The marketing and advertising resource • February 2011 • Issue N° 74 • www.communicate.ae Both sides of the story: FP7’s Tarek Miknas on agency-client Page 58 partnerships
Print’s charming: Elie Haber and Nizar Abou Saab on the written word Page 28
Numbers up: UM’s Denh Dip talks us through this year’s vital statistics Page 27
opinion Be my friend This month’s Communiquestion asks the industry to give examples of brands using social media well. Answers range from BlackBerrys to broadcasters, but some ask if anyone is doing it right. (Page 16)
radio On station For the first time since MBC began broadcasting in Saudi Arabia, new radio stations have launched in the kingdom. We take a look at what this development will mean for the newcomers, the incumbents, (Page 44) and the advertisers.
list of lists Book of tens Our favorites from Advertising Age’s annual trove of top 10s: apps for iPads and marketer apps for all devices, as well as insights into entertainment marketing, and disruptive trends to look out for (Page 48) this year.
Campaign Cheesy does it
the Money game (Page 63)
Who will win and who will lose in the competition for advertising spend in the region and beyond?
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Lebanon.........L£ 5 000 Morocco.............DH 22 Oman................ OR 1.5
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Syria................... S£ 100 Tunisia................. TD 2.5 U.A.E....................DH 15
FEBRUARY 2011 | LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Short change T
his month’s magazine has a lot of lists in it. We have included a selection of Advertising Age’s annual Book of Tens. Turn to page 48 to find it, with topics ranging from disruptive trends to apps, to more apps, to examples of entertainment marketing. I have also had lists on my mind. As usual, I’ve got a scrap of paper in my back pocket labeled “To do,” with things ranging from replying to e-mails (sorry about that. Really, I am going to get round to it) to getting my washing machine fixed. One of my to-dos was, “Get a haircut.” So last weekend I took myself down to Satwa, and the barbershop I’ve frequented for five years, and sat down for the usual. The barber cut my hair, then strapped a vibrating metal contraption to the back of his hand and proceeded to run it over my head. As he always does. I’ve never quite understood why his clients would desire this, but I try to keep a stiff upper lip and sit bravely through it. That means trying not to sneeze as bits of hair in my nose are shaken about.
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After the vibrating stopped, I left. I had the usual two-on-the-sides-threeon-the-top that a former housemate used to call “the marine.” It’s short, it looks a tad drastic, given how long I leave my hair to grow between cuts, and there is little excess. It’s also cold around the ears. That feeling of nakedness must be why people call a drastic budget reduction a haircut. It’s as violating as when a barber sticks his vibrating finger in your ear. You don’t really want either experience, nor do you ask for it. When the recession hit, a lot of marketing managers felt the draft on their necks. But, like hair, ad spend is growing back, as we find in our cover story on page 24. We speak to the industry to find out which categories will be spending money in what media, and where they will be doing this. My grandfather used to say the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is three days. In terms of advertising spend,
that might be closer to three years, or even more. There may not be a full head of spend yet, but the stubble is getting bushy. And even while that spend is a little thin up top, it seems people are getting used to coping with less. Digital is growing, and has strong roots. While some are using it as a marketing comb-over to compensate for a lack of coverage elsewhere, others are really styling it well. And it looks like it’s not going to fall out any time soon.
Austyn Allison, managing editor email@example.com
CONTENTS | FEBRUARY 2011
COVER: Follow the money
24 26 27 28 30 32 36 38 40 42 43
Communicate speaks to agencies, media, and clients to see where ad spend will be coming from and where it will be going this year What lies ahead: A roundup of what we found out The big picture: Starcom’s Iain Jacob tells us what global trends to look out for Fine figures: UM Lighthouse’s Denh Dip crunches the numbers Print’s charming: Mindshare’s Elie Haber and Nizar Abou Saab say newspapers are here to stay, but they need to get digital fast Ringing bells: Telecoms will be big, says OMD’s Ziad Chalhoub. And keep an eye on Egypt State expectations: Government surpluses will be good for television, says MBC’s Mazen Hayek Raising the bar: Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury is one reason why the marketer is upping its ad spend by 10 percent, says Vishal Tikku Tactical maneuvers: Steve Smith and Mahmoud Al Rashid from ARN say radio is a great media choice for a short, sharp sell In the can: FMCG brands are still filling space left by real estate advertisers, says Aujan’s Ahmed Shaboury Reverse psychology: OMD Beirut’s Maya Bou Ajram says Lebanon is a world apart from the GCC The Gulf between us: Qatar’s cashing in on football, says OMD’s Pravin Pai, while PHD Abu Dhabi’s Fadi Chamat says some things will remain a mystery
SPECIAL REPORT: Book of Tens 48
A selection from Ad Age’s annual list of lists Taking the tablets: Which apps impressed on Apple’s iPad
50 52 56
Shake it up: NM Incite’s Pete Blackshaw on the disruptive trends that will shape 2011 Primal screen: Lessons in entertainment marketing Brands in the hand: Marketer apps have moved beyond the iPhone
NEWS 10 11 12
What lies beneath: La Senza is selling saucy smalls to a sensitive society Print. Medialeader wins Al Watan representation Agencies. Smith takes OgilvyAction top creative role Digital. IPad owners prefer advertising to pay model
We ask the industry: What’s a good example of a brand using social media well?
FEATURES 44 46
Radio. Tuning in: What effect will Saudi Arabia’s new stations have on the industry? Marketing. Fat chance: Brands could be missing out on a whole lot of potential spend by not addressing obese consumers
DEPARTMENTS 58 59 62 66
Guest Opinion. Hand-in-hand: Fortune Promoseven’s Tarek Miknas says agencies and their clients can achieve more if they work as a team Media Work. Balls in the sky and a flash in the eyes Work. Selection from the regional and international creative scenes The Dish. Coffee, chips and quotation marks
FEBRUARY 2011 Published by: Medialeader FZ/MediaquestCorp Medialeader, P O Box 72184, Dubai Media City, Al Thuraya Tower 2, Office 2402, Dubai, Tel: (971) 4 391 0760
CO-CEO Alexandre Hawari CO-CEO Julien Hawari MANAGING DIRECTOR Ayman Haydar CFO Abdul Rahman Siddiqui GENERAL MANAGER Simon O’Herlihy CREATIVE DIRECTOR Aziz Kamel DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTION DIRECTOR JP Nair, firstname.lastname@example.org MARKETING MANAGER Maya Kerbage, email@example.com KSA GM Tarek Abu Hamzy, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +966 1 4194061 LEBANON GM Nathalie Bontems, email@example.com, Tel: +961 1 492801 NORTH AFRICA GM Adil Abdel Wahab, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +213 661 562 660 FRANCE SALES DIRECTOR
Manuel Dias, email@example.com, Tel: +33 1 4766 46 00
6 I Communicate
FOUNDER Yasser Hawari MANAGING DIRECTOR Julien Hawari GROUP MANAGING EDITOR Siobhan Adams MANAGING EDITOR Austyn Allison JOURNALIST Sidra Tariq CONTRIBUTOR Rania Habib SENIOR SUB EDITOR Elizabeth McGlynn SUB EDITOR Salil Kumar ART DIRECTOR Sheela Jeevan ART CONTRIBUTORS Jean-Christophe Nys, Aya Farhat EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Manuel Dias, Maguy
Panagga, Catherine Dobarro, Randa Khoury, Lila Schoepf, Laurent Bernard PRINTERS Raidy Printing Group ADVERTISING The Gulf MEDIALEADER, PO Box 72184, Dubai Media City, Al Thuraya Tower 2, Office 2402, Dubai, Tel: (971) 4 391 0760, Fax: (971) 4 390 8737, firstname.lastname@example.org Lebanon Peggy El-Zyr email@example.com, Tel: (961) 149 2801 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Walid Ramadan, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (966) 1 419 40 61, Ghassan A. Rbeiz, email@example.com, Fax: (966) 1 419 41 32, P.O.Box: 14303, Riyadh 11424, Europe S.C.C Arabies, 18, rue de Varize, 75016 Paris, France, Tel: (33) 01 47 664600, Fax: (33) 01 43 807362, Lebanon MEDIALEADER Beirut, Lebanon, Tel: (961) 1 202 369, Fax: (961) 1 202 369 WEBSITE www.communicate.ae
FEBRUARY 2011 | SHORTS
What you don’t see
Communicate finds out how one lingerie brand tries to be out there, without causing outrage by Sidra Tariq
rendy in. Sexy out. No, we’re not talking about Communicate’s 2011 wardrobe. We are referring to a recent La Senza radio advertisement where the word “sexy” was replaced with “trendy” to suit the region’s – you got it – cultural sensitivities. The ad was part of the lingerie brand’s campaign to promote the makeover of its Mall of the Emirates store in Dubai. La Senza is part of Canadian company Limited Brands and is represented in the Arab region by Liwa Trading Enterprises. The self-censorship in La Senza’s campaign doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, this is the region where we can see headless (by law) mannequins in Sharjah, and where the franchise of US company Naked Pizza is renamed NKD Pizza. For the UAE market, the La Senza radio ad goes a little like this. “ABCDEFG, make my Cs into double Ds. Sassy? Trendy? Which one’s for me? There’s a store where all’s revealed…” “Sexy was definitely not allowed,” says Joanne Jow, regional brand manager at Liwa Trading Enterprises. “We tried to replace it with ‘flirty’ and
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we were told [by our media agency] that it would be better not to use flirty either.” However, she says changing the word in the radio script wasn’t a problem. When you have to market a product such as lingerie in the region, you have to keep cultural sensitivities in mind, and this forces marketers to be creative in terms of strategy. Across La Senza’s markets, the message is the same, but the approach is different, says Jow. “In terms of marketing, the imagery and strategy is directed or deemed by the principles. However, the imagery that is allowed to be used in a Western country, let’s say the UK or US, is obviously very different from what we can use here. We take the marketing and direction from Limited Brands, then tailor it to suit this market, ensuring we consider cultural sensitivity.” “For example, the current promotion may be a panty promotion, which will have an image of a model wearing panties. That would be permitted in certain countries, but obviously not here. So to market the product here, we would crop the
image or use a different marketing strategy,” she says. La Senza applied the same principle in promoting the new look of its Mall of the Emirates store. As opposed to a full-length image, the banner in the store’s display features the cropped image of a model wearing a baby doll (a short nightgown). “We have cropped the image just beneath the bottom of the baby doll so there is no leg showing,” says Jow. “In other countries, such as Kuwait, the cropped version wouldn’t be accepted either. There we would probably go for a message,” she adds. “We have also done marketing where we used the products on the mannequin and the message on the window banner to communicate, as opposed to the image.” Other cities in the region are more conservative than Dubai. Neighboring Sharjah, for example, issued a circular in 2008 dictating mannequins should be headless and model “decent” clothing. “In Sharjah, as a rule, we wouldn’t display bras and panties on a mannequin in the window,” says Jow. “And on the window banners, we’ll be permit-
ted to use the image of the bra as opposed to an image of a model wearing a bra.” In print, La Senza grades its advertising. The brand used different ads for different magazines to promote the store. For the not-so-conservative ones, such as OK Middle East, La Senza used a cropped image of a model wearing a bra. For the reasonably conservative magazines, the baby doll image, cropped at the bottom of the nightdress, was used. The advertisements featured in conservative magazines, such as Sayidaty and Ahlan Arabic, had a black background with a message printed across it. Since the campaign promoted rummagable drawers in the store, copy included, “Wanna go through my drawers?” kMarketers everywhere must be creative in their messaging, regardless of the brand they are selling. In the Arab World, they simply have to go one step further to develop witty campaigns that appeal to customers without offending them. So we may not see sexy or flirty. But what we can hope for is some hot ideas from turned-on marketers.
Commmunicate 750 Elite SP 330x240-E.indd 1
1/27/11 1:58 PM
FEBRUARY 2011 | REGIONAL NEWS
Medialeader acquires representation rights for Saudi Arabia’s Al Watan
Communicate’s parent company to focus its marketing efforts for the newspaper in the GCC and Levant – and further afield
Dubai. Medialeader, the media representation arm of Communicate’s parent company, Mediaquest Corp., has obtained the rights to be the sole media representative of Al Watan newspaper, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading Arabic dailies with a circulation of 210,000. Hatim Hamed Mouminah (pictured above, right), CEO of Aseer Establishment for Publishing and Printing, which publishes Al Watan, says, “We have chosen Medialeader to help us
I ADVERTISING Leo Burnett wins Rainbow Milk Dubai. D a i r y f i r m F r i e s l a n d Campina has appointed Leo Burnett Dubai to build and grow the Rainbow Milk brand across the
10 I Communicate
tap a growing list of advertisers who want to exploit the huge potential afforded by the Saudi market.” Alexandre Hawari (pictured above, left), co-CEO of Medialeader, says his company will focus its marketing efforts for Al Watan in the GCC and Levant, as well as markets further afield. “We will provide advertisers from all over the world the opportunity to target consumers and businesses in Saudi Arabia,” he says.
Another Mediaquest Corp. company, Dotmena, meanwhile, has launched its new website, Dotmena.com. Dotmena is a network of more than 30 websites, with nearly 200 million page impressions per month and 14 million unique users. Dotmena recently added Spreadmycv.com to the sites it represents. That site bills itself as “the region’s first free job board for both job-seekers and employers.”
GCC and Yemen. The agency scooped the account without a pitch, and will be responsible for all Rainbow Milk products, including UHT, evaporated and sweet condensed milk, and instant milk powder.
Burnett will provide a full-service account, including strategic brand planning, creative development, and digital capabilities. Kamal Dimachkie (pictured), managing director of Leo Burnett Dubai, Kuwait and the Lower Gulf, says in a statement, “Rainbow Milk is a brand that people have grown up with in the region. It is always challenging to work with an established brand because the bar is that much higher, but Leo Burnett brings to the table its human lens.” “We have used this lens to show FrieslandCampina that by breaking down the categories of the consumer, by dissecting the consumer’s hopes, fears, aspirations, and inherent competitive streak, we can give the brand’s advertising a new direction,” he adds.
Andrew Pound appointed Mindshare regional director Dubai. Mindshare has announced the appointment of Andrew Pound as regional director of strategic business planning. He will be responsible for officially launching the business planning function of Mindshare’s services. Samir Ayoub, CEO of Mindshare in the MENA region, says, “The appointment of Andrew is to add value to our clients’ business beyond the traditional media services, and also to further improve the strategic thinking of our client leadership directors across the region.” Pound has previously worked with Mars, Kraft, and Unilever across Europe, North America, and the Middle East and Africa region. K I MEDIA
Afghanistan’s Moby Group opens Dubai operation Dubai. Dubai Studio City (DSC) last month announced that Moby Group, an Afghanistan-based, privately owned media company, has established its regional headquarters in the free zone serving the film and broadcast production industries. A statement from DSC says, “Established in 2002, the Moby Group has spearheaded significant changes in the media landscape and continues to drive innovative development of projects that reach, educate, and entertain through its media, content, and production companies. “The Moby Group dominates the Afghan media market with a
REGIONAL NEWS | FEBRUARY 2011
combined 80 percent market share. Its Tolo TV and Lemar TV lead the Afghan television market with more than 60 percent audience reach, while Arman FM is the most popular entertainment radio station in Afghanistan.”
Robin Smith gets top creative role at OgilvyAction
MBC 1’s Kalam Nawaem talk show hosts US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Dunhill rolls out global advertising campaign in the region Picture agency Corbis Selects ArabianEye as representative in the Middle East and North Africa Abu Dhabi Radio Network launches iPhone app to let users tune in from their mobiles Twofour54 tadreeb signs memorandum of understanding with Bahrain Information Affairs Authority Dubai. OgilvyAction MENA, the brand activation network of the Memac Ogilvy Group, has announced the promotion of Robin Smith, creative director of OgilvyAction in Dubai, to the newly created position of regional creative director for the Middle East and North Africa. The network has offices in Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Jeddah, Tunis, Riyadh and Dubai. Claus Adams, regional director at OgilvyAction, says, “Robin has played an enormous role in raising the reputation of OgilvyAction in the region. He brings a wealth of big brand activation expertise, a proven track record of awards, and the eagerness to play a major
role in creating big ideas that sell. With him on board, we have the very best candidate in place to strengthen our creative product in a growing number of offices.” Under Smith’s leadership, the Dubai team developed award-winning ideas like the BP Visco’s Dustvertising campaign, which won a Grand Prix at the Dubai Lynx 2010 in the Direct & Sales Promotion category, and the agency won two Gold Effies for the launch of Ponds in 2009. Ben Knight has taken over Smith’s previous job. Knight has been with the agency in Dubai for two years, after transferring from OgilvyAction UK.
Mouzannar has worked on campaigns such as the Hariri Foundation’s “Khede Khasra,” Pert Plus’
“Stop the suffering,” and flower shop Exotica “Make a move.” In 2009, the Big One report ranked him as the 29th most awarded executive creative director worldwide. Raja Trad, CEO of Leo Burnett MENA, says in a statement, “Farid has been a long-standing pillar of inspiration, instrumental in shaping Leo Burnett in the region and elevating the standards of creativity in the industry.” Trad calls Mouzannar “a gifted visionary, a powerful strategic thinker, and a natural creative leader.”
I AGENCIES Bechara Mouzannar named new chief creative officer at Leo Burnett MENA Dubai. Bechara Mouzannar (pictured) is the new chief creative officer at Leo Burnett MENA. Previously regional executive creative director, Mouzannar replaces Farid Chehab. Chehab, who founded H&C advertising before it partnered with Leo Burnett in 1981, will assume the role of honorary chairman and adviser to the MENA management board.
Al Hurra launches Best of Al Youm Limelight Middle East wins Ethos Consultancy PR account
Redundancies at ADMC Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Media Company, the government-backed corporation behind The National and Al Ittihad newspapers, and Abu Dhabi TV among other media, has laid off several members of staff. The exact number hasn’t been revealed, but a company spokeswoman says it is fewer than 100. Staff received an e-mail from Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, ADMC’s chairman, on January 6, warning the redundancies were to be announced, saying, “To continue to be successful we need to evolve as an organization, which is why the board and myself have mandated the senior management team to continue to develop the company as a commercial business.” Carat wins Deutsche Bank Dubai. Media agency Carat MENA has begun working with Deutsche Bank, and the first campaign recently went live. The above-the-line businessto-business campaign promoting Deutsche Bank in the Middle East targets institutional investors and high-level decision makers in corporate institutions. It works on Deutsche Bank’s global message, “Passion to perform.” Deutsche Bank is a global alignment for Carat, with a local client. This is the first campaign Carat MENA has launched. The campaign will be pan-Arab with a focus on Saudi and the UAE.
Ipsos results underscore Arabian Radio Network successes for 2010 Farsi 1 TV scales new heights of popularity with international dramas and TV series ADMC’s Al Barq launches Doohinsights.com blog, dedicated to digital out-of-home advertising Brag creates “Freezer” from Heineken from used shipping crates Four Communications acquires BGB
Go to our Web site for the full stories: www.communicate.ae
Communicate I 11
FEBRUARY 2011 | INTERNATIONAL NEWS
IPad users prefer advertising to pay model In a survey conducted by online research company Knowledge Networks, 86 percent of iPad owners said they would be willing to watch ads to gain access to free content such as TV shows or magazine and newspaper articles. In practice, iPad users download an average of 24 apps, and of those, only six, or about a quarter, are paid. “That was part of what was surprising,” says Knowledge Networks CEO Simon Kooyman. “Not as many people are willing to pay for magazine or news content as we thought would.” Only about 13 percent of those surveyed said they were willing to pay any fee to watch a TV program or read a magazine on the iPad to which they already have access, and they were only willing to pay an extra $2.60 on average for that content.
UK to tighten regulations for paid Tweets and sponsored posts The UK’s consumer watchdog agency is clamping down on endorsements by bloggers and social networkers, who will now be required to state any relationship they have with a product. The move brings UK Twitter regulations in line with those in the US, where the Federal Trade Commission requires that Twitter endorsements include the words “ad” or “spon” (for “sponsored”) to flag their status. The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has ruled that Handpicked Media, a company that represents the commercial interests of bloggers from the world of fashion, beauty, cul-
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© Getty/ images
Survey reveals 86 percent would watch ads to receive free content
Interestingly, despite the hype around the emergence of apps both as a form of content and a business model, iPad users primarily use the device like a home computer. The ture, food, and lifestyle, has been operating in breach of the Consumer Protection Regulations. The OFT does not give specific details of the case or cases investigated. Celebrities have so far been Tweeting freely in the UK about products they are being paid to endorse. Actress Elizabeth Hurley, who has worked with Estée Lauder for 17 years, regularly mentions the company’s products in her Tweets but without declaring her relationship with the company. Last month, Hurley defended her position by Tweeting, “It’s hardly a secret that I work for Estée Lauder. Love telling u about their products – they’re the best xx.” Lenovo selects Saatchi for new global branding campaign After a final-round pitch that included presentations at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, Lenovo has chosen a new global agency partner, Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi. According to executives familiar with the situation, the shop beat stiff competition from MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter & Bogusky and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, which has handled Lenovo’s line of “Think”-branded products since the computer maker purchased IBM’s PC division in 2005.
most commonly used feature is search, with 97 percent of people saying they regularly use Google on iPad, followed closely by Web browsing and e-mail at 91 percent.
Agencies referred calls to Lenovo, which confirmed Saatchi’s appointment to the roster, while also noting that it doesn’t mean a parting of ways with Ogilvy. “We selected Saatchi & Saatchi to develop a new branding campaign for us, and this is an additional piece of business for us,” a spokesman told Ad Age. “Our existing agency relationship with Ogilvy will continue as is.” Facebook books $1.86 billion in advertising
It turns out Facebook is a lot like Google after all. As the social network steams past 650 million global users, its business is looking more like Google’s in that the majority of its ad sales now come from small- and
Media apps, however, are used at a much lower rate, with 70 percent of people saying they regularly read books on iPad, 66 percent saying they listen to music on it. Sixty one percent read magazines and newspapers, and around 50 percent watch TV or movies. With regard to magazines, which in many ways have flocked to iPad more heartily than other media, the survey found that about 14 percent of users would be willing to pay to get a special iPad edition of a magazine they already receive in print. About 12 percent said they would be willing to pay a small additional fee for a magazine they already get, while only 1 percent said they would pay the same as the cover price of a magazine they already have for the iPad version. medium-size companies that make use of its self-serve ad system, a model that has turned Google into a $200 billion behemoth over the past decade. According to an estimate from eMarketer, Facebook took in $1.86 billion in worldwide advertising revenue for 2010, an 86 percent increase over the company’s estimated 2009 advertising revenue of $740 million worldwide. Not surprisingly, the majority of that, $1.21 billion, was earned inside the US. But what is surprising is the majority of revenue, 60 percent or $1.12 billion, was earned from smaller companies in 2010, those more likely to be using self-serve tools rather than work through a media agency. That’s greater than the $740 million coming from major marketers such as Coke, P&G, and Match.com. The estimate adds weight to the leaked revenue figures that came out of the company’s recent funding round with Goldman Sachs, which could put as much as $2 billion into Facebook’s coffers without an IPO. Reuters reported that, based on Goldman’s offering plan, the company had made $1.2 billion in the first nine months of the year, suggesting that an annual run-rate of $2 billion is a little high.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | OPINION
We ask the industry: What’s a good example of a brand (in the region or abroad) using social media well? DUNCAN JAMES Consulting director, The Brand Union Middle East One of the most original (and earliest) uses of social media was during the launch of BlackBerry. They wanted to show their handset was one for exclusive movers and shakers and that e-mails can be sent on the go. But how to show that a CEO is using a BlackBerry, and is not at his desk? They put “Sent from my Blackberry wireless device” on the bottom of every e-mail, using the one thing every CEO treasures, and almost impossible to target: his network of influencers. MARWAN QUTUB CEO and co-founder, 3Points Advertising An impressive example is Lomar, the thobe (traditional attire for men in the Gulf region; also called kandura in the UAE or dishdasha in the West) brand. The fashion brand is a success story from Saudi Arabia that created global buzz. The company’s slogan is, “Thobe redefined.” Not only did Lomar redefine the thobe in terms of design and variety, it also changed the way a local brand is marketed to build a fan base. Since its launch in 2005, it has changed the game of thobe selling. Lomar stands for change and creativity and is an icon of product
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breakthrough in the Gulf. On their home page, they have a link to their Facebook page. On a social media level, Lomar’s Facebook page is very active in connecting with consumers. The company addresses complaints, generates suggestions, and communicates launches and offers. It added a lot to help it connect with its fans on multiple levels. HUBERT BOULOS Head of strategic planning, JWT For me, the brands that best use social media are the ones that create ideas that make people want to play with them. The best example of the past year is the Petit Bateau application on Facebook. The company created a video clip with statuses printed on a Petit Bateau T-shirt. Brilliant. It was specific to Facebook, personalized, and relevant to the product. The whole video was about Petit Bateau T-shirts (obviously intended to be posted on your wall, passed on and shared by millions). Another great example, although not social mediaspecific, is the Tipp-Ex viral ad that revived what was probably a dying brand and that was passed on by millions of people all over the world, mostly over Facebook. The viral ad allowed people to type any scenario they
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1/26/11 5:43 PM
FEBRUARY 2011 | OPINION
SMILING HAPPY PEOPLE. Coca-Cola ambassadors visited 186 countries to seek out what makes people cheery wanted to end a story, and it instantly showed your scenario. You could repeat it as much as you want. It definitely put Tipp-Ex back on people’s minds. Other than that, from the region, I would stick with the choice of the 2010 Effies jury (which I was part of), who awarded Standard Chartered the Grand Prix for its UAE Food Explorer, a very smart way to promote a credit card in a market with the highest penetration of credit cards in the world. DAVID PORTER Media director, Unilever MENA You know a campaign is great when your first reaction is jealousy at not having thought of it yourself. Last year’s most impressive work in terms of scale and brand relevance has to be Coca-Cola’s “Expedition 206.” Three brand ambassadors visited 186 countries in a year to “seek out what makes people happy around the world,” and recorded their experiences at Expedition206.com and via Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. TONY ORSTEN CEO, twofour54 My nomination is Al Gore. He is a brand as well as a person and his Tweets are amazing. For example, “@aIgore I was wrong about that whole global warming thing… sorry. I just really like attention… and fatty foods… mostly fatty foods though!” (OK, so it’s not the real Al Gore then…) KAMAL DIMACHKIE Managing director, UAE, Kuwait and Lower Gulf, Leo Burnett Wieden + Kennedy’s Isaiah Mustafa campaign took the social Web by storm. It has leveraged a wide diversity of social media and won over even the coldest of hearts. I am not aware of a campaign that has won as much international acclaim in as short a time. It’s definitely my favorite.
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RAMZI RAAD Chairman & CEO, TBWA\Raad Although the Pepsi “Refresh” campaign in the US is a great example of the use of social media in building a dynamic new brand story, and although this example is the work of TBWA\Chiat\Day in LA, my nomination goes to Standard Chartered Bank, in our own market, for breaking new ground in a conservative category using social media. For 15 percent cashback or dining, the bank launched the “UAE Food Explorer”– an online program that inspires people to eat out and review restaurants, forming the first local dining community. Its marketing success was crowned with the only Grand Prix in advertising effectiveness at the 2010 GEMAS Effies last November. The bank also launched a successful online game during Ramadan, titled My Majlis ,to ensure engagement and position its products in a unique manner befitting the regular dwellers of the holy month’s majlises. Standard Chartered Bank is an avid user of Facebook. It engages with the community and has more than 15,000 fans. EDMOND MOUTRAN Chairman and CEO, Memac Ogilvy In this region, we are still coming to grips with how to use social media in today’s world. The biggest failing that we have as an industry and as marketers is that we still look at social media as a tactical tool to be used in conjunction with our campaigns. In fact, when a brand decides to get involved in social media, the decision must be taken at the highest level, with the plan totally integrated into the marketing and business strategy of that particular brand. The one brand that does this, and does it well, is Best Buy. The company has used the power of social media to take its brand to the next level by truly integrating the benefits of social media into its core offering.
OPINION | FEBRUARY 2011
SUCCESS STORY. Ikea used the existing functionality of Facebook to connect people, the brand, and its products YVES-MICHEL GABAY General manager, MEC MENA Honestly, there are a lot of brands that are playing well in the social media field. One of them is probably the small chain of restaurants called Wild Peeta, which is using only social media to advertise. But my favorite is Sony Ericsson, which launched a contest for the launch of the X10 in the region: “Participate in Writing the Longest Online Story & get a Chance to Win an X10 Mobile Phone.” X10 Longest Online Story competition was a unique digital experience, where participants were asked to post lines to build the longest online story in the history of the Internet and enroll for a new Guinness World Record. I don’t know if they managed to enter the record books, but I found the idea pretty cool, and I received a lot of connections from a lot of friends. So I definitely had a good feeling for this smartphone.
The “Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes” initiative has given brand Abu Dhabi a very cost-effective photo library, and for the end user, a great opportunity to participate in a photography contest. It works well in social media because it generates a mutually rewarding conversation between the brand and the community. There are various other interesting initiatives that OBAD has undertaken as part of its social media strategy.
SAM HUSAINI Managing director, Impact BBDO Abu Dhabi “Social media:” Another marketing lexicon that has found prominence in a lot of meetings and presentations without the required understanding of what this new science is really all about. With this backdrop, my vote goes to the Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi (OBAD) as being a very good example of using social media well. For starters, it has understood that social media is not just about having a Facebook group, nor is it just about being digitally active. It has created a two-way dialogue with its defined target through the opportunity to create meaningful user-generated content.
MONICA SHINA Group manager for brand PR, P&G Gulf Apart from the Old Spice “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign, another campaign that is a good example of how a brand has used social media in a creative way is Skittles. Skittles UK launched a challenge for its more than one million “Dazzle the Rainbow” Facebook fans by asking them to drown a man called Davis Phoenix in candy, with fans tuning in to watch. The challenge featured Phoenix, who announced his intention (via a series of videos) to survive being buried by more than two million Skittles. Skittles fans headed to Facebook and tuned in to the live stream, which caused more and more candy to rain down on
LEX BRADSHAW-ZANGER Regional director for digital strategy and innovation, Leo Burnett The Ikea Facebook campaign (not because of my Swedish heritage), because of its ingenuity and simplicity. Instead of building an application, the company used the existing functionality of the platform to connect people, the brand, and its products. It was such a success that Facebook has tightened up on these campaigns since then.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | OPINION
Phoenix. This is such a clever way of using social media to engage digital users to draw attention to the brand and create more brand fans. SAWSAN GHANEM Managing director, Active PR I have been impressed with Cobone’s social media campaign over a very short period of time. I’ve found the simplicity of its campaign and consistency in frequency both engaging and impactful on many levels. These include keeping the brand top-of-mind and drawing visitors to its website to check out the latest in impressive market deals from amazing cut-price spa offers, places to see and eat at and more, to the extent that checking out the offers can become something of a regular, if not daily, habit. DIMITRI METAXAS Executive regional director of digital, OMG Abu Dhabi Sports’ “Football Arabia” social media presence for its English Premier League coverage. Good utilization of (admittedly extensive) content, applications, and debates, resulting in an active and engaged community. Well integrated with other digital activities, the communities are driving insights, and social media has been used for driving online subscriptions, proving that it can be a sales driver. ALI ALI Creative director, Elephant Cairo I don’t think I know of a brand (in our region) that is making effective use of social media. And if there is one, I just haven’t seen it. Embracing social media doesn’t mean throwing Web banners all over Facebook or developing a silly Facebook App that ticks your box, but no one ever bothers with. To get into social media, brands need to get social. Brands are like people, and to get social they need to
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get friendly. Until that happens, they will remain a decorative/distractive lump in the social media landscape. They should make you feel like you want to go out for a beer with them. Otherwise, why in the world would you bother spending time with them, let alone send them snapshots of your latest trip to Brazil. Consumers are willing to listen to us as long as we’re willing to listen to them. FADI CHAMAT General manager, PHD Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi Sports TV for the launch of its new English Premier League subscription packages. In six months, it managed to rally 160,000 football fans on Facebook, making it the largest online football community in the Middle East. The site is highly interactive, with some posts receiving 1,000 interactions a day. Not only has the community enhanced Abu Dhabi Sports’ equity as a premium choice for football viewing, but it also contributed to exceeding subscription targets for the TV operator through continuous dialogue with fans and subscribers (40 percent of current fans are paid subscribers). NASSIB BOUERI CEO, Y&R & Wunderman One of the best examples that comes to mind is the Haiti Relief Appeal: Through the use of mobile, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, International News Networks, and the world’s blogger community, more than $7 million was collected in mobile donations. Facebook saw nearly 1,500 updates per minute, not to mention the number of people who volunteered to support the rescuers, doctors and non-governmental organizations in their efforts. We witnessed what people can do given the means to connect and communicate.
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1/21/11 2:54 PM
FEBRUARY 2011 | OPINION
BOLD IDEA. Burger King challenged the core of social media by asking people to sacrifice friends in order to get Whoppers DAN STUART CEO and co-founder, GoNabit.com NKD Pizza and Nahel.com both use social media as an extension of their customer engagement, rather than a broadcasting platform to blast their message. The key to developing a credible and valuable social media presence is to listen, understand and participate in the conversation in a real way, which is something that both these brands do very well. YOUSEF TUQAN TUQAN CEO, Flip Media Successful engagement with social media needs more than a Twitter page. It demands that a brand is relevant and personal enough to allow consumers to build real, meaningful relationships in their mind. For me, there is no better embodiment of this than Nike+. It’s real, personal, and completely human-powered. PAUL KENNY CEO and founder, Cobone.com Samsung has really embraced social media in the region and is reaching out to customers through this medium. The company is quick to respond to customer feedback and seems to adapt its approach depending on what the public needs. Delivering what the customer wants is key and adapting to changes in the market as part of a great social media campaign. MOUNIR HARFOUCHE CEO, Lowe MENA Last year saw a considerable number of brands in the Middle East jump on the Web 2.0 social media bandwagon. But there are only a few doing these intelligently and
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efficiently. Samsung is one of them. This tech brand has taken the “go social” message to the next level by not just listening to the customers using online tools, or by offering them comprehensive and accessible tech guidance and customer service online, but also by incorporating consumer opinion in its marketing decisions. ELIE HABER Managing director, Mindshare Of course, Burger King and its Facebook Sacrifice application in the US was a hit. How could Burger King prove that the Whopper was a success? Obviously, by testing how far people would go for a free Whopper. And therefore, it put the love to the test. What do you love more: your friends or the Whopper? Burger King challenged the core of social media, which is about adding friends, by asking people to sacrifice 10 friends and get a Whopper as a reward. This was really audacious from BK, new, fun and, most importantly, it worked. Almost 250,000 friends were sacrificed before Facebook stopped the application. CHOUCRALLAH ABOU SAMRA Managing director, OMG KSA Mobily’s Facebook page is the most prominent in the Saudi market with more than 173,000 fans. This is the result of regular and proactive customer support, as well as keeping consumers and stakeholders up to speed with developments at Mobily. The page has helped in creating high levels of engagement, which is noticeable in the high number of interactions, messages and comments. Mobily is also active on Twitter and LinkedIn, helping it focus on key market segments
© Getty Images
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© Getty/Gallo Images
COVER STORY | FEBRUARY 2011
Dishing out the dollars We see what’s on the menu for media spend. Who’s expecting a healthy meal, and who’s still on the bread line by Sidra Tariq
dvertising spend has been, let’s face it, in a bad way over the past few years. Brands in the region and around the world slashed their advertising budgets at the onset of the financial crisis, and many have not yet returned to their previous level of spend. But this year will be a time for brands to review their advertising decisions. While some sectors in the region are expected to remain conservative with their media budgets, others are poised to step up their advertising efforts. We decided to see what the industry’s predictions were for this year. So we spoke to industry experts, media owners, brands, and buyers to find out what they think 2011 has in store in terms of advertising spend. We looked at three aspects of ad spend: the sectors that will be spending more or less this year; media channels that will see more or less of that spend; and the markets advertisers will be focusing on. In the following pages you can read what they told us. According to the 2009-2013 Arab Media Outlook report, prepared by the Dubai Press Club and consultancy firm Value Partners early last year, “Advertising revenues will return to their pre-crisis, 2008 levels by the end of 2011, and will continue to see growth at a compound annual rate of 8 percent from 2009 until 2013.” While the experts Communicate spoke to didn’t expect advertising to reach the heights of 2008, they were generally optimistic for this year, partly due to stabilization in the market through 2010. Some expect surpluses in state budgets and government spending to be a driver for economic growth, which could, in time, translate into an increase in advertising. Others disagree.
BIG SPENDERS. By and large, there is consensus on which sectors will be gearing up their advertising this year. The telecommunications and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries are expected to be big spenders. Those two industries have managed to keep their feet on the ground in the past few years and have been spending consistently. Last month’s cover story (see “Hold the line,” page 22, Communicate, Jan. 2011) looked at the lucrative telecoms sector, and in the following pages we speak to two big players in the FMCG market, Aujan and Kraft. The automotive industry will also be back in the game with an increase in budget, and luxury brands’ spend is unlikely to decrease. Banking and financial institutions around the region suffered a big blow in the economic downturn, but should slowly reappear. Meanwhile, the sector least likely to get its wallet out or reach anywhere near the heights of 2008 is property, which includes many of the brands hardest hit by the financial meltdown. In terms of media, TV will take the lion’s share of the advertising pie, with a number of organizations allocating more than 50 percent of their media budgets to television advertising. Experts expect to see more consolidation of budgets, where instead of advertising on several channels, the focus will be on a few select ones. SOCIAL TREND. Digital will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate, driven mostly by social media and search marketing. Although television will take the majority of media money, digital will grow faster. Many expect it to move into double-digit market share of above-the-line spending this year.
The total online spend in the Arab region, according to the Arab Media Outlook report, was $56 million in 2009, growing substantially to $266 million by 2013. In 2011, the figure is forecast to be around $171 million. Those we spoke to say this increase in spend and interest will greatly affect print titles, which will be forced to increase their digital offerings to reinforce their brands and attract progressive advertisers. Outdoor advertising will remain the sickly cousin in the media family, as its major source of spend, the real estate sector, is still struggling to get back on its feet. Even though the region has seen FMCG brands and telcos increase their outdoor spend, the medium is not expected to pick up soon. Radio, on the other hand, will do relatively well in 2011, thanks to its strength as a tactical medium, good for promotions and local targeting. In 2011, most brands will direct their advertising at GCC countries, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE remaining priority markets. Saudi’s population of almost 26 million is still a major attraction for marketers hoping to tap into its niche markets. Aside from GCC countries, Egypt will emerge as a focal point, while Iraq and Syria are also moving on to the radar. With a few ups and downs, 2011 looks to be the year when marketers come out of their shells to take more risks. At the same time, they will be making their advertising more targeted and focused. While certain media channels’ share of the spend will grow, to the detriment of others, a multiplatform approach – where advertisers try to reach their audience through different touch points – will be the strategy most marketers choose.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
The end of online
Iain Jacob, CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Starcom MediaVest Group, takes a global overview and tells us it’s time to stop asking old questions about digital advertising
On categories that are spending For us, technology businesses are growing rapidly. People like Samsung, RIM BlackBerry, and Oracle… from how we saw it, the recession didn’t hit them too hard. Rather than using just traditional advertising, they are looking at new ways of connecting with people. That’s unsurprising, given the category they are in. We have an enormous footprint in FMCGs because of Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Mars Wrigley (and I’ll include GlaxoSmithKline within that – the health-orientated, over-the-counter stuff). Those have come back because they are highly productive companies and know what they are doing. They slowed down for a year or 18 months, but have come back. That’s driven a lot of the return to spend, just because of the enormous scale of it.
IAIN JACOB. CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Starcom MediaVest Group
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On digital The question, “What should we be doing in digital?” is running out of road. Globally we are now getting to the next stage, where everything is already digital. So the conversation about “Do we do some digital?” has almost become the wrong conversation to be having. It’s not about a client having a digital strategy; it’s about a client having a strategy for a digital world. It frames the way you think about how I, as a client, want to engage with you, as one of my customers. Big advertisers need to embrace, and are embracing, a switch. It used to be that a company works up its brand proposition, then pipes it out to the thankful consumer. But now I have
to figure out how to better serve your needs in a digital environment because you’ve got freedom of choice, freedom of content (you can switch content on and off, switch me on and off) and, therefore, I have to have a completely different approach to how I serve you. An analogue example is Starbucks. The company has become a pre-eminent user of social approaches. It was getting complaints about its shops, and the quality of its coffee. Most advertisers would try to shut that conversation down or quietly adjust to it, whereas Starbucks flipped it on its head and actually used this listening strategy to develop its own products. So it drew in opinion, and responded to it. In the car business, when you get to develop your marketing, you can move in that direction as well. In America, rather than just serving you an ad – “Cuy this GM car” – we use behavioral understanding of where you have been and what you’ve done. You might have been on a website, and you might have checked out a particular type of car; therefore, you might have given some information to us about what you want – a family car, four doors, etcetera. By tracking that, we can serve you a bit of content that is absolutely attuned to where we think you are in your purchase journey. On regions spending more Nothing here I say will surprise you. Where there is growth in GDP, growth in client profit, you get growth in ad spend. The Middle East, China, Asia, South America. Russia got hit very hard, and very quickly, by the financial recession, but the country has now bounced back. Poland, as another example of a big market, never really had a recession. It slowed down a bit, and seems to be bouncing back. Interestingly, America bounced back quickly last year. Now, what that’s going to look like for the next 12 months, God only knows. It might have been a dead-cat bounce. But it has bounced back. In America we grew significantly last year. On expansion in Africa Africa is a longer-term play. We are involved, as are all the holding companies, and we’re active in sub-Saharan Africa. But I’ve got to say we’re probably investing for the three-to-five-year cycle, as opposed to this year. We are absolutely convinced it will become a volume play, and I think we have learned a lot from the Middle East, which will help us in a market like Africa. In the Middle East, the way [Starcom] has structured our operations is we got in early on ownership, and were very transparent, very bluechip-company-user-friendly. Those things have been enormously important in building the mammoth company we have here.
COVER STORY | FEBRUARY 2011
Denh Dip, director of UM’s insight arm, Lighthouse, tells us real estate is finally making way for brands prepared to engage with their consumers On geography Three markets to look out for in 2011 are Syria, Bahrain, and Oman. The bigger markets of Saudi Arabia and the UAE have dominated investment up until recently, but with investments in both markets slowing down, other markets have benefitted from the reallocation of funds. Syria, Bahrain, and Oman have seen more than 30 percent growth in spend in the past four years, compared with only 5 percent in Saudi Arabia. If the trend continues, it will be their time to shine. On categories For the first time since 2007, 2010 saw real estate fall out of the top five biggest spenders within the GCC. Even in 2009, real estate was the second biggest spender. However, 2010 saw a marked change. While total spend for 2010 was 10 percent higher than 2008, real estate spend was $311 million – just under a quarter of the spend in 2008, when it peaked at $1.363 billion, accounting for 15 percent of total spend. I believe we’re unlikely to see a return to these 2008 figures during the next 12 months; real estate will remain outside the top five spenders in the GCC. The decline of real estate spending in the GCC has mainly been attributed to the decrease in the UAE. However, if we look at the pan-Arab region, we find real estate spend is actually increasing in Lebanon, Oman, and Qatar, with Lebanon recording the highest growth – 108 percent between 2009 and 2010.
Telcos will continue to remain on top this year. Consistently accounting for 7 to 8 percent of total spend since 2007, in 2010 the category was the biggest spender, accounting for $729 million – a 36 percent increase from 2007. The drop in spend from the real estate sector in the GCC leaves room for other categories to make an impact. One category to keep an eye on is automobiles. In 2010, automotive was the second biggest spender in the GCC, with a spend of $547 million – 5 percent of total spend. The category’s spend has increased by 58 percent since 2007, and we believe it will continue to grow this year. On media Without a doubt, digital will continue to grow in 2011, but the challenge will be how to leverage this medium and use it to its full potential. UM’s recent social media study, Wave 5, showed just how important it was for brands to behave in a way that was expected and accepted in social media to ensure they engage with, and don’t alienate, their consumers. TV will continue to dominate the media scene. It grew by 43 percent between 2009 and 2010. However, just as engagement is key to social media, the same will apply for television. TV spots will continue to do a great job of driving awareness; however, I believe the way forward is branded content. Brands need to find a way to connect with the consumer on an emotional level and integrate all elements of their campaigns.
DENH DIP. Director of UM’s insight arm, Lighthouse
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
Time for a change
Print is here to stay, but it needs to evolve. Flexibility and a strong Web strategy are key to newspapers’ success this year, say Mindshare’s Elie Haber and Nizar Abou Saab by Austyn Allison
NIZAR ABOU SAAB. Senior director, Mindshare
ELIE HABER. Managing director, Mindshare UAE
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edia agency Mindshare’s managing director for the UAE, Elie Haber, predicts that 2011 should see ad spend rise by 5 percent across the Arab world, despite missing the boost last year’s FIFA World Cup gave to television budgets. Television and digital spend will both grow, particularly in the automotive, FMCG, and financial services categories. “Television is more about brand, and online is about deals and pricing,” he says. Outdoor will continue its recent decline. Print, however, will be “stagnant,” predicts Haber. In addition to the categories he lists above, Haber says electronics will also spend on newspaper advertising, particularly in the UAE. He says spend from government bodies is unlikely to rise in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Flexibility is key to a successful print strategy, though. “Gulf News will lead by far,” Haber says. “It will register growth, particularly after the introduction of unconventional sizes within the paper last year. This is something most active clients were looking forward to. The print market is saturated, and there is little room for new titles, Haber says. However, many titles will invest more in their online offerings to increase their traffic base. It won’t be 2011 that sees this having major implications on those titles’ print products, though. Nizar Abou Saab, senior director of client leadership at Mindshare, agrees. “Newspapers are here
to stay,” he says, but warns that the crucial question is, “Are they able to evolve with the changing consumer habit?” Newspapers, he says, will need to follow the lead of media channels such as MTV. “With the media revolution, what they’ve done is created so much engagement around the channel – through blogs, Facebook, more content on digital, and live streams.” With the MTV model, he says, “you have the TV channel in the middle, but around the TV channel you have all of these interactive digital platforms that enrich the content of the channel and make the consumer more attached to it as well.” He adds, “Newspapers must do the same if they want to increase their billings.” Gulf News is leading the digital and mobile charge, Abou Saab says. But he warns that digital development requires “a huge investment” that papers have been reluctant to make. “They are not willing to invest if they don’t get sponsors, or don’t get activity on their digital offerings. That’s the danger: that the region will lag well behind, compared to what is happening in the international market.” Pressure from advertisers on newspapers to evolve their digital platforms will grow this year, but that investment needs to be long-term. “When you put a proper digital platform aside, it should be a long-term investment. “We have found over the past year that most of the region’s newspapers did not really invest behind these platforms,” Abou Saab says. “They wanted sponsors first, or some people to advertise on these platforms, before they go on. They want their revenue before, but it doesn’t work like this.” For this reason, the region’s websites are lacking. “The National is doing it right because it has proper investment,” Abou Saab says. Gulf News is also doing it right, but he says he can’t see any papers with good online offerings in Saudi Arabia. The same goes for Qatar and Bahrain, although Kuwait’s Al Watan is getting there. Lebanese papers (Abou Saab names Al Balad, An-Nahar, and Al Safeer) are doing well, and in Egypt, opposition titles are better than the government-owned ones. “They spread news faster,” he says. This year will see more papers following suit, though. “They have to,” Abou Saab says. “Because you can see from the advertisers nowadays a lot of them are actually sparing some money for digital.” Mindshare tends to add Al Ittihad, Al Khaleej and Gulf News to its Web plans. “We have them there,” Abou Saab says. “But they could get more money if they invest in their platforms more properly.”
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
Ziad Chalhoub, executive director of investments at OMD, says the smart money is in Egypt and telecoms then search. Search is gaining momentum and growing year-on-year. On radio Radio is also growing in prominence. It’s grown a lot in the UAE, and this year we’ll see it mushrooming in Saudi Arabia, with five new licenses awarded to broadcasters. The UAE has more than 20 stations, and radio is performing very well because it is a frequencybuilder medium, and a tactical medium. Saudi Arabia has been more expensive, by 10 or 15 percent, but with the new entrants I’m sure there will be a price war. On telecom clients Telecom is a major investor on radio. In the UAE you can see the war between du and Etisalat on radio. In other countries you will see the same thing, because offers for telecoms tend to be practical and promotional, and radio is localized, so you don’t have wastage. In Saudi Arabia, telcos are using TV, because the country is a large market, and TV viewership is very high there. Of course, there will be spillover into other markets, which is a waste for them, but that’s life. Telecoms will also be focusing on the local media: from newspapers to radio to outdoor.
On the GCC and Egypt Priority markets this year will be Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt. Egypt is assuming more importance for clients. The GCC will be the driver, and most brands will be focusing on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, then Egypt. Egypt could become the second market this year, overtaking the UAE. There is more spend on TV in Egypt than the UAE, as spillover from spend in Saudi gives brands a strong presence on UAE TV as well. Pan-Arab spend is usually focused on Saudi Arabia, with spillover in the GCC. The TV scene in Egypt is focused inward. You have lots of local stations that are very big there. On Syria and Iraq Syria (with a population of between 17 and 18 million) is becoming more and more important, and so is Iraq (population 25 million). Major international clients – the P&Gs, the Unilevers, and the Pepsis of the world – are interested in spending in those markets. Syria is opening up as a market. It will be more important in three, four,
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or five years. It depends how much the government facilitates things for international players. On consolidation TV spend is growing because of the consolidation game. Due to the economic downturn, 90 percent of clients started consolidating their budgets to get bigger returns on investments. If you were using 20 TV channels in 2008, you now focus on the first 10, which are represented by two major players in the market: Choueiri Group and RMS. When you consolidate with one of them, you are putting your money in one basket, and you get more for your dollar. The same happened with print, and consolidation will still be there in 2011. We will focus on the best performing titles. On digital Digital will grow a lot this year, and then it will grow even more. It’s an ad-driven media, so wherever you put your dollar you know it’s being spent wisely. Social media is the biggest winner, and
On outdoor The outdoor scene is becoming critical. Municipalities are still demanding high numbers from outdoor suppliers, and demand is not there any more. They are still living on the real estate days, when the sector used to own the outdoor scene in Saudi and the UAE. Outdoor suppliers are taking a hit, and over the past two years the grand-format building wraps and hoardings by the road have almost disappeared. What work now are mupis, megacoms, and lamp posts, because these are great media for promotion and tactical campaigns. Telecom firms are using them, for example, and they are used for promotions on cars and FMCG products. In the past two years, FMCGs have returned to the outdoor scene. On budgets Last year was very difficult, even compared to 2009. I’m sure 2011 will be a tough year too. That doesn’t mean clients won’t spend, though. Some of them are increasing their budgets; some of them may remain stagnant at the same level of spend. FMCG products will be increasing their budgets this year – and so will the automotive industry. These kinds of categories live on advertising, so they need to advertise to push sales.
FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
Growth potential MBC’s Mazen Hayek says TV will remain strong in 2011, and surplus state budgets should lead to increased spend all round by Sidra Tariq
elevision has been a major advertising medium for marketers in the region. According to research company Ipsos’ monthly Adex report on media advertising spend across the UAE and pan-Arab countries, television accounted for 78 percent of the total TV and press media spend between January and April 2010. Print took only 22 percent of the media spend during the same period. With advertisers having less restricted spend than in 2010, will TV retain a large share of the pie this year? Mazen Hayek, group director of PR and commercial at the Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBC), and the official spokesman of the free-toair, pan-Arab news and entertainment broadcaster, expects 2011 to be another good year for television. There was better-than-expected growth in 2010 and most industry players are looking optimistically at 2011, he says. “Another element that tells us 2011 will be good is the huge surpluses in state budgets in the Arab World, mainly in the GCC,” he says. “This is in addition to government spending and investment in various sectors that are key drivers to the economy and economic activity.” Telecommunication companies will continue to be big TV spenders, says Hayek, but FMCGs clearly lead the charge. From the FMCG sector, TV will see big spending from companies offering beauty products; carbonated soft drinks, juices and water; and food and confectionery, he says. Hayek also expects considerable TV advertising from governments and tourism boards, and sees
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the potential for pharmaceuticals to increase their advertising spend. “With the bailout of Ford and General Motors, and the surplus of the US car making industry in overcoming the crisis, automotives will be big spenders again in 2011. Banks and financial institutions in Asian, US, and European economies are recovering as well. So we are positive that banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, and credit card companies will come back to spending again. Luxury goods are also witnessing a return to normalcy in terms of consumption and demand, so this will also translate into increase in ad spend,” he says. Although the regional economy hasn’t fully recovered from the setbacks brought about by the financial crisis, Hayek doesn’t expect companies to cut down on ad spend in 2011. “The total ad spend in the MENA region across all media accounts for less than 1 percent of the total global ad spend per year. I’m seeing a market that could triple, quadruple, or grow five-fold,” he says. “Advertising investment has a direct correlation to economic activity, and is the mirror of economic activities,” he says. “If economies are growing, if there are surpluses in state budgets, if there are more investments in economies, then it is only logical to see advertising spend growing in terms of investment, because advertising is an intrinsic part of the economic activity and consumer purchase cycle. So when we say growth, recovery, supply and demand, and free-market factors, we obviously say increase in advertising, more sales,
greater purchasing power, but also greater savings power in good times.” For advertisers, deciding how to deliver a message is as important as choosing a medium. Thirty-second spots and sponsorships still represent 90 percent of the format used by advertisers, Hayek says. “Other non-conventional means that engage the audience with the brand more are growing, such as product placement, branded content, and brand integration,” he adds. “We also work closely with advertisers to understand their needs, audience, and business objectives, to help them form brand-to-consumer relationships via media and raise the level of engagement. This could be emotional or rational, could be via questions, SMS, online or multiple touch points.” The past few years have seen new media catching up as a preferred marketing tool in the region, with lots of companies establishing a social media presence and marketing on the Web. “New media has great potential to grow, but in this part of the world, TV remains the dominant, primary source of entertainment. The medium has the highest impact and return on investment,” Hayek says. “This is a region where there is low PC penetration per capita, low Internet penetration per capita, and limited broadband access. This is a region where illiteracy is very high, where there is poverty, and where the telecommunication infrastructure is still developing. So all of this is not helping the growth of new media.”
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
Sweetening the mix
Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury will change how the FMCG giant allocates its spend this year, says regional managing director Vishal Tikku by Sidra Tariq
VISHAL TIKKU. GCC managing director for Kraft Foods
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dvertising spend in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has been steady in the region despite the recession, and will continue to grow in 2011, says Vishal Tikku, the GCC managing director for Kraft Foods, one of the largest food, beverage, and confectionery companies in the world. As a major part of the FMCG industry, Kraft has ambitious plans. The company is increasing its media budget by 10 percent for 2011, Tikku says. “The budget is a bit higher for next year because we have a new range of products, which we need to look at to see how we will support them. Last year we integrated with [confectionery company] Cadbury, and that puts a slight spin on our media spend this year.” With the acquisition of Cadbury last January, brands such as Dairy Milk, Twirl, and Time Out have come under the wider umbrella of Kraft. “We will invest in those brands this year, so there is some more support added, which wasn’t really there last year as we were integrating those brands,” Tikku says. In terms of media, the majority of Kraft’s budget is allocated to television advertising, as the medium is measurable and cost-efficient, Tikku says. “Our key target audience is Arab housewives, and they are most efficiently reached by television,” he says.
“However, we are trying quite aggressively to look at other media as well, so there is some spend on online media, some on outdoor, and some on print. At the same time, we are reducing the focus on TV for various reasons. One is that you need to continue to invest in online campaigns as Internet penetration is increasing. It wasn’t high before, but there is a reasonably high Internet penetration in Saudi Arabia these days, especially if you are not looking at housewives. In terms of housewives, it is low. “Another reason is that we now have some impulse brands we didn’t have earlier, and they need a slightly different treatment. Earlier we used to have our traditional scale brands, such as Tang and Kraft cheese, which are predominantly advertised on television. We now have chocolates and chewing gums. If we want to advertise them, we do need to look at different media,” he says. The focus of Kraft’s advertising in the region is the Saudi Arabian market, Tikku says. This isn’t surprising. “Anybody based out of here looking at the GCC has to start with Saudi Arabia first. More than 50 percent of the [Gulf’s] population is in Saudi Arabia – around 26 million people – so we have to focus on Saudi before anything else.” The UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain will also share the limelight with Saudi.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
Something in the air
© Getty/Gallo Images
ARN execs tell us 2011 can show there’s more to radio than the 30-second spot by Sidra Tariq
MAHMOUD AL RASHID. General manager at ARN
STEVE SMITH. Chief operating officer at ARN
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adio only accounts for 2 percent of the media spend in the region, says Mahmoud Al Rashid, general manager of the Arabian Radio Network (ARN), which is owned by Dubai’s Arab Media Group. In a market such as the UAE, that rate should be 5 percent or 7 percent, he adds. However, there were some positive signs for radio in the last quarter of 2010, says Steve Smith, chief operating officer of ARN. The network broadcasts seven radio stations, including Virgin Radio, Al Arabiya, and City 101.6. “Inquiry, when clients and agencies are inquiring about campaigns in 2011, is really strong at the moment,” he told Communicate in December. “There’s also some really strong activity of non-traditional radio clients, such as fast-moving consumer goods companies, inquiring about radio for 2011.” Telecommunication companies have been consistent in their radio advertising and are continuing to be active, says Smith. However, he doesn’t see real estate advertising making a comeback in the short term. The banking sector, another area hit badly by the financial crisis, seems to be getting back into the game “We’re getting some really good banking inquiry and bookings,” says Smith. “The banking sector has started to understand and inquire about how radio can play a part in its media mix.” CHANGING SPOTS. The traditional 30-second spot is still the standard form for radio advertisers, says Smith, but more brands are asking about – and opting for – different formats. Sponsorships remain strong,
particularly long-term ones. “[Telecom provider] du, for instance, owns all our news sponsorships on all seven stations,” he says. “So the long-term strategy is what we’re starting to see some inquiry on now. Big clients are thinking, ‘Let me align myself with something that a consumer is really keen to hear and then get a very short, sharp message through that point.’” According to Al Rashid, spots and sponsorships account for around 40 percent to 60 percent of radio ad spend, but there are more opportunities out there. Smith says, “One area that we’re working on is live reads: having the announcers do a 30-second live read [about a product or promotion]. Instead of just reading out a bland script, the announcer or RJ [radio jockey] would do it with very wellthought-out scripting, and have it in the tone of that particular show.” In the case of a live read, an RJ is given a brief of the client’s advertising message, and then creates a script, delivering the message in a conversational way. Live reads are effective at getting the message through, says Al Rashid, “because [during traditional advertising] spots, listeners sometimes change the radio station, but when a live read is going on, they keep listening.” Another area of interest for advertisers is promotions and competitions, says Smith. He gives the example of a recent contest called Beat the Bangg, on ARN’s Asian station, City 101.6. The promotion ran in December, with listeners getting the chance to win Club Apparel [Apparel Group’s loyalty program] points. Competitions can also provide a way to interact with audiences, and this one had a “massive” response, says Smith, attracting around 148,000 text messages from listeners. Advertisers are looking for more value and return on investment, says Smith, and as long as a medium shows accountability, it can fare well. “Any medium, whether traditional or new, needs to be multi-platform,” he says. “And it needs to understand a client’s requirements – in 2011, particularly. The client expects the medium to understand their investment and what kind of return they would like on their investment.” With digital services garnering a lot of attention, Smith says he also sees an opportunity to leverage radio’s online component. “This involves making sure that what we’re doing on air is being mirrored online as well; that gives advertisers another opportunity to extend their reach by using the websites of the stations.” He gives an example of a recent campaign for an airline. “We did an on-air campaign, but also utilized our listen-live component online. Within the campaign, when you clicked on the listen-live component, it actually played the airline’s 30-second commercial while it was buffering up.”
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
Shake it up
Aujan’s head of brands says FMCGs will fill the gap left by real estate advertisers by Sidra Tariq
AHMED SHABOURY. Head of brands at Aujan Industries
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ccording to Ahmed Shaboury, head of brands at Aujan Industries, a beverage company with drinks such as Barbican, Rani, and Vimto under its umbrella, brands in the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry will continue to spend more this year and invest in above-the-line advertising. The focus, he says, will be on TV and digital media. Both have wide reach and rich content. However, “digital has no boundaries, unlike satellite TV. You can do a campaign here in the UAE, but people in Morocco can see it.” TV will continue to have the lion’s share of FMCG spend, he says, but digital media will attract a lot of advertisers too. “In the past few years, digital media was single-digit in terms of spending within the marketing budgets of every company. Next year it can go into a double-digit zone, maybe 10 or 11 percent of total abovethe-line spending.” Considering its scope, Aujan will also be increasing its investments in digital media, Shaboury says. “We are still working on the planning part of it, but we’re going strongly behind social media,” he says. The company will use Facebook, for instance, and has applied what it learned from last year’s social media campaigns to this year’s plans. The majority of Aujan’s investments, however, as with most FMCG brands, will be on TV, Shaboury says. Television usually takes more than 50 percent of Aujan’s media budget. “I’m talking here about pan-Arab satellite channels,” he
adds. “There is, of course, additional spend that we put on TV to give some local markets a local boost, so we go for local channels sometimes.” Shaboury adds that Aujan’s advertising spend will mainly be directed toward regional markets. “Our primary focus in terms of markets is the GCC and Jordan,” he says. “We also have four key priority markets – Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt – where we are increasing media spending year-on-year.” As other sectors stay low, FMCGs will become more prominent on the advertising scene in 2011, Shaboury says. “What we witnessed with the real estate boom in the Gulf, particularly in the UAE, is that the property sector became a top spender, and reached its peak in 2008. However, it moved back in 2009 and 2010,” he says. “That drop in the real estate sector affected two main forms of media: outdoor and print. With the change in the scene, prices went down accordingly, and FMCG brands came back into the game because they are consistent spenders. In short, as the rates became favorable, FMCGs came back strongly on the outdoor and print scene.” “At one point in 2007 and 2008, all the outdoor advertising we used to see on Sheikh Zayed Road was for new projects,” he says. “Now you’ll find Lifebuoy advertising, for instance, or a tuna brand advertising. It was all in favor of FMCGs, and that will continue in 2011.”
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FEBRUARY 2011 | COVER STORY
The flip side
Maya Bou Ajram, associate director of learning and development at Media Direction OMD Beirut, says many aspects of Lebanese ad spend are a world apart from the GCC On geography Market budgets differ from brand to brand depending on their nature, product lifecycles, and market priorities. For example, while some brands are established in Saudi Arabia, they might need to be launched in Lebanon and thus require a higher level of investment. Moreover, while the GCC in general is more homogeneous when it comes to communication, differences between the Levant markets are bigger, and some individual markets may require more attention than others. The trend toward synchronization is expected to continue in 2011 due to pan-Arab spillover, where regional brands are currently exploring synchronization opportunities between MENA markets from a content/activity timeline perspective, thus ensuring efficiencies and effectiveness between the various markets.
MAYA BOU AJRAM. Associate director of learning and development at Media Direction OMD Beirut
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On clients In Lebanon the advertising scene is quite different from the GCC countries, where real estate and telecommunications rule. Lebanon enjoys a strong FMCG, entertainment/ leisure, and banking presence. Those three sectors make up around 60 percent of the total advertising investments (42 percent FMCG, 11 percent entertainment/leisure, seven percent banking and finance).
Within FMCGs, Lebanon is a main market for cosmetics, food, and non-alcoholic beverages. The increase in investments since 2007 isnâ€™t expected to slow down any time soon. Automotive enjoys a heavy presence as well; it is in fifth place and makes up 5 percent of advertising investments in 2010. Telecom investments died down to become negligible last year, compared to their heavy presence back in 2007 and 2008. This is probably due to the presence of two key government-owned players and a lack of privatization. The most significant boom in advertising investments is within the real estate sector, where investments almost doubled in 2010 compared to 2009. On media Media investments in general are on the rise in Lebanon, with TV getting the biggest share (75 percent). Cinema spend in 2010 was a 10th of what it was in 2008. While digital is still in its infancy in the Levant region, 2011 should be a promising year, with proper accountability measures being put in place, the introduction of fiber optic lines in the main areas of Beirut, and consumersâ€™ increased adoption of, and interaction with, digital, especially with regards to social media portals.
COVER STORY | FEBRUARY 2011
The GCC view
Spend in the region is not all about Dubai and Saudi Arabia. There’s plenty going on elsewhere too Pravin Pai, head of Media Direction OMD Doha, says the country’s role as host of the 2022 World Cup will boost ad spend along with the economy. With Qatar recently winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 bid, the Qatari market is the focus of attention. The next 11 years promise mega developments in the country, that will have local as well as regional impact. The win is a positive for Qatar, as it will create long-term business opportunities, enhance franchise development in the domestic market, and contribute to revenue generation and increased investments. The business opportunities forecast in the run-up to 2022 are in excess of $100 billion, mainly on infrastructural projects. $25 billion is forecasted for the rail network, $11 billion for airport structures, and an additional $20 billion for roads. Developing infrastructure, procurement, branding, event management, ticketing, and security will be key, generating major opportunities for growth. Toward the end of December, the Qatari stock market rose, and with increased activity, new projects will fuel the economy. Furthermore, as with other markets, Qatar is witnessing a growth in digital and out-of-home media, which will encourage media channels to offer more efficient options to advertisers. Some are still in a nascent stage. The New Doha International Airport, currently under construction, will be another vantage point to showcase big brands.
Fadi Chamat, general manager at PHD Abu Dhabi, warns that some things will never be knowable. Fact: A lot of speculation revolves around 2011. Will it be another year of declining spend, or will it be the beginning of a rebound? Some things are purely speculative and some are fact: • More budgets will migrate from offline to online. Within that sphere, social media investments will grow exponentially. • Branded mobile applications will start to grow in popularity. • On the agency side, we will see more consolidation of talent, with staff groomed and promoted from inside the company, rather than recruited from outside. Speculation: • This year will be tougher than 2010. We will see more closures, consolidation of media, and budget tightening from clients. • Market-wise, Saudi Arabia is bound to pick up pace quicker than its neighbors. • UAE brands will maintain a level of spend similar to 2010. • Real estate in Saudi Arabia will make a slow recovery and real estate brands will resurface, albeit at minimal levels. • We will see more pitches from clients, and pressure on incumbent agencies to deliver more added value.
PRAVIN PAI. Head of Media Direction OMD Doha
FADI CHAMAT. General manager at PHD Abu Dhabi
Communicate I 43
FEBRUARY 2011 | RADIO
As a plethora of Saudi channels prepares to take to the air, we see what is changing in the kingdom’s radio scene by Rania Habib
FIRAS KHASHMAN. Vice