Chafic Haddad

Chief creative officer, Wunderman Thompson MENA


But it can get better. There’s still the good, the bad and the ugly out there. There’s a lot of ‘non-quality’ content that is being produced. Pushing content without necessarily understanding what the consumer wants or needs. Yet, there’s some solid content being produced also. Culturally relevant, based on deep consumer insights, memorable, entertaining, good storytelling and well crafted. The type of content the consumer can relate to (attracting and engaging) and can influence a certain behaviour. They are moving away from the obvious, their focus is on the uniqueness of the idea and delivering what is unexpected. If you expect it to be successful, you need a strategy. You need to stay tuned to what’s happening around you. This type of quality content generates a positive brand perception, increases brand awareness, develops relationships and generates brand love, in addition to many other things.

Ramzi Moutran

Founder and CEO, Do Epic Sh*t


Our regional content is not good enough. I believe it’s actually getting progressively worse. Our region is on the rise, however creativity is struggling. I see this demonstrated in three main areas. 1: Many of our best briefs are still going to European agencies. Local brands still don’t trust our creativity. 2: We are having a creative talent drain. Creatives come, win big, get famous, and leave for great jobs abroad. Amazing creatives who used to work for me are now CCOs and ECDs in NY, LA, Singapore, and London. Why could the region not keep them? Perhaps because of point one? 3: Finally, just look at the lack of awards we are bringing home. We used to rock D&AD and Cannes, but that is no longer the case. These are just three examples of why I believe we are not producing good enough content anymore.

Nick Driver

Director of content, UAE, Memac Ogilvy Public Relations


But it’s not visible enough. Local platforms are where we see the best of the region’s content, but the delivery of quality productions is inconsistent. A spike in supply happens during Ramadan and other seasonal periods, but often this is content republished from the past. On-demand platforms are helping to increase demand for regional productions by bringing bigger and wider audiences to them. This exposure can be a catalyst for greater investment in talent – on and offscreen – and the arrival of more high-quality content, more often. Entities like the Red Sea International Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival can help intensify the spotlight on the region thanks to their global audience. Doing so will accelerate demand by strengthening the region’s standing on the global stage, well beyond its long-held position as the go-to shooting location for big budget productions.

Lara Bizri

Head of creative, Livingroom Dubai


I feel content can no longer be viewed in isolation of where it’s from. We watch, read and listen to content from all over the world. We no longer differentiate between regions. Whether it’s English, Korean, Turkish, Hindi, German or Spanish, we choose based on what captures our attention and sparks our interest. I believe that our content can only be considered good enough when it is also consumed by those who aren’t in our region.



June 27, 2022

Mazen Nahawi

Founder and group CEO, Carma


Unlike branded content, which is often poorly executed, there is a super range of news, entertainment and educational content across most media in the region. From world-class news reporting on Sky News Arabia and Al Jazeera English, to entertainment content from creative super-hubs in Cairo and Damascus, regional audiences are spoiled for choice on many levels.

Karim Magdy

Senior account director, MullenLowe MENA


The audience in the region is more inclined to be influenced by global content since there are disparities in terms of standards and quality of production. Therefore, content in Arabia ends up getting side-lined to leave room for more revolutionary forms of communication. If the content is close to being up to par, then it’s simply inspired by global trends without having the same impact worldwide. If the content is localised, then the packaged narrative is outdated and tailored to a segmented group of people who have no influence on the audience who dictate this new era of content consumption: Gen Z. This region is in a constant state of ‘catch-up’ limbo by not using the technology, skills, or nurturing tools that it has access to. It is simply not evolving or innovating at the same pace as global media outlets.

Aneesa Rashid

Social and DCO lead, UM MENAT


Regional content is something that should continuously evolve and be improved upon. As a market, because of the cultural diversity that resides here and the international outlook we tend to have, it can be a natural default for media outlets to build upon leading global content, adding input with an overall regional view. That being said, radio and magazine outlets cultivated within the region do prioritise a more tailored, market-specific approach to the content they deliver. This resonates further within the local communities and showcases localised content that can tend to be overlooked elsewhere, hence their rapid success. With MENA’s continual rapid expansion, media outlets need to cater further towards market nuances, and content that identifies with audiences on a more personal level, which we know they are already avidly seeking, should those outlets want to further distinguish themselves and stay relevant.

June 27, 2022


Karim Sherif

Creative director, Havas Creative Middle East


There was indeed a time when regional content went through a monumental metamorphosis, but it didn’t reach full butterfly stage to be good enough for today. We’re at the exodus of the silver age that gave us the Melody Man, an angry panda and an affordable table that costs you three coffees. Now, the battle is waged across the multiscreen-verse-a-mcall-it, yet the intelligence of regional content still tries to navigate through an information overload that has domesticated consumer psychology to swipe before snipe. The value of content is now spliced across different sources in small quick shots as opposed to a pint of extravaganza. Entertaining content should be a delicious item on a menu that you’d enjoy fully, not an open buffet as it is today. We need not despair, though; content can only get better. You judge a region’s personality by its advertising, and ours is about to graduate college and earn a seat in the club.

Tariq Al Sharabi

Managing director of Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy


Though the region is at the forefront of many global industries, there is always space for growth and progress. When it comes to communication, traditional media, such as TV and newspapers, need to do more to push the envelope and drive the progress that has been encouraged in almost all other sectors. For too long have they stuck to their tried-and-tested approach, but this needs to change, especially with the advent of contemporary platforms that are quickly gaining influence and attracting most, if not all of the younger generation.

Manoj Khimji

Managing director, The MediaVantage


The region’s overall global competitive ranking has increased significantly over the past decade, and with the hyper-accelerated growth of Qatar and Saudi Arabia too, there are now three powerhouses carrying the Middle East baton. Where we see a shortfall now is in the international narrative, which would normally be directed by the local media outlets. However, what we see is an overindexing of local content and intrinsic distribution of that content. This allows the rest of the world to fall for the fashionable and sensationalist rhetoric of ‘human rights abuses, shiny buildings, no culture, spoilt expats brunching, etc.’, leaving the majority of the spade work to the private commercial entities not only to build the reputation of their brand, but to repair the damage of the world’s perception of the Middle East. The quality of the journalism and content production is not under question here; it’s the macro direction and distribution of that content that needs fixing for the region to become (and remain) globally relevant.



June 27, 2022

very time I move to a new role I switch to a new industry sector, as I truly enjoy the steep learning curve that comes with a whole new field. Post-pandemic, there is even more complexity for people and culture leads to navigate. I was hired by TBWA\RAAD to reimagine work practices post-Covid and partner with the leadership team to elevate the employee experience of our people and enable them to do their best work. Knowing that remote working was not going to be a temporary measure, we wanted to stay ahead of the curve rather than being led by the market. TBWA\RAAD’s advantage is that the agency has been fluent in delivering award-winning work via distributed teams and a flexible workforce for years, even before the pandemic. Now we have flexible hours, work-from-home any day a week, and we’ve just announced a four-week-per-year work-fromanywhere policy. In 2022, we see agencies experimenting with exciting new models of work and hybrid working patterns. The 3:2 working model (three days from the office, two from home) appears to be the most common. Some agencies mix these patterns up, tailoring configurations to the operational needs of their teams. Going further, some agencies are exploring even greater personalisation within their teams, with the aim of balancing operational needs with the needs of individual members, to fit in the demands of their roles beyond work. While the benefits of hybrid work for both agencies and their talent are self-evident, some of the challenges that come with new ways of working have been less obvious, catching some agency leaders off-guard. We’ve seen leaders reaching for traditional and more familiar leadership practices to regain a sense of control, while others have leaned into opportunities to try out new things, pursuing innovation in their work practices for employees with the same determination as the work they produce to delight clients. The challenges are significant. Creativity and innovation are central to what we do in this business. Missing out on opportunities for the human connection that in-person interaction and shared experiences provide is a risk with hybrid work. How do we attract people into the office to facilitate moments of connection at critical times? How do we provide entry-level talent and young emerging leaders with the in-person time to learn on the job by watching and learning from coaches and mentors? How do we mitigate the risk of unfairly excluding, assessing, recognising and promoting the people who are not in the office all the time? How do we provide our talent with real points of connection and engagement with the values and goals that attracted them to begin with? The solutions are already out there, and still many will be discovered before you get to the end of this article. Companies are redesigning their office space to make the office a welcoming, energising place to be. Zoned spaces aim to give employees reasons to be in the office, and to facilitate more watercooler moments or “moments of congregation”, to quote Bruce Daisley. Meeting rooms and work practices are being reimagined to provide for periods of uninterrupted conversation, and also for periods of uninterrupted focus, enabling employees to reach a state of flow, previously only largely possible when working alone at home. Some teams have implemented a weekly full-team ‘anchor day’ and ‘department days’, ensuring that people are in the same place to collaborate. However, these can limit cross-department collaboration if, for example, collaborating teams are scheduled for rotation on different days.

To build and maintain a strong community and create a sense of belonging for employees, many agencies are deploying frequent all-hands meetings, birthday celebrations, and regular in-person and virtual leadership fireside chats. These internal practices help build team cohesion and provide talent with frequent points of connection between the agency’s purpose and their own. We see investment in leadership development that equips managers to be empathetic leaders and to create inclusive hybrid working practices within their teams: asynchronous communication and decision-making; inclusive meeting etiquette and practices; managing talent based on outputs and impact instead of inputs or face time; providing employees with a sense of belonging. This is often accompanied by investment in tech platforms that support these shifts: meeting-room tech, performance and alignment management tech, workflow management tech, apps that allow team members to seamlessly synchronise their online and in-office time so they can schedule their time with intentionality to support team productivity. Here are a few principles to consider when rethinking an agency’s work practices: 1. Trust your people. Trust that the talent who kept the agency running working remotely during lockdowns and the stresses of a global pandemic are still acting in good faith and want to continue to contribute to the success of the agency they are a part of. They are not looking for ways to slack off now. 2. Establish your in-office non-negotiables. Start there and then seek opportunities to incorporate flexibility and new ways of doing things around those. A caveat before you label anything an in-office non-negotiable, though: If it was possible to get this done remotely in the midst of the lockdown, is it really an in-office non-negotiable? 3. Be curious about what’s out there. There are many potential solutions that can be explored. What are others doing that you haven’t yet tried? Flexibility comes in different shapes and sizes: in or out of the office, different working hours, part-time and job-sharing working models. 4. Be curious about perspectives inside your agency. Your talent has different circumstances and therefore brings different perspectives to the table. What ideas do they have and what might they be willing to try? Consult your people and involve them in trying out solutions. When you need behaviour change from people to make a change stick, the rule of ‘nothing about me without me’ is a proven success factor. 5. Experiment, and be ready to tweak to improve. You might try something and find out a particular solution doesn’t work for your agency, or perhaps not for all your teams, or maybe not all the time. Ask, ‘I wonder how we could make this work,’ instead of ‘I don’t think this will work.’ Hold on to your assumptions loosely. Keep an eye on performance

‘‘AVOID COPYING ‘BEST PRACTICES’ OUT THERE. THEY’RE NOT RIGHT JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE CALLED THAT.” indicators, feedback from your clients and your talent, and be ready to adapt where required. The win-win-win solution might be just one tweak away. I encourage leaders to avoid copying ‘best practices’ out there. They’re not right for your team just because they are called that. There really is no one-size-fits-all, because what is right for one agency might not work for another with a different market, mix of clients, core services, talent demographics and cultural context. So be willing to try things out and pursue what is the best fit for your agency and your people instead. Flexible working might be a new feature for the majority of today’s talent, but it is table stakes for Gen Z already. How prepared is your agency to compete for the talent of the future? Claudinia Harper, director of people, TBWA\RAAD


TBWA\RAAD’s Claudina Harper explains how to shape a post-pandemic flexible working environment


June 27, 2022

HUMANISING THE DIGITAL WORLD SUAD MERCHANT, SVP, global head of brand and corporate communications, Mashreq Bank

The human connection is missing in brands, and with it, so is the trust, writes Mashreq Bank’s Suad Merchant


verything in our modern world is a tap away, be it food, services, or even banking. And, it’s a noisy world saturated with products catering to every conceivable niche. I believe the best way to set your brand apart in such a world, to help customers notice you amidst the noise, is through authentic, compelling storytelling. As brand marketers, we must rethink what it means to be heard, remembered and, most importantly, loved in today’s world. We need to know who our audiences are, what dazzles their mind, touches their hearts and stimulates their senses to create consideration and trust and eventually generate a fan following.

“The human connection is missing, and so is the trust. It’s more critical than ever for us to focus on humanising our brand and bringing the human back into the digital.”

GENERATIONAL GAP Banking for our grandparents meant heading to their local branch, interacting directly with a branch manager and enjoying the comfort of having a human relationship with their bank. The longevity of the relationship and the brand’s heritage were the values that were important for brand consideration. However, with increased digitisation and smartphone fluency, the new generation, Gen Z, prioritises convenience, prompt resolution and a hassle-free banking experience. Their connection to the bank stems more from their perception of the authenticity of how the bank aligns with their individual values and how it delivers the service with a purpose – supporting the local communities and small businesses, empowering the female workforce, participating in the green initiatives and so on. In fact, Gen Z could even consider tech companies as financial providers if it aligned with their values. While it may seem like we’re dealing with different worlds, I see four vital transcending generations factors: Is the brand listening empathetically? Does the brand’s purpose align with my values? Is the brand honest? Is it authentic? How relevant and contextual is the brand in today’s digital world? We have seen a lack of face-to-face interactions in the last few years, causing diminished relationships. The human connection is missing, and so is the trust. It’s more critical than ever for us to focus on humanising our brand and bringing the human back into the digital. BREAKING THROUGH THE CLUTTER Storytelling may have started in caves, but it

remains just as relevant in the digital age. What began as folklore and drawings on cave walls evolved into black and white film, and now colour video in our palms. The means of consumption and experience have evolved alongside the format. Consumers today have a slew of choices and prospects in purchasing products. As per McKinsey, in the last three years we have seen 74 per cent of customers trying new brands with the surge of e-commerce, and 40 per cent of customers switching to a new brand globally. Data shows that as choices and channels increase, brand trustworthiness is more valuable to consumers. And it’s especially relevant to financial services brands as they are expected to manage the most sensitive bits of customer information. The one factor that remains constant, which separates memorable stories from forgettable ones, is empathy. If your story, whatever its medium, cannot create a connection with the audience or draw out an emotional response, it’s already failed. One of my favourite quotes by John Lennon is: “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So, I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” And, so is the context of the metaverse. When the metaverse inevitably becomes one of the preferred media for communication – an idea that brands and customers alike are excited about – it’ll still be good storytelling that will stick with the customer, just more immersive. We simply move from storytelling to “story-living”, so to speak, by allowing customers to view and experience a story in new ways. In essence, invest in great story telling, infuse it with empathy and authenticity, remember that the customer is always the hero, and you are only a guide. It’s okay to make mistakes or to admit that we aren’t there yet. Showing that you care is what creates that relationship and drives the brand narrative. Above all else, the story needs to be compelling and unforgettable. As a brand, you need to consistently drive the message home so that your audience is clear about what your brand stands for. Simultaneously, reach out to people about the things they care about and focus on their best interests. Once you’ve done that, you’ve made them the co-author of your brand story, a partner in your journey, as much as you are in theirs. It’s like a partnership – you are telling your brand story with your customer’s needs interwoven somewhere within its fabric. That’s when you can start building a tribe.


June 27, 2022


The new wave of experiential Experiential agency MCH Global taking the ME market by storm. Campaign talks to Ties Hendriks, the global managing director



The journey has been nothing short of a steep mountain climb – from being an unknown agency with a three-letter abbreviation that did not ring a bell for anyone, to becoming a challenger brand in the region, to becoming one of the fastest growing agencies in the Middle East. We were able to get attention, pitches, talent and big-wins all within a matter of four years. Our transformation was not by chance; it was strategic. We knew we had to grow in our original expertise area, automotive, but also diversify into tech, and we did so with clients such as Twitter, Google, Godaddy and Cisco. We were scaling up in the middle of the pandemic, to work closely with the Expo 2020 team and deliver amazing customer journeys and pavilions.

have all witnessed the power of great content, and the power of advertsing has stayed undisputed for years, but are we finally entering an era when brand promises are better experienced than narrated. Isn’t the brand experience an equally compelling driver as the brand campaign, or even more so? We are not here to debate whether advertising agencies should be in the driver’s seat of a brand’s budgets; rather, we are here to build a case that an experience-first approach can prove to be as rewarding, if done right. While engagement metrics and ROI measurement may still need greater tools, we are already exploring possible outcomes around awareness, adore scores, shareability, likeability, brand perception shifts and cognitive purchase decision making, and how they can all be affected by well thought-out brand experiences.



The main difference is an exhibition design company or a digital agency focuses on one part of the marketing mix, while experiential as a discipline is naturally emcompassing in its thought and its execution. Our teams need to have a generalist’s view of a lot of elements of marketing, but must keep a red thread alive as they strategise, create, design and deliver an experience for the brand and its customers.


There is a natural pivot from leading with the campaign to putting the customer experience front and centre. We are now working closely with our clients to identify first, broad objectives (market share, business or brand-based) and arrive at moments in the year that need to be activated ahead of time. This in turn creates a retainer-style approach, where the brand doesn’t have to necessarily keep pitching and instead can have a preferred strategic marketing partner at the decision-making table. This year we have seen a huge change and we have signed several retainers (for instance with Enoc and Cisco), but also we see that our clients value our deep understanding of their brands, which has led to ongoing engagement. In the first half of the year we have already done multiple major projects with BMW, AGMC and Twitter.


Personally I would rather experience a brand than be sold it or even told about it. I think the question isn’t about ad vs. experiential; it has to be about storytelling vs. storydoing. We

One of our key takeaways from the experience was that we were able to juxtapose many different aspects. It became a truly multi-discplinary project and we built a multi-faceted, cross-functional team for it. We experienced the true power of compelling stories that can be consumed and understood by audiences with varying levels of interest and comprehension. To achieve that, it takes in-depth strategic thinking, specific visitor foresight and creative effectiveness that we were able to build into our teams.


We have entered into the next phase of growth with two key focus areas: innovation and expansion. We’re pushing to expand our experitise and capabilities into new formats such as the metaverse, web3 and other innovative territories.The metaverse presents a huge opportunity for brands and agencies and we will focus on bringing the same quality of experience and results there as we do in our real-world projects. We will continue to grow our teams and market share in Dubai, retaining our quality and creative edge with a clear focus on the regional momentum across KSA and Qatar. On the global front, we are building stronger capacity for creative and execution in Europe, foraying into opportunistic segments like banking and also re-activating the pedigree business of art, luxury and timepieces from the MCH Group. We are looking to take on global accounts and projects with an EMEA focus. We have just brought on a head of Europe, who brings immense experience and expertise from having been in roles both on the brand and the agency networks side, and

we are gearing up for a busy two quarters ahead of us. We are taking time to train our teams, grow our services and anticipate and plan for the next leap ahead.


The secret sauce – that isn’t so secret anymore – that I’m trying to instill into my team leads and emerging leaders is to start and end with empathy. Instead of starting with where we want to go, let’s start with who we are sitting across from and how can we inspire them to take on the company’s collective goals and make them their own. It all boils down to keeping the culture alive, and ours is one that is open, ambitious, honest and caring. We are in the business of creating experiences, and I want to make sure that among our teams and clients we can deliver an experience that is hard to forget and hard to find elsewhere.

“We have entered into the next phase of growth with two key focus areas: innovation and expansion.”


June 27, 2022


Banking on Reels ads to deliver results Emirates NBD achieved a 6.4-point rise in ad recall after using Instagram Reels ads as part of its Mother’s Day campaign in the UAE


his Mother’s Day, Emirates NBD bank and FP7 partnered with Meta’s Instagram to launch a Reels-first execution using the platform’s trending ‘Teleportation’ transition. Videos showed a mother being plucked out of her environment and transported into the lap of luxury at one of the hotel partners of ENBD. The videos promoted a competition where users were asked to recreate the same teleportation effect with their own mothers for the chance to win a Mother’s Day gift. The campaign’s aim was to raise awareness of ENBD’s Mother’s Day offers and discounts, and to engage mothers themselves, encouraging them to participate in the campaign. The target was affluent adults aged 18-45. As with any user-generated-content campaign in the UAE, lowering barriers to entry to ensure participation was a challenge. ENBD and Instagram launched a tutorial Reel to complement the campaign, educating users about how easy it is to replicate the effect using just their phones, and showing them exactly how to enter the competition. The campaign saw average ad recall lift by 6.4 points on average with Reels placement. Ad recall with Reels placement

for the 34-44 age group rose by 7.5 points, and there was a 4.6 point lift in campaign awareness with Reels placement. One of the reasons for the campaign’s success was that it was created specifically for Reels, using the visual and cultural language of that platform. It performed much better as a Reels placement than it did across other platforms, demonstrating that content performs better when it is created for the medium or format where it goes live. The content was well produced, but cost much less than a TVC. The production value was perfect for Mother’s Day. It’s an occasion when the objectives were to entertain and engage with an audience. While that doesn’t negate the need for high production values, Meta has found that with the right campaign, agile creatives delivered quickly and efficiently can deliver results. Although the Reels format is usually associated with a younger demographic, this campaign proved effective across all age groups. Reels shouldn’t be dismissed by campaigns or brands that target an older demographic. If content is done in a way that speaks the language of Reels, it can generate great results.

“The content was well produced, but cost much less than a TVC. The production value was perfect for Mother’s Day. It’s an occasion when the objectives were to entertain and engage with an audience.”


June 27, 2022


Moadh Bukhash, Chief Marketing Officer, Emirates NBD “As a consumer-centric brand, Emirates NBD is constantly innovating how we communicate and engage with our audiences. We recently saw great success with Reels on Instagram for our Mother’s Day campaign. We specifically leveraged the platform’s Teleportation special effect, which enabled us to connect with Emirates NBD cardholders who follow our social platforms, reminding them of the offers, discounts and deals they can enjoy.”

Leen Fakhreddin, Creative Agency Partnerships Lead MEA, Meta “Reels is not only the biggest engagement growth driver on Instagram, it’s also a place where people and creators are actively shaping culture every day, with new trends surfacing regularly. Reels ads allow brands to be part of the emerging culture. Among various submissions for Meta’s Reels Hackathon from leading agencies in MENA, FP7 were the winners for their understanding of Reels-first creative and speaking the language of the format. The ENBD work is a testament to that and to our strategic partnership with the agency. ”

Austyn Allison, Senior Editor, Campaign Middle East “The nice thing about this campaign is it’s fun and engaging but doesn’t rely on expensive cinematography and editing. It looks like it’s made with a regular phone, which makes it accessible to a regular audience who can emulate the effect to try and win a prize, or just to have fun. The content wouldn’t work well on another channel, as it’s shot specifically for Reels, but that strengthens its impact on the Instagram platform since it’s native and not shoehorned in. I want to try the effect myself now.”



June 27, 2022






elcome back to our annual New Marketing issue. This is a special focus on the state of the industry, looked at from some different angles. We’ve split it into three parts. The unifying theme of those parts is perhaps that we are looking not at agencies, as we often do, but at other components of the brand communications ecosystem. First, we have asked marketers to tell us about their sectors. On page 21, Marwa Kaabour, Al Masaood Group’s head of marketing and communications, talks about how the process of buying and selling cars is changing. And then Yas Island Experience Hub’s performance marketing director, Matt Nelson, explains how people are holidaying today. Once we have seen how things look from a marketer’s perspective, we shift our viewpoint to see how different types of media are holding up. And that’s ‘media’ in the broad sense of people and platforms that convey brand messages. Here you will find insights on influencer marketing, events, digital platforms and more. The third part of ‘The New Marketing’ is all about Faces to Watch, professionals on the client and brand side aged 30 and under who have been nominated by their bosses or the agencies they work with, and put forward as the future of the marketing industry. I make no secret that Faces to Watch is one of my favourite series that Campaign carries. Some of the Faces are new to their trade, and some have been going for a few years and already boast impressive titles. All of them are believed by their colleagues, partners and peers to show big potential, and many of them will go on to shape the industry for the rest of us. Some haven’t been in their jobs long enough to know what marketing can be like without a pandemic. But all of them are facing the same challenges as the marketers and media in the pages that precede them. Those challenges include adapting to a post-pandemic consumer mindset, and navigating a predominantly online ecosytem that is getting more and more digital by the day. Those challenges are also opportunites, and in the next few pages you will have a chance to see how brands and platforms are seizing those. You will see how media are adapting to work with, rather than against the tech giants. You will see how marketers are reacting nimbly to a public that wants service at the speed of Amazon, backed by business ethics that won’t destroy the Amazon. In this issue we can see where we have been, where we are now and where we are going. Luckily, the new generation of consumers is being served by a combination of experienced, empathetic, enthusiastic and inspired marketers and media, and this is the right place to meet those players and let them share their insights and understanding of the industry.

A look at the state of two key sectors: automotive and travel & tourism

25 MEDIA What’s on the minds of the people who carry your content and messaging?

30 FACES TO WATCH (BRAND EDITION) A roll call of some of the region’s most promsing marketers aged 30 and under



Cover designed by Thokchom Remy

Motivate Media Group Head Office: 34th Floor, Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 427 3000, Email: Dubai Media City: SD 2-94, 2nd Floor, Building 2, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 390 3550, Fax: +971 4 390 4845 Abu Dhabi: Motivate Advertising, Marketing & Publishing, PO Box 43072, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tel: +971 2 677 2005, Fax: +971 2 677 0124, Email: London: Motivate Publishing Ltd, Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER. EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Obaid Humaid Al Tayer Managing Partner and Group Editor Ian Fairservice Senior Editor Austyn Allison Editorial Intern Ishwari Khatu DESIGN Art Director Clarkwin Cruz Designer Thokchom Remy ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Tel: +971 4 427 3000 Chief Commercial Officer Anthony Milne Publisher Nadeem Ahmed Quraishi (+971 50 6453365) PRODUCTION General Manager S. Sunil Kumar 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.



Campaign ME

June 27, 2022


he world of automotive sales is becoming ever less the domain of large state-of-the-art multi-story buildings with sharp-suited saleswomen and men running customers through an inperson pitch about the latest car model’s sizzling features, and negotiating their way to seal a deal. The dealership model has been around since the 1800s, and for as long as we remember they represented a milestone in the lives of everyone. Who wouldn’t remember their first car purchase? Times have changed. An explosion of innovations is cutting out the middlemen. The digital revolution and climate change are disrupting the mobility scene. Several internal and external challenges are jostling the way dealerships sell and conduct their marketing. The most prominent of these are: Customers’ increasing inclination to receive Amazon-like services. The new breed of digital natives is precious about their offline time. They’ve put their trust in the screen world and want to shop for their expensive gadgets online. In one sitting, they go on to surf multiple showrooms, deals and offers of car dealers. With this comes the popularity of online multimodal mobility platforms with fully digitised customer journeys and multi-brand offerings. This same digital native breed is awestruck with how badly their predecessors have handled the environment. With wildfires, heatwaves and floods, and increasing pollution, they have taken it upon themselves to prevail as the saviours of the planet. This more of a survival tactic rather than one adhering to Maslow’s principles of self-actualisation. The new generation is open and ready for hybrid and electric cars. The power and roar of the propulsion engines may not guarantee a sale, certainly not with the spiking increase of fuel prices. The sales and marketing narrative will change and may be less about the product, but more about its benefit and environmental impact. And from this we arrive at the hot topic of ownership, as the world sees that customers today may drop the need to own a car and rely on shared mobility such as public transport, ride-hailing, leasing and subscription models.



Al Masaood

SUSTAINING DEALERSHIPS Al Masaood Group’s Marwa Kaabour examines how the car buying experience has transformed, and what this means for marketers

There is plenty of action to come from dealerships as they ride this wave of change. The dealership model that survives on inherited technology can no longer depend on bulk and aggressive advertising to sustain sales. Automotive marketers are building new avenues of sales and will need to upgraded digital experiences to enhance their relationships. This means fully digitised customer journeys, virtual sales and seamless online showrooms, even metaverse ones. Here are the latest developments in online automotive sales: Car configurators: allowing buyers to customise their cars from the ground up; the interior and exterior colours, fabrics, accents. Price transparency: with e-commerce portals allowing user full visibility of car prices, shoppers can easily compare car model prices. Online financing: gone are the days of endless bank paperwork and applications. Dealers today allow users to apply for financing, choose the banks and rates they prefer, and enjoy an easy and seamless car purchase process. Online insurance & registration: buy the car online and receive it registered and ready at their beck and call. Delivery to the house: and just like that, from the couch in shoppers’ living rooms, dealers today will deliver the car to their doorstep, after they selected it, financed it and got it registered. All in a few clicks. The marketing mix will turn digital and will require investments in online sales and after-sales platforms. Dealerships will start downsizing physically and upgrading technologically. Marketing will also move to an engagement hub, with the marketing KPIs shifting from superficial measurement of leads and conversions to customer engagement indexes. For dealers to address the usership cannibalisation, they will need to revisit how to sell and promote their fleet. This means introducing full-service leasing and subscription models as opposed to selling one model at a time. The marketing of these products will require highly engaging

user-generated content and smart mobile advertising. Technology investment in fleet analytics is expected to rise, and with it the hot topics of user privacy and data protection. The overall bubble seems to put the longevity of the relationship with the customer at risk, and with this comes the need for new branded schemes. It also means being more available socially for your customers. In this day and age, customers have become expectant of digital selling modes such as live selling and WhatsApp selling, as well as the very powerful digital version of word-ofmouth: user-generated content. With this mass change comes ample opportunity. This is not the end of the model; it is in fact the metamorphosis stage. The world’s population is growing and so is its urbanisation. As of last year, the industry has invested more than $2.7 trillion into selling the fulfilment of owning a car, and this is not going to change soon. It will, however, transform to more in-time, pay-per-day and 24-hour availability messaging that would ward off the threat of extinction.

By MARWA KAABOUR, group head of marketing and corporate communications, Al Masaood Group


June 27, 2022

Yas Island

STAY OR GO Yas Island’s Matt Nelson examines the marketing mix behind attracting both overseas and domestic tourists


here has never been a more exciting time to work within the travel and tourism industry as we emerge following the global pandemic. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Middle East tourism GDP is forecast to grow at an average rate of 7.7 per cent annually between 2022-2032, three times the 2.5 per cent growth rate for the region’s overall economy, with travel industry GDP set to reach a mammoth $540bn. This huge growth in the tourism industry is being largely driven by pent-up demand for travel. Consumers are desperate to make up for lost time and missed experiences, resulting in them being more receptive to new destinations and activities, whilst being keen to make the most of opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones. Now is the time for marketers to be bold and take risks to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities within the travel and tourism sector. The tourism industry was one of the hardest hit during the global pandemic. Airlines were grounded, hotels were empty and an entire sector was in hibernation. Even as we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, travellers were still faced with confusing and sometimes expensive entry and exit restrictions and procedures, often with testing and mandatory quarantine. On top of this, consumer confidence was low. For many, the only saving grace was the staycation, and the restrictions and uncertainty that limited international travel drove staycation numbers like we had never seen before. Following months of uncertainty, the marketing team at Yas Island knew that a daring approach was needed, and in summer 2021, we launched a bold musical staycation campaign, ‘Stayin’ on Yas’. Contrasting with the generic, marketing messages consumers had been hearing throughout the pandemic, the ‘Stayin’ on Yas’ campaign was optimistic and exciting and was the break people needed, giving viewers a glimpse of holiday promise and, most importantly, a taste of much needed fun. The campaign gained a huge amount of attention and engagement in the UAE and ensured Yas Island stood out in a cluttered market, making sure the destination was top of mind for staycations. As we approach the second half of 2022, we are seeing international leisure travel rebound. The travel industry buzzword ‘revenge travel’ is coming to fruition, with consumers splurging on long delayed, bucket-list vacations as an antidote to the fear of missing out experienced by many during the last two years.

Consumers are hungry for experiences and ready to spend, but there is a battle for the consumer share of wallet. While we are getting back to ‘normal’, we are seeing an imbalance in the number of people dreaming of travel, the number actually booking, and the number of destinations, airlines, and hotels all competing for bookings. To stand out from the pack, during the first half of the year Yas Island has leveraged celebrities to capture the attention of audiences. Our collaborations with these celebrities are part of bold campaigns we created to make an impact for 2022 and beyond, which are already seeing strong results. ‘Yas Hai Khass’, a Bollywood-style epic featuring Ranveer Singh on an adventure through Yas


Island, has succeeded in capturing interest and raising awareness of Yas Island across India. Our global campaign with Kevin Hart featuring him in the coveted role of ‘Chief Island Officer’ in a series of humorous films from around Yas Island has spurred interest and engagement in global markets. To launch such major campaigns with high levels of investment so early in the postpandemic period was a risk but has already paid off by taking consideration of Yas Island beyond where it was before the global pandemic. It is important to note that we are not yet operating in a ‘normal’ environment. Traditionally, when planning a marketing calendar and investment we would have usually looked to historical data and trends. While broad seasonal trends are still consistent, there has been a disruption in traditional dreaming, booking and travel patterns. At Experience Hub we are looking to model of short-term data to predict influxes in travel intent and quickly shifting marketing investment accordingly. Speed has been key to capitalise on opportunities as restrictions have been lifted across regional and international markets. Predictability will eventually return to the market; in the short term we have been forced to be market-driven rather than marketing-calendar-driven. The other major impact on data has been the measures resulting from an increased privacy focus from the likes of Apple and Google. Consumers have more choices about the data they are happy to share and more transparency over how it is being used. Even though GDPR is a European regulation, the impact on profiling and targeting data is being felt across the Middle East as many of the sources of travel intent data, hotel or flight metasearch, for example, apply GDPR-level restrictions across their sites. Third-party travel data aggregators have for a long time been a staple in performance marketing media plans to target travel intent. While these aggregators continue to provide value, media partners who generate their own travel intent data are quickly gaining an advantage. Unless marketers have a handle on their own first party data, they will quickly feel the impact of the industry’s over-reliance on third party data. Marketers who are data-savvy and use market data and consumer insights to their advantage to build bold, creative campaigns are those who will succeed in the brave new world of travel and tourism marketing.

By MATT NELSON, performance marketing director, Experience Hub, Yas Island

June 27, 2022


Vamp Middle East

digital pay-per-click as a performance channel, this is a maturation cycle we’ve seen happen with every marketing channel as it gains legitimacy and momentum. It’s apparent in the conversations we’re having with brands and agencies, which have progressed beyond a simple introduction to how creator marketing works and why it matters. As adoption increases and measurement improves, brands are starting to develop a more nuanced understanding of creator marketing as a path to driving authentic brand engagement. Vamp customers are also approaching creator marketing very differently from when they first started. Now it’s less about command and control. Brands still want to set the tone and define the parameters of a campaign brief yet are comfortable leaving the creative direction in the hands of digital creators. We think this is largely a product of the advocacy we do when onboarding new clients around ‘The Vamp Pledge’, which is our commitment to respecting and upholding a creator’s creative interpretation of the brief. It’s grounded in our belief that digital creators have the best judgment when it comes to what connects with their audience. In the pursuit of authenticity as a value exchange, we’re seeing the dialogue between brand and creator become much more open and collaborative, which ultimately reflects in the outcomes they’re able to achieve. The willingness to be open is something we especially see in the case of emerging and challenger brands. These brands come into existence recognising creator marketing as a critical go-tomarket channel that helps them compete. They know creators know what they’re doing and are willing to offer creative freedom to get the most out of the collaboration. Their focus instead is on understanding what type of user-generated or sponsored content formats deliver the best ROI for their business. These brands want to dive deep on time spent on different content formats and why, compare engagement results against category benchmarks, and uncover what factors drive performance when evaluating branded-content posts versus other outputs like video content. The challenge for Vamp and our social media partners will be making sure we continue to evolve our analytics capabilities and offer performance insights that satisfy the needs of this informed customer base. It would also be remiss of us not to acknowledge the macro-economic climate we’re currently witnessing. In an economic downturn, brands sometimes lose their nerve. They don’t want to appear tone-deaf to the challenges being faced by consumers, and opt for a more conservative approach to how the brand is being promoted in different markets. Sometimes it’s about curtailing spend, which inevitably involves the need to make dispassionate decisions about where to pull funding. If you’re a brand that’s having to make trade-offs around where to invest,

CROSSING THE CHASM Vamp’s Karl Mapstone examines creator marketing in a Marketing 4.0 world


ooking at the evolution of marketing, Philip Kotler describes Marketing 4.0 as the next stage of the digital technology boom. He talks about consumers having unprecedented access to information and growing up engaged with brands across social and the web. These consumers are demanding more authentic brand connections. Kotler says: “The brand’s core, authentic character is ever more important. Brands need to come across as true to their identity and authentic in their messages – this perceived substance is a valuable asset in an increasingly transparent world.” Inherent to that marketing evolution, we’re seeing the ‘industrialisation’ of creator marketing unfold before us. From justifying the ROI of events to embracing

‘‘IN THE PURSUIT OF AUTHENTICITY, WE’RE SEEING THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN BRAND AND CREATOR BECOME MUCH MORE OPEN AND COLLABORATIVE.’’ the guidance we would offer is to start with ROI metrics and work backwards. In the hierarchy of what’s driving good results, ask yourself how your creator marketing efforts stack up against other digital channels? Are you comparing apples to apples? Is your primary metric return on advertising spend (ROAS) or a more comprehensive ROI calculation, where you’re factoring in agency costs, time-to-market, media rates, etc.? Think about what other value-added components you get as a halo effect of investing in creator marketing, such as branded content you can repurpose. There are very few barriers to entry when considering working with a Vamp creator. Campaigns are quick to get up and running, flexible in terms of the up-front commitment (entry level campaigns start at $1,000), and inclusive from the perspective of providing access to creators with audiences of all sizes and specialisms. Similarly, the other opportunity available to brands is around collaborating with creators in the context of new product development (NPD) initiatives. Creators are the arbiters of taste when it comes to adopted consumer behaviour. We’ve seen several examples of collabs between brands and macro-influencers to bring products to market, and we think a natural extension of that is using a bottom-up approach to NPD. For brands, working with creators and their audiences to understand what direction demand is coming from helps skip traditional NPD discovery cycles and fast-track to production as a competitive advantage. Back in the world of Marketing 4.0, Kotler says: “A brand’s projected positioning will not have the desirable impact if it is not driven by a community-driven consensus.” Instant feedback and real-world insights from a creator’s audience help customers see themselves as active participants in NPD cycles, increasing the likelihood of a customer identifying themselves with that brand. Who better than creators to help make that a reality?

KARL MAPSTONE, managing director, Vamp Middle East


June 27, 2022

Is the new normal actually new? The pandemic brought us accountable freedom and changed the way we work and think. But where does this leave publishers? By DMS’s Daniel Young Daniel Young, Group Senior Director, Yield, Inventory & Programmatic, DMS


he term ‘new normal’ is at risk of becoming as redundant as “the year of mobile”. The problem with terms like this, is that we are typically very much nearing its maturity before anyone realises or acknowledges it. To remedy (and compound) this, let’s instead consider it as our ‘Current New Normal’. What the current new normal possesses, and something that distinguishes itself from many other industry-based projections, is that it was seemingly forced upon us, or accelerated at the very least. There is no denying that Covid-19 brought with it a swath of health, travel, social and economic concerns. It impacted almost every aspect of our daily lives. With it seemingly behind us however, let’s dig into the ‘current new normal’ that we find ourselves in and reveal the possible impact on the media advertising landscape. Let’s begin with a positive. For many, the thought of remote working or a more flexible and understanding approach to work was a bit of a pipe dream. Reserved only for the self-employed. For much of 2020 however, it was a requirement, with offices closed and stay-at-home mandates in place. Naturally, not everyone was a convert. Focusing with small children running around, balancing the needs of your work and their remote learning could only be difficult at best. For many others, it was a revelation. Free from the daily commute, released from the confines of an office, and ultimately trusted to deliver without an omnipresent boss, we got something that we never knew we craved so much: accountable freedom. The antiquated approach of physical presence being a precursor to deliverables is something that received a well needed shakeup. It is not perfect, immune to exploitation, or a full-time replacement to interpersonal sessions. It should, however remain as a possibility and opportunity that is seen as a positive. The appreciation of mental health risks and a general shift to a more conscious work-life balance has been a big plus. Although there needs to be further development, these advancements will be of great value and benefit not only to our industry, but beyond. Another positive is the heightened thirst for facts and unbiased truths. It is scary to think that this is not simply a norm, but that it requires the adjective ‘new’ in front of it. It is an unfortunate reality, though. The last few have has seen a rise in fake news and opinion being touted as fact. For those who are more aware, exposed or in

“Let’s begin with a positive. For many, the thought of remote working or a more flexible and understanding approach to work was a bit of a pipe dream.” possession of a strong filter for rubbish, however, it has only cemented the need for well-informed, researched and balanced journalism, not misinformation. What is strange and alarming when considering this ‘positive’, however, is that it is overshadowed by a closely related negative. A seemingly overwhelming shift from news-based advertising. The topic of brand guidelines is an issue unto itself, not to be critiqued within this article. Nevertheless, it does beg the question: Is advertising’s shunning of news publishers simply an avoidance of reality? After all, in a world of audience-based targeting (another topic not for this article), is a potential client no longer of interest when consuming the hard truths of the world around us? What about sports news, or entertainment? Where is the line? What this sets up nicely is the consideration of an elephant in the room, potentially one of the biggest losers of the current new normal: publishers. Is there a future for ad-supported publishers? During the last few years, we have witnessed an

insurmountable surge towards social media and walled gardens. Like a moth to the flame, brands and agencies gravitated towards the undeniable appeal of cheap scale in a simple one-stop-shop. There is no denying that these platforms cater for a lot of what is required by many brands. But with apparent double standards, contradictions and voids that are left when publishers come last, is it sustainable? At times, publishers seem to be held to a higher standard than these giant platforms. They need to bend over backwards on every aspect of the plausible, just to secure a portion of the remaining budgets. With time spent online only increasing, why is it that only about 30 per cent of MENA ad spend (IAB GCC 2020) finds its way to publishers? Is it down to simplicity and reach alone, or are publishers missing something? Is there just a lack of time, resources or motivation to build quality strategies that meet clients’ KPIs within their expectations? Perhaps clients only want to be around ‘happy on the surface’ social zombies, if that is all we are. Obviously, these platforms work (quantity vs. quality is another great discussion topic for later), but why would brands want all their eggs in one basket? Moreover, where is the line between cheap engagements and misinformation? Is there a set of rules for social platforms and another for publishers? A final aspect of our current new normal is the squeeze on margins. Yes, a marketer needs maximum return on ad spend. But the push to extract every percentage point to an unsustainable level puts immense strain on agencies, and subsequently sellers. Maybe it is society’s need for instant gratification, but blindly pursuing leads, installs or sales is a strategy with an expiry date. Careful consideration and building brand equity, awareness, and health, whilst feeding the funnel at the same time is essential. It is also important to acknowledge that an outcome-only buying model doesn’t remove risk. It simply pushes it to someone else, only serving to compound the pressure in a different spot. We will always be entering or living in a new normal, to the point where it is simply the norm. With the shift to first-party data and contextual relevance, you could argue that the ‘next new normal’ is actually the old normal. Whatever is on the near horizon, let’s hope it provides balance, consistency and continued room for experimentation and thoughtprovoking conversation.



June 27, 2022


he marketing sector faced a whole new set of challenges with the surging impact of the pandemic and technology’s evolution. The pandemic took spending behaviour to its lowest simply because all marketing budgets were slashed and brands and advertisers were trying to manoeuvre the new normal, like everyone else. Events and advertising were heavily affected by cancellations and indefinite postponements, travel bans and the raging economic impact of the pandemic. The whole of the industry had to be completely refocused. This in turn created an opportunity for technology to disrupt even the most traditional markets, with purchasing patterns rapidly shifting to e-commerce platforms. Adapting to the new trends, advertisers significantly increased digital spending, making performance marketing shine as a great media tool, with higher cost on the cost-perclick (CPC) and conversion. As major economies in the MENA region have shifted their focus to building non-oil-focused ecosystems and diversified revenue streams to bring other industries to the forefront, the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry has seen unprecedented growth as it has far-reaching impacts

‘‘ADAPTING TO THE NEW TRENDS, ADVERTISERS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED DIGITAL SPENDING, MAKING PERFORMANCE MARKETING SHINE.’’ on its adjoining sectors and GDP, not only hospitality. Major Middle Eastern economies, led by the UAE (particularly Dubai) have built a great infrastructure to host and support mega-scale events, exhibitions, and conferences. Saudi has also made huge investments by hosting major global events in Riyadh like the 2020 G20 Riyadh summit and the MDL Beast Festival. This year the focus will be on Qatar, as the country

gears up to host one of the biggest sports tournaments in the world, the Football World Cup 2022. As fans from across the world travel to watch their favourite teams compete, and major events take place on the periphery of the World Cup, the economy of the country will most definitely flourish with the influx of tourists and surge in demand for the hospitality sector. Egypt on the other hand has been making strides of its own in the sector, with its new MICE strategy and is gearing up to bring the world to Egypt for the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), slated for November this year. The hybrid approach seems to be the motto of our generation of marketers. With media planning taking the lead to split budgets between offline and online media to events being planned with

physical and virtual touchpoints, strategies have evolved to include every new media channel, various audience segments, static and interactive branding elements, and consumer engagement activations, all tied together with brand messaging. For example, at Entourage, we have worked with multiple countries to devise marketing strategies to promote tourism, highlight all the important sectors of the country and bring in investment. Promoting countries is the most challenging marketing job there is. Promoting countries not just for tourism, but for business and investment, and actually witnessing the intangible impact of the success of the campaign on the development and progress of the country itself. With multiple avenues that need to be marketed and messaging that needs to


THE MAIN EVENT The events industry has been reshaped and disrupted but is adept at adapting to new trends, writes Entourage’s Ziad Faour justify every aspect, it requires in-depth knowledge of geography, history, culture, traditions, population demographics, agriculture and industry and everything you can imagine. With countries, the most important task is to align the marketing strategy with the overall country strategy and develop a bank of content and media to drive the narrative through the right marketing channels, using the right mix of storytelling and immaculate creativity and to always remain true to authenticity. As destination marketing campaigns involve multiple different clusters of audiences and different geographies, media planning and budgeting are as crucial as producing the creative campaign itself. But once you have a successful campaign, the results percolate down to all sectors. This is where I feel our next biggest opportunity is. The other side of an opportunity is always a threat or a challenge. As volatile as our industry may be, it has proven to be resilient and agile in the face of instability. The threat of financial recessions and the possibility of another global contagion creating havoc in our lives is very real. With more than two decades in the business, I am certain, we will come out on the winning side of any challenge.

By ZIAD FAOUR, head of strategy, Entourage


June 27, 2022


Dubai International (DXB), a global gateway and strategic communication platform for brands


ith its year-round sunshine, white-sand beaches and recordbreaking attractions, there is little doubt as to why Dubai continues to attract millions of tourists each year. Ranking as the No.1 global destination in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022, Dubai’s accolades are a testimony to its resilient efforts in driving international tourism recovery, backed by the proactive strides undertaken by the government to position the emirate as a world-class leisure and business hub. As Dubai becomes increasingly popular among holidaymakers, digital nomads and business travellers, Dubai International (DXB) has significantly grown as the gateway to the city for global travellers and UAE residents.

brands with Dubai’s attractiveness and connect with their audiences, delivering an immersive brand experience through premium communication platforms.

DXB Arrivals: gateway to the city

DXB Arrivals is a strategic touchpoint for brands and retailers looking to connect with affluent audiences arriving in the city, be they residents or tourists. An uncluttered environment and a captive audience in a positive mindset are key advantages for advertisers, who can leverage different types of media solutions to achieve their communication objectives, build brand equity or drive audiences to their flagship stores in the city.

capabilities, allowing brands to customise their artwork with targeted messages, helping marketers build contextually relevant campaigns that are proven to be 17 per cent more effective (The Moments of Truth Study by Clear Channel & Posterscope, Mar 2020). Malabar Gold & Diamond’s recent campaign used dynamic content solutions to welcome international passengers arriving in Dubai, a global jewellery shopping destination, in their respective languages, thereby creating deeper engagement with their audiences, while they waited for their baggage at Terminal 3 DXB.

Airports, a place to surprise

Airports have always been considered as a place to surprise and create a lasting impression through iconic displays and experiential Dubai International (DXB): the value concepts. Undoubtedly, one of proposal for brands DXB’s most iconic media Delivering a specific environment opportunities in arrivals is The and context, the airport is a place Wave, a gigantic 87-sqm curved where people are positive, excited screen delivering an immersive and receptive, and consider brand experience to passengers advertising as an integral part of as they exit the airport. It is the their journey. According to a study perfect platform for brands to conducted by Researchbods in make a bold statement at the October 2021, travellers agreed last touchpoint before that the airport environment passengers enter the city, and transferred the highest luxury brands often leverage on perceived value of trust and this awe-inspiring digital media prestige onto brands as compared to drive audiences to their with any other media. In another flagship stores in the city. study, conducted by JCDecaux, 85 Brands can leverage on the per cent of airport passengers Creative Heatmap tool, a unique claim to be more attentive to the offering by JCDecaux as part of airport environment and 78 per Adidas 100% sustainable racetrack at DXB Arrivals, in partnership with JCDecaux Dubai JCDecaux Data Solutions, a cent pay more attention to portfolio of solutions designed to help advertising screens compared with pre-Covid With Dubai being recognised as a hub for advertisers achieve their marketing objectives levels, making the airport an impactful creativity and innovation, advertisers are at every step of the campaign. Using artificial touchpoint for brands to communicate with looking at DXB as a distinctive platform for intelligence to estimate the performance of a their audiences. unique experiences designed to turn airport campaign by understanding which parts of Benefiting from a strategic location, with passengers into engaged consumers. A recent the advertising visual the audience will focus more than two thirds of the world’s campaign by adidas, where the brand on, Creative Heatmap helps advertisers population within eight hours by flight, DXB unveiled a running track in the arrival establish whether the key branding or continues to be the world’s busiest airport by corridors of Terminal 3, provided an engaging executional elements are likely international passenger numbers for the experience for visitors, encouraging travellers to draw attention, and optimise their visuals eighth consecutive year. Dubai International to opt to walk along the racetrack instead of to align with the environments they’re realised an unparallel recovery postusing the travellators, rewarding those who present in. pandemic, which was highlighted by Paul follow the track with complimentary sneaker To conclude, with Dubai’s positioning as a Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, when he customisation at the adidas flagship store desirable city to live, visit and conduct said: “Travel is an amazingly aspirational located in The Dubai Mall. business in, more and more people are commodity for people at the moment and Communicating at DXB Arrivals gives a flocking here, making DXB, the gateway to the we’re seeing that exponential growth, brand the opportunity to leverage on the city, an incomparable platform for brands particularly in people coming to and high-dwell-time areas such as Immigration to communicate with a strategic and from Dubai.” and Baggage Claim. Taking the brands’ digital valuable audience in an aesthetically In this context, DXB offers an outstanding campaigns to the next level, our digital media preserved environment. opportunity for advertisers to associate their is equipped with dynamic content

June 27, 2022


7awi Group

PIVOT AND STAY RELEVANT 7awi’s Anas Abar looks at what innovation is necessary for media platforms to keep pace with a changing industry


ust like any industry, the media and publishing industries have been going through turbulent times. The innovation cycle is led by a few platforms, and publishers are at the mercy of the algorithms. This has been a vicious cycle ever since the term ‘digital transformation’ was coined, and it has meant that publishers needed to have digital presence. This lasted for a few years and eventually technology, market dynamics, competition and user behaviour evolved faster than most of the traditional media houses could keep pace with. Print circulation became traffic on websites; million-dollar campaigns became programmatic; users opted out of reading and in to video consumption; viewability, segmentations, interests, user acquisition and leads became the currency; and user-generated content started to compete with the costly productions from media houses. We all know what the pandemic did in terms of impact on traditional media. The contraction of attention span of consumers who are on the go became a matter of seconds. Some experts claim it is as short as three seconds. Digital publishers and content creators started to compete for budgets and attention. This is the reality of our industry, and to survive one must reinvent and pivot one’s role to continue to be relevant. The big question is: How do you pivot and how do you stay relevant? There is no single answer. There are many things that need to be looked into, and you need to have the courage to make tough decisions. These are calculated bets and need to be based on insights, market dynamics, ever-changing consumer behaviour, competition and other factors. Many questions are on top of my mind, including: How is technology relevant to growth

‘‘THE CONTRACTION OF ATTENTION SPAN OF CONSUMERS WHO ARE ON THE GO BECAME A MATTER OF SECONDS.’’ and revenue generation? Premium content vs. user generated content? New revenue streams to offset declining ones? What is the new trend? Social commerce is picking up globally. How can we repurpose our own assets to yield new revenue streams? Do you continue to be tied to revenue streams coming from global platforms? At the end of the day, we must work on all cylinders and must spread our bets and decision-making to cover as many potential opportunities as possible. It is a competitive world and, for small independent media platforms like 7awi, we must be ready to adapt to the new world we are living in. We must find the sweet spot that forces global platforms, brands, clients and agencies to see value in us, yet we can’t be competing with them. A world dominated by global platforms sets a runway, and we must be prepared to take off from that runway despite the visibility and the distance of the runway. Whether it is clear visibility or a short distance, we need to give it the thrust or reduce the load to operate in the most efficient way. This is why I love this industry. It keeps us thinking of what to expect. We must

outsmart the status quo and read the signals ahead of us. Indeed, the media and publishing industry could benefit from support of local regulatory bodies by demanding support from the global platforms to yield more to the local media and publishing companies, similar to what has been done in France and Australia. As an independent media group, we can never compete with the big players, but local regulations should enforce the big platforms to reinvest in the region and help grow the local media ecosystem to continue to operate independently and thrive to innovate. Today, local media cannot maintain a budget for research and development in a way similar to the platforms without some external intervention. I am confident this resonates with many small and medium-sized independent publishers in our region. There are so many questions on top of my mind that keep me awake at night, but I am very optimistic that our MENA region, in particular the GCC region, is the next geography that investors will target. Investors will turn to places of stability and prosperity, and in the past couple of years our region has shown that we are primed up for growth.

By ANAS ABAR, founding partner and CEO, 7awi Group

‘‘IT’S ALL ABOUT TRIAL AND ERROR, IMPLEMENTING THE RIGHT TACTICS TO UNITE EVERY STAKEHOLDER.’’ digital infrastructure upgrades, it’s a case of trying different combinations until things begin to click into place. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, only that we need to be more creative in how we solve these problems. When it comes to harnessing the latest technology, the thinking tends to be if you can’t beat them, join them, which goes some way to explaining why the majority of budgets end up with the Googles and the Metas of the world. It’s not easy to break away when everything is skewed in their favour. If you want to create your own tech that competes on both the buying (DSPs) and selling (SSPs) side then you’ll need to have very deep pockets, because the scale of that investment will be astronomical. It boils down to the same dilemma as always: go ‘all in’ and play the game or wait it out? Nothing is certain as we navigate things post-pandemic, with looming recessions likely to affect us on a local level too. Interestingly, when you look at the figures, the picture is optimistic. We’re hearing things have rebounded to grow at double-digit rates year-over-year, but what this really means is that the walled gardens are only getting bigger



MMP’s Ayman Haydar looks for balance in digital advertising

and richer. The local guys? Forget it; equality within the sector is still a long, long way off. If you look at what the UK is doing, they are trying to level the playing field with how budgets are split, ensuring the local publishers, content providers and tech players get a fair share allocated to them. It may not be a fair fight yet, but it’s moving in the right direction, as evidenced by the IAB UK’s Digital Ad Spend Report for 2021, where spend grew across the board, up 33 per cent excluding the industry’s five largest companies. Looking at programmatic specifically, there are reasons to be optimistic here as well, with eMarketer forecasting just over 90 per cent of digital display ad dollars will be transacted programmatically this year. The sector is ripe to expand within CTV, DOOH, and audio, with advertisers having access to more programmatic inventory to better connect with their audiences like never before. However, there is untapped demand for local content, with a shortage of supply creating a big opportunity for regional media players to explore investments in high-quality local content and offer global players a potentially lucrative way to increase their presence in the region. Overall, it’s a promising outlook. Now we just need to find the specialised talent to power programmatic at this scale and across different mediums. Discovering these ‘all-rounders’ has proved nearly impossible to date, and that’s because of two things: inexperience of this market and competition from tech giants who are recruiting heavily and drying up the already very small talent pool. Attracting the right talent is one thing, but equally we need to be investing in upskilling and reskilling our people now to create and plan for a future that is based on data. The IAB GCC has already begun to crunch the numbers, working on a new market-sizing exercise and implementing educational programmes to tackle this. At the end of the day, ‘the need for speed’ is crucial for us to keep pace with how fast tech is evolving, while observing the relevant compliance laws and regulations. You can’t just pay lip service to being privacy-focused anymore, which means more collaboration with the likes of the IAB and ABG is welcome so we’re all on the same page, benefiting both sides of the business. Ultimately, it comes down to your willingness to advance along with the market and the industry. Stay still and watch the opportunities pass you by or get on the train and make it to the next checkpoint, whatever it may be. For me, it’s as much about the journey as it is the destination – we just need to keep moving forward.



always have the same question in mind when writing for this particular issue: How do I strike the right balance between optimism and realism? New opportunities exist, but there are challenges to overcome in an increasingly fragmented media landscape fraught with complications around privacy, continued walled garden dominance and the detrimental knockon effect for local suppliers. It’s a tricky subject matter, new media. Unpredictable and complex in the main, yet also extremely rewarding when we get it right. For me it’s all about trial and error, implementing the right tactics to unite every stakeholder under one common aim and secure the future of digital advertising. Think of the ecosystem as a Rubik’s cube. Each of us – the tech suppliers, publishers, advertisers – needs to work together to align everything, but with volatility in different markets, talent shortages across the industry and slow

MMP Worldwide

June 27, 2022



June 27, 2022



We asked agencies and client-side bosses to recommend the best young talent working within brands in marketing and communications. Here is the young talent who will be shaping the region’s brand messaging in years to come.


Account executive, Tonnit Design With more than eight years in social media management, Ahmed Magdy is an experienced social media manager helping brands, corporates and individuals to grow online. He is skilled in social media management, marketing and graphic design.


Senior marketing manager, Property Finder Nominated by: Bertan Budak, digital marketing director Despite only being with us for three months, Ahmed has over-achieved in his role already, helping us drive 8 per cent efficiencies in our media spending and bolstering our performance in Egypt in terms of leads by 13 per cent, something that has shown the growth opportunity available in this core Property Finder market. Additionally, Ahmed has gone above and beyond his responsibilities by driving our investment agenda in brand marketing, helping us improve our brand awareness in the UAE and Egypt by the highest percentage points we’ve achieved to date. He is not a rising star, but an actual one. We couldn’t be more proud of his achievements.


PR & social media, Bath & Body Works Arabia Nominated by: Amjad Shaiah, digital marketing manager Amina is a highly organised, results-oriented marketing and communications professional with six years of progressive experience across a broad range of marketing functions within the retail industry. In her work experience, she has managed the development of 360-degree marketing campaigns for retail across the MENA region, providing customers with omnichannel experience while ensuring the implementation of global brand guidelines with local market adaptations. She has a proven ability to develop local strategies, launch products and run effective campaigns leading to sales growth and strong brand equity. She has handled PR activities, weather events, magazines and influencer campaigns to increase the awareness of product launches and special occasions.


Category manager, Dettol North Africa, Reckitt Benckiser Nominated by: Lara Erian, media director at UM I have been working in media for the past 10 years. I have met and dealt with many clients. Ali brings excitement and optimism to the RB team and his positive impact is felt by all of us. He has the ability to effectively share knowledge and insights with us and his colleagues. Ali has demonstrated strong brand ownership and clear vision. His dedication and eye for detail are what set him apart.


Digital marketing, Centrepoint Stores, Landmark Group Nominated by: Mithil Shah, head of digital marketing Aayush brings exceptional value to the team as his strategies are always performance-driven and customer-focused. He is able to drive key business goals while understanding customer behaviour. He’s delivered extraordinary results here at Centrepoint.


June 27, 2022



Program manager, GBM, TikTok Nominated by: Angie Cui, business marketing strategy Arohi joined TikTok in June, 2021 and quickly became integral within the TikTok monetisation unit. She constantly ensures our marketing efforts are locally relevant yet retain the global alignment to a single vision. She is someone who operates with high efficiency, and has already delivered some of the most important and successful projects for the team in this region.


Marketing and social media manager, Hotaru Holdings


Digital marketing manager, MH Alshaya Co Nominated by: Amina Mashukova, PR and social media executive Amjad has shown me the great qualities of a leader, a manager and, when needed, a friend. Whenever you have ideas he is a great person to guide you on how to structure them and turn the ideas into a reality.

AMNEH ALKHATIB, 27 Communications specialist, Siemens Energy


Brand manager, Action, Riot Games Nominated by: Rahim Barkoumi, senior account executive, Socialize Agency Anas is the perfect client that any agency would love to have: creative, strategic and a pleasure to work with every single day. Emerging as a stand-out player in the gaming industry is no easy feat, least of all in a powerhouse like Riot Games. That is precisely why I have nominated Anas AlHakim as our MVP (most valuable player). With a laser-like focus, Anas keeps his sights on adding tangible value to the gaming community. While many focus on general marketing metrics, his efforts are spent empowering a new era of gamers in the Middle-East, lifting up our close-to-home community by creating opportunities in which they can thrive. He has spent the past three years on an undeniable journey of learning, growing and shooting for new high scores, raising the bar with every project he touches.

Nominated by: Benjamin Schroeder, head of regional and MEA communications, Siemens Energy Armed with a stellar talent for writing and a passion for storytelling, Amneh has always impressed me with her ambition and hunger to grow and take on more responsibilities. In her four years on the MEA team, I’ve watched her grow from an intern to leading employee engagement for the MEA region at 25 years old. I haven’t seen that before. Where will this end? I have no idea. She has amazing potential and I’m proud to have her in the team.

Nominated by: Reif Othman, owner and founder, Hotaru Holdings Angelo is a results-focused, digital-first marketer with a successful track record in bolstering commercial performance. As a visual storyteller he relies on data, combined with years of experience to maximise revenue and optimise brand growth through multichannel marketing strategies and social media campaigns. Leveraging his background in hospitality, working for multinational groups like Accor, he drives marketing strategies for existing restaurants under Hotaru Holdings and new pre-opening concepts across the Middle East. Focused on business growth through developing and continuously updating the brand pillars, securing festival partnerships, and full ownership of the brand’s organic social media strategy, he has a firm grasp of content creation, digital marketing campaigns and industry communications.


Performance marketing manager, Foodics Nominated by: Wassim Moumneh, head of digital and performance marketing It’s not often that you come across someone who has both the talent and, just as importantly, the sense of urgency to do well in a very fast-paced environment, but that’s what Ahmad Elmi brings to the table. He strikes a great balance between challenging the status quo and being a supportive team member.



June 27, 2022



My passion for marketing is reflected in both my professional career, and educational background. Focusing on digital marketing, I’ve spent the last decade improving organisational growth, analysing the market and identifying new business opportunities in the companies I’ve worked in. From PR to social media, partnerships to offline displays, my interest in the field and dedication to delivering excellent services have allowed me to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Nominated by: Pritesh Kadhi, partner and chief operating officer, KPI Bhumi is someone who works proactively bringing in fresh ideas and aligning both strategy and execution. Her ability to balance multiple project deadlines while maintaining an organised yet creative approach is admirable. She is motivated, reliable, smart and knows how to keep her calm through challenging situations.

Campaigns lead, Department of Culture and Tourism

Corporate relations & marketing executive, KPI


Advertising and media manager, Nissan Middle East Nominated by: Yara Yousef Maroun, advertising, social and media deputy general manager Carla is a passionate marketer who continuously looks for ways to change communication through stories, connections and experiences. She well knows that marketing is the generous act of helping consumers solve a problem, making her devised campaigns serve the true and correct purpose of brand communication.


CRM manager, Pizza Hut, Yum Brands Coming a long way from a chemical engineering background to being a marketer, my digital career started back in 2014. I have worked in four different industries: pharmaceuticals, aggregators and aerospace companies, and QSR brands. In 2019, I joined Talabat’s (Delivery Hero’s) regional performance marketing team, responsible for more than 12 markets across the GCC & MENA. I later added EU countries into my portfolio, managing more than 40 stakeholders.


Production manager, Huda Beauty Nominated by: Alicia Payne, global social media director, Huda Beauty Basma is one of the strongest creative minds I have worked with. The quality of her work is always excellent but what makes Basma special is the pace at which she is able to craft ideas, manage execution and work cross-functionally. Basma is always hungry to learn, develop and broaden her repertoire and experience, allowing the teams she works with to constantly explore creatively. Basma encompasses all the traits of a true leader and the characteristics of a great marketer that I have the privilege to work with.

BRIAN ANAND SOOSAY, 28 Assistant marketing manager, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Nominated by: Safiera Sait, director of marketing; and Hannah Davies, associate director of marketing Brian is a proven professional with a successful track-record. His datadriven decision making saw him grow campaign ROI from 8 to over 100 in the span of three years and has helped grow the share of direct business by 10.4 per cent. As a colleague, he is incredibly well respected by people across all levels of the business – with marketers and non-marketers alike valuing his input on matters of copywriting through to business strategy.


June 27, 2022




Digital operations and e-commerce executive, Casio Middle East

Performance marketing manager, Pizza Hut, Yum Brands

Nominated by: Aboud Khederchah, general manager, marketing and communications Dalia helped the company connect, source and launch, an online introduction to Casio Products in the UAE with multi-API connections to secure stocks, payments and delivery.

My guiding principle in life, as beautifully summed up by Jack Johnson, is: “When you move like a jellyfish/ Rhythm don’t mean nothing/ You go with the flow/ You don’t stop.” My guiding principle with work is to test, test and test some more. There is always something amazing happening in our field and having an open mindset and a hungry appetite means we get to tap into and be a part of the constantly changing landscape.


Senior digital marketing executive, Parfums Christian Dior Nominated by: Felipa Monteiro, senior manager, e-business, CRM and digital marketing Claudia has always loved helping others since she was young. This has led her to volunteer at various NGOs and refugee camps. She is also currently part of Rotaract Dubai (part of the Rotary Club), where she actively engages in community service projects here in Dubai.



Nominated by: Maya Chams, business director at Carat, leading on the Mastercard account for EEMEA Beyond her role, Dana was elected as the co-president of Mastercard’s YoPros Committee, which focuses on empowering younger employees and giving back to society. She is also passionate about emotional wellbeing, which encouraged her to become a certified life coach. On the side, she loves all activities that give a rush of adrenaline. Some of the activities she has done include skydiving, bungee jumping, shark diving and swimming freely with stingrays.

Nominated by: Veida Jelley, head of communications, Siemens Middle East Delfina started her journey at Siemens as an intern to support the team and delivered outstanding results that resulted in her becoming permanent in the company and diving into the full gamut of communications as a communications specialist. Delfina brings creativity to the most mundane of tasks, seeing every challenge as an opportunity to experiment, learn and push boundaries. She traverses the complexity of simplifying technology for our audience with utmost ease and is an integral part of every creative brainstorming and campaign execution. Her commitment to excellence in everything she touches inspires us all.

Marketing specialist, Mastercard

Communications specialist, Siemens


Social media and CRM Executive, Majid Al Futtaim Nominated by: Haik Boghossian, digital manager at Spark Foundry Dubai (Publicis) Working with Darlene for the past few years has been an absolute pleasure. I have worked with her on countless projects, and there has not been a single time when her A game went unnoticed. During the pandemic, she upskilled herself in new areas to ensure she is up-to-date when most retail brands were turning to digital. This helped her devise clear digital strategies by placing the customer first. Besides her positivity and contagious smile, her passion to learn and grow are what make her a rising star in the marketing field. She encompasses all the traits of a great marketer and is on the path to great success.



June 27, 2022

DHABIA ALMHEIRI, 27 Creative manager, Wio


Senior marketing executive, Index Media Doaa’s guiding principle is fostering creativity, although many other elements are very important to a healthy work balance. Doaa believes that the space that Index Media provides for creativity has made her the inventive mind she is today, and she strives to bring more to the table when it comes to marketing.

Nominated by: Rima Al Jareh, PR and communications manager I’ve worked with Dhabia Almheiri for more than four years in different organisations, on a day-to-day basis. It’s very safe to say that not only is she a design superstar but she has also got the energy of one. I’ve watched Dhabia grow so much, both personally and professionally, over the year and it is long overdue to show her off to the rest of the world. Whenever she is assigned something, she will deliver it back to you in the right time – with multiple options. We trust her and her judgement with anything design-related.


Marketing communication coordinator, Zurich International Life Insurance (Middle East)

Nominated by: Maite Mouraille, head of marketing and communications Fatima is driven by passion and fully embeds Zurich’s values and what we stand for into everything she does. She has a unique creative approach to her work and thrives on implementing ideas that push spontaneous people advocacy at Zurich. She’s always calm, quick, witty, and we can depend on her fully to get it all done to the highest standards. We’re extremely proud to work with her, and her strong support for Emiratisation helps all of us embrace the spirit of the nation.


Team supervisor, graphic design, Al Masaood Nominated by: Marwa Kaabour, group head of marketing and corporate communication Every team has that one member who is extremely enthusiastic, full of zeal and an uncomparable creative flair. Add to it a personality that is full of wit, humour, sarcasm and contagious laughter. Farah has a towering mountain of strength and determination. Versatile and determined, she never fails to deliver despite the common scarcity of time.

Digital experience assistant manager, Samsung Gulf Nominated by: Mohamad Al Azzawe, marketing director at Samsung MENA Regional HQ Since joining Samsung last year, Gozde has managed, supported and contributed to numerous digital campaigns that have resulted in significant results for the company. She consistently brings innovative ideas while being open to anything that makes those ideas better. She has the ability to inspire and motivate her colleagues. From ideation to conceptualisation and executing, Gozde gets the job done.


Senior blog editor and trend reporter, Huda Beauty Nominated by: Rebecca Tomkins, director of content Eleanor is a dream to work with. She’s a brilliant writer brimming with ideas, always eager to learn, help and resolve new challenges, and a true team player. After completing a trend reporting course with the London College of Fashion last year, Eleanor has brought these skills into her role to create exceptional trend-related content for the blog as well as internal reports for the team. She now manages the blog content plan, overseeing the day-to-day content of the blog while helping new team members grow and develop. Her passion for trends, pop culture and feminine wellness has been a great asset to our content and company, and allows her to bring interesting and unique insights to our content and team meetings. A true joy to work with and watch as she grows every day.


June 27, 2022



Senior digital marketing specialist, Samsung MENA Nominated by: Mohamad Al Azzawe, marketing director at Samsung MENA Regional HQ Since joining Samsung, İrem has formed key partnerships with different stakeholders, generating great results and positive press for the company. She introduces ideas and finalises and executes them, which makes her a hands-on executive from start to end and an incredible added value for any team. İrem has a bright future ahead of her at Samsung.


Brand manager, Froneri Ice Cream, Egypt Nominated by: Karim Samaha, country marketing manager Lena joined the team with the focused objective of driving the Dolce brand to thrive in a period of fiercely growing affordable local competition, challenged by limitations in budget and resources due to Covid-19. Lena managed to revive the brand through innovations and re-engineered branding. The dedicated digital campaigns and first-of-its-kind TikTok challenge for Froneri brands led to unprecedented engagement, consumer awareness and business results for the Dolce brand.


Brand manager, Maybelline NY, Egypt, Loreal Nominated by: Sarah Hani, media director, UM Layla is always keen to know more, and to work on the best strategies and media formats to make Maybelline the number one cosmetics brands in Egypt.


Campaign manager, Mobily Nominated by: Saleh AlAnazi, retail marketing director Lana is a very committed individual, with her strength being her ability to consistently understand and implement. She has proven to be not only a creative and highly organised campaign manager, but also an inspiration to those around her. Lana adds value and is an asset to any organisation.


Social media lead, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment and Cinemas


E-marketing specialist, Sephora Middle East Nominated by: Navya Sajeevan, associate media director, Spark Foundry Jose is a very smart, cooperative and supportive person. On top of being a specialist in performance marketing, she is also an easy-going person. She ensures that our teams work in partnership to get the best results for the brand. She is very patient and solution-oriented, always willing to go the extra mile to help when needed and provide guidance. Her work ethic is commendable, and she is a great professional to have as a client.

Maysam is an experienced content marketer and creator with comprehensive experience across a variety of industries. With a bachelor’s degree in media and communications from the American University of Beirut, Maysam has embraced the ever-evolving world of social media throughout her career. Positioned both with agencies and in-house at organisations including Landmark Group, Al Tayer Insignia and currently Majid Al Futtaim, Maysam blends creativity and strategy to deliver tangible results across platforms. Her most recent success has been with Majid Al Futtaim’s portfolio of entertainment brands, growing organic engagement by more than 400 per cent and garnering 15 million views on TikTok.



June 27, 2022


Communications and PR manager, Hassan Allam properties Nominated by: Ehsan Faizy, chief marketing and commercial properties officer Being a third-culture kid, Nayera’s fortes are in her ability to adapt quickly and balance curiosity with tolerance to understand and learn from matters down to the smallest of details in order to break down and target a variety of objectives simultaneously. Her true potential is being brought to light as part of Hassan Allam Properties, where she’s using her talents to analyse consumer trends, employ insights and develop communication strategies to achieve company objectives and targets.


Product manager Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, L’Oreal Egypt Nominated by: Yasmine Talal, integrated media manager, Zenith Mona is a talented caliber of marketer who is eager to grow her brand and maximise her learnings on digital media to achieve the highest efficiency in our campaigns for YSL.


National lead category, customer & shopper marketing manager, Arla Foods Nominated by: Lewis Daniel, head of category, customer and shopper marketing Aqdas is a passionate and highly motivated individual who takes his performance seriously and formulates clear plans for achieving set objectives. He has a knack for identifying business issues, and then uses his strategic thinking and analytical abilities to find the right jobs to be done. Aqdas has shown strong resilience and commitment, overcoming significant challenges in the categories that he has managed over the past year. He has demonstrated an optimistic yet realistic approach, being focused on the improvement of relevant KPIs. This approach helped us enhance underlying metrics, gain market share and deliver strong financials last year.

NADER QUTOB, 21 MOHAMMED EL-KHAYAT, 30 Head of customer experience, Saudi Arabia, Nissan Motor Corporation

Nominated by: Ahmed Soudodi, marketing director, Nissan Saudi Arabia Mohammed is a true corporate entrepreneur. He continues to raise the bar higher for the Nissan Brand in Saudi Arabia as well as on regional and global levels. His efforts have resulted in Nissan Saudi Arabia being labelled as a Regional Success Story by Meta/Facebook, thanks to the WhatsApp solution he developed. His positive attitude is infectious to everyone around him and his high sense of innovation as well as ownership will surely drive him forward in his career.

Social media/content and community executive, Majid Al Futtaim Nominated by: Noor Hunnoon, social media analyst lead Over the course of four years working at Majid Al Futtaim, Nader created hundreds of pieces of original content and wrote more than 100 articles. Nader launched Vox Cinemas’ TikTok account and within a year grew it to more than 70,000 followers, 20 million views, and 2 million engagements. Using the tone of voice I established for the brand on social media, Nader was able to interact with celebrities including Mark Hamill, James Gunn and Hailee Steinfeld. He also conducted interviews with stars such as Oscar-nominated director Nadine Labaki and covered red carpet events such as the LA premiere of Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra.


June 27, 2022


Regional media manager – Nestle MENA, Nestle Egypt Nominated by: Salma Gohary, associate director, Zenith Nadine and I joined Nestle almost at the same time, and since then had a fruitful period of almost three years. Ever since Nadine joined, she has been eager to learn and grow her knowledge, especially on offline, as she joined from an online background. Over and above, she strived to learn more about the business goals and understand the business needs in parallel with communication. Having Nadine as the main point of contact for discussing the way forward for brand, strategies, campaign and tactics makes the communication smooth and constructive, given her background in media. Her passion for the role was evident through Nadine’s moderation of conversations, threads, meetings, etc., that helped us and the brand teams have clear directions and a way forward.


Brand manager, Lancôme, L’Oréal Egypt Nominated by: Yasmine Talal, integrated media manager, Zenith I started working with Nour last February when I joined Zenith. Nour is a young bright talent who is always eager to grow her business and to increase her knowledge of digital media.


Manager, destination marketing, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority Nominated by: Alka Winter, vicepresident, destination marketing and communications If I were to describe Meghann in one word, it would be ‘superstar’. Given her meteoric rise within the marketing industry, I can only imagine what she’ll bring to the table years from now. Not only was she instrumental in our destination brand development, her extreme organisation ensured that we were on track with all deliverables. As a digital whizz, she is on top of the latest developments and strives to ensure that we always reach the right audience for all our campaigns, brand and tactical.


Marketing manager, Gather Technologies

NOUR EL BOHI, 26 Brand manager, Pladis

Nominated by: Yusra Badr, director at OMD In a short time Nour grasped the brands she was working on and collaborated with us as her media arm to create undeniable successes for these brands. Nour is very dedicated, and she always goes the extra mile to create the best strategies, especially for launching product. She proved her capacity to juggle multiple active brands without dropping the ball on any of the brands. Her style is very courageous as she believes in test-and-learn. She always likes to explore new things to see first-hand how it affects her campaigns. The whole team enjoys working with Nour as she challenges us but is very appreciative of our efforts

Nominated by: Ayhan Gungor, chief marketing officer Nikhil gets the job done and goes the extra mile. This is something you appreciate specifically for teamwork, leading by example. He is very friendly, easy to connect with and empathetic, having a great network and resources to produce the best marketing activities a company needs. He has top-notch expertise in his field, yet this does not stop him from continuously improving not only in marketing and branding but also in commercial expectations from the client side and customer satisfaction. He is open-minded and ready to adapt and successfully manage changes for the benefit of the company, and he has proven himself as a valuable team player you would like to work with.




June 27, 2022


CTG marketing manager, L’Oreal Egypt Nominated by: Sarah Hani, media director at UM Working with Ramiz has been great. He always has a very clear idea of what he wants to do and where he is headed as a marketer. He is always striving to be the best and has trained his team to always strive for the best as well, pushing their brands to the limits and deep-diving into more research, insights and projects to understand strategic ways forward. I’m looking forward to working together more.


Nominated by: Shady Shiref, senior vice-president of strategy and venture Sandra Rophail is excelling in the marketing department. I can’t remember the last time I worked with someone that young yet so prepared to assume a leadership role. She managed a 4,000-plusperson flawless corporate event. She spent sleepless nights to launch one of the biggest rebranding campaigns with enormous organic reach. We have a future extraordinary marketing leader growing in MNHD.


Associate creative director, CCI Global

SHOAIB HASAN MIRZA, 29 Marketing manager, Al Shaya Group

SHEMMA AL ALI, 30 Graphic designer, Wio

Nominated by: Dhabia Almheiri, creative manager I love Shemma’s way of seeing things, in terms of content and the way things work in design, her ability to immediately tell if things will work as per the guidelines, if things are user-friendly and whether they give a great seamless experience. Overall, her attention to detail is like no other. On another note, design is not the only thing that matters; she’s a fun person to be with, making work way more fun than it is, and she’s also a person you can easily connect with. Shemma will lend a hand whenever needed. She is also eager to learn new things and she will always happily take notes and learn from her mistakes. She’s just got such a happy soul overall.

Nominated by: Keefe Norris, head of marketing ‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Shoaib after seeing his in-depth knowledge of retailmarketing. His trajectory within my team has seen him be promoted at record speed. He is great at seeking solutions and optimising the many processes that deliver our campaigns. Always keen to take on more, he is a demon negotiator on deals to drive phenomenal ROI through traditional offline and digital media. He is always proactive and, with his finger on the pulse of market situational changes, he is I can say without question where the future sits for my team.

Nominated by: Humphrey Davis, group head of sales and marketing Despite being with CCI Global for just less than a year, Renee has taken creative ownership of the brand’s vision and tonality. In 2021, Renee joined CCI as an associate creative director to bridge CCI’s creatives and key messagings that meet the business’ objectives. With a combination of creative thinking and technical prowess to create immersive creative solutions, Renee became CCI’s creative champion. Renee’s steadfast work ethic, creative thinking, planning and execution have won her recognition from the bid team for her ability to drive the best engaging content creation practices through customised immersive animations.


June 27, 2022




Brand and creative lead, Al Tamimi & Company Nominated by: Amber Pasha, head of marketing To say Shriya is ‘creative’ is an understatement. She is a force to be reckoned with, from her attention to detail to endless ideas and creative solutions. She trailblazes the corporate world with what I can only describe as ‘brand power’. She enforces brand integrity in absolutely everything she does. Shriya has led and transformed the firm’s brand identity to be iconic in the legal industry. Our publications stand out on the virtual shelves and could not have been achieved without her creative direction and vision.

Executive writer and host, Lovin Dubai, Augustus Media Simrin Gupta is a media professional with three years of experience in the field. She’s always looking out for ways to help others and be the voice of the community in any way she can. With a serious affinity for animals, she’s uncovered stories that others would think twice before reporting. A natural in front of the camera, she’s funny, inspiring and relatable. There’s a lot to learn from her and her work ethic.


Brand marketing manager, Visa Nominated by: Alexey Bokov, vice-president marketing CEMEA Tala brings together passion for brand building and expertise as a seasoned well-rounded marketeer. She is a strategic thinker who is always keen to piece together a relevant and compelling narrative for the brand. While eager to expand her horizons and learn about new verticals of marketing, she has quickly positioned herself as the brand custodian working with cross-functional teams to elevate Visa’s purpose.


Marketing and brand operations manager, Kings Way Tourism and Travels


Digital & retail marketing manager, General Motors Nominated by: Akshaya Sikand, head of marketing Zahen is a rock in our team who has consistently demonstrated an aptitude for innovation while remaining laser focused on our core business. He has a unique ability to marry an analytical mindset with creative thinking, bringing a perspective to our team that elevates everything we do, making him a true asset to our team and organisation.

Nominated by: Abdul Rehman Mohammed, Managing Director Sharjeel is a young marketing professional with more tha 10 years of experience, working with leading brands including Arab Media Group, Artaaj Events and Media Touch. He is adept in marketing and events, brand management, advertising and building strong alliances. Sharjeel has a proven track record in managing large scale campaigns and design strategies that have helped many brands optimise their reach and boost sales. With skills in building cross-functional teams, excellent communication and never shying away from taking critical decisions, Sharjeel’s expertise has the competitive edge of a contemporary, results-driven approach.



June 27, 2022



Nominated by: Maryam al Mansoori, general manager Yassamin is a passionate creative and dedicated communications specialist. She is able to take any brand and link effective tools to create an image worthy of representation. She has been able to bring an adapting mindset to the recycling industry in placing Rebound Plastic Exchange as part of the solution to plastic pollution. Yassamin proves robust skills in a global business that is addressing a global challenge, thus easing our role in the industry through effective marketing tools.

Nominated by: Fady Aly, marketing and customer experience deputy general manager Tarek has shown an incredible ability to come in and transform the digital function. He’s done the hard planning work, he’s got the team trained up on digital tools and he’s pushing us to where we want to be creatively. And we’re only just beginning on our digital journey with him at the helm. Tarek is a smart, sharp young man who has come in, has taken on a big challenge handling our digital work and lifting Nissan customer experience into a new level, and has risen to the challenge in 2021/22 by putting in the time and encouraging the whole marketing team to step up and deliver more value via digital channels. He’s a star in the making.

Media and communications specialist, Rebound Plastic Exchange

Marketing communications and customer experience supervisor, Nissan Motor Egypt


Brand manager, ghee, regional business unit, Savola Foods Zeina loves yellow, and has a passion for digital design, Photoshop, mixing colours and getting creative. So she created her very own space to express those passions combined, and called it @yelloww_souls.


Communications manager, MENA, Twitter Nominated by: Oguzhan Kirdok, Account Director (Client) Yahya is an emerging communications leader with a growth mindset and a history of building brand equity with measurable impact across the MENA region. He has been instrumental in crafting and executing disruptive global campaigns, across multiple business verticals, leveraging the diverse facets of an integrated communications strategy.


Head of brand and reputation marketing, MENA at Google Nominated by: Salma Mohamed, head of YouTube marketing, EMEA emerging markets Zain is Google’s head of brand and reputation marketing in the MENA region, where she builds brand awareness and advocacy by highlighting how technology affects society and the economy. Zain’s mission is to help equip people with digital skills. She led the launch of Maharat min Google, a digital skills program that helped 1.5 million individuals gain digital skills, and YouTube Batala, a hub featuring hundreds of female content creators. Zain is an Inclusive Marketing trainer at Google and a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honouree, Arab America 30 Under 30 Honouree, Adcolor Honouree, UN Advocate and IMF Fellow.

June 27, 2022


oday, Vision 2030 is in full force, with many organisations aligning their businesses to be in line or at least following the path of this vision. We must reflect on the futuristic initiatives under the megacity Neom to truly appreciate the level of transformation the country is undertaking. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is leading the national strategy for digital transformation in KSA. The Kingdom is aiming to become the global leader of the digital economy through the enablement of technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain, robotics, big data and 5G across public and private sectors. Now, what does this mean for marketing and communication agencies? The market has inherently had a desire to offshore its agency partners whilst procuring talent from overseas. But that’s set to change over the next few years. We’ve now been issued with a golden ticket to reshape our industry in Saudi Arabia for the next couple of decades. There will be a raft of exciting transformational changes in media, technology, data, and quantification, but the real excitement is around the transformational shift towards Saudisation in talent and businesses. Media communication is forever developing, whether it’s related to the foundations of planning and buying or the emerging topics of Web 3.0, NFTs and blockchain technology. Arguably, talent today is limited, but we have a duty of care on our side to nurture the media and

communications sector. Organisations in media, creative, consultancy and tech need to take active measures to invest in, upskill and train local talent. I’ve seen some agencies and tech partners be one step ahead in actively recruiting, training, developing, and promoting local talent. The transformational changes cascade to other critical areas that will help sell Saudi brands on a global scale, but from Saudi Arabia. Developments in technology to help service advertising or the management of customer data is already taking centre stage. Saudi is naturally an app-first culture; therefore, customer data is central to many businesses across the Kingdom, in how it is protected and used in the right manner. From a communication perspective this is challenging but is one of the key transformational areas that we will see develop in the coming months and years ahead; perhaps shifting from on-premises to a cloud-based approach. The pandemic also helped kickstart some of these changes, particularly in media. The rise in augmented

Saudi focus

Bringing it back home to Saudi Arabia The Kingdom has fast become a pioneer of new technology and fresh thinking, writes UM’s Nadeem Ibrahim

The most recent innovation is around chat bot advertising in display and search with Google and a fully immersive AR shopping mall experience with Snap. It’s just the beginning of what is yet to come, and we haven’t event touched upon the metaverse. Vision 2030 is a catalyst for transformation across Saudi Arabia. There’s a plethora of projects being unleashed across the Kingdom requiring the support of our industry to communicate to the world. The industry needs to consider reinvesting revenue driven by Saudi growth into research and development. We are faced with a once in a lifetime opportunity to invent and redefine what communications mean for the end user. There’s no doubt that, thanks to Vision 2030, our industry will harvest the best in local talent, advance technology that is unprecedented, and rejuvenate our industry within Saudi Arabia to become world-class and a thought leader on the global stage.

‘‘We are faced with a once in a lifetime opportunity to invent and redefine what communications mean for the end user.’’

reality, 360-degree e-commerce stores through to programmatically buying DOOH would not have been considered 18 months ago. We’re already witnessing some great achievements in Saudi Arabia that we ought to celebrate and be proud of: Saudi hosted the first NFT Forum in Riyadh earlier this year. In 2020, STC Pay became the first unicorn (company worth $1bn without a stock market listing) in the Middle East. Saudi is attracting the best in talent from across the globe, fuelled by the initiatives at Neom. The government is expecting to invest more than $1bn in entrepreneurship to help support digital content, backed by an initiative called The Garage that will be based in Riyadh to host start-ups specialising in new technologies. For now, technological advancement is already taking place and being piloted across many Saudi advertisers.


NADEEM IBRAHIM, head of digital, UM Saudi Arabia


June 27, 2022

Vision and Ambition in KSA Campaign held its first event in Saudi Arabia near the start of June. Our Saudi Briefing 2022: Vision and Ambition was a standing-room-only success. With six panels intersperesed with presentations and speeches, and bookended by a networking breakfast and lunch, the programme was packed. More than 200 people attended, both from the local Saudi market and flying in from regional offices. Topics ranged from podcasting to programmatic, commerce to conversation. There was an all-pervasive feeling of optimism and opportunity in the air, and the networking outside the main hall and around the sponsors’ activations was as engaging as the topics presented on the main stage. For more pictures and video highlights, visit our website:

Austyn Alison , Campaign

Sarah Al Ayed, TRACCS and Jeddah Chamber

Saif Nimry, Ipsos KSA

Elie Habib, Anghami

June 27, 2022


THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS Gold Sponsors Headline Partner

Arabic Media Partner

Presented by


June 27, 2022

Saudi focus

How Twitter shapes public opinion In Saudi Arabia Hashtag’s Abdullah Alliefan looks at what makes Saudi Twitter users unique, and outlines how to connect with them


audis love Twitter. We always hear that. Maybe all the people in the Gulf use Twitter often, but the Saudis have seen a real Twitter revolution, which put them on top of the list of the highest number of Twitter users in the world in 2013. The rise continued until 2015 or 2016, while Snapchat and Instagram also grew in popularity. Twitter is also among the most popular social platforms in the GCC countries, according to Alexa Global Indexes. So why do Saudis use Twitter? When did it start, and why is Twitter still important to Saudis? Prior to 2010, Twitter in Saudi Arabia had not gained the momentum it has today. Over the last decade, it has become the preferred social platform for Saudis. This may be due to the advantages of speed, brevity, interaction and freedom of expression, compared with traditional media and the rest of social networks. There are those who tweet to express themselves; some browse to follow their interests and others like Twitter because of the volume of interactions and content it offers. In the same context, the economic factor cannot be overlooked, Twitter is no longer only a means of entertainment in Saudi Arabia, as it is in some other countries. Some tweets raise controversy over social issues. Twitter in Saudi Arabia tends to act as a court where the public can discuss and debate a variety of different topics and issues. The advantages of speed, spread and hashtags are more visible on Twitter compared with Instagram, Facebook or any other social media platform, which makes it ideal for launching campaigns and publishing breaking news, which may explain its popularity. In Saudi Arabia, if any individual has an incident with another individual or a government entity and decides to tweet about it, it can quickly escalate and reach many citizens, which then puts pressure on the responsible party to take action. That’s why all the governmental ministries and authorities have official T witter accounts to engage with citizens. About 79 per cent of Twitter users confirmed that using it to get news is much easier than other social networks, and that they were able to get a great deal of news after joining Twitter. 40 per cent use it to get breaking news. Twitter is the modern-day newspaper in Saudi Arabia. That’s what led

the old traditional local newspapers to have their own Twitter accounts. Twitter has a set of tools for tweeting, commenting, following and publishing with text, images and as videos, which has created a wide space for expression in Saudi Arabia, resulting in a number of phenomena that exceeded the limits of the ‘personal account’. Among the most prominent new changes and positive transformations in the Saudi media scene today are: consolidation of the public sphere; prioritising issues; interaction with the next generation; knowing the trends of Saudi public opinion; and government tweets. Twitter is a great marketing tool for a number of reasons It is free to use for sharing and promoting branded content in seconds, expanding your reach, providing quick customer service and support, and analysing

‘‘Twitter in Saudi Arabia tends to act as a court where the public can discuss and debate a variety of different topics and issues.’’ your competitors and their marketing content to see the tactics they use. Now that we’ve reviewed what makes the platform unique, let’s cover the ways in which you can use Twitter for your business. These tips will help you boost conversions, create lasting relationships with your followers and improve your brand awareness: 1. Write a strong profile bio. Choose your words wisely to ensure your bio successfully represents your brand and reflects who you are as a company. 2. Use hashtags. They’re a great way to increase the visibility of your content beyond your own followers. There are many popular hashtags that most active Twitter users are familiar with. Only use hashtags that are relevant to your content. Also, look at the trending box every day.

By ABDULLAH IBRAHIM ALLIEFAN, senior social media executive, Hashtag Social Media Agency

3. Handle problems through direct messages. 4. Use photos, GIFs and polls. Engaging with your followers on Twitter is imperative to keep consumers interested in your brand. 5. Interact with influencers and customers. 6. Advertise your content on Twitter. 7. Verify your account on Twitter. 8. Focus on building your follower count. But never buy followers. 9. Organise a content-sharing schedule. Tweet at the right times of the day. 10. Keep track of your analytics. Use Twitter’s analytics tools and focus on engagement, impressions and engagement rate.

June 27, 2022


MATTER OF FACT News, views & trends from across the spectrum



The weeks-long drama became one of the most popular topics on the internet, with viewership almost equally split among those who watched to be entertained and those who watched out of genuine interest. The real driver of this story, however, was people’s vocal and often misguided opinions that were ubiquitously shared across every possible medium and platform. Managing Director of Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy

Videos of the trial were watched by millions, generating twice, if not more, the amount of parody or remixed footage. Thousands of articles and blogs were written to weigh in on the matter, irrespective of authors’ lack of credentials to deal with such a sensitive subject. If anything, this trial was a social experiment and a further consolidation of the internet’s indomitable influence on our mindsets. The result? Social media algorithms, fulfilling their roles to a T, kept feeding us stories about the trial, creating a cycle of distractions and engagements that occupied our minds. This not only produced the most powerful viral sensation in recent history but also shed an even brighter light on people’s need to be part of conversations, whether out of relevance or to generate viewership and interactions. The Depp v Heard trial is already regarded as a case study on what people are capable of online without the direct involvement of communicators to seed a story. However, on the off chance that such a situation would present itself again, communication professionals and strategists should be reminded that all they can do is sit back, leave their hubris at the door, and take notes on human psychology in the digital era.




Letting emojis do the talking

Faking it when you’ve made it

Hortons did a what!

Video chat platforms currently available to the public can make it challenging for individuals on the autism spectrum to connect with others. The Project Convey prototype uses speech and facial recognition technology to analyse facial expressions, words and tone of voice and instantly translates them into a single emoji output that can readily be understood.

An artist’s merit used to be enough to warrant a record deal — not in today’s world. Halsey published a TikTok in May, claiming that her record label wanted her to ‘fake’ a ‘viral TikTok moment’ before a single that played in the background could be released. This sentiment was reflected by many in the industry, and the kicker to the story is that Halsey’s original TikTok ended up going viral.

Tim Hortons used its mobile app to collect vast amounts of location data from users. While unsolicited data mining is nothing new, the brand’s attempt at the practice was deemed invasive by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The company denied using the information for such purposes but updated its app to no longer do so.


June 27, 2022


We are for creativity


reativity needs someone in its corner. Someone who understands it. Who will fight for it. Promote it. Campaign for it.” That is the message of ‘Campaign for creativity’, a new campaign from all of the editions of Campaign around the world. Our journalists have championed the power of advertising, communications, media, marketing and – most importantly – creativity since the magazine launched in the UK in 1968. Since then, Campaign has expanded to become an unrivalled, international network of websites in eight key markets around the world: Asia, China, India, Japan, the Middle East, Turkey, the UK and the US. Each of those editions has its own unique character but we are united by a shared commitment to champion creativity and hold the ad industry to account – locally and globally. That is why we have come together to launch ‘Campaign for creativity’. We believe in the magical power of creativity to inspire people, build brands, drive innovation and transform lives – but we also know it is precious and fragile. Distraction, fear, time, money, discrimination, hierarchy… the enemies of creativity are growing stronger. Which is why we are more certain than ever about Campaign’s global purpose and our mission. We are for creativity. We are launching ‘Campaign for creativity’ with a three-part editorial series about the key issues affecting the global advertising industry – profit vs purpose, the talent pipeline and the dominance of technology. You can read them on our website,, as well as on other Campaign websites around the world. The ‘Campaign for creativity’ branding is running online and ran at Cannes Lions, where Campaign UK distributed a special print issue (with six different covers) and hosted its celebrated beach party as the festival returned as an inperson event for the first time since the pandemic. This is just the start, as Campaign will be announcing a series of global and local initiatives over the next 12 months as part of ‘Campaign for creativity’. We are for creativity. Find out more at


mFilterIt launches q-commerce tool, mScanit mFilterIt has launched the second phase of its AI-powered solution suite, mScanIt, which allows quick commerce (q-commerce) brands to keep ahead of the game and be the preferred outlet choice for consumers in a crowded online market. The mScanIt tool helps online retailers keep products at an optimal price, manage stock availability and safeguard brand reputation by drawing marketplace insight for both the brands and their competitors so brand custodians know what action needs to be taken to maintain an edge over their competition. With more people shopping online than ever before, and brands feeling increased pressure to offer fast delivery as a core service, mFilterIt says mScanIt is an essential tool for q-commerce brands. Amit Relan, co-founder and director, mFilterIt said: “The q-commerce sector reported revenue of $100m in 2021 and the ever-growing market is experiencing accelerated growth due to consumers looking for convenience more than ever. In such a saturated online market, brands need a solution suite like mScanIt to ensure repeat purchases and to ensure consumer satisfaction, which is exactly why we created mScanIt.” The mScanIt tool’s key functions include price scanning and price review across online shopping platforms so brands can keep products at an optimal price, as well as stockout management. mScanIt helps brands forecast and manage stock outs by showing stock availability daily, weekly, and monthly, with real-time insights, while showing competitor availability across online marketplaces. mScanIt also helps brands safeguard their reputation and facilitate replying to and resolving consumer issues in real-time, which is now an essential service for any reputable and trusted online brand.

June 27, 2022


Foreign correspondence


une has been a month of travel like I’ve not known since before the pandemic. I’ve been out of Dubai twice, which is a lot by my standards. First to Riyadh for our inaugural Campaign Saudi Briefing, and then to France for the return of the in-person Cannes Lions advertising festival. Despite a few thousand miles of distance, the two trips weren’t that different in some ways. Both were industry gatherings, chances to hear smart people talk, to meet old contacts and friends, to make new ones, to gossip, to argue, to catch up, to be among peers and share ideas and insights and remember that the industry we work in is a community as well as a business. And while a few years ago Cannes and Riyadh would have seemed like chalk and cheese, many of the conversations I was part of or privy to in both places were the same. Even down to the people taking part in them. I have now heard Publicis KSA chief creative Mohammed Bahmishan explain the impact of Vision 2030 on Saudi Creativity on one continent, and go toe-to-toe with regular Campaign columnist Ramsey Naja over the region’s success at awards shows on another. (And I’d happily hear his insights again and again on any continent. An Antarctic panel on GCC talent? I’m there.) Each of the events – the Saudi Briefing and the Lions – had its themes. In Saudi we heard about audio, talent challenges, conversational commerce and the battle for people’s attention. In Cannes there was focus on the metaverse, on purpose, on diversity. (We are going to press now mere days after the end of Lions, so look out for the next issue when we will have a much more in-depth look at all that went on there, including that small matter of two Grands Prix.) But for me the unifying theme of the two gatherings was how much the people there relished getting together. Our event in Riyadh had about double the number of attendees we had expected. From junior creatives to regional CEOs, people came from local agencies and flew in from neighbouring countries to come together and spark off one another. I felt incredibly proud of that event that the Motivate team put together, as I really felt it was helping

build a community that we can all be proud of, in a country that is making huge leaps every month and deserves all the attention we can give it. In Cannes there weren’t as many big announcements as in some previous years (agency X is pulling out of awards for a year; client Y is taking all its spend online), but there was a feeling of celebration and relief that the worst of the past few years is now behind us and that now, no Editor matter what happens with the global economy and geopolitics, at least we can talk about it in person rather than @maustyn over Zoom. The MENA region had a good time on stage, too. Perhaps we didn’t take home as many Lions as in some years, and perhaps some networks missed out. But when people asked me what the creative scene in the Middle East is like, I didn’t have to start with a potted history of media and advertising around the region. I could simply point to two Grands Prix and say that’s what we are doing. Or I could point towards the SRMG cabana where a steady stream of international attendees hoovered up information and asked themselves why they’d only now thought more about pitching for work in the Kingdom. Or I could tell them to attend Khaled Al Shehhi’s talk on why Dubai leads the world in government communications. Once the region went abroad to see people; then people started coming here to see what we could do. Now we are taking the show to them.


What does pivot really mean? I



Dave Trott is the author of The Power of Ignorance, Creative Blindness and How to Cure It, Creative Mischief, Predatory Thinking and One Plus One Equals Three

n the 1930s, Andrew Higgins was just a local boat-builder in New Orleans. He built unusual, flat-bottom craft for the Mississippi Delta. These boats had a very shallow draft – they needed about two feet of water, which was perfect for people wanting to travel at speed through the Mississippi swamplands. Higgins designed them with a hollow at the rear for the propeller, so it wouldn’t drag on the bottom, and a wedge under the bow, so it could run right up on to land. Then, when the cargo was taken off, the boat was lighter and could simply be reversed back out into the water. The boats were perfect for rum-runners bringing illegal booze ashore at night. They were also used by the coastguards chasing the rum-runners. After Pearl Harbour, it became obvious that at some future point the US Marines would need to land in enemy territory, to attack the German and Japanese forces. The traditional way of landing soldiers in enemy territory had meant capturing a port so that vessels could pull alongside a dock and unload troops over the side on to the pier. The coastguard suggested to the Marines that they look at the boats Higgins was building. The draft

was so shallow they didn’t need to capture a port; they could run the boats right up on to a beach, any beach. They asked Higgins if he could build the boat so the front came down like a ramp. So that’s what Higgins built, the LCVP (landing craft, vehicle or personnel). It was 36 feet long and 11 feet wide, it had a top speed of 12 knots and could carry a platoon of 36 soldiers. It could run right up the beach, drop them all off and go back to get another load, all in three to four minutes. The best part was the enemy wouldn’t know where the landing would come. For instance, the Germans had built a 2,000-mile defensive wall from arctic Norway to Spain; the parts they had mainly fortified were harbours like Cherbourg, Brest and Antwerp, and they had to stretch 300,000 troops along the length of it. They built 15,000 concrete bunkers, used 1.2 million tons of steel, 17 million cubic metres of concrete, costing $206bn in today’s money. In the event, D-Day took place on an 80-mile stretch of Normandy coast and caught them totally by surprise. Because of the LCVPs, the allies landed 160,000 troops on the first day. A Marine Corps historian said: “The Higgins boat broke the gridlock on ship-to-shore

movement. It is impossible to overstate the tactical advantages this craft gave US amphibious commanders.” Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower said: “Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us. If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different.” In 1938, Higgins had a single boat yard with 75 employees; by 1943, he had seven massive boatyards with 25,000 workers. By the end of the war, he’d built 23,358 boats. Apparently, Hitler demanded to know how so many allied soldiers got ashore in a single day. His generals told him about the huge number of Higgins boats. Hitler yelled: “Who is he, Noah?” For me the real creativity comes from seeing how something built for rum-runners in the Mississippi swamps could revolutionise modern warfare. It didn’t come from thinking: “Let’s design a boat that doesn’t need a port.” It came from thinking: “This guy builds boats that can land anywhere, let’s use them.” Creativity isn’t thinking in limbo and having an idea out of the blue. Creativity is putting things together in a way no-one else would think of.


June 27, 2022

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

Magdi Yacoub Foundation… “If this were a movie, I would award it best cast but not best picture.” (SA)

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

Yas Island… “Big things are coming. So we show big things..” (MCM)

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

Lego MEA… “I am not sure if I agree that five minutes is enough for the #BrickTheRules proposition.” (SA)

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

RAKTDA… “I wish I had done something like this the last time I got an influencer content brief.” (SA)

Use the QR code to view this work on Campaign’s website.

TLTA… “These are the types of ideas that make me ask, how didn’t I think about it?” (MCM)

June 27, 2022




Creative director, DDB Dubai

Executive creative director, Impact BBDO Dubai

MAGDI YACOUB FOUNDATION: LONESOME TRAVELLER (1) This film is beautifully produced to capture the ordeal of a lower-middle-class family without access to quality healthcare in a developing country. As my Egyptian colleague told me, it has great lyrics, supported by a soothing music score. But the storyline is very linear, without any surprises. If this were a movie, I would award it best cast but not best picture.

MAGDI YACOUB FOUNDATION: LONESOME TRAVELLER (1) Very emotional film to watch. The cast is real and the cinematography feels like a short film as opposed to a commercial. It’s heart-warming to see that, with a simple brief of opening a new centre in a new location that shortens the trip for treatment, there was a human story to tell and create a short film about it. Some areas needed a bit more crafting. The ending with the new centre opening feels suddenly like a real estate ad and takes the viewer out of mood of the story. The supers on screen during the film and the end-frame logos overwhelm the film a bit with info.

YAS ISLAND: HARTIFY (2) Promoting the ‘World’s Most Entertaining’ island is a big deal, so it’s clever to recruit the world’s smallest celebrity to promote their offerings (I am sure the original idea had Dwayne Johnson as well). This campaign attempts to take the Yas Island narrative to the next level using Kevin Hart, who is basically just being himself as he showcases everything the Island as to offer. Entertaining? For sure. Memorable? Not so much. RAKTDA: LIVE YOUR MOMENTS (3) The team were brave enough to ditch the horizontal screen to create a piece of work that manages to stand out in the clutter of tourism videos and the barrage of influencer marketing. Focusing on just a few key offerings helps the idea. The ad makes for some sticky content that makes you want to see the entire film to the end. One can overlook some of the technical flaws in the execution and give credit where its due. I wish I had done something like this the last time I got an influencer content brief. LEGO MEA: #BRICKTHERULES (4) Lego ignites a child’s imagination like no other toy. This insight has been translated into a well-executed film. I am not sure if I agree that five minutes is enough for the #BrickTheRules proposition, although I love the hashtag. I am more than happy for my son to brick the rules – if he promises to clean up after himself and I don’t step on a single brick. Fun client = fun brief = fun creative. TLTA – NO CORRUPTION: LOLLAR – CURRENCY OF CORRUPTION (5) Considering how many people have had their life’s savings wiped out by the policies of corrupt politicians, this stunt serves as a clever and timely reminder. The Currency of Corruption has been meticulously illustrated, and putting up a mock ATM to encourage people to support the ‘Monetary Disobedience’ movement was a genius move. But what I find missing in this entire narrative is the actual use of the currency and the results that followed.

YAS ISLAND: HARTIFY (2) Big things are coming. So we show big things. A big production with a big celebrity in a big car brand in a big location... promising big things. Good recipe for attention, fame and keeping the viewers who like big things hooked. RAKTDA: LIVE YOUR MOMENTS (3) Smart use of format, platforms and celebrities to create buzz around RAK and a smart way to introduce the influencers activating the campaign and their social handles It has a good mix of different talents that appeal to different target groups, good entertainment value, good coverage of what RAK is offering. A good formula to get effectiveness in communication. Could it have been executed in a bit more spontaneous way that feels less engineered? LEGO MEA: BRICK THE RULES (4) Well-crafted graphics and good retro references. Why does it sound like we are alienating parents from playtime, portraying them as the enemy of fun in 2022, regardless of this being a typical scene in the 1970s? Lego globally is encouraging partnerships, creating bonds between kids and their parents and using building bricks to open conversations and discuss emotions. TLTA – NO CORRUPTION: LOLLAR – CURRENCY OF CORRUPTION (5) Beyond creative, this spoke to me as a Lebanese who was affected by the Lollar crisis as well as the Beirut blast. On a creative level, these are the types of ideas that make me ask, how didn’t I think about it? It’s so obvious in front of our eyes screaming for someone to actually do it. I really like the Lollar bills designs. What was presented on the link left me feeling that this idea must live beyond design. I looked at TLTA’s social pages and saw the May 13 stunts where people attempted to use the new Lollar bills to pay their government bills. This left me wanting to see more of this to see where it shifted a needle and what impact it made. I’m looking forward to seeing the case study and results. The review is only based on what was publicly shared so far.

Magdi Yacoub Foundation Title: Lonesome Traveller Agency: Tarek Nour Advertising Production house: Kay Oh Productions Director: Mohamed El Zayat

Yas Island

Title: Hartify Agency: Momentum Dubai Media: Initiative UAE Production: Dejavu Dubai PR: Four Communications


Title: Live Your Moments Agency: Sputnik Floyd

Lego MEA

Title: Brick the Rules Agencies: Grey Group Dubai; Grey Group Singapore ECDs: Pablo Maldonado; Aaron Phua CDs: Rubin Fernando; Odile Riachi Production: Asteroide

TLTA – No Corruption

Title: Lollar – Currency of Corruption Agency: Leo Burnett, Publicis Communications ME CCO, Publicis Communications: Mohammed Bahmishan ECD, Leo Burnett: Mohammed Sehly


June 27, 2022

The Spin The Spin is a huge fan of nominative determinism in journalism. Whether it’s the BBC’s Phil McCann covering last year’s petrol shortages or The Times’ Roger Boyes covering sexual abuse within the Vienna Boys’ Choir in 2010. Our latest favourite is The Age’s tennis correspondent covering bad manners at Wimbledon. The Spin is all in favour of ‘flexible working’ and the occasional extended lunch break, but we thought 90 minutes was about the most we could sneak out for. Three months is a whole new level of away-from-desk action. We’re pretty sure British Vogue could have found a better phrase to describe the Duchess of Cambridge’s attire as she attended the opening of a monument to often persecuted Caribbean black migrants to Britain. We understand what the UK’s BBC was trying to say here, but surely if you’re not travelling then you’re not a passenger anyway.

Appointments Criteo has appointed GOSIA WAJCHERT as managing director in the MENAT region. Wajchert will lead the company’s open internet commerce media strategy and grow the core retail media offering alongside brands, agencies and retailers. Wajchert previously worked at IPG Mediabrands, Publicis Media and OMD UAE. Impact BBDO Group has announced the promotion of regional ECD ALI REZ to chief creative officer for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region, effective May 1. One of the most highly awarded

creatives in the world, with more than 600 international accolades, Rez has consistently ranked amongst top global creative leaders. Most recently, he was named No.1 in APAC and MEA on several 2021 industry rankings. Havas Middle East has appointed RISHI TALWALKER as strategy and growth communications director for Red Havas Middle East. Based at the hub in Dubai, Talwalker drives strategic communications through the implementation of the Havas strategic framework and a creative approach combining tools across traditional and digital platforms to deliver impactful campaigns for the agency’s PR portfolio. Regional broadcast specialist communications agency

Markettiers MENA has appointed MIA ESAT as general manager. Esat worked at Grayling (now Houbara Communications) between 2014 to 2019 as the marketing and new business manager for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. The announcement comes as Cheryl King steps down from her role as managing director of Markettiers MENA to launch her own B2B integrated communications consultancy, King & Co PR. FP7 McCann Dubai have confirmed AUNINDO (AUNI) SEN as its new executive creative director. Sen will work alongside chief creative officer, Federico Fanti, who joined the agency earlier this year. Sen’s brief is in mentoring young talent, to further elevate the agencies’

creative product and deliver on FP7 McCann’s creative effectiveness credentials. Sen has returned to FP7 McCann after a brief stint with the Publicis Groupe where he served as senior creative director. KSA-based media agency UM has appointed NADEEM IBRAHIM as the new head of digital. With more than 15 years of media experience across APAC, Ibrahim has led flagship clients within a range of industries such as stc, stc pay, Vodafone UK, Optus Australia, O2 UK and the UK government.

Revolutionary, new out-of-home (OOH) advertising medium, powered by innovative technology. This unique and globally patented Escalator Step Branding Solution gives brands an unrivaled opportunity to connect with audiences across the GCC.

CONTACT US TODAY +971 4 427 3000


ENTER NOW Enquiries: