Campaign Middle East - August 2022

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July 25, 2022





PLUS: win a place in Sir John Hegarty’s creativity masterclass

July 25, 2022







July 25, 2022


Group M announces the departure of MENA CEO Ravi Rao Group M, the media investment group, has announced that Ravi Rao will leave his role as CEO of Group M MENA to pursue new opportunities outside the organisation. “Rao’s exact leaving date is to be confirmed, as during the period of transition he will help find his replacement, continuing to support and lead the MENA region until we identify a candidate, and provide a smooth transition of leadership,” said Group M in a statement. Demet Ikiler, Group M EMEA CEO, said: “Ravi expressed his desire to step down and look for new opportunities after having been with the Group M business for more than 14 years, the last seven of those located in MENA. As Group M MENA CEO, Ravi played an active part in building strong relationships with media and clients alike via his approachable personal style, honesty and direct approach, which helped grow our business. While I am sad that he is leaving, I am equally happy that he will seek and engage with new opportunities in the region. I wish Ravi the best of luck in his future endeavours.” Group M is responsible for more than $60bn in annual media investment. It is part of holding group WPP.

Departing CEO of Group M MENA Ravi Rao

FP7 McCann wins Heinz social

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HUNGERSTATION A WORLD NO ONE WANTS TO GO BACK TO HungerStation released a light-hearted advertisement film that plays on unwelcome nostalgia to celebrate its 10-year anniversary and being the first food delivery app in Saudi Arabia. Created by Wunderman Thompson Riyadh, the film is a reminder of how hectic, messy and disastrous the world was before food delivery apps. The advertisement depicts the struggles of getting food delivered in the pre-internet times. The end of the film illustrates how HungerStation stepped in a decade ago and changed the concept of food delivery forever.

FP7 McCann has been confirmed as the new social agency for Heinz Arabia, following a competitive pitch involving five other agencies. The scope includes social strategy, campaigns and content across all of Heinz Arabia’s social channels. Jon Marchant, FP7 McCann Dubai’s managing director, said: “We’re delighted to have landed the social account for Heinz. We especially appreciated the client team’s ambition in recognising our brave and bold creative approach, and can’t wait to demonstrate our creative effectiveness credentials on what is a truly iconic brand.” Passant El Ghannam, marketing director for MEA and Turkey at Heinz, said: “We believe that with our iconic love brand and the team’s passion for creativity, we will win the hearts and minds of our consumers.” The account will be handled by FP7 McCann’s Dubai and Cairo offices.


July 25, 2022

India-headquartered YAAP acquires 100 per cent of GCC-based agency Crayons Communications YAAP, an Indian content and influencer marketing company with operations in the UAE, India and Singapore, has fully acquired Crayons Communications, an advertising agency with offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Manama. The 100 per cent acquisition will see Crayons Communications merge with YAAP. YAAP has recently expanded its market footprint and offerings. Its client portfolio includes CocaCola, Visit Dubai, Lufthansa, RuPay, American Express, Disney, Amazon and Square Enix. “YAAP has been actively looking to expand its presence in the UAE in particular and the GCC region as a whole,” said Atul Hegde, founder of YAAP. The Crayons Communications acquisition comes at the right time and gives us a great platform to bring our award-winning services in influencer marketing (IM) and performance media to this part of the world. Crayons has a good foundation of established clients that will help us quickly ramp up our service offerings here. We want to be a dominant player in IM, Web 3.0 (with a focus on building for the metaverse) and media services. As the markets correct globally, it presents us a

great opportunity for more such acquisitions in this region.” Crayons Communications has 14 years of market presence in the Middle East, with clients including Apparel Group, Kaya and Fitbit. Commenting on how the deal transpired, Kunal Lalani, founder and chairman, Crayons Communications Group, said, “While we have been working together on projects before, this acquisition seals our relationship formally with YAAP in this part of the world. I’m confident that YAAP coming in will create more opportunities for our people in terms of their own career growth and all our clients will benefit from a wide array of new services that will get launched here.” “With an added network of seven cities and more than 100 digital experts at YAAP, it opens up a whole new world of offerings for us in this region,” said Arshad Zaheer, CEO of Crayons Communications. YAAP has been actively scouting strategic acquisitions in the digital content and media landscape across the GCC. Crayons Communications has added the Middle Eastern market to YAAP’s existing presence.

From left: Atul Hegde, Kunal Lalani, Arshad Zaheer

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Abu Dhabi leisure and entertainment hub Yas Island launched a campaign titled ‘Yas Yas Baby’ in an integrated roll-out inspired by the 90’s hit single ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice. Styled in the format of a music video, the campaign features a group of energetic b-boys and b-girls dancing their way across iconic attractions on Yas Island, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Yas Mall. The music video showcases the idea of fun vacations through entertaining, fun lyrics. The ‘Yas Yas Baby’ campaign was posted across the destination’s social media pages.

Furniture retailer Home Box asked 329 domestic workers about their favourite places in the homes they work in. Out of all the places they spoke about, one space remained unmentioned, hidden from view: their own room. This insight inspired ‘The Hidden Room’, a short film by Leo Burnett Dubai featuring four domestic workers. Many domestic workers’ living spaces are very small. To address this issue, Home Box partnered with Leo Burnett Dubai to launch ‘The Hidden Room Collection’, designed in collaboration with Home Box’s design team. A second film shows how The Hidden Room Collection transforms small rooms by adding smart storage solutions, enlivened with prints, textures, and colours.

Creative agency Momentum Dubai Production house Dejavu Media buying Initiative MENA PR agency Four Communications

Creative agency Leo Burnett Dubai Production agency Liwa Content Driven

July 25, 2022

OMG names Saleh Ghazal as chief executive of OMD MENA Omnicom Media Group MENA has announced the promotion of Saleh Ghazal to the role of CEO of OMD MENA. He has been leading OMD’s UAE operations since 2017, first as general manager and then as managing director. As regional CEO, Ghazal will overlook a network of 12 offices. In this role, Ghazal will “ensure OMD’s award-winning excellence and best practices are deployed across the region and take the network to the next level”, said OMG. “Driven by his passion for technology, Ghazal started his career in digital media. Over the years, he combined his digital expertise with his account-servicing skills to deliver relevant, effective and innovative hybrid business solutions for clients,” said OMG in a statement. “Thanks to his business acumen and innate commercial strength, which continuously allowed him to create value for OMD’s clients and help them grow their business, he successfully transitioned from client to agency leadership.” “Saleh’s journey to this point, growing through the ranks, has prepared him well for this moment. The joy of seeing someone start his career at OMD and take the helm after 15 years of consistent performance is unparalleled,” said

OMD MENA CEO Saleh Ghazal

Elda Choucair, CEO of OMG, MENA. “Saleh will not only strengthen the OMD network but also create the conditions for all our clients to meet and exceed their goals and ambitions, with the best talent, experience, practices and know-how.” Ghazal said: “It is an exciting time for OMD not just regionally but globally too. We’re celebrating our big Cannes Lion win of Media Network of the Year and the title of Agency Network of the Year at the MENA

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Digital Awards. Our clients, talent and partners keep aiming higher and that opens award-winning possibilities. I am ready to be at the forefront and lead this advancement, acting as a catalyst for the consistent and comprehensive roll-out of our offering everywhere.” Ghazal will continue to report to Choucair as CEO of the group, and the OMD offices across the MENA region will report to him. The promotion was effective from July 1.


Z7 wins PR brief for Infiniti ME Z7 Communications, a regional luxury communications, digital, and events agency, has been appointed as the representative for Infiniti, Japanese automaker Nissan’s luxury division, in the Middle East. “Infiniti has established itself as a premium automotive brand, with a unique take on modern Japanese luxury and a driver-centric approach. The Japanese inspirations can be felt through Infiniti’s minimalist design and thoughtful hospitality in customer service,” said Z7 Communications in a release. “We are beyond proud to be representing Infiniti in the Middle East as our first automotive client. We are excited to be working in unison with Infiniti to push the boundaries of luxury, creating memorable campaigns for a promising new chapter for the car brand in the region,” said Zeina El-Dana, founder and CEO of Z7 Communications. “We are excited about Z7’s regional point of view and long-established expertise in the premium space. Together, we will challenge the conventions of traditional luxury, taking bold and iconic actions that set us apart,” said Nadim Ghrayeb, general manager – marketing, PR & CX at Infiniti Middle East, on the apppointment.

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Honda Middle East launched its latest HRV model with a Dentsu- and AKA Media-produced advertisement. The advertisement takes a different route, replacing cars racing across cities or dramatic landscapes with high fashion and style instead. This approach made the launch all about elegance, beauty and style. The launch worked by pairing the car with models dressed in haute couture, designed by Dubai-based designer Michael Cinco. The film features the vehicle making its way across stylish locations around Dubai, further emphasising the concept.

The Beeah Group, a UAE Government-supported sustainability venture, launched the ‘Race for Life’ awareness campaign to draw attention to the endangerment of camels due to desert pollution. Conceptualised by Leo Burnett MEA, the initiative was part of a joint effort between the Dubai Camel Racing Club and Beeah and held as part of the Al Marmoom Camel Race Festival. The campaign focused on a camel named Oklah, which denotes a camel that gobbles up anything it spots, as it stayed immobile during the race and drew the attention of the audience. The camel’s body was adorned with drawings of plastic waste that camels consume and a message that read, ‘My race is against what’s inside me’.

Creative agency Dentsu Creative lead Bassem Ainu Production house AKA Media Producer Nadya Tereshina Directors Tejal Patni, Zubin Mistry Wardrobe Michael Cinco

Creative agency Leo Burnett Dubai



July 25, 2022

ir John Hegarty is launching an online course titled The Business of Creativity. Over eight weeks, Hegarty will aim to unlock the enormous impact creativity can have on a team – covering areas such as mastering the brief, how to nurture and assess an idea, encouraging a creative culture, the art of storytelling and how to overcome the fear of a blank page. London International Awards, one of the leading international awards shows, is sponsoring a placement on the course, worth £1,500. Campaign Middle East is going to give that place to one of our readers. To find out how it could be you attending this once-in-a-lifetime masterclass, check out the box below. John Hegarty is one of the most respected advertising people alive. He was a founder of

Saatchi & Saatchi, co-founded TBWA London, and along with John Bartle and Nigel Bogle he started BBH in 1982. He has created such iconic work as Audi’s ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’, and ‘Bath’ and ‘Laundrette’ for Levi’s. In 2007 he was knighted for services to advertising. The format of the Business of Creativity course will comprise of four main components: weekly lectures hosted by Hegarty, a bi-weekly Q&A with him, curated supporting material, and eight inspirational weekly guest speakers. The course has been designed to be relevant for all levels of seniority, and the first cohort launches on September 19. On a video call from London, where he is based, Hegarty tells Campaign that advertising has an image problem –

COMPETITION Win a place on Sir John Hegarty’s Business of Creativity Course – sponsored by LIA

people don’t like the way targeted advertising “stalks” them. New channels have brought the promise of efficiency to advertising, but while there’s nothing wrong with targeting when you have permission to target, “great brands inspire people to come to them,” rather than following them across digital platforms. “The brands that really deliver a return to their shareholders are the ones that create the sense they are helping make the world in some shape or form a better place in terms of the services they are offering,” Hegarty says. He adds: “One of the most important quotes about brands is: ‘A brand is made not just by the people who buy it but also by the people who know about it’.” He gives the examples of love-it-or-hate-it brands like Marmite or Taylor Swift, and aspirational brands like Rolls Royce. Mass communication has become distrusted by business leaders looking for efficiencies. CEOs are often from a finance background, rather than a creative one, so targeted advertising appeals to them. Hegarty is no fan of the aphorism, ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half’. “Doesn’t it sound clever?” he asks, before answering himself. “It’s the most stupid thing ever said about advertising, the most stupid. And it’s persisted in our industry because it sounds smart, it sounds clever.” “I’m on this bandwagon of trying to get people to understand the value of creativity,” he says, and starts to cite

McKinsey studies proving that creativity generates returns. Businesses are “creative constructs,” he says. “Creativity should be core to what they are doing, it should be core to everything they do. It’s like breathing for an athlete.” Hegarty’s course, like his crusade, is about encouraging businesses and the people within them to engage positively with creativity and not be afraid of it. Nor should creatives be afraid of technology, he says. But that too often tends to be the case. “When an astonishing piece of technology appears, essentially creative people kind of stand back and say, ‘We don’t know what to do with this, but oh my God this is amazing.’ So the technologists become the heroes.” However, technologists lack the imagination of creatives. When Guttenberg invented the printing press, the only book he printed was the Bible, which “had been around for 1000 years and wasn’t exactly breakthrough”. When the Lumiere brothers invented the moving-picture camera, they “gave up on it; they didn’t know what to do with it because, really, they were technologists, they were more interested in the technology”. It took a while for Hollywood to marry the tech with creativity, while in the meantime the Lumieres “went back to taking not very good photographs”. By contrast, says Hegarty, “What creativity does is it takes a number of known assets and it reassembles them in a way that sparks your imagination.” He uses the iPhone as an example. “All that technology was out there,” he says. “Nokia could have created the iPhone but they didn’t see it; someone at Apple did.” Or Audi. By adding four-wheel drive to performance cars – as opposed to off-road vehicles – and creating the Quattro in 1980, the automaker rejuvenated its brand. Hegarty’s Business of Creativity course will give people the confidence to build their case for creativity, and give them the economic arguments to win over those anti-creatives or pure technologists and efficiency fanatics who see creativity as an add-on rather than central to business. In this sense, the course is as much about the creativity of business as the business of creativity. Now... will you be on it?

HOW TO ENTER We are giving away one place on The Business of Creativity with Sir John Hegarty. The prize is worth £1,500 and is sponsored by LIA. Answer this one simple question: What does the ‘H’ in ad agency BBH stand for? Send your answers to:, giving your name, contact number and job title. Make sure the subject line is ‘Campaign LIA Hegarty Competition’ (so we don’t lose it). We will randomly select one correct answer, then announce and contact the winner in mid-August. In the meantime, find out more at

July 25, 2022


PP agencies VMLY&R, VMLY&R Commerce, GTB and The Classic Partnership are to combine in the region, with VMLY&R Commerce CEO Nick Walsh (pictured) becoming CEO of VMLY&R MENA. Walsh says the move is part of a “one-brand strategy”, which brings the structure of other global markets to the region. The consolidation continues a trajectory that WPP has been following for some years to simplify the structure and lower the number of its agency brands. It has been less than two years since Geometry became VMLY&R Commerce in January 2021. Geometry was previously OgilvyAction, Ogilvy’s brand experience division, which changed its name in 2013. In 2018 WPP merged creative agency Y&R and digital agency VML to create VMLY&R. Although the 2020 renaming of Geometry as VMLY&R Commerce suggested the consolidation that is being announced now, VMLY&R Commerce in Dubai had remained in its Geometry offices, in the same building as Memac Ogilvy on Sheikh Zayed Road. It will now co-locate with VMLY&R in Dubai Media City. Two other WPP agencies, GTB and The Classic Partnership, will also be merged into VMLY&R. GTB, standing for Global Team Blue, was a single-client agency established to service Ford Motor Company brands. The Classic Partnership, founded in 1998, was a Dubai-based creative agency whose clients will now be serviced by VMLY&R. Georges Barsoum, CEO of VMLY&R MENA, will be leaving in September. “He and I have worked really closely, especially in the last 18 months,” says incoming CEO Nick Walsh. “The agencies have started working together so you’ve seen more integrated pitches; there’s a few pieces of business where we tried it out – on things like the Roads and Transport Authority and Danon. Georges will be stepping away in September to pursue other industry opportunities. We’ve worked really closely together. Georges is an excellent client guy, so he will be working with me on handover until September. He’s a really strategic guy so he’s going to help with some of the strategic initiatives we’ve got, and he’s also going to help with the new business side, and just generally with the overall handover.” Internal management is still being finalised, but the plan is to make the VMLY&R Group offering more integrated. “If you look across the spectrum of what we offer, end-to-end, we have from CX [customer experience] to BX [brand experience] and then commerce at the centre,” says Walsh. “It’s a beautiful proposition, this idea that we are addressing emotional and functional values.” He references a recent On the Record with Campaign Middle East podcast where VMLY&R global CEO Jon Cook describes the 2018 merger of VML and Y&R. Walsh says: “When the VML side came together with the Y&R side, the VML side was more of a digital base, and the Y&R side had a creative legacy. If you think now to the overall proposition, which is commerce at the heart when you bring Geometry/VMLY&R Commerce into that as well, we now for the first time – in this region certainly – have a truly end-to-end proposition.” Discipline expert heads will be


VMLY&R CONSOLIDATES WITH NICK WALSH AT HELM VMLY&R, VMLY&R Commerce, GTB and The Classic Partnership are being merged into one group under a new CEO. By Austyn Allison

part of what Walsh calls the next-level leadership team. Walsh says his role as CEO will be about “driving the vision, driving the culture, driving the motivation of an agency”. He says: “We’re very, very focused on making sure we have the right talent, we have the right people, we have the right morale, we have the right atmosphere at the agencies.” He adds: “I’m very much a stickler for process, doing things correctly, doing things in the right way, making sure everyone


knows how we work, making sure we drive wonderful products – whether that is the creative work to win awards or making sure we raise the profile and the outward facing image of the agency, ultimately making sure that we drive the bottom line.” At Cannes Lions this year, VMLY&R Commerce, working with WPP sister PR agency Hill & Knowlton Strategies, won a Silver Lion for its Feminine Arabic work with Twitter. Again Walsh references Campaign’s conversation with global CEO Jon Cook: “You’ve heard from Jon, and you’ve heard about our success. You’ve heard how well this brand has moved and expanded in the US and across Europe and in Asia. And given how passionate I am about the Middle East and the potential that it’s got, I think bringing those two things together is just a wonderful lifetime opportunity.” Walsh says Dubai should become more of an international hub for the global VMLY&R brand. “My dream – and I’m pretty vocal about it – is that big regional business pitches should be run out of Dubai. It’s the only real place in the world that you can put talent from all around the world that already exists in one office and truly have a global view.” He adds: “We’re bringing that together. That ambition needs to stay. There’s Lions and global and international awards on our wall, and I think we need to bring that to the front. Within our respective networks, we’ve been one of the front offices that they look towards for that creativity and we’ll continue that. “There are clients we don’t work with that the global network does, so we’ve got to awaken those clients, awaken those relationships and bring a bit of swagger and raise the profile and allow people to understand very clearly what the brand means and what the letters mean. I think we’ve got a really interesting moment.”


July 25, 2022



Do advertising awards equate to brand success?

July 25, 2022


Khaled Al Shehhi

Executive director of marketing and communication at UAE Government Media Office


As much as I know that the awards we win are for real and successful campaigns that meet their objectives, there are limits to awards as a benchmark of brand success. First, not all awards go to large-scale brand campaigns. We still have to contend with ghosts and stylistic exercises limited in time and space that demonstrate the entrant’s abilities rather than actual work. Second, not all brands measure success at all or in the same way, so awards don’t all have it as a consistent criterion for judging. In many awards, the balance still tilts in favour of creative considerations. However, harder metrics of performance and effectiveness are increasingly at present, so we may be shifting positions.

Shyam Sunder

Vice-president of marketing,


Paul Hirsh, CCO at Doremus recently spoke at Cannes, where he said that creativity is an economic multiplier. It doesn’t matter whether it’s at the brand or the demand-gen level. It’s simply better for business to stand out than blend in. To me, that’s always been a fundamental, a basic if you are in the business of building brands. And creativity matters irrespective of if you are in the B2C or B2B or D2C space. At the end of the day, we are in the H2H business, humans talking to humans. In today’s day and age of extreme clutter and time-poor attention spans, we must be relevant, meaningful and authentic. If these three criteria are met, then advertising awards do help build brands. As with everything in this world, there are exceptions – like Pizza Hut struggling in business despite its award winning work. But the rule is that if a business has a good product, knows its customers well, is priced right and is easily accessible, then award-winning work that helps differentiate that brand from its competitors will only accelerate its success.

Mazen Jawad

CEO, Horizon Holdings


Advertising awards, such as the Cannes Lions Festival for example, do equate in many instances to the brand’s success, especially when we take into account the brand’s purpose while we crystallise the business issue – ‘The Right Bit’, for example, referring to one of our planning tools, hence activating the brand and driving results. There are many awards festivals out there. Many of them respectfully evaluate work serving their objective of celebrating creativity that drives an economic multiplier, the reason of our existence and our focus as we create a constant balance between timeless work that builds the brand in line with timely activations that yield business results

Mario Morby

Head of strategy, FP7


We all know the relationship between award-winning creativity and brand effectiveness; it’s conventional agency wisdom that’s often used to sell bold ideas to clients. However, it’s a correlation, not a causation; advertising awards are not a predictor of brand success. Research agency System 1 discovered something painful (depending on your view of awards) when analysing Campaign UK’s 2019 ‘Turkey of the Week’ ads. They found that, on average, Turkey of the Week brands had a better market success and performance than Cannes Lions and Grand Prix winners. Sure, awards are good for agency morale, but the most important jury is consumers.


July 25, 2022

Tamara Habib

Chief operating officer, Netizency


If we think that a consumer has ever decided to buy a product or a service because that brand won an advertising award for it, then we are probably a bit delusional. Consumers simply don’t care about advertising awards. So, the answer to the question: do advertising awards equate to brand success is, quite simply, no. But what if we tweaked the question a little bit? Does creativity equate to brand success? The answer here is yes. It has been proven time and again that creativity allows for brands to deliver business success. So I think the real question we should be asking here is: do advertising awards drive creativity?

Riya Vatnani

Group account director, Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy


This is a far more perplexing question than one might think. Creative award wins are definitely important and can aid agencies in recruiting top talent and new clients, and unlocking networking opportunities. However, they do not equate to brand success, as creativity is a metric not determined by the number of trophies on your wall. Advertising, as showmanship of brand success, is determined by ROI, earned media and through-andthrough quantifiable success metrics, which may include awards. However, said awards should never be sole determinants of performance.

Badr Bourji

Director of marketing, executive office, Experience Hub, Yas Island


Despite the evolution of advertising over the years, industry awards have remained more creative-centric rather than brand- and consumer-centric. For the most part, they operate in a silo from true brand success metrics and are more focused on trends and creative insights rather than real impact. The majority of the work being celebrated as the benchmark of creativity is arguably no more successful than non-awarded work. Successful brands become more relevant with their consumers over-time, whereas successful creative awards are only as relevant as their 2- or 3-minute case studies to the judges in the room.

Sachin Brian Mendonca Chief creative strategist, YouExperience


Awards unquestionably have a positive impact, whether it is boosting morale, pushing boundaries or even generating a healthy competitive environment that persuades you to think differently. But brand success is certainly not equated to awards. There are more examples of brands launching products, obliterating sales targets and straight up beating the competition that we would never consider award-worthy. Here’s a clue: There’s not a single brand out there ‘awarding’ their business to an agency solely based on their award record. Why is that?

July 25, 2022

Sevgi Gur

Chief marketing officer, Property Finder


It’s a tricky question. Awards inspire us to come with bigger and bolder ideas to set higher standards in the market. However, when it comes to measuring brand success, some awards’ criteria are probably not set up to tell us what the business priorities are. Earning awards as a brand can also not mean marketeers were successfully able to drive key results or the brand had a successful campaign. In today’s world, a brand’s success is a much more complicated task involving several factors that can be achieved by incorporating creativity with data and science. Additionally, I strongly believe that the brand’s success is heavily dependent on the brand’s product and user experience since a remarkable consumer experience is at the heart of every successful business.

Ali Aboukhreibe

Director of strategy, Boopin


In some cases, awards that come from well reputed bodies can push a brand’s agenda and signify brand success. A brand’s success needs to account for more than just awards. It should include factors like relevance, liveability, continuance, sustainability and many others. A brand’s success should also look at consumer perception and social contribution. Finally, many entries might qualify for an award, but awarding one to three entrants per category can result in leaving great work done by others in the shadows. Within context, awards are essential to recognise outstanding submissions, but aren’t an exclusive metric of brand success.

Adrian Mutescu

Strategy director, Havas Creative Middle East


If that were the case, every brand that has award-winning work would automatically be successful. While award-winning advertising contributes to a brand’s image, meaningful communications and experiences are what pave the way for brand success. That makes people care about the brand and connect with it. It’s the sum of all interactions the consumer will have with the brand that leads to its success – from a coherent purpose, transactional communications and social engagements to purchase experience or the product usage itself. It’s the success of that journey that makes a brand succeed, and sometimes this gets to be recognised and awarded.



July 25, 2022


SAS’s Nurcan Arcan says hyper personalisation is the next big thing in marketing and is already here


he Covid-19 pandemic is quite possibly the single most disruptive event in recent history, as it affected every country, every individual and every organisation around the globe. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that the customer of 2022 has little in common with the pre-pandemic customer. In fact, a new type of customer has emerged during the last couple of years – one that is more digital and demanding than ever. The results of a recent survey commissioned by SAS tell a clear story: 90 per cent of customers in the META region noted an improvement in customer experience (CX) since the pandemic started. During the same time, the region saw the greatest increase in digital users across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, with a 27 per cent rise. It should be noted that customers’ decisions are no longer solely driven by low prices, with factors such as convenience now ranking as a top-three priority. But what one customer considers a good customer experience can differ considerably from another customer’s expectations. Failure to understand customers’ individual preferences could result in the loss of business. After just one or two poor experiences, 45 per cent of UAE customers would easily ditch a brand. And this is where hyper personalisation comes into play.

In order to fulfil each customer’s expectations and offer them unique, tailor-made experiences, CMOs need to deep dive into the world of hyper personalisation. Of course, the term ‘hyper personalisation’ did not appear out of nowhere. It has been considered the new wave of customer experience since the previous decade – and the pandemic worked as a catalyst. Businesses that are serious about offering exceptional CX must give customers exactly what they want, how and when they want it. By combining real-time data with the power of AI, hyper personalisation is the next big thing in marketing. The path to hyper personalisation can (and should) be an evolutionary one. For instance, it is better to start with a single channel and a single business objective, in order to deal with easier to track KPIs. However, implementing a solution capable of addressing the challenges of the adaptive customer experience is vital to success. Organisations should be able to collect rich data sets in a simple way and turn them into useful information. Cross-channel coordination is key, so as to better understand customers by combining online and offline data. Moreover, analytically driven decision making in real-time should lead to seamless interaction, delivering customers relevant and valuable offers, rather than generic offers usually viewed as noise.

But what are the actual benefits of hyper personalisation? We are talking about a win-win proposition. Real-time marketing and hyper personalisation result in fewer, more relevant offers that decrease marketing costs while increasing marketing effectiveness. Delivering hyper personalisation to customers drives brand loyalty and their response provides more insightful customer data. Gathering such detail from the customer touch point enables organisations to evaluate how effective their marketing department is from an engagement perspective. Furthermore, by understanding their customers at a deeper level, it is easier for organisations not only to retain them, but also to attract dissatisfied customers from competing brands. Despite their reluctance to share personal data pre-pandemic, as customers widely adopt digital channels, they have now become more willing. Not for free, but in exchange for a vastly improved customer experience. One thing CMOs should keep in mind, though, is that customers expect organisations to respect and protect their privacy, as the level of fraud awareness has risen significantly (74 per cent across the MEA region according to the SAS survey) during the pandemic. This rise means that businesses need to find the right balance between extensive fraud-protection measures and a frictionless customer experience. Once again, analytics and accompanying technologies such as AI and machine learning are the answer. They can be used to identify fraudulent patterns, helping to detect and prevent fraud in real time but without disrupting the customer experience. To keep customer confidence high, organisations should also pay close attention to the ethical standards they apply when collecting and using customer data. Data ethics standards are becoming ubiquitous among organisations with advanced CX capabilities. To meet customers where they are, CMOs need to up their analytics game. Undeniably, making things personal with customers is no longer an option but a must. When we say personal, we do not mean large segments but every individual being a special segment. In an ever-changing world where nothing can be taken for granted, organisations that can quickly adopt a hyper-personalised marketing strategy powered by data, advanced analytics, and AI will be able to find the most profitable growth opportunities. By Nurcan Arcan, regional marketing director, SAS



July 25, 2022


The future of our economy Heriot-Watt’s Prof. Paul Hopkinson says start-ups are key to the development and success of the MENA region


ecently, there has been a noticeable interest in start-ups in the MENA region. MENA has the largest youth population in the world and the highest internet penetration rates, with a rising number of fintech start-ups. Recently, interest in the growth of start-ups has started to materialise further and take on a more substantial importance. Studies are increasingly pointing to start-ups as one of the key solutions to a growing young population, a highly digitised digital market and a talent shortage. McKinsey & Co recently published a report titled ‘Reimagining higher education in MENAP’, in which it estimated that about 127 million young people are set to enter the region’s labour market by 2040. Currently, average unemployment is estimated at 9.2 per cent in the region – nearly four percentage points above the global average. Accelerated trends since the pandemic, such as digitisation and automation, pose another challenge: finding the right skills. This is not to paint a dire vision of the future of jobs, but to emphasise the urgency to find solutions to help current and future graduates. The sooner we can do that, the better we can mitigate unemployment in the future. Simply put, entrepreneurs can create opportunities for others, drive innovation and forge new markets, which overall can largely boost economic prosperity. In 2019, the UAE Ministry of Economy revealed that SMEs and start-ups were contributing to 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, as these smaller enterprises employ 42 per cent of the workforce. In addition, it is no secret that start-ups are strongly linked to innovations, an essential requirement to creating a sustainable future. Inter-organisational collaboration between government, public and private institutions is key to addressing the challenges affecting the proliferation of start-ups. Currently, one of the main challenges facing the start-up scene in the MENA region is a lack of investment in start-ups solely founded by females. According to research by Wamda, while start-ups in the MENA region raised $622m, only $6m was invested in start-ups founded by women. Start-ups cofounded with a male counterpart raised about $17m. This pattern is not unique to the Middle East but is reflective of global trends. According to Boston Consulting Group, if women were given equal opportunities in

entrepreneurship, gross domestic product (GDP) could rise by 3 to 6 per cent, which would substantially boost the global economy. Finding the right talent is a real challenge that start-ups are faced with. Although this could be applicable to the job market as a whole, it is a bigger challenge for start-ups. While still attempting to build the company’s profile, attracting talent while still not being

“Currently, one of the main challenges facing the start-up scene in the MENA region is a lack of investment in start-ups solely founded by females.” recognised in the job market is a real difficulty. In addition, during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh, several experts mentioned the skills and talent shortage. More needs to be done to prepare future graduates for the job market. To counter this problem, some start-ups open offices outside their country to diversify the

talent pool. However, this is a luxury that not all start-ups can afford. This is where the role of universities becomes pivotal to addressing these challenges. In addition to updating their programmes in accordance with a new and highly digitised labour market, universities should focus their efforts on incubators and entrepreneurship programmes that can help students develop their own business ideas. At Edinburgh Business School, we offer an incubation space to support entrepreneurship and new businesses through offering a set of facilities to host, support and incubate businesses. Spaces are available to both current students and alumni and external applicants. Universities are uniquely positioned to facilitate entrepreneurship due to their role in promoting a culture of innovation and creative thinking and their ability to support institutional development. Finally, government entities should foster an environment to facilitate opening start-ups. Opening start-ups has proven to be highly bureaucratic and expensive with lots of licensing fees and requirements. According to World Bank data from 2016, it takes an average of 20.2 days to open a business in MENA countries, versus a mere 5.6 days in the United States. Currently, the start-up scene is growing in leading economies within the GCC such as the UAE and KSA. For example, a report released by Magnitt showed that venture capital funding to MENA start-ups rose to $2.6bn in 2021, a 138 per cent increase in comparison to 2020. Although governments have become more agile and supportive, there is still a sense of formality that, if dropped, can facilitate start-up growth. Overall, aside from start-ups playing a major role in boosting a country’s economy and GDP, start-ups can hugely contribute to creating opportunities for young graduates. In addition, it has been proven that start-ups can greatly foster innovation, which is a key requirement of our current market. It is important to remember that investing in our youth is the biggest investment we can make. The support of public and private institutions and higher education institutes is indispensable for facilitating the right resources and environment that can help the youth translate their ideas into reality.

By Professor Paul Hopkinson, Head of Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University Dubai and Academic Lead for Heriot-Watt Online


July 25, 2022

THE NEW NOW Spiro’s Beki Winchel explains her company’s strategy around becoming a brand to watch BEKI WINCHEL, director, thought leadership and innovation, Spiro


ach and every one of us has an innate drive to connect to others. Brands to watch are stepping up and helping spark those connections. Humans are social animals. We think, create, consume and process our work, ideas, interests, concerns and questions through interacting, aligning and sharing with others. This is community. It’s the very essence of what it means to be human. The past three years left us with a collective experience deficit. The pandemic not only devastated entire industries overnight, it also challenged people’s wellbeing and ability to thrive. So, where do we go from here?

“The pre-pandemic world and consumer landscape of the past aren’t coming back. That doesn’t mean what lies ahead isn’t full of promise, but brands have to stop wishing for what used to be. ”

OPPORTUNITY IS OUT THERE Brands are no longer built based on how they are portrayed. Now, brands are built based on how they behave. This challenge highlights the importance of developing relationships beyond transactional interactions. More than ever, people crave belonging and want to identify with like-minded people. Consumers expect brands to foster this kind of connection and conversation. This is your moment to embrace change and lean into disruption. At Spiro, we’re doing that by being more creative and courageous in how we harness and deliver the future to our clients, the industry and the world. We do that through future-casting, macro-trends, strategic foresight, and innovation as a core of our value proposition. It’s so central that we launched an innovation and thought leadership arm that drives what we think about the future, what we see in our industry, and how we guide and support our clients. Here are three things brands can watch for and take action on: UNDERSTAND THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE The pre-pandemic world and associated consumer landscape of the past aren’t coming back. That doesn’t mean what lies ahead isn’t full of promise, but brands have to stop looking behind them and wishing for what used to be. Companies that seek to latch on to a state of normalcy, or have a ‘back to business’ mentality, rather than moving toward our collective evolution, will lose relevancy in even their most basic value propositions. Conversely, brands that pay attention to the economic, cultural, and behavioural shifts happening all around us – what we at Spiro call ‘the New Now’ – can embrace change by innovating

new business models and offering new brand experiences. That’s the key to thriving, not just surviving, in this continuing shifting landscape. FIGURE OUT WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE If you’re not already focused on your customers’ choices and preferences first and foremost – figuring out what drives, motivates, inspires, and concerns them – you should start now. Otherwise, you’re just another brand adding noise instead of value. Recognise that this moment is all about customer empowerment. It’s not about you or your brand, it’s how you can meet your customer where they’re at, wherever and whenever that is. The post-Covid customer persona has drastically changed, so even if you think you know your consumer, think again. USE EXPERIENCES TO CREATE COMMUNITY Networking happens when you want someone; community happens when someone wants you, too. It’s a subtle difference with a big impact that starts with a connective moment or experience and grows into a sustaining body. To become a brand to watch, building a community should be your overarching goal. This means mobilising members to think and act collectively, sharing ideas and holding each other accountable for effort and performance. Instead of building a network that benefits only the individual, the focus is revealing ways individuals within the community can give value to each other. When individuals give value to one another, they also give value to your brand. Consider Lego: In 2003, the company was $800m in debt. So, it turned to its fans. Leaning into its community – not only reaching out to understand its customers and their needs, but also to get them actively involved in the creation process – gave Lego the ability to build itself back up. By 2015, its brand valuation was roughly $5.4bn. In 2021, that valuation grew to roughly $9.1bn. Today, its thriving community of fan creators vote on ideas that become sought-after products carrying high price tags. It’s important to remember that community isn’t a throwaway concept. Creating communitycentred experiences isn’t a new coat of paint. Instead, it’s a way to reimagine your brand and its value through the eyes of your consumers –and engage with them year-round in a way that’s mutually beneficial. Are you ready to embrace the New Now?


July 25, 2022


Targeting – into the future and beyond In an era of ‘infoxication’ it’s vital to show consumers the right message in the right context ,says Choueiri Group’s Daniel Mena Garcia


s human beings we largely succeed due to our innate ability to adapt to nearly any set of circumstances. This evolutionary trend, however, has grown exponentially over the last few decades and has resulted in the production and distribution of an insane amount of information. It is said that the 21st century represents the first time when the volume of information which we produce is larger than our own capacity to process it. This phenomenon has been labelled as the era of ‘infoxication’. How did we get here?


Let’s go back to the start of the last century. Printing was expensive, so the responsibility for sharing information remained limited to only a few (wealthy) people. Companies realised the need to advertise on printed material and worked to build their relationships with printers for publicity purposes. In the decades that followed with TV, radio, magazines and even cinema, mass-media communication remained unidirectional, although over time brands at least received greater options for targeting their potential customers via specific forums. In 1989, the development of the World Wide Web forever changed the rules of the game. Media owners lost their monopoly on sharing information at scale, as the ability became accessible to anyone with basic knowledge of HTML. This ease and accessibility has only continued to grow over time. Not only did the volume of information surge, but the internet also became a disruptive force for marketers, as technology allowed them to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and track users in a faster and more personal manner than conventional channels. This was made possible due to simple files called ‘cookies’. The most recent transformation arrived at the beginning of this millennium with the launch of Web 2.0 and the social media boom. At last, communication turned into a bi-directional dialogue. Users could interact with content generators and brands, and within this new competitive paradigm they began calling the shots. This made it critical for companies to analyse and understand their customers more than ever before.


In January 2020, Google announced plans to progressively remove third-party cookies from its Google Chrome browser. With the market share of that browser towering above competitors in most markets, the entire

advertising industry entered panic mode. Since cookies have served as the foundation of digital marketing efforts for more than 30 years, we must take stock of evolution and realise that previous mechanisms are becoming obsolete, or at least embrace the fact that they have limitations, especially when recognising cross-device users. But transforming an entire industry is never easy. While I don’t foresee advertising solutions co-existing with cookies in the future, I know that it will take time for everyone to get to this place of realisation. Another challenge is the proliferation of many dispersed possibilities. Walled gardens are obviously playing a role, but apart from them, there are more than 80 companies investing in cookie-less solutions. These variables create an overwhelming situation for publishers, agencies and advertisers. While several ID solutions exist, most are not feasible. In the end, a winner will certainly emerge. In my humble opinion, Google still has a lot to say. Within this context, everyone should already be preparing their cookie-less strategy, but without taking any extreme measures, as there is still a lot of missing information. From the perspective of publishers, user registration should become the primary priority. I am also concerned about many agencies and advertisers using contextual targeting as a replacement for their targeting capabilities. This may not be the right approach to take since contextual targeting applied from the buy-side may be a great way to ensure brand safety, for example, but is simply not sufficient for effectively communicating with customers across the competitive ecosystem outlined above. At DMS, we have aligned many investments over the last few years to extend a comprehensive suite of products that enable brands to effectively identify and serve their users. In order to do so, we base our strategies on a combination of all of them. Merging the worlds of research and AI, we create addressable audiences at scale with zero-party data segments, which can be used at a variety of levels including awareness, interest or intention. They also facilitate the use of our first-party behavioural segments, which we keep improving through data-scoring labelling based on challenging A/B testing. Contextual targeting from our side works extremely well to complement any strategy, as it allows us to affect users in real-time while they are consuming specific content and without losing reach, thanks to the

behavioural segments mentioned earlier. Campaigns are naturally more effective when brands share their audiences with us. This can be done in a safe environment, for example through data clean rooms. Our measurement capabilities, which include brand-lift surveys and footfall attribution allow us to close the cycle and offer advertisers and agencies a complete strategy based on their target audience. Over 16 years in the digital advertising industry, I have witnessed so many changes that had the potential to cause existential crises. Ad blockers, law regulations, privacy frameworks and a plethora of other threats have come and passed us by. As we go through the deprecation of third-party cookies, no crystal ball can show us what the future will look like. What we do know is that we all have enough options to keep moving in the right direction and navigate our way forward through the mist.

“We have aligned many investments to extend a comprehensive suite of products that enable brands to effectively identify and serve their users.” By Daniel Mena Garcia, audience director, Choueiri Group


July 25, 2022

DESIGNING CUSTOMER CONNECTIONS Retail is an emotional business, and thoughtful UI development opens up new routes to consumer connection writes KMMRCE’s Dominic Andrews


ebsites and web design have come a long way in recent years. From flat, functional data displays to immersive, creative blends of imagery, typography and animation, retail brands deliver just as engaging online experiences as in any physical store. The e-commerce medium also offers increasingly innovative opportunities to maximise influence and make noise across channels – Adidas’s recent collab with Satwa’s favourite restaurant Ravi is an excellent example of such potential. CREATING IMPACT WITH HEADLESS CMS Visual appeal is more important than ever in digital engagement. Studies show that it takes less than a second for site visitors to judge a brand based on imagery and page layout, while an unattractive website is one of the biggest turnoffs when browsing online. Retail is an emotional business, and thoughtful user interface (UI) development

opens up new routes to customer connection. Headless content management system (CMS) software emphasises design by uncoupling the back-end content management system from the front, in response to growing omnichannel interaction and the demand for customisation. This intelligent methodology removes creativity constraints because front-end developers aren’t working within the parameters of an existing template or being forced to follow a specific system’s checkout flow. Thanks to comprehensive application programming interface (API) libraries which support intuitive, enterprise-level CMS, design teams can create modern, inspiring site designs that focus on UI and user experience (UX), knowing that the result will represent their original vision. This freedom enables studios to take a truly mobile-first view or conceptualise an omnichannel

endless-aisle interface, without worrying about whether the platform has the right capabilities or if developers can customise the stack accordingly. Moving away from template-driven solutions also empowers a brand and its designers to work more closely with the font and typography solutions that were created during the brand development process. In contrast, these may be harder to implement due to the technical limitations of traditional CMS. SIMPLE, RELEVANT, AND EFFICIENT UX The use of contemporary design language and on-point brand positioning are vital pieces of the puzzle, but the system itself has to be agile enough to support those elements. That means being able to create and manage site page architecture easily and underpin it with intuitive modular content components so that the functionality lives up to the aesthetics. Unless the UI is delivered in a fluid manner, with minimum delay or disruption, customer experience will always fall short. The best headless tech stacks work hard to develop dynamic and accurate APIs to ensure site speed is optimised, and efficiency maximised on every page, in every basket, and at every checkout. Good database design and table structure are also crucial when it comes to usability. Being able to search within seconds is a top priority for customers. There’s little use in offering an extensive product selection if people can’t find what they’re looking for. Having the right database architecture ensures that product presentation is streamlined to serve the customer better. All variants can be made available at the click of a button, plus, because sales are the ultimate aim, it can be tailored to create the least purchase friction possible depending on individual requirements. When brands and agencies talk about positive customer experience, the only way to validate their assumptions in such a rapidly changing environment is to check with the customers themselves. Again, this depends heavily on data and, in turn, analytics. Some headless CMS systems offer A/B testing options allowing teams to run alternative UX/UI components to better evaluate the engagements and responses related to different UX designs. There are also many different digital touchpoints to consider beyond the platform, and analytics tools need to monitor engagement at each interaction, connecting all the relevant channels, including social media. How a website is designed today affects the entire buyer journey, which is why UI and UX should always align for total satisfaction. In many ways, it has never been harder to capture a customer’s attention, convince them to buy, and keep them loyal. However, the challenges facing modern e-commerce have prompted technology, marketing and design professionals to devise exciting new ways to empower and inspire. As we continue to reimagine the retail experience, maintaining an innovation mindset is the only route to realising the future possibilities for everyone’s benefit. By DOMINIC ANDREWS, executive director, KMMRCE


July 25, 2022

New kid on the blockchain Payment by crypto is being rolled out across the globe, and it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay, says Sputnik Floyd


t might take a while for everyone to get the memo, but it’s normal for people to be sceptical of what they don’t understand. Each time our primate brains get our socks blown off by a new way of thinking; passionate (and often irrational) pushbacks, denials and outright rejections are all predictable reactions. From working remotely, to the widespread use of vaccines as the first line of defence in public health. From the NFT revolution that’s taking the world by storm, to Zoom calls as a universal tool for keeping in touch. No matter how much some of us might resist and refuse to jump on the bandwagon, we eventually embrace and adopt what’s good for us, kicking and screaming, only to be dazzled and frazzled by something newer, better, more convenient and practical. Except we won’t know it right away – so off we go again with the resisting. Sputnik Floyd (SF), a future-oriented advertising agency based in Berlin and Dubai, has just announced that it is now accepting client payments in crypto. At this early stage, only a selection of its in-house services can be purchased with cryptocurrencies, but SF is exploring opportunities and potential partners with the aim of expanding the menu. KryptoKom (a pseudonym for ‘communication services sold in cryptocurrency’) is what Patrick Honein, founder and CEO of Sputnik Floyd, likes to call the agency’s new offering. In SF’s crosshairs, individuals and businesses have the courage and foresight to invest in blockchain and NFTs and want to further promote existing businesses and launch new ones. They, however, unfortunately, tend to hit a brick wall in converting their crypto capital into marketing and communication investments. SF wants to elevate these pioneers for what they are – people with great ideas and the financial power to make things happen. With KryptoKom, the agency is one of the world’s first to jump right in and ride this new and exciting wave, opening up a range of new opportunities

that target tech investors, entrepreneurs and startups. Of course, a creative agency that’s into Blockchain simply can’t dodge the NFT phenomenon. SF is also currently developing an NFT project in the UAE, with an international launch on the cards imminently. This venture will give the team a priceless chance to expand knowledge and expertise on the subject, making SF the partner of choice for clients looking to dip their toes into the thrill of the NFT game. Finding your place in the NFT and/or the crypto business is no longer about stock market speculation and placing bets. It’s all about pinpointing a precise role as a player in the ecosystem – and

ASAP. Only a legit mover and shaker is there on day one to provide the know-how, resources, services and products needed to empower clients and partners. The SF philosophy runs counter to service providers in the communication industry that don’t embrace the ‘no guts, no glory’ motto. Turning down and closing doors to opportunity is a faint-hearted denial of what is staring us all in the face. Innovators and up-and-coming entrepreneurs are shaking things up, especially in Berlin, where startups are generating over $50bn a year, of which more than half is invested in NFTs and cryptorelated ventures. If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk. SF is genuinely committed to delivering on the KryptoKom promise. As such, the agency will soon launch its new sister company, which will provide

SF with the capacity to cater for blockchain solutions, consultancy and NFT projects. In fact, several functional NFT projects have already been proactively submitted. They go beyond art and create business opportunities for clients by utilising the NFTs as vouchers, loyalty programmes, premium accounts and more. The move is opening up a novel space for brands to generate revenue, gain further customer acquisition and both simplify and expand loyalty programmes. The new setup will also facilitate collaboration with and support for local and regional NFT creators, serving to further promote the UAE as a leading hub for tech, blockchain and virtual property. The entity will be part of the HO9 holding company and is due to start operating very soon in the UAE, where it will serve a range of progressively minded clients. The country itself has always been an environment where innovators thrive and constantly look for ways to do things differently. To think bigger. Its year-long summer, diverse, multicultural environment and tech-driven mindset are precisely why SF and its partners have chosen the UAE as a base of operations to foster the development of a new trend while pushing the comms industry to uncharted heights. It’s no secret that the blockchain segment has struggled recently with steep nosedives in value, but such declines have happened before and hardly spelt the end of the technology. There is always a correction when anything in our world experiences an astronomic rise. Events like this can only help humble us and teach us valuable lessons that we should use to catch up, gain a better understanding of all the complexities, and make sure we deal with any future crises more effectively and intelligently. The vision is ambitious, and the spirits are high. SF hopes to inspire more businesses to truly embrace the inevitability of change. First and foremost, however, the agency looks forward to giving its customer and partner base across the region the edge they both deserve and have come to expect.



July 25, 2022


fter a tough start to the decade, the industry is well on its path to recovery and consumers are on the lookout for experiences outside their homes. Although the pandemic paved the way for brands to experiment further with technology and fresh innovations to engage with customers in new ways, audiences around the world are now at their peak of acceptance. There’s no doubt that the accelerated innovations that emerged in the past two years will continue to play a pivotal role in the evolving world of brand experience. However, a key insight uncovered in the annual Havas Red Sky 2022 Predictions Report is that consumers are increasingly in need of human-to-human engagement. With unique brand collaborations, pop-up stores and bespoke retail experiences on the rise now more than ever, we’re left to ponder how brands can push boundaries to create an enhanced link with their audience. The key to building genuine, long-lasting relationships between brands and target audiences revolves around our basic need for shared experiences. This means brands need to actively think outside the box and create opportunities that attract in-person footfall through individual connections that cannot be offered digitally. It is evident that the retail industry has recently experienced rapid, large-scale disruption as e-commerce went from strength to strength across the globe, driving record sales for the industry and more ‘phygital’ experiences. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply that traditional stores are out of the picture. In fact, as shown in the Red Sky Predictions Report, the pandemic has fast-tracked expectations around brick-andmortar, and this is the moment when it just needs to be reimagined. This is when pop-up stores and bespoke experiences play a crucial role. Insider Intelligence’s Retail Trends to Watch in 2022 report supports the same observation, saying: “Mutually beneficial brand partnerships and immersive brickand-mortar experiences will draw customers and expose brands to new markets.” We continue to see how retailers that combine fun with a sense of urgency, such as special editions or limited-time pieces, will grab consumers’ attention and ensure return. The retail industry has a unique opportunity to attract customers with more meaningful experiences. Most consumers want something that speaks to them on a personal level rather than generic mass marketing. Arguably, taking this route could alienate a segment of the audience, but the impact created by the niche audience will eventually speak for itself. These were some of the insights that conceptualised the Adidas x Ravi campaign that recently took Dubai by storm. Although Adidas created a concept targeting some of the world’s largest metropolises for the launch of its ‘Adilicious’ sneaker series, the campaign execution in the UAE was well-thought-out in terms of nostalgic and cultural relevance, components that touched on the personal approach. By collaborating with the long-standing family-owned Pakistani restaurant that holds a special place in nearly every resident’s heart, the brand created a unique

BESPOKE, RENEWED Red Havas’s Dana Tahir delves into the world of brand collaborations and niche micro experiences

moment of connection with the masses. Taking it a step further, Adidas launched a dedicated Ravi-inspired product line, inviting the community to truly be a part of this special moment. Brands are progressively creating a fusion between experiential and retail, adapting to new customer expectations and innovations, turning store into destination. To summarise a clear trend we have been observing: a new breed of retail experimentation has risen. Living in the era of ‘TikTok made me buy it’, brands are expected to produce more authentic retail matches to consumer lifestyles and social media habits. According to Forbes, the purchasing decisions of 74 per cent of consumers are based on experiences alone, which is directly related to brand loyalty and advocacy, with shoppers being more likely to pay 16 per cent more for premium customer experiences as noted by PWC. Similar were the insights that drove the iconic swap between Versace and Fendi: Fendace. The brands came together through a global pop-up and curated a unique experience for luxury fashion lovers, offering limited-edition products to customers, in a first-hand bespoke experience bringing both

worlds together. Let’s face it, bespoke still matters. Perhaps now more than ever. Some brands might not be ready quite yet to fully dive into large-scale events. The alternative is equally – if not more – effective, and it is feasible. Just as PR adopted an adaptable, ever-changing, proactive approach without sacrificing its creativity, experiential has to follow that lead by coming up with attractive solutions that can quickly and efficiently respond to the market. This is where micro experiences, combined with hyper individualisation, offers enriching, personalised physical journeys that consumers are currently craving. Perhaps until the next iteration of tailored experiences – fully immersive digital experiences such as the metaverse – takes over. By Dana Tahir, general manager Red Havas Middle East



July 25, 2022

A catalyst for sustained success Al Masaood Automobiles’ Stephan Davies explains how his company has put a customer experience framework in place


ustomer experience is a key factor for businesses to stand out in a competitive market. The complete customer experience, from brand engagement to post-purchase satisfaction, is the most vital element for long-term business success. According to Forrester Research, global executives have put customer experience (CX) at the top of their priority list, with consumer interaction at the lead. Global brands have adopted curated and innovative customer experience strategies, integrating them as a part of their mission, goals, and values. At Al Masaood Automobiles, we consider CX as an important pillar to achieve prolonged success. Our commitment to serve all needs of our customers is reflected through our efforts to study, understand and meet the changing customer expectations, norms, behaviour, and values. Our CX-related initiatives to serve our customers have facilitated a seamless experience through our products and services. Our mission lies in better understanding the decisions made by customers, and hence we leverage our data to get closer to them to understand their behaviour, intent, sentiment, and buying and usage patterns. Through our data and research, we have found that customers are looking for four main factors: convenience, courtesy, consistency, and credibility. Accordingly, we incorporated these findings to arrive at the four main pillars that make up our CX strategy ‘CLAS’: commit, listen, analyse, and solidify.

COMMIT: From the top of the organisation and all the way down, we ensure everyone is committed to a shared CX vision, which is to continually optimise customer journeys by understanding their needs and expectations. LISTEN: To do so, we carefully observe our customers and listen to their feedback by using all the channels that we have available to capture the voice of the customer as well as the voice of our employees who are in direct contact with customers on a daily basis. We capture how they feel and understand how they form long-term impressions, perceptions and memories in order for them to make decisions. ANALYSE: We also carefully measure and analyse the factors that matter to boost the customer experience as well as

business operations, and then and we mobilise and adopt the tools that helps us ensure the experience that we offer is effective, easy and emotional. SOLIDIFY: We bring it all together, embed and solidify a structure and culture of continuous CX improvement and customer-centricity. We must ensure that we have a mix of the right ingredients that gets us closer to our customer and helps us build strong relationships functionally and emotionally. But to successfully implement all this, we understand that our employees are the backbone and souls of our business, so it is essential that they know what is expected from them to better understand our customers and then deliver experiences that genuinely matter to them. Ultimately, a good CX strategy should yield a positive return to the business, and this could be in the form of better share of spend by the customer, better operational efficiencies, or what matters most to us – customer retention and increased advocacy. At Al Masaood Automobiles, our purpose is to connect employees and customers on our journey into the future of mobility. With the ever-evolving industry landscape, and as customers always want things to be done faster, smarter, and in a more agile manner, it is a necessity to always look out for and implement ways that will not only get us

“Our purpose is to connect employees and customers on our journey into the future of mobility.” closer to customers but will also allow us to answer directly to their needs and offer them an enjoyable, memorable, and long-term experience.

By Stephan Davies, general manager, customer experience and network development, Al Masaood Automobiles



July 25, 2022

HOW GREEN? When does marketing become greenwashing? Do Epic Good’s Charney Magri examines how brands can live up to their claims


t’s difficult to walk into any store or browse online and not notice the new green packaging line from your favourite shampoo brand, or the animated leaves wrapped around household cleaning products, not to mention the abundance of produce claiming to be carbon neutral. Unfortunately, hidden amongst these ethically driven products is the very real fact that up to 40 per cent could be considered as misleading marketing. Ethical consumerism is booming. According to the Ethical Consumer Report, between 2019 and 2020 ethically made products purchased in the UK rose a massive 24 per cent, making the industry now worth more than £122bn annually. That’s an enormous increase from £11.2bn in 1999. So why is it important to get your sustainable marketing communications right? Because if you don’t, you risk losing the appeal to this savvy, ever-growing consumer, and instead being accused of greenwashing. Greenwashing is making unsubstantiated, misleading or deceptive claims about environmental, ethical or social sustainability to help sell products. Often these claims can lead to making wellintended consumers believe they’re having a positive impact on the environment or doing something good, when in fact they’re not. Sadly, businesses often aren’t even aware they’re greenwashing as they don’t have the expertise to know what is truly

environmentally beneficial and what is not. Either that or they’re using powerful PR tactics to appear more socially and environmentally sustainable than they really are, so as to attract more buyers and make more profit. In the often overcrowded world of marketing it is easy to get caught up in the hype of wanting to stand out, finding the latest, trendiest, even the most fashionable USP that will set you apart from your competitors. But when a company focuses its marketing strategy primarily on just its ‘green’ credentials, making this seem core to what it is primarily geared toward, this is where the mistakes happen. In the 1980s Chevron launched a series of television and print ads to convince the public of its positive environmental impact. The award-winning campaign shows its employees protecting wildlife, from bears to butterflies and sea turtles to the land. Interestingly, while these ads were running, Chevron was violating the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, not to mention the oil that was spilling into our precious ecosystems. This is just one example of how marketing tactics were used to focus on an area of a business that was in fact nothing to do with the core of the company. To avoid greenwashing, you must first understand that sustainability isn’t a department; it’s a language we all need to understand and eventually speak. When Google and Facebook first showed up, everyone thought of the digital space as an add-on or a separate department issue. But really it was an entirely different language that we all needed to learn and implement


into all aspects of marketing. Fast-forward 20 years and I think it would be safe to assume most of us understand the importance of a digital footprint for every brand. The good news is sustainability is no longer just a marketer’s responsibility. Whether it’s your shiny new ESG strategy that needs integrating across every department or translating to communicate your values to your consumers, you’re going to need experts who know what they’re doing to support the process. Otherwise, you simply risk being accused of greenwashing, which will do irreversible damage to your brand, or worse still ‘greenhushing’ – a term used to describe the fear felt by a brand that is paralysed by not knowing what to say, so it says nothing at all. To ensure your sustainable communications strategy doesn’t fall within the greenwashing category you first need to identify the hotspots within your company and its supply chain. Don’t make claims that market one aspect when the core to your business and its real impact is something entirely different. There’s no point singing and dancing about the number of trees you’ve planted if your core business is having a devastating effect on our oceans. In many regions across the globe consumer laws have been developed with their own principles and regulations to protect consumers from misleading and unsubstantiated claims. Although we don’t have these principles officially set up in the UAE yet, the plentiful initiatives in the region indicate they are coming, so be prepared. Surround yourself with experts who know how to translate your communications strategy across all sectors of your business, including key stakeholders and your consumers. Without the proper infrastructure in place to adhere to these principles, you’ll quickly lose market share. Communicating your sustainable communications strategy is simple if you do it right, and for the right reasons. It’s complicated if you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. As marketers, it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the ‘green claims codes’ within your region. Equally, your agency should take the same responsibility of knowing the law too, as well as understanding your consumer. With ethical consumerism on the rise, make sure you learn the importance of avoiding greenwashing, regardless of the law. Consumers want to buy products that match their values. Ensure your claims are truthful and core to your business; your consumer will choose your brand based on this. Use language that the average member of the public will understand and ensure you can back this up. In the future I hope we will be able to have full environmental and social disclosure alongside annual financial disclosures. This might include areas such as governance, community, workers, environment, carbon footprint and carbon reductions. I also envisage marketers giving their agencies carbon budgets to work with alongside their marketing budgets. Like all budgets, once this is gone, that’s it. Just think of how creative we’ll all have to become then. By Charney Magri, chief sustainability officer, Do Epic Good

July 25, 2022


mid growing competition, companies are seeking new ways and solutions that would enable them to outshine their competitors. By taking a proactive approach and putting customers at the heart of their campaigns, companies stand to create an advantage by providing customer-oriented, sustainable actions through technology and the products and services they offer. This will evolve socio-economical dynamics and create permanent changes in customer habits. Undoubtedly, smart mobile devices are playing a critical role in this change, especially given their status as tools for communication, work, payment, entertainment and education. We are so integrated with our devices that there is a term that defines the fear of being without your smartphone: ‘nomophobia’ (no more mobile phone). This era of communication drove the need to establish a new customer service strategy, ‘Seamless Service’. THE CONTRIBUTION OF TECHNOLOGY AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION We developed the Seamless Service feature to ensure excellence in customer satisfaction by providing all the necessary information to employees, and we use AI technologies to simplify tasks and provide efficient services. The idea is to scale up our operational excellence while delivering the best experience to customers. In this regard, we are perfecting our integration of AI technologies, such as

‘‘EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS THE RESULT OF A FAST AND EASY SERVICE.” The best example of this process is Samsung’s Smart Service concept, which we currently use across all our mobile devices’ authorised services. We redesigned our processes to meet market demand by studying customer feedback and holding focus groups to quickly identify malfunctions on-site. We then sought to provide instant solutions by using AI support, which helped change our service into a ‘service experience’. At Samung Electronics, we benefited from AI and cutting-edge technologies while running and evaluating these processes across our call centres and services towards addressing customer problems to ensure their satisfaction and heightened recommendation scores. We also regularly commit to research to perfect our experience and present customers with seamless, 360-degree, turnkey solutions. We also simultaneously run various surveys, ranging from traditional CATI (computer-

SEAMLESS SERVICE Samsung’s Erbil Topgül explains how his brand keeps its customers happy and loyal with a specific set of principles

speech-to-text, conversational IVR (interactive voice response) and robotic processes, to offer unforgettable experiences to our customers. EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES IN EXCELLENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: THE SEAMLESS SERVICE APPROACH Exceptional customer experience is the result of an uninterrupted, fast and easy service. This is accomplished by first establishing customer negative and positive points, which will help pave the path towards Samsung Electronics’ critical success. Ensuring a consistently excellent customer experience requires customers to be involved in every step of the process, as their feedback is key in helping advance our features.


aided telephone interviews) to SMS surveys and online to IVR surveys, towards creating an ideal culture across all contact points by analysing customer experience. Moreover, we use various evaluation methods to guarantee service quality at call centres. For example, a quality unit formed by experts regularly evaluates all interactions to maintain the utmost quality. Apart from that, all the calls are tracked via a speech analytics tool that alerts operational management when necessary. THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGING We are aware that when customers purchase a Samsung device, they also gain access to services that make their lives easier. As such, it is gratifying to be recognised and rewarded by authorities for our Seamless Service strategy and leading applications. In 2021, Samsung Electronics Turkey received the most prestigious award for innovative aftersales customer experience at the International Customer Experience Awards, taking the Gold awards in the Best Customer Services and Customer Experience Transformation categories and the Silver award in the Call Centre category. That same year, we also received two Gold awards for Best Customer Experience and Best Customer Experience Transformation at the Turkey Customer Experience Competition and the Gold award at the Samsung Quality Awards. Our accolades continued into 2022. First, we were granted the The Company That Adopts Customer Satisfaction as a Principle award during the 25th Annual Consumer Awards, the only governmentsupported award organised by The Ministry of Commerce in Turkey. We also won the Gold award in the Best Customer Service category and the Silver award in the Best Use of Technology category during the Turkey Customer Experience Competition. We are grateful for such incredible recognitions that drive us to continually raise the bar of customer experience and service, which was the main element behind the development of our Seamless Service features, among others that are designed around the happiness and satisfaction of our customers. By Erbil Topgül, director of customer service management, Samsung Electronics Turkey


July 25, 2022

REGIONAL WINNERS Eight campaigns from the MENA region, all created by UAE agencies, took home a total of 22 Lions from Cannes this year, including an unprecedented two Grands Prix. Here’s who won what

LIQUID BILLBOARD Client: Adidas Agency: Havas Middle East Lions: Grand Prix (Outdoor); Gold (Outdoor); 3 Silvers (2 in Outdoor, 1 in Media); Bronze (Outdoor) The judges said: “First and foremost, I’d like to congratulate and welcome Adidas back to the game. For too long, the brand has been napping on the sidelines while Nike runs rings around it. Liquid Billboard is Adidas waking up and telling the world with a megaphone: Impossible Is Nothing. It’s a billboard that makes you stop and gawk in wonder. It’s a classic traffic stopper. A spectacle in the genre of Vertical Football – a billboard Adidas did 20 years ago and that I still remember fondly. Talk about return on media investment.” Eugene Cheong, chief creative officer, DDB Asia and Outdoor Lions Jury President

July 25, 2022

THE ELECTIONS EDITION Client: An Nahar newspaper Agency: Impact BBDO Lions: Grand Prix (Print & Publishing); Gold (Direct); 4 Silver (Print & Publishing, Direct, Media, Outdoor); 2 Bronze (Outdoor, PR) The judges said: “The Elections Edition has the kind of genius simplicity that we often see in Grand Prix winning work. The best work is the least complicated. It cuts through the clutter and hits straight at your heart. The element of innovative thinking also pushes the category ahead.” Natalie Lam, chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA, and Print Lions Jury President

BREAKCHAINS WITH BLOCKCHAIN Client: Children of Female Prisoners’ Association Agency: Horizon FCB Lions: 3 Silver (Creative Commerce, Digital Craft, Media)



July 25, 2022

CHICKENSTOCK Client: KFC Agency: TBWA\Raad Lions: Silver (Direct)

I’M POSSIBLE BILLBOARDS Client: Adidas Agency: Havas Middle East Lions: Silver (Entertainment Lions for Sport)

TWITTER FEMININE ARABIC Client: Twitter Agency: VMLY&R Commerce MENA Lions: Silver (Social & Influencer)

July 25, 2022

DRIVE2EXTREMES Client: Porsche Agency: Keko Lions: Bronze (Film Craft)

THE WARM WINTER LIVESTREAM Client: UAE Government Media Office Agency: UAE Government Media Office; Galaxy Racer Lions: Bronze (Media)



July 25, 2022


won a free pass to Cannes this year, VIP, access all areas, which let me meet some friends for life and become part of the exclusive Cannes 1954 club. Because I won a free pass I was particularly keen to make the most of it, and attended 20 sessions, took more than 70 pages of notes (many of which were written in the dark of the theatres, and so may or may not be legible) and watched many, many campaign entries. Here are five things that I learned at Cannes this year. THE METAVERSE HAS POWER FOR GOOD I’ve been quite open about the metaverse but also maybe a little sceptical. However, I have learned to appreciate more possibilities. RGA led a session where the possibility of the metaverse to allow people to be more themselves was brought to life: ‘From fixed identities to fluid’. Its research shows that many current users feel that their avatar allows them to be more themselves than they can be in real life. If this makes people happier, if you can try out different versions of yourself in a safe space and that helps your mental health and sense of belonging, then let’s embrace it. It is also important that we all get involved – this is a new world of media and you, readers, need to make sure it’s a good one. Mark Curtis, head of innovation at Accenture Song, explained that the intimacy of the metaverse can deliver a stronger connection to the imagination about big issues. He found that climate change impact had stronger meaning at Davos through this medium, and


explained the huge impact on education via, for instance, the creation of a favela in Roblox to explain different lived experiences to middle-class kids.


BE AMBITIOUS The work that wins at Cannes, in some respects, simply blows your mind. And so it should. Some of the winning work has taught me that it is a trap to confine ambition to what seems possible. The media Grand Prix, Sheba’s ‘Hope Reef’ campaign, took the purpose behind using sustainable fish in the product and extended it into using resource to make the sea itself more sustainable. A small, pragmatic, and not quite against-the-law shift in one bank’s approach in Peru has emancipated millions of women in winning work for Mi Banco. The Mayor of London’s ‘Have a word with yourself’ campaign firmly shifted the agenda from women keeping themselves safe to men taking action to behave better.


CREATIVITY FEEDS ON SPEED, FUN, PUNK ENERGY AND RANDOMNESS David Guerrero showed us how important randomness is to creativity. While the movie star and ad maker Ryan Reynolds told us “the enemy of creativity is too much time and too much money” and to look to social media creators who make brilliant things out of thin air. Havas London’s chief creative officer, Vicki Maguire, raved about the punk energy she felt in Cannes this year: “We’re coming out fighting.” I also loved her three words to sum up the role of a CCO: “generous, generous, generous”.

MY FREE PASS TO CANNES AND WHAT IT TAUGHT ME Because I went for free to this year’s event, I was particularly determined to make the most of it, so here are five things I learned while there, writes Sue Unerman


CONTEXT IS (ONCE AGAIN) QUEEN Nancy Smith of marketing data company Analytic Partners demonstrated that context is a multiplier of media effectiveness with her ROI Genome – great to see the science backing up instinct and experience on this.


ALLYSHIP ISN’T ENOUGH; BE AN ACCOMPLICE Shelly Zalis, founder of FQ (The Female Quotient), stated: “Creativity starts with diversity.” (This, I already knew.) Then Adrienne C Smith, senior vice-president and senior partner, chief diversity and inclusion officer at FleishmanHillard, told us that allies in the workplace are not enough; you need accomplices, too. People who will support you and push for fairness and inclusion in every way there is, even if it means breaking some rules and some conventions (many of which need breaking). I love the idea of this, and will be adding it to our list of roles you need to show up for others in your career. Lastly – with the right stimulus – you never ever stop learning in our business.

By Sue Unerman, chief transformation officer at MediaCom UK

July 25, 2022

The Beauty in

THE BLACK VEIL AUD student and Roger Hatchuel Academy alumnus Fatma Al Suwaidi discovers the link between poetry, marketing and the abaya


esolve’, that was my capstone campaign topic. We had to examine this concept and interpret it using our skillsets, and the resulting solution was open. There were so many directions to explore but I wanted to take a personal approach. A couple of years ago when I started wearing an abaya, the traditional robe-like dress, coloured abayas were considered to be against our religion. When it was proven that nothing in the religious texts says that they are forbidden, ‘flawed’ was the word used to describe them. I did not understand the reason and wanted to delve into it through my own research. I came across an Arabic poem called ‘The Beauty in the Black Veil’, which talks about a religiously devoted man enchanted by a beautiful maiden wearing a black veil. The poem, which people have been chanting for 1,300 years, reached fame in the era in which we live, and was sung by the late Syrian singer Sabah Fakhri. However, few really knew the story behind the poem. The poet is Rabia bin Amer Al Tamimi, who said he lived his life singing, spinning, and praising the rulers and caliphs until he decided to retire and devote himself to worship and asceticism. One day, a fabric merchant from Baghdad came to the city of Medina selling fabrics of various colours. Women came to buy the fabrics, and the merchant sold all his goods except the black colour. By chance, Al Tamimi passed by him and the merchant complained to him about his predicament. The poet decided to help the merchant with his publicity, so he composed this poem and began to sing it in the city. The first verse begins with,“Tell the beauty in the black veil what have you done to the pious worshiper?” Every woman wanted to be that beauty and the merchant sold out all his fabrics. The beautiful owner of that black


THE BEAUTY IN THE BLACK VEIL By Rabia bin Amer Al Tamimi

Tell the beauty in the black veil What have you done to the pious worshipper? He was rolling up his sleeves, getting ready for his prayers when you stopped him at the door of the mosque God is Greater! God is Greater! O you who call to God with upraised hands beseeching and begging for aid If you seek his intercession tomorrow (on the Day of Judgement) Tell the beauty in the black veil For she has stolen from him his religion and certainty and left him bewildered, without guidance His prayers and fasts will return to you Don’t kill him for the sake of the religion of Muhammad [PBUH] His prayers and fasts will return to you Don’t kill him, for the sake of Jesus and Ahmad God, there is no god but God…

FATMA AL SUWAIDI was chosen to represent the UAE at Cannes Lions’ Roger Hatchuel Student Academy. Here she explains one of her American University in Dubai projects.

veil never existed. It was all part of a problem-solving campaign to sell excess black fabric. I am still amazed at how one campaign has affected a multitude of cultures through the ages. It’s interesting to realise the true impact that communication has had over decades. However, this created another problem to tackle; to this day, young girls are still shamed for wearing colours. Our beauty in the black veil was an effective identity myth created to influence sales. This myth quickly became a trend and then transformed into a tradition and an expectation. Today, an Emirati woman has to make the brave decision to defy this cultural stereotype every time she chooses to wear a colour. My big idea was ‘Resolution 37’. Why 37? The resolution of 37 means the resolution of 3aib (A’aib) and 7aram (Haram). The resolution of flaw and forbidden. My objective with this project is to persuade my audience to be brave and question the stereotypical, to question the illogical. I designed a range of coloured abayas

with the R37 logo. The collection will contain seven abayas, one for each day of the week, and as every day passes in the run-up to Friday the colours become bolder and the women become braver. This campaign will spread awareness of the story of The Beauty in the Black Veil and convey the message that you are beautiful in every colour. With every abaya purchased, the packaging will contain a letter that says: “Enjoy your abaya and know that by wearing it you are celebrating a culture full of progressive thinkers who are not afraid to question.” Each letter ends with “Mlboos El Hana”, which means “May you be blessed in wearing this”.


July 25, 2022


On-the-ground impressions from regional attendees at this year’s festival


ho better to tell us what happened at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity than the people who were there? Campaign reached out to a cross section of regional attendees to see why they went to the south of France and what they thought of the festival’s return to in-person learning, networking and celebration after two years apart due to Covid-19.

‘‘I WAS DELIGHTED TO SEE A CLEAR DIRECTIVE ON DE&I.” Ciaran Bonass Head of creative MEA & APAC for Virtue Worldwide, the agency powered by Vice Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? We went to connect and celebrate. From an agency point of view we had several entries for ‘Backup Ukraine’, which did incredibly well. Virtue participated in and hosted many panels and we had a huge presence from the wider Vice Media Group. Our global CMO, Nadja [Bellan-White] hosted one of the most celebrated interviews of the week with Malala Yousafzai. For me personally, after what feels like a lifetime’s absence, being in front of a screen, the idea of getting back out and inspired again was the most appealing part of Cannes. The opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow creatives and hear global perspectives for the first time in a long time. Feeling creativity surrounding us once more, alongside the buzz of our industry being celebrated at scale, was hugely exciting. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare with expectations?

I guess I was expecting to see a fundamental change, given the hiatus, but it seems we have easily fallen back into the pre-Covid Cannes. But that was also what was great and familiar about it. I was somewhat underwhelmed by a few talks and panels, but I wasn’t expecting the off-Palais sessions to be as good as they were. Meta held some fantastic talks. I forgot how excitedly busy it was, and how refreshing it was to learn and listen to amazing speakers and guests. What were your main takeaways from Lions? I was delighted to see a clear directive on DE&I (diversity, equality and inclusion) and multiple sessions on women’s equality in the workforce and how to drive change. LGBTQ representation was finally there, but not as strong as it should be. Attention is our new currency and action is required, and that was a clear focus in the awards and panel discussions. It’s no longer good enough for brands to talk. Action is what matters. If anything, Cannes taught us the importance of human connectivity. The power of connection and conversation. Having fun. The importance of surrounding ourselves with creativity and people that want to drive change.

‘‘THE AWARDED WORK INSPIRES CREATIVES ALL OVER THE WORLD.” Anyce Nedir Managing director at Socialize, the We Are Social Dubai office Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? The annual event remains the undisputed epicentre of creativity in advertising worldwide. Cannes Lions sets the pulse of our industry and the awarded work inspires creatives all over the world. Being able to be there physically after two years online allowed us to connect with the whole creative industry. This year particularly, as it was the first IRL postCovid edition, bonding has definitely been a priority. After two years of Zoom calls, I was particularly excited to meet my peers and the global leadership team of our network, Plus Company: We Are Social, Cossette, The Narrative Group, MeKanism, FuseProject, Citizen and Socialize. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? The only regret I would have is not seeing enough of the work this year, focusing more on talks and networking events, so I’ll have to catch up during the summer on What were your main take-aways from Lions? Communities, communities, communities: It is great to see that work that includes communities is going mainstream, and is not only parked in small-scale non-profit campaigns. I would love this approach to spread even more as communities are the core of our work, the ones we connect with in our everyday job. Adidas’s Liquid Billboard, ‘Below the surface’ by Havas Middle East or ‘Black-owned Friday’ by Google NYC are great examples of that. Web 3, the new creative playground: Creativity in the metaverse is endless. We are just starting to scratch the surface and shape what web 3 can mean for brands, communities and the physical world. It’s becoming such an exciting space for experimentation for creators, brands and technologies willing to stay alert and keep up with its fast evolution. I can’t wait to see how far this can go and what bridges we build with the physical world.

July 25, 2022


Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? I judged the Innovation category. It was my second year judging, but last year was a remote experience, so quite different. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? I knew Cannes, as I grew up on the French Riviera, but I had never been to the festival. I was told to expect lots of rosé, parties and expensive price tags. Still, I was hoping for it to be more than one big drunken party. And it was. It was also a celebration of great ideas and a congregation of people passionate about the power of creativity in transforming brands, businesses and the world. That’s the inspiration I took back with me – in the shape of tens of pages of notes and lots of new connections. What I’m trying to forget is the 12-euro water bottles and the unbearable heat. What were your main take-aways from Lions? Purpose 2.0: Three in five cases were purpose-related. The best cases have been able to tie purpose to profit – giving them scale and thus allowing them to have a much bigger impact. Dubai pull: As part of the Innovation judging process, the shortlists got to present to the jury, and in four of those presentations Dubai was mentioned as a partner. Khaled Al Shehhi was also a speaker at Cannes. All this feels like a rising momentum for our region to shine even further from 2023 onwards. Local stories: India, South America and China had some brilliant wins based on hyperlocal problems. Again, an opportunity for the MENA region, which is still full of untapped stories.


‘‘I HAVE TO GIVE HUGE RESPECT TO SRMG, WHO IN MY OPINION PLAYED THE ROLE OF BEING THE MAIN VOICE OF THE ARAB WORLD.” Hussein M Dajani Partner,Deloitte Digital Middle East Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? 2022 was Deloitte Digital’s biggest participation ever at Cannes Lions and I decided to join my 91 other colleagues from the various Deloitte Digital practices worldwide. My attendance was basically to see what we, as Deloitte Digital, are doing at Cannes, to connect with industry peers, to evaluate the MENA region’s participation at Cannes, and finally to compare where we are as a Middle East region versus the rest of the world when it comes to creativity. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? To be frank with you, I was expecting a more solid participation from the MENA region. In the past, it used to be the MENA region travelling abroad to see what is happening and to be part of the ‘game’. Things have changed. With Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, with the UAE’s Projects of the 50 vision, and Qatar’s Nation Vision 2030, the rules of the game have changed. The world now is eager to be part of our region, to see what we are doing, and to be part of it. It was a bit disappointing not to see a bigger presence and buzz around our region. I have to give huge respect to SRMG, who in my opinion played the role of being the main voice of the Arab world through all the events, activities, and sessions they held. Kudos to them, honestly.

What were your main take-aways from Lions? “It’s so great to be back in person.” If I’d been given a dollar for every time I heard that expression over the week, I’d be rich enough to put in a bid for Cannes Lions itself. Truth be said, it was hard to escape the feeling that this little retreat in the south of France was detached from reality. The real world of spiralling living costs, war in Ukraine and a likely forthcoming global recession felt, at times, like it was a million miles away. But the outstanding nature of creativity on show all week should leave us all hopeful – rather than fearful – about the industry’s readiness to confront the challenges to come when the real work, and the real world, looms into view once more. The themes that revolved around Cannes Lions 2022 were: DE&I (diversity, equality and inclusion); the metaverse, AR, VR, and NFTs; ad tech and martech; social responsibility (climate change, sustainability, etc.); innovation and creativity. Innovation is often an overused word in marketing and advertising. At times, I think we can be unsure of the true definition of what innovation means. But this years’ Cannes proved to me we need to define it across all areas of organisations, not just within our digital transformation agenda or a creative brief.


July 25, 2022

‘‘YOU CAN’T EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF PETRICHOR ON ZOOM.” Ali Rez Chief creative officer for Impact BBDO in MENAP Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? I was on the 2022 jury, as well as being a speaker on one of the CCO panels. But those are functional. The real reason I was attending Cannes Lions this year was to remind myself of how amazing this industry is. And Gutter Bar. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? I was expecting the work to be outstanding, much more than last year, and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve spoken before about a reactive “revenge creativity” after the two years of the pandemic, and that’s exactly what I saw. The one thing that exceeded all expectations was how much people wanted to connect – we had clearly missed this face-to-face interaction, and it was lovely to see everybody shed their Zoom screens. I also never thought I’d get emotional walking through the gallery of work, but there it was. Finally, the Grand Prix win on the first night set the happy buzz and tone for the rest of the week. What were your main take-aways from Lions? The industry continues to find solutions to better human purpose, to a point where it’s almost expected from a brand now to take a stand. This trend will only continue to grow. Creatives are not just solving communication needs for brands, but are actively contributing to business solutions as well. Collaboration is everything. So are cliches like “collaboration is everything”. You can’t experience the joy of petrichor on Zoom.

‘‘GOING ON STAGE THE FIRST NIGHT TO RECEIVE THE GRAND PRIX FOR PRINT AND PUBLISHING WAS BEYOND ANY EXPECTATION.” Joe Abou-Khaled Regional executive creative director, MENA, Impact BBDO Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? Being a jury member, I was invited by the festival’s organisers to attend and get the most out of the festival, the talks, the awards shows. I was also a speaker in one of the panels at the SRMG cabana, discussing the MENA region’s involvement in Cannes through the last decade. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? It was great to be back in Cannes and experience in person the festival that has so much to offer and inspire. Cannes has always been a global benchmark in creative excellence and this year was no exception to that. The main highlight was going on stage the first night to receive the Grand Prix for Print and Publishing. That is beyond any expectation. What were your main take-aways from Lions? Empathy helps brands find their purpose. Human interaction drives humanity forward. It does rain in south of France during summer.

‘‘THIS IS WHERE MALALA YOUSAFZAI, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER, MAKES AN APPEARANCE IN YOUR CLASS.” Fatma Al Suwaidi Student at the American University in Dubai, studying Visual Communications and Advertising Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? I am thankful to have been selected by Motivate Val Morgan and the panel of judges at Lions to represent the UAE at the exclusive Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Student Academy 2022. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? I was expecting to meet student representatives from several countries and attend insightful lectures given by the best of the best in the industry. What I did not anticipate was forming a strong connection with the students and mentors I met there. From 9am to 6pm we had a full programme packed with events and talks. I had the privilege of meeting celebrities and iconic figures that I looked up to. Overall, this was a fantastic experience that was both overwhelming and full of amazing opportunities. What were your main takeaways from Lions? One step at a time: I was really overwhelmed with the amount of events and lectures you could attend, and rushing through all of them is physically impossible. I had to prioritise and take it one step at a time. Put yourself out there: During social events I was surrounded by big names in the industry. In Lions you are on the fast track to making connections where it would be impossible back home. I learned to not be shy, and to put myself out there. Expect the unexpected: This is where top creatives from all over the world showcase their groundbreaking work. Where celebrities shock you with their professional expertise and insights regarding the ad industry. Where Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner, makes an appearance in your class. OK, so perhaps the last example was a little too personal, but you get the idea. Take nothing for granted and expect the unexpected.

July 25, 2022

‘‘THERE WAS LESS EGO, MORE CELEBRATIONS OF ONE ANOTHER.” Reham Mufleh General manager, Horizon FCB Dubai Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? We were participating with the initiative ‘Breakchains with Blockchain’ that was created for the Children of Female Prisoners’ Association. We came back home with three Silver Lions and five shortlists, which placed Horizon FCB Dubai in the top three most awarded agencies in the region. I’m grateful. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? There were fewer egos and more celebrations of one another. There was a general consensus and an overall sense of pride from everyone in the region of our achievements as a whole and how the region has become a serious player, making noise in the industry. What were your main take-aways from Lions? Networking is as important as participating. You learn how ‘the game’ is played by being physically there on a whole different level. A great idea alone is not enough. Great ideas don’t happen overnight and it’s not a one-man show. They come to life when taking the adequate time to execute them properly and when people build on each other’s breakthroughs. It really does take a village. Creativity is one of the most important forces in today’s business and it can change the world.


‘‘CELEBRATING THE BIG WIN WITH OUR TEAM WAS INCREDIBLE.’’ Dana Tahir General manager, Red Havas Middle East Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? As part of the jury, I was honoured to join my peers at the Cannes Lions this year and was glad to witness our agencies globally receive 34 Lions across 17 categories for meaningful shortlisted Havas Village campaigns. Our group’s most celebrated work there was Havas Middle East’s hugely successful campaign, Adidas Liquid Billboard, which took home six Lions including the Outdoor Grand Prix. Celebrating the big win with our team who flew in from Dubai was an incredible experience. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? I was looking forward to being at the heart of the industry’s most iconic creative-thinking festival. I felt inspired by the entries during the judging phase, but being in Cannes where work and people pulse together exceeded expectations. It was a great time to reflect on what made this year’s awards so outstanding, and that will drive us to move forward with award-winning mindsets instilled in us. I was awe-struck by speakers such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala, who received an award recognising her mission and work to help all girls receive 12 years of free, safe, quality education. Another powerful moment was indigenous activist Txai Suruí, from the Paiter Suruí people, standing on stage with a ‘Save the Amazon’ poster, after receiving a Gold Lion for the ‘Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil’ awareness campaign. What were your main take-aways from Lions? The most impressive ‘best practice’ for me was how health communications use creative to bring humanity and connections together and circle back to medicine, especially to chronic health diseases. Among the award-winning work that truly stood out for me, Havas Buenos Aires’ ‘I Don’t Remember’ campaign, raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, and ‘Letters for a Law’, demonstrating the importance of a specific medical treatment to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s, struck a chord on a personal level. Another key takeaway was the increasingly popular use of gaming to reach audiences, by brands we wouldn’t have previously expected to resort to such experiential tactics, in sectors such as telecoms and sustainability.

‘‘I WAS HOPEFUL, BUT QUIETLY. I WAS TRYING TO KEEP MY COOL.” Joao Medeiros Executive creative director, Havas Creative Middle East Why were you attending Cannes Lions this year? I attended the Cannes Lions this year for several reasons. First, I was looking forward to finally meeting with peers across the Havas network in person after a long pandemic hiatus. It was great to catch up, plan and engage in discussion around our industry. Second, we had entered a couple of meaningful work pieces we believed could perform well at the festival. What were you expecting, and how did the reality compare? It is always risky to go into Cannes with expectations around how your agency’s creative work will perform. So instead, I went in knowing we had some great work in the mix and ready to celebrate our past year. Scratch that. Let’s be honest. It’s a competition, and we all want to come back winners. I was hopeful, but quietly. I was trying to keep my cool. The great thing about the Outdoor category – for which we won the Grand Prix – is that it falls on the first night. So, if you win big on Monday, you are set for a good week. And a good week it was. What were your main take-aways from Lions? Many of the big wins were for purpose-led work. Just scroll through social media and you quickly realise what a divided subject this is, with some criticism about purposeled work winning so many awards. But what I see with this push for more meaningful brand behaviours is agencies and clients realising that they can have a strong voice in the world. We can and should create the right impact and positively shift culture.


July 25, 2022

FULL SPECTRUM Prism’s Lovetto Nazareth says marketers should engage all the senses as they make customer experience the cornerstone of digital strategy


ustomer experience (CX) and digital marketing are becoming inextricably linked. We believe that all digital marketing initiatives should be seen through the lens and palette of the customer experience spectrum. The term ‘customer experience’ encompasses everything from understanding what you are asking your customers to do, to the moment they hear about your service or product to when they receive and experience your product or service, to what experience they have from their peers after their brand interaction. THE CX VALUE PYRAMID If we look at it from a structural perspective, customer experience is made up of five key elements: visual, tactile, olfactory, aural, and reputation. These are the things that your customers knowingly or unknowingly consider while engaging with your brand. Big corporations like Apple, Maserati, Mercedes, etc. pay great attention to elevating user experience by focusing on each area. One simple example can be unboxing Apple products. There is always a distinct tactile feel to the box (the touch), the sound the box makes when you open it (aural), the fragrance when you unbox any Apple product, and it’s deliberately put there to make a connection with customers. Now how does this transform into the user experience on digital platforms? Similar to the cornerstones of user experience for traditional businesses, we can also categorise all the key elements of user experience on digital platforms. Right at the base of it all is a website’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Then comes user flow and customer journey, visual identity guide (VIG), and at the top of it all is any digital platform’s speed of use or load time. Unboxing videos, giving users the look and feel of a product are one such example of incorporating tactile and aural CX in 2D digital marketing, making it almost a 3D CX. Brands must consider all these factors and keep CX at the base of all digital marketing strategies. The time and money spent on digital marketing won’t be as effective as if your plan does not take into account the user experience perspective.

To achieve flawless CX and UX, you must start examining the full customer life cycle, identify key touch points and create campaigns that address those touch points. FUNCTION VS DESIGN: THE UX VS UI CONUNDRUM Too many businesses make the mistake of categorising themselves according to function, whether it is branding, demand-generation, sales or customer care, and then restrict the kinds of customer experiences they may offer through those functions. It is not enough to just collect data and feed it back into automated marketing platforms to generate impressions with

‘‘CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS MADE UP OF FIVE KEY ELEMENTS: VISUAL, TACTILE, OLFACTORY, AURAL, AND REPUTATION.” ad campaigns. What matters most is understanding the value of your customers and what they need from the brand – what interactions give them greater value. It requires that you start with the customer experience first, and then work backwards to build your digital marketing strategy around it. The key is to identify and incorporate the necessary steps to centre your digital marketing strategy around user experience. There are plenty of opportunities to mix up the kinds of experiences we are creating at every part of the customer’s journey. Marketers just need to look deeper. Innovation is the key to staying relevant. For example, incorporating augmented

reality or virtual reality into your retail (brick and mortar) digital marketing efforts will help you deliver your customers a distinct user experience. This is just not the end of it and newer technologies get launched every other day. Brands need to stay alert and continuously analyse the kind of experience they offer their clients, find out limitations in their systems and innovate in order to cope with everchanging customer behaviours. By Lovetto Nazareth, director Prism Digital

July 25, 2022


PETRICHOR, AND BEING THERE AT CANNES Ali Rez, CCO at one of the two regional agencies to win a Grand Prix this year, explains what Robert Redford taught him about how love and heartbreak are steps of the path to success


here are decades when nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen,” said Lenin. Many years ago, on my first trip to Cannes Lions as a much younger creative, I accompanied a piece of work that I thought was a sure-shot winner. At least a Gold, maybe Grand Prix if we got lucky. Cheeky posts were ready about excess baggage on the return flight, don’t trip on the stage Ali, the works. But we didn’t even shortlist. In any category. So this is what heartbreak is, I thought while turning my phone off to avoid calls from my boss, whom I had assured of a shiny return on a sizeable investment. I contemplated leaving Cannes early. But then a friend recommended we go see a talk at the Palais by Robert Redford. That talk changed my life. A single, hour-long session had more impact on me than any other hour at any work event ever. From the first row, I listened to Redford talking about how as an art student, he had once hitchhiked to Cannes, and having no money, had spent the night on the beach under one of the boardwalks, where he heard all the fancy parties going on above the pier. Alone, lonely, and cold, he miserably listened to the clinking of champagne glasses and celebrations above. And then, a few years later, he was back at Cannes. But this time as a successful actor, on top of the boardwalk, clinking champagne glasses himself. The story left a profound impression on me. I called my boss and told him that the best thing had

happened with our work. “Awesome. What did we win?” “Absolutely nothing.” This year, Eugene Cheong spoke to the crowd as the president of the Outdoor jury, and, specifically addressing those who had not won, mentioned that they should use the emotion they feel as motivation to win next year. And I knew exactly what he meant, as I had heard those words spoken in a different form by Redford. Cannes Lions is full of moving experiences such as these – and you have to be there for it. This year emphasised that more than any, as thousands of people met each other again after these two years of not meeting. There was genuine love in the air – for each other, for the industry, for the work – as the hordes connected. Taking a stroll through the gallery of the work was back. As was lining up for a talk that you just had to experience up close, like Malala’s, in the hopes that you would absorb some of its energy. And of course, there’s the Gutter Bar or the Martinez. No fuel like it. During a talk at a university, I was once asked for the one big piece of advice I could give new entrants into creativity, and I mentioned that they need to fall in love completely. This is a business of rejection as much as it is of elation, and one must be prepared for the heartbreaks, the unconditional devotion, the unreasonable ups and downs, and the experiences that come with it. One cannot be afraid, and certainly cannot hold oneself back – it is only through that utter

submission that you can generate greatness. It is that kind of love that is felt at Cannes, and you have to be there for it. You have to experience it first-hand. It reminds you why you chose to be in this field in the first place. I felt this sentiment even more as I was on the jury this year. Instead of deciding on the work through a screen, the jury connected amongst themselves beyond just the jury room; we learnt about each other and ourselves, we became friends, we learned what our backgrounds were, what would influence us to like a piece of work over another. We were present and never behind a blocked camera. It rained this year at the festival – heavy rain. A friend and I were sitting watching the rain, and smelling that scent you smell that comes from the earth when rain mixes with it. We were trying to think of the word that describes it. It’s petrichor. That’s the word. This year, I went up on stage to collect a Grand Prix. It had been more than a decade since I was there in that Palais for the first time, listening to Redford talking about how he had crossed the horizontal line that was the boardwalk and ended up above it. For me, this was the week where more happened than the many weeks that made up the last few years. There is no substitute for being there at Cannes Lions. Just like there is no substitute for experiencing petrichor. Zoom will never do it. You have to be there to fall in love with it. By Ali Rez, chief creative officer, Impact BBDO MENAP


July 25, 2022


Presenting all of this year’s Grand Prix-winning campaigns – from the region and worldwide


annes Lions 2022 proved that creativity’s spark could not be extinguished, despite the world emerging uncertainly from a pandemic. This year’s Grands Prix winners plunged into a diverse range of topics, from Wingstop’s response to the

chicken wing shortage with a chaotic rebrand to ‘Thighstop’, to a day in the life of a talking rabbit calling for a ban on animal testing in ‘Save Ralph’. Politics, health and wellbeing, sustainability, race and gender also featured. Check out every GP winner below.



Vice Media ‘The unfiltered history tour’ by Dentsu Webchutney This unofficial guide took people on a journey through the controversial British Museum and offered information about 10 of its items through an interactive mobile site and podcast series. Those taking the tour were encouraged to use Instagram filters to scan the artefacts, while the guide was narrated by people from the countries the pieces were taken from.

Sherwin-Williams ‘Speaking in colour’ by Wunderman Thompson Minneapolis A system powered by artificial intelligence was developed for architects to create custom colour palettes unique to an individual’s vision. Users are able to describe the colour they’re envisioning out loud by referencing specific memories, things that inspire them or just general vibes.

July 25, 2022


CREATIVE BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION Dole Sunshine Company and Ananas Anam ‘Piñatex’ by L&C New York Piñatex is a sustainable, vegan alternative to leather made from pineapple leaves grown by farmers in the Philippines. The campaign was a call to action aimed at the fashion industry to start using Piñatex as a more eco-friendly alternative with brands such as Nike already using it in their products.

WeCapital ‘Data Tienda’ by DDB Mexico With 83 per cent of women in Mexico not having access to credit history, millions are unable to study or start a business because their loan applications are rejected. WeCapital’s financial services centre Data Tienda was created to recover the credit history of Mexican women from neighbourhood businesses’ accounting records, making it possible for low-income women to access credit from banks.



Michelob Ultra ‘Contract for change’ by FCB New York Only about 1 per cent of farmland in the US is organic. It takes three years for a conventional farm to turn organic, which is quite the obstacle for farming as a business, when this transition isn’t guaranteed to have a buyer by the end of it. Michelob Ultra’s ‘Contract for change’ encouraged US farmers to switch their land over to organic by promising to be their first organic customer once the transition was complete.

Wingstop ‘Thighstop’ by Leo Burnett Chicago The chicken wing restaurant’s rebrand from Wingstop to Thighstop was a response to a chicken wing shortage in the US. Wingstop made light of the devastation and decided to market all things thigh instead with content featuring rapper Rick Ross.

CREATIVE STRATEGY, PR Decathlon ‘The Breakaway: the first e-cycling team for prisoners’ by BBDO Belgium Six inmates from Oudenaarde prison in Belgium cycle against real people using a virtual cycling platform called Zwift.



July 25, 2022



United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Blue Shield Denmark ‘Backup Ukraine’ by Virtue Worldwide By using a phone to capture 3D, high-resolution imagery of Ukrainian artefacts, this tool was created to help preserve Ukraine’s landmarks and monuments in the midst of the Russian invasion.

Penguin Random House ‘Portuguese (Re)constitution’ by FCB Lisbon The publisher released a book on the 50-year anniversary of Portugal’s Carnation Revolution, which marked the end of the nation’s fascist government. The book took inspiration from the blue pencil, which was used to censor artists under the regime. Otherwise a symbol of repression, the blue pencil is used in this book to create illustrations and poetry by blacking out parts of the constitution.



Coinbase ‘Less talk, more Bitcoin’ by Accenture Song Coinbase kept it simple during this year’s Super Bowl. Reminiscent of the classic computer game Pong or the bouncing DVD screensaver, the ad showed a floating QR code on the screen, which gleaned 20 million visitors to the site during its 60-second run-time.

‘This is not America ft Ibeyi’ by Residente, Doomsday Entertainment, Los Angeles/Sony Music Latin, Miami The political music video focused on Latin America’s struggles for peace and justice. Powerful imagery deconstructs America as we know it, taking a symbol such as the Statue of Liberty and replacing it with an indigenous person, shining a light on imperialism.



Penny ‘The wish’ by Iconoclast Berlin A moving short film pays homage to the lost experiences of today’s youth due to the lockdowns, restrictions and challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Nike ‘NikeSync’ by R/GA London The app provides a platform for athletes who have periods, allowing users to tailor their workouts to their menstrual cycles.

July 25, 2022



Apple ‘Escape from the office’ The nine-minute extended ad sees a squad of geeks trying to climb the corporate ladder. It was created in-house in collaboration with Mark Molloy at Smuggler. With the help of some Apple products, the team quit their jobs to take a business venture off the ground.

Humane Society International ‘Save Ralph’ by Vespa Pictures This animation was shot in the style of a documentary, following the life of Ralph the rabbit, voiced by Taika Waititi, in his job as an animal tester. It called for a ban on animal testing for cosmetic products by illustrating some gruesome realities.



Channel 4 ‘Super. Human’ by 4Creative The campaign for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games captured the lives of Paralympians from an unconventional perspective. A three-minute film shows the sacrifices the athletes have to make in their everyday lives to reach their goals.

IPG Health ‘Lil Sugar – Master of disguise’ by Area 23 The campaign combined a hip-hop music video, app and story book to expose the dangers of overconsumption of sugar and how it hides under the names of unrecognisable scientific terminology, while also highlighting the issues of racial and health equity.

ENTERTAINMENT Swedish Food Federation ‘Eat a Swede’ by McCann Stockholm The 18-minute satirical documentary starred Big Little Lies actor Alexander Skarsgård, and used the theme of cannibalism to encourage people to adopt Sweden’s healthy and sustainable diet, otherwise known as ‘Swegan’.



July 25, 2022



Sheba ‘Hope reef’ by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Using a reef restoration system, Sheba spelt out the word ‘Hope’ in the ocean. The stunt was done to highlight the danger of losing the world’s coral reefs and how it is not too late to restore the ones that remain.

Suncorp Group ‘One house to save many’ by Leo Burnett Sydney With so many homes being destroyed by extreme weather conditions, this campaign highlights how new materials and innovative engineering can help protect future homes from floods and fires.



Maxx Flash ‘The killer pack’ by VMLY&R Mumbai To help fight mosquito-related diseases, ‘The killer pack’ is a biodegradable packaging that houses a coil, which is a popular technique for killing mosquitoes inside people’s homes. The packaging also kills mosquitoes when disposed of, helping to reduce the spread of these diseases outside of the home.

Google ‘Real tone’ by New York Times’ T Brand Studio, Wieden & Kennedy New York and Gut, Miami This campaign and the technology behind it highlighted how standard cameras have failed to capture darker skin tones. The ad starred the voice of musician Lizzo and illustrated the power of Google’s ‘Real tone’ to make people feel truly seen.

July 25, 2022



Adidas ‘Liquid billboard’ by Havas Middle East Who said a billboard actually has to be a billboard? Adidas said: “Why can’t it be a swimming pool instead?” The installation was placed on a beach in Dubai and invited women for a swim as a way of smashing the barriers surrounding women and swimming due to cultural sensitivities.

An-Nahar Newspaper ‘The elections edition’ by Impact BBDO Dubai When public officials in Lebanon suggested there was not enough paper and ink to print ballots for an election, An-Nahar chose not to go to press as a way of calling out this weak excuse. As a result of the newspaper ‘donating’ the resources that were supposedly preventing change, the government stopped using it as an excuse.

PHARMA Dell Technologies and Intel ‘I will always be me’ by VMLY&R I Will Always Be Me is a first-of-its-kind book for people living with motor neurone disease (MND), banking their voices as they read aloud.



P&G Whisper ‘The missing chapter’ by Leo Burnett Mumbai The campaign aimed to tackle taboos around periods in India, worsened by the lack of education surrounding the topic. The National Council of Education failed to print a chapter about the biology of menstruation so Whisper produced ‘The missing chapter’ to prevent teenagers from dropping out of school when their periods start.

EA Sports and the Kiyan Prince Foundation ‘Long live the Prince’ by Engine London ‘Long live the Prince’ paid tribute to 15-year-old football prodigy Kiyan Prince, who was fatally stabbed, by reimagining him as an adult player in the Fifa 21 game. All proceeds raised by the campaign go directly to the Kiyan Prince Foundation.




July 25, 2022

felt a bit ashamed at Cannes this year, and not because of one too many outside the Gutter Bar. I felt embarrassed because of the way we, as an industry, reacted to the environmental protests that took place at the Cannes Lions Festival, just a week after baking temperatures scorched France and hit new records. In case you missed it, Gustav Martner, a previous Cannes Lion winner and ex-ECD of Crispin Porter & Bogusky turned Greenpeace activist, got up on the stage and handed back his Lion while holding a sign that read “No awards on a dead planet”. His point was that creativity is still being used to help the oil giants, and other carbon-heavy clients, make money. Greenpeace wants us to stop working for fossil fuel companies as a matter of urgency. The ad industry, according to Silvia Pastorelli, policy advisor in climate change and energy at Greenpeace, is complicit in the climate crisis. “The fossil fuel industry uses advertising and sponsorship to clean up its image, delay climate action and secure political access.” The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, earlier this year exposed the role advertising and PR play in fuelling the climate crisis while hundreds of scientists signed an open letter asking us to stop working with fossil fuel companies and spreading climate misinformation. You’d have thought that our industry, fixated as it is on brand purpose and being on the right side of history, would have had time for Gustav’s message and for the posters that Greenpeace put up on the Palais during festival week (pictured). But what actually happened was that Cannes Lions banned Martner from the festival and the French police removed the posters, while passers-by stood around and applauded them doing so. Nobody said, “Hang on, those Greenpeace people have got a point.” Every year at Cannes we look for signs, trends to tell us about the future of creativity. Creativity is a powerful force and, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. So, in the future how do we want to use the power of creativity and for whom? If you walked the halls of the Palais, you’d have observed that we are currently investing a lot of our creativity in proactive campaigns about sustainability and the environment. Many of the ideas were charming and engaging but short-term and short on a strategy that would effect real, lasting change. It’s just too easy and lets brands off the hook from doing the hard stuff, real business change. There is an alternative. We could move from doing brand purpose to ‘business purpose’ (a term I’ve pinched from my chief strategy officer Matt Holt). Simply, getting creatives and creative thinking further upstream to help our clients change their business practices to tackle climate change head-on, rather than doing short-termist ad campaigns. Traditionally, the job of thinking about changing business models, R&D and proposition development has been the territory of heads of holding companies, who sit on trade bodies, or very senior strategists. Creatives rarely get anywhere near those conversations. But the best creatives can solve problems in ways other people can’t because their brains work in a different way. They see connections that others don’t see, that lead to lateral cognitive leaps. They can solve tough problems with unexpected solutions. In the future, do we want to limit that potential to just creating TV commercials and social posts? Isn’t there more we can do?

GREEN SHAME The industry should be ashamed of how it reacted to activists at Cannes, writes Digitas UK’s Emma de la Fosse


Of course, it’s much easier to pull off a PRgarnering stunt around recycling rather than work out how a brand can ditch using plastic bottles in the first place. But brilliant is hard. Thankfully, to show us that it can be done, there are truly inspiring examples of some big companies leading the way. AB InBev, winner of Cannes Lions Marketer of the Year 2022 and of the Grand Prix for Effectiveness 2022 with its creative agency, FCB, cracked an idea that enabled US farmers to transition away from artificial methods of barley production that caused widespread ecosystem destruction, to organic production and a return to a natural agriculture, which many farmers craved. It involved support, training and a guarantee to buy the organic produce at a fair price. Michelob Ultra Gold, AB InBev’s leading organic brand, is predicted to grow by 25 per cent by 2023. There are other great examples of creativity helping businesses, and laws, change for the good of the planet and society. Marcel and its client Carrefour produced ‘Black Supermarket’ in 2019, which overturned EU legislation detrimental to indigenous crops and plants. Forsman and Bodenfors and Volvo created the EVA initiative in 2021, under which the automotive company gives away its proprietary safety data to competitors for the greater good, improving road safety for women. Edelman UK and Ikea trialled ‘Bring-back Friday’, pledging to buy back second-hand Ikea furniture as an antidote to ‘Black Friday’. In 2008, the creative genius of Droga5 helped get Barack Obama elected, the first US president to launch a climate action plan. I’d love to see those creative minds get president Bolsonaro of Brazil unelected so he can no longer keep destroying the Amazon rainforest. Think of the enormous difference that would make. If you are a client reading this, or even the head of a holding company, be brave. You have a valuable and underutilised resource on your payroll, so use them. As Matthew Bull, founder of SoloUnion, says, “A lot of companies pay lip service to creativity but underestimate the impact it can have on business.” Get your company’s future ready. Invite the creatives in your agencies to put down their next proactive purpose campaign brief and let them give you some great ideas around purpose-led business transformation instead.

Emma de la Fosse is chief creative officer at Digitas UK

July 25, 2022


WPP: GREENPEACE IS ‘RIGHT’ BUT WE WILL CONTINUE CEO Mark Read responds after Greenpeace protested about climate crisis at the WPP beach at Cannes Lions. By Gideon Spanier


PP has defended its work for major energy companies, saying it will continue to help them with their marketing, after Greenpeace staged a series of protests at Cannes Lions, including sending a flotilla of kayaks to WPP’s rented beach space. Mark Read, the chief executive of WPP, told Campaign that Greenpeace was “right” to highlight the climate crisis but he insisted energy companies needed to be “part of the solution” and they should be able to “market” to consumers “in a fair and accurate way” about the steps they were taking to move to a lower-carbon economy. Greenpeace was involved in three incidents at Cannes Lions as the environmental group called for a ban on “fossil ads and sponsorship” and urged advertising companies “to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry”. First, Gustav Martner, a Greenpeace activist and former Cannes Lions-winning creative, interrupted the awards ceremony on the opening evening in the Palais, the main festival venue, on Monday. Then dozens of protestors descended on WPP’s beach on Wednesday afternoon and more protestors used a truck ladder to scale the Palais on Thursday morning. Read, speaking at the end of the five-day festival, when WPP was named the most creative company after winning the most Lions awards, described Greenpeace’s protests as an “inconvenience”. “They are right to highlight the problem of climate change and the impact of carbon on the economy,” he said. “At the same time, we all have a role to play in reducing the levels of

carbon and I think energy companies have to be part of the solution as much as anybody else. “Our job at WPP is to help them talk in a fair and accurate way about the steps they are taking to move to that lower-carbon economy.” WPP’s clients include BP and Shell, although Read did not cite any of them by name. He pointed out WPP, the world’s biggest agency group with about 109,000 staff, will only work with energy clients that adhere to certain global standards on carbon emissions. “We have said we don’t want to work with any energy company that seeks to frustrate the Paris Agreement [the commitment to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees compared with pre-industrial levels],” he said. Read added there was a consumer benefit for energy companies to be able to market their products and services. “If energy companies can’t market or talk about the steps that they are taking to move to a low-carbon economy, how do consumers choose to work with the companies that do?” he asked. “At the same time, we can’t engage in greenwashing [on behalf of energy companies] – we can’t misrepresent what they do. We train our people and educate our people on marketing standards.” He admitted it was “a challenge” for WPP to get the balance right between helping energy companies to market their products and avoiding greenwashing. It is understood that WPP took a conciliatory approach and let the Greenpeace activists use the bathroom facilities after they arrived at the beach. Read added: “For most people, the crane at the Palais was a minor inconvenience – they couldn’t drive down the Croisette. It’s not the end of the world. Compared with global warming, it’s a minor inconvenience.” The WPP chief did still express some concerns about safety: “In the current environment, you do worry about making sure our people and our clients are safe at events like this.” Sustainability featured prominently on the speaker agenda at this year’s Cannes Lions. At a session called ‹By 2030, every ad will be a green ad›, a global coalition of leaders from

major brands, agency groups, tech companies and ad associations committed to expand Ad Net Zero, the UK ad industry’s sustainability initiative, to the US and Europe. However, Greenpeace said the ad industry was not doing enough to combat climate change, explaining why it wanted to “call out advertising agencies” at Cannes Lions and accusing them of being “complicit in spreading disinformation around the climate catastrophe and promoting their [clients’] polluting products”. The group said: “Since the Paris Agreement at least 300 awards have been given out in Cannes to advertising for more air travel, to oil companies that greenwash

‘‘WE HAVE SAID WE DON’T WANT TO WORK WITH ANY ENERGY COMPANY THAT SEEKS TO FRUSTRATE THE PARIS AGREEMENT.” and to ads that make cars with polluting combustion engines more desirable. “PR and advertising holdings and agencies such as Accenture, Publicis, WPP and Edelman, present in this event, have recently announced they will commit to achieving ‘carbon neutrality’ (net zero) and internal sustainability policies. “However, all these firms continue to work for the fossil fuel industry, helping them promote their image and the alleged environmental virtues of oil and fossil gas and, as a result, block the rapid climate action required.” WPP’s awards at this year’s Cannes Lions included work for Greenpeace. VMLY&R Brazil won Gold for Greenpeace’s Los Santos +3°C – an online game that lets users experience life in a virtual city under the pressure of extreme weather events.


July 25, 2022


s we stepped out from behind our screens and headed to the Croisette at Cannes, some of the world’s most popular tech and social media brands were doing the same. Despite being founded on creativity, the festival now serves a dual purpose, creating opportunities for big business taking place. After the festival physically being on hold since last being held in 2019, this year’s edition gave us a chance to rekindle and rebuild existing relationships, as well as to start some new ones. Notable mentions include Snap, Reddit, Twitter and Twitch. Snap partnered with British Vogue to deliver an AR exhibition called Vogue x Snapchat: Redefining the Body, curated by Edward Enninful, while Reddit welcomed festival-goers into an eye-catching custom-built clubhouse, located just outside the Palais. Twitch greeted its guests at the Twitch Apartment, offering a boutique breakout space a stone’s throw from Amazon’s Port, while Twitter Beach gave its visitors a vast base for connection and conversation. But now on to the round up of the key players: THE ONE CONTINUING TO SHOW ITS COMMITMENT AND COLOURS: GOOGLE Inspirational talks and workshops plus a sneak peek into the future of technology were provided at Google Beach, an 80 per cent recycled structure. Ahead of her Glastonbury debut, Griff delivered a live performance at YouTube’s intimate evening event, followed by Kylie on Wednesday. The week’s proceedings rounded off with Google’s much-loved annual celebration of Pride. THE URL POPPING UP IRL: META Bringing together its brands into one space, Meta’s beach had various activities going on across the week. From sessions on the future of creators and connection and the making of a global brand through to 30-minute workshops at Reels School and spotlights on the future of AI design, the Meta beach offered a content-rich experience. A highlight was Meta chief executive Alex Schultz and the legendary David Droga (founder of Droga5) in conversation, going deep into ‘The Making of a Global Brand’. You could also step inside the Reels SuperStudio, designed in collaboration with Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone, to watch tutorials, before pairing the latest AR effects with dynamic movements to create your own reel. THE ONE WITH ALL THE HEADLINERS: SPOTIFY Once again the streaming platform returned with Spotify Beach, with four days of talks and parties. Key themes included the future of media, creators and fandom – but when the sun set on the Croisette, the queues formed for live performances from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone and Dua Lipa. DJ Henrie, the co-host of the Spotify Original Who We Be podcast, continued to spin as Spotify’s house DJ throughout the week. THE ONE DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY: PINTEREST A vibrant space and experience had been carved out by Pinterest at the Carlton Beach

‘‘THIS YEAR’S EDITION GAVE US A CHANCE TO REKINDLE AND REBUILD EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS.’’ Club, where the brand hosted unexpected activations and creator workshops including screen printing, mindful drawing and aura photography. The focus was on each guest having a trend-inspired experience. In the Pinterest Predicts parlour you could get a micro tattoo, bejewelled updo or a galaxy-inspired manicure, while the gifting gallery was the perfect place to find a present for those back home. (Disclaimer: Amplify is proud to have worked on this one.) THE ONE WITH MANY FACES AND SPACES: AMAZON The very first Amazon Port created a series of spaces to bring many of Amazon’s brands together. Discussions on creativity, diversity and sustainability took place with guest speakers from Amazon Ads, AWS, Twitch and Wondery, alongside wellness classes and the usual happy hours. Making full use of the structure, the festivities were topped off by a stellar performance from the mighty LCD Soundsystem, en route to their four-night residency at Brixton Academy.


Amplify’s founder and global chief executive Jonathan Emmins rounds up events from the key players at Cannes THE ONE GETTING BRANDS CLOSER TO THEIR CREATORS: TIKTOK As well as being official partner for Future Media Lions, TikTok opted for two spaces for its Cannes presence. TikTok’s Creator Cabana offered visitors a crash course on everything you need to know about collaborating with its creator community. Meanwhile TikTok’s Sound-On Soirée was a sunset celebration spotlighting the next generation talent including performances from Charm La’Donna and DJ Habibeats. By Jonathan Emmins, founder and global chief executive of Amplify

July 25, 2022


ill Your Darlings, a documentary film about the world of modern advertising, has premiered at the Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity. The film follows Anouk Jans, who at the age of 26 became the youngest creative director in Germany, as she questions whether the agency model is cracked and ponders her own future in the industry. Jans travels the world interviewing industry veterans such as professor of marketing Scott Galloway, Cindy Gallop, chief executive officer of Make Love Not Porn, Rob Reilly, global chief creative officer at WPP, and more. The film touches on topics including whether there is a future for advertising – according to Galloway, there is not – and what needs to change for the traditionally male-dominant industry to become more diverse. “When I first started in this industry, I didn’t question anything – not the structures, not the hierarchies, or the working hours,” Jans said. “However, as the years passed, I saw the creatives around me suffer and become cynical about the industry, including myself. This film was a fantastic opportunity to get perspective from the brightest minds in the business. “But what we realised after only the first few interviews changed everything: the advertising industry doesn’t need new direction, it needs a restart. I learned that we need to rethink it from scratch, to find our way out of the vicious circle. And nobody can do it alone – we can only do it together.” At an event launching the film in Cannes, panellists discussed some of the issues explored in the documentary. Karin Onsager-Birch, vice-president of creative at Lyft, said: “What clients are


DOCUMENTARY QUESTIONS FUTURE OF AGENCY MODEL Kill Your Darlings follows creative director Anouk Jans as she asks whether the agency model is cracked and ponders her own future in the industry. By Ida Axling looking for is fantastic passionate talent, but we’re looking for it without all the barriers in the way, without all the systems, without the processes. “We just want to know is where are you going? What are the insights? How can we be part of the process? How can you be inside with us? We’re looking for a much, much, much tighter collaboration.” Jessica Spence, president of brands at Beam Suntory, added that she sees opportunities going forward, because there are “fabulous, creative talents in the world”. She said: “The challenge for us is how do we find them? Because somebody said to me: ‘Do you ever think the big agencies had a monopoly on talent?’ Probably no, honestly. But it’s definitely not true now. And I think what’s really challenging for us is how do we locate them? And that’s where I’m still hugely optimistic about the power of creativity.” Both Onsager-Birch and Spence are also interviewed in the film. The documentary is presented by Togetherr, a new platform for building creative teams and connecting them with leading global brands and agencies,

produced by Drive Studios and directed by Adam and Christian Bonke. Amir Guy, general manager of Togetherr, said: “Before diving into this head on, we asked creatives, agency leaders, brand executives and more, what their challenges in the industry were. “The journey that took us on, questioning everything we thought we knew, was so inspiring that we wanted to capture it in a piece of content that would tug at the industry’s heartstrings, while forcing them to question the future of advertising.” Per Pedersen, executive creative director at Kill Your Darlings and creative chairman of by The Network, added: “What the team at Togetherr is building is groundbreaking and disruptive – and so when they came to me with the opportunity to work on this, I knew the film had to challenge the status quo. “This film is controversial and it might ruffle some feathers in the industry, but I hope that people take it for what it is – a film that is honest, that isn’t afraid to say things that others might not want to say, while at the same time, showing the utmost respect and love for our industry and what we, as creatives, do.”


July 25, 2022

CRAIG INGLIS IS WRONG, WE DON’T NEED TO DITCH THE TERM B2B As Cannes Lions launches an award for B2B work, it’s time to change perceptions around the sector not the term.


2B (business-to-business) hit a major milestone in its evolution with the launch of the Creative B2B Lions at Cannes last month. The sector is going through something of a revolution and has finally started to embrace the power of creativity, further evidenced by the news that Craig Inglis, the celebrated former John Lewis marketer, is joining software giant Sage. The marketer behind the most iconic Christmas ads of all time is now bringing his skills to business-to-business

‘‘RESEARCH BY SYSTEM1 SHOWED THAT B2B ADS HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERPERFORMING AGAINST THEIR B2C COUNTERPARTS.’’ marketing. His mission, he says, is to “eradicate the term B2B” because “it’s all about human-to-human”. Inglis’ wish to consign the term B2B to history shows just how much stigma is attached to the sector. Putting humanity and creativity into B2B advertising is, of course, critical to building successful brands. While we can’t ignore the fact that there are fundamental differences between B2B and B2C in terms of buying complexity and sizes of audiences, the principle is the same; we’re all communicating with human beings. Nonetheless, we don’t have to ditch the term B2B, we just need to change the perceptions around the sector – and the best way to do that is through the work. When you think about it, it’s quite

By COS MINGIDES, founding partner of True

remarkable that B2B, an industry which is the cornerstone of the global economy, is only now being recognised by Cannes Lions. B2B accounts for 44 per cent, or £1.7 trillion, of the UK’s business turnover and £21.78bn corporate tax, according to B2B Marketing research. More than 50 per cent of FTSE 350 companies are pure B2B businesses and nearly 40 per cent of UK companies derive all or a majority of their income from B2B activity. Philip Thomas, the chairman of Cannes Lions, has said that a B2B Lion had been discussed as far back as 2013, adding, “but we always try to get the timing right”. In reality there’s more to it than timing. With B2B, the level of work just hasn’t been there until now. Research released last year by System1 showed that B2B ads

have been significantly underperforming against their B2C counterparts. 75 per cent of ads tested only achieved 1 star in an 5-star ‘emotion-to-action’ measurement framework, which underlines the crisis in creativity the sector has been experiencing. In fairness, it’s only in the past decade that the canvas for creativity in B2B communications has opened up. The arrival of addressable TV and programmatic significantly lowered the barrier to entry to previously prohibitive above-the-line channels, providing more creative possibilities for brand-building. Prior to that, most B2B brands relied solely on email, direct mail and thought leadership. B2B brands and agencies were for that reason much more sales-led than marketing-led, and focused on supporting short-term sales metrics, to the detriment of brand building. Another big watershed moment was the launch of the LinkedIn think tank The B2B Institute and the ground-breaking research it has commissioned, in particular The 5 Principles of Growth in B2B Marketing, with Les Binet and Peter Field. For the first time, B2B marketers could present data to the C-suite that showed the power of creative effectiveness. Now that Cannes is recognising B2B work, the platform is there for the most ambitious and creative B2B brands to shine. It will no doubt take some time for B2B to catch up, but agencies are evolving and new talent will trickle in as more B2B marketers start demanding better work and investing in larger production budgets. Because the revolution in the sector is still in its nascency, there are real opportunities for brands to stand out from the competition and make an impact. A new wave of B2B marketers with big creative ambitions has the opportunity to drive brands and the industry forward. B2B marketing is about to enter its most pivotal era yet.

July 25, 2022


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



When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, complementing its venture into the metaverse, the world took pause to listen to what the man who arguably put social media on the map had to say. What he suggested presented an interactive version of the future where we all exist as virtual avatars and was not necessarily far-fetched, unless you’ve never used a VR headset, have never played video games (or stopped playing more than a decade ago), or have never heard of apps such as Rec Room or VRChat. Managing Director of Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy

Essentially, the big-bang moment we were all waiting for fizzled out faster than he probably thought it would, and the world quickly resumed scrolling its social media feeds and investing in NFTs. version of the future depends on ad revenue, something Facebook as a platform, i.e. Meta’s cash cow, has been struggling to retain. Why is one of the most used platforms haemorrhaging advertisers? Because companies like Apple and Google are restricting ad tracking on their operating systems, which puts a massive dent in Facebook’s ad model that allowed for surgical targeting. Making matters worse, the era of TikTok is not showing any signs of slowdown for the foreseeable future, leaving other platforms in the dust fighting for relevance. Any company would have shuttered when facing just one of these challenges. I wonder how many it will take to halt Meta’s progress and restrict its updates to the history books. Only time will tell.





Suit up

Better Talking Script

Embracing people’s consumption of user-generated videos, Instagram has expanded the duration of its reels from 60 to 90 seconds. Though this will give creators more time to play around with, the eventual scale up to open-ended Reels is inevitable and close at hand.

TikTok was recently flooded with videos of young men dressed in formal suits to see the latest Minions movie, Minions: The Rise of Gru. This harmless stunt stood as testament to the fandom surrounding the movie and its characters, and though many theatres complained about the resulting chaos, Universal Studios basked in all the love.

Had BTS, the K-pop sensation, communicated the news of their hiatus strategically to their audiences and the media, the stocks for Hybe, the company that owns the band, would not have dropped by a whopping 28%, resulting in a $1.7bn loss. The band, of course, they addressed their break confused fans and the world at large.


July 25, 2022




Elda Choucair is interim chair of the ABG and CEO of OMG


t’s fair to say the relationship between advertising and sustainability is a complex one with accusations of the industry encouraging overconsumption on one hand and ‘greenwashing’ on the other – thus often masking the industry’s potential to be a positive force for change. The basic premise of advertising is designed around the consumer promise of buying something to solve our emotional, relationship or existential problems – an approach that is fuelling a materialistic attitude to the detriment of our natural resources and alleviating the rising climate issues. Fossil fuel companies are also seen to be allocating billions each year to marketing and advertising campaigns that seek to rebrand their corporate identity as ‘climate-friendly’, according to a recent renewable energy report. The need for transparent marketing, however, extends far beyond the energy sector, as all brands are under increasing pressure to adapt to climate pressure. Most Gen Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to make the world a better place – and they want to see action. A typical online ad campaign emits a staggering 5.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide – which is more than double what an average person emits in a year. Sustainability lies at the core of our agenda at the ABG, and it is the perfect time to start engaging with creatives and marketing professionals, given that COP27 and COP28 will be held in the region (Egypt and UAE). We are already working closely with the WFA’s Planet Pledge, and intend to expand our relationship, and work with member organisations to bring this thinking to the forefront of our priorities. It is vital all ABG members partake in driving more sustainable marketing that will contribute towards the delivery of the ‘triple bottom line’ – social, environmental and financial. Google is developing sustainability workshops that address the value chain, around the ‘care, do, impact’ framework, while ‘The Unilever compass’ is designed to drive sustainable and responsible growth. At Omnicom Media Group, we’re committed to reducing the energy use per person by 20 per cent and increasing the use of electricity from renewable sources globally by 2023. Advertising has a major role to play in shifting consumers’ attitudes and values towards choosing sustainable products and caring for the environment through campaigns. Meanwhile, the climate challenges are placing more focus on environment, sustainability and governance (ESG) metrics by the day. With reporting and ratings structures continuing to evolve, advertisers and clients need to embrace transparency in their campaigns and take an active lead on sustainability by supporting environmental and social changes. How can you do more? How can you get involved? The ABG will be hosting a speakers’ session to bring the experts on this topic and talk to our member companies about what we should do. Stay tuned.

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 Sheila Deocareza 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.

Snapchat introduces Snapchat for Web Snap Inc. has announced that Snapchat’s messaging service will now be available on the web, through its new product, Snapchat for Web. The new product will enable Snapchat users to pick up conversations on the computer from where they left off on mobile. All features from messaging on the mobile app, such as Chat Reactions, Chat Reply, In-Chat Presence, and lenses, will be available on the desktop version. Snapchat users will also soon be able to send Snaps from their computers. The launch is starting with Snapchat+ subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and Snapchat for Web will be available soon for Snapchat+ subscribers in France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, before being rolled out for all users globally. Snapchat users will be able to access Snapchat for Web, by heading to, and logging in with their Snapchat username and password. It will be important to ensure that they are running a recent version of the app on their phone and that they are logged in from mobile. Snapchat for Web will require a twostep verification from the mobile app. The conversations get hidden when Snap users click away to another tab, window, or task. The product will also include additional information for Snapchat users when they first log into Snapchat for Web with information on the differences between the web and mobile experiences from a privacy perspective. Currently, Snapchat for Web is being launched on Chrome and will work with the browser regardless of whether it is on a Mac or a PC.

July 25, 2022


Creative inspiration


erhaps advertising has an image problem. That was what Sir John Hegarty, founder of Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA London and BBH, and a living legend of the industry, said when we spoke over a glitchy Google Meet call last week. “All the research says our audience has a poor view of what they are being served by the communications industry,” said Hegarty. “They are doing their best to avoid it, they don’t regard it, they don’t appreciate it.” Hegarty is a man who should know what he’s talking about. He’s made some of the most loved ads of the past half century. He came up with Audi’s ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’ campaign, and reinvented Levi’s jeans – launching the career of a little-know model called Brad Pitt in the process. Now he’s running a course on ‘Creativity in Business’. On page 6 you can win a place on that course, worth £1,500 and sponsored by London International Awards. We’ve made the competition easy to enter, so make sure that you do. Especially if you are fired up by all the post-Lions energy that’s pulsing through the industry just now. (If you are feeling a little unpulsed but want to ignite some of that Cannes-do attitude, read through our festival coverage in this issue). Hegarty has earned his right to come across as a grumpy old man of advertising – for example when he said, “We have a generation of marketing directors who don’t know how to build a brand.” He argues that marketers now in their 40s have been “brought up with this view that broadcast is bad and targeting is good and television is a waste of time”. As a grumpy old man in training, I can see that this critique comes from a place of love for the industry, and a belief in good old-fashioned ideas and creativity that everyone – not just a chosen few – can rally around. Creativity should be unencumbered by and unintimidated by technology, and Hegarty paints technologists and creatives as being passionate about different sides of the same coin. Just don’t mistake the tech evangelists’ passion for creativity. They build the technology and the

creatives show the rest of us what it can be used for. Creativity, said Hegarty, “is a different way of looking at something. It refreshes your mind.” And advertising should be a movement that people want to join, not a targeted annoyance. Hegarty quoted Bill Bernbach, who said that people don’t buy things off people they don’t like. “Being liked is fundamentally important.” Editor Speaking of two sides of a creative coin, I was also impressed recently by Fatma Al Suwaidy. You’ve @maustyn probably not heard of her, but I’m prepared to bet that you will soon enough. She’s a student at the American University in Dubai, who was chosen to represent the UAE at the Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy. Like Hegarty’s course, this was a chance for her to learn from the greats, and you can read about her experience in Cannes (among those of others) starting on page 28. When she met up with Campaign in France, she told us about a student project where she had discovered that the traditional black abaya might be rooted in a centuries-old marketing ploy. She has written a short summary of that discovery, and what she turned it into, on page 27. Like Hegarty, Al Suwaidy takes lessons from history, culture and religion and turns them into relevant, engaging work that can speak to everyone. See what other inspiration lies within these pages – from veterans and the new guard and everyone in between.


Ignorance is bliss 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 1865, Joseph Lister stated that infection in a wound didn’t come from inside the body, it was transferred by micro-organisms from outside the body. So, if you killed the microorganisms (germs) by sterilisation, the wound wouldn’t get infected. He said a surgeon’s hands and instruments therefore must be washed in carbolic acid before coming into contact with a wound. But in 1873, The Lancet considered Germ Theory so ridiculous it published a series of articles warning surgeons against this silly fad. Which was a shame, because on July 2, 1881 President James Garfield was shot in the back. The White House doctor was Willard Bliss, he’d read in The Lancet that sterilisation was nonsense, so he probed about inside the wound with unwashed hands and unwashed instruments to find the musket-ball. Initially, the president’s condition was good and he seemed likely to make a full recovery. But due to continual probing with unwashed hands, he developed an infection. Bliss was convinced this was

because they hadn’t found the musket-ball. Alexander Graham Bell even developed a metal detector to help find it. But he was only allowed to probe where Bliss thought the musketball was. Consequently, results were inconclusive, but Bliss claimed it was, “unanimously agreed that the location of the ball has been ascertained with reasonable certainty, and that it lies, as heretofore stated, in the front wall of the abdomen, about five inches below and to the right of the navel”. By July 23, three weeks after being shot, Garfield had a temperature of 104 degrees and he’d lost 40lbs in weight. He had an abscess in the wound, drained with an unwashed tube. By September 18, he developed pneumonia and hypertension, and by the next day, he was dead. At the autopsy the musket-ball was found to be on the other side of the body, the left side, where Bliss had refused to allow Bell to investigate. Ira Rutkow, a member of the American College of Surgeons, says: “President Garfield had such

a nonlethal wound that in today’s world he would have gone home in a matter of two or three days.” The man who shot Garfield, Charles Guiteau, even used medical incompetence as his defence, stating: “Garfield died from malpractice. According to his own physicians, he was not fatally shot. The doctors who mistreated him ought to be indicted for murdering James Garfield, not me.” But of course it didn’t work and Guiteau was executed. Willard Bliss was the White House doctor, he was unassailable. He must know what he was doing, it was ridiculous to question his authority. And yet that’s where we are: the person with the best qualifications, the best accent, the best breeding, has the most credibility, they must know best. Despite what the facts and our own common sense tell us. Someone recently posted on Twitter: “What’s the difference between humans and animals? “Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack.” That’s worth remembering for advertising and marketing.


July 25, 2022

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

Metlife… “The execution needs a little more finesse.” (AM)

Jeep… “They say the best ideas are often found right in front of you.” (AM)

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

Property Finder... “It gets packaged and ultimately delivered in a pedestrian manner.” (JM)

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Adidas...“How long do you have to look at this before you really notice it?” (AM)

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

Pepsi... “A good job in finding a new and memorable way to interact with the product in a contemporary and fresh manner.” (JM)

July 25, 2022




Managing director at FP7 McCann Dubai, Momentum Dubai and Craft MENA

Managing director and partner at Bond

METLIFE: SWITCH OFF (1) Switch Off is an example of a good idea which had the grounds to do a lot more. In the context of our busy and stress-filled lives, a break from the chaos is always a welcome one. The hook of physically switching off your connections to activate the website is new and headlineworthy. However, is the content on the website rewarding and enriching enough to persuade one to literally switch off from the rest of the world? That remains up for debate.

METLIFE: SWITCH OFF (1) I applaud the intent. The execution needs a little more finesse. The voice talent was too sharp and gave the whole thing the feeling of a radio ad. And I understand the ‘be like Headspace’ animation brief, but audio-only would have worked better here. Turn off your wifi and data, lie back on the sofa, close your eyes and listen. Or better yet – it’s the summer and many of us are on holiday. So, throw that phone in the pool, the sea or the nearest bush and go for a walk in nature. Job done.

JEEP: CALL OF ADVENTURE (2) Call me old-fashioned but I love a good print campaign. And this idea stands out, not only in a cluttered category, but in a medium that’s supposedly on its last legs. While morse code has been used in the past, the usage of it in this campaign is eye-catching and intrinsic to the brand and, most importantly, its target audience. The campaign deserves to travel and be celebrated. And you don’t need to understand morse code to realise that. PROPERTY FINDER: YOUR HOME FINDER (3) The idea of what property truly means, while not new, has potential. However, it gets packaged and ultimately delivered in a pedestrian manner. An idea which perhaps could have been more distinct and ownable ends up as just another ad out there. The choice of music and visuals is also quite common and almost feels library-like. All in all, the only good that remains from it is the core idea itself, which drops many levels for said reasons. ADIDAS: RUN FOR THE OCEANS BILLBOARD (4) When the cause is right, and the need to tackle it is pressing, it’s always good. However, after the muchlauded Cannes Grand Prix-winning Liquid Billboard, this one leaves you ever so slightly underwhelmed, victims of their own standards in a way. Having said that, Run for the Oceans is a well-intended initiative and the production itself is executed impeccably. PEPSI: THIRSTY FOR MUSIC (5) With a large chunk of the population under the age of 25, engaging with the youth of Saudi Arabia is a nobrainer. And with the product at the very heart of the idea, ‘Thirsty For Music’ does a good job in finding a new and memorable way to interact with the product in a contemporary and fresh manner. Where they could have gone one better is by having a wider range and diversity of artists, and by making the experience more interactive where the user can add or activate certain melodics. A big part of keeping users engaged in AR is making them part of the experience, rather than just observers of it.

JEEP: CALL OF ADVENTURE (2) They say the best ideas are often found right in front of you. This is certainly that. And I recognise this challenge – no time, small budget, make use of what we’ve got, do something that grabs attention and get some PR. Given all of that, it’s a smart, cute idea and has got that PR at little cost. But it feels like it could be developed into something more interesting given more time and budget. Maybe that’s coming next. And I understand this was aimed at the existing Jeep community, but it’s asking a lot of anyone, including your own community, to notice this at all with no car or logo visible in the communications. PROPERTY FINDER: YOUR HOME FINDER (3) The strategy makes some sense – the true meaning of home means different things to different people, and we are the people who know those meanings better than anyone. But the campaign feels like that brief made into a film, with a soundtrack and an edit that didn’t make me feel comfort, peace or joy. ‘Home’ is a term filled with such rich and varied cultural and individual meanings. This just feels like a missed opportunity to dive into all (or any) of that. ADIDAS: RUN FOR THE OCEANS BILLBOARD (4) It’s a cool 3D billboard highlighting a very worthy cause. I know the traffic in Downtown can be bad, but how long do you have to look at this before you really notice it and understand what it is showing? I know that’s not the point, but still. PEPSI: THIRSTY FOR MUSIC (5) All in all a great campaign, I am a little jealous of the designs of instruments on the cans.


Title: Switch Off Agency: And Us


Title: Call of Adventure Agency: Publicis Groupe Middle East ECD: Tuki Ghiassi Creative directors: Anton Marais, Mohamed Bareche

Property Finder

Title: Your Home Finder Survey: YouGov Multiple Agencies


Title: Run for the Oceans billboard Agency: Havas Middle East Illustrator: Bureau Beatrice


Title: Thirsty for Music Creative partner: Snap


July 25, 2022

The Spin The Spin is no stranger to brands trying to muscle in on every day of celebration, commemoration or recognition whether it’s relevant to them or not. But we feel the Indianapolis Children’s Museum really should have thought about what they were doing when they tried to hitch their wagon to Juneteenth, the US holiday to commemorate the emancipation of that country’s black slaves in 1865. We signed up for a member’s card at our local Park n Shop supermarket in Dubai so we could revel in the massive membersonly discounts. And golly are we glad we did. Look how much we managed to save on our latest teabag purchase. Cudos to whoever matched this mutilated mannequin with a splendidly suitable tank top. When it comes to presents from Cannes, what do you get for the friends who have everything? One attendee delighted (and only slightly unnerved) the Spin’s colleagues with this gift of personalised… bibs. To be fair, they are among the most unique presents we’ve ever received. And have already saved two shirts and a blouse from stained ignominy, so thank you.

Appointments International influencer marketing agency YKONE appointed ALI CHA’ABAN, a Lebanese-Saudi artist based in Riyadh, as the new creative director of a team based between Riyadh and Dubai. Cha’aban’s work has been exhibited in spaces such as Ayyam in Jeddah, Mark Hachem in Beirut and the Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt in Paris. Cha’aban joined YKONE to accompany the agency’s development in Saudi Arabia. HANNAH CASTLETON has been appointed as account manager at boutique agency, KeenePR. Castleton holds previous experience with hospitality, lifestyle and fashion at Seven Media and Beside Group. She will contribute to and manage the agency’s new Hilton F&B

along with the rest of the agency’s clientele. Augustus Media has announced the promotion of JOSEF OBEID to chief financial officer. Obeid has been a part of Augustus Media since 2015. He has more than 13 years of experience; from starting in the regional finance department at Mindshare MENA in Lebanon to managing the group consolidation financial reports and a transfer to Mindshare Dubai to explore the operational level of the business. Media company Vice Media Group (VMG) has appointed JOSEPH AQUILINA as senior

director and head of experiential across the MEA region. Working out of the Dubai office, Aquilina will serve as part of the global and regional leadership team for VMG. In the newly created role, Aquilina will work closely with Virtue – the creative agency powered by Vice – to maximise opportunities across the VMG ecosystem. NANDITA SAGGU has joined DViO as chief growth officer and will take charge of growth strategies in the Middle East. She will handle the portfolio of service offerings at DViO. Saggu has more than 17 of experience in digital technology and 10 years in the Middle East working with clients across industries to help them scale their business revenues online. She has led digital transformation projects focusing on healthcare, retail and

eCommerce. She has previously led new business acquisitions with digital-tech startups in the region and has a track record of growth in topline revenues. Dentsu has promoted WAEL HAMDAN to chief financial officer for the Middle East and North Africa region. With more than 14 years of experience, Hamdan first joined Dentsu in 2016 as compliance director and has assumed more responsibility throughout the years, being promoted to head of operations, MENA last year. He has held previous roles in both Deloitte and Ernst & Young ,with a career spanning KSA, Lebanon and the UAE.


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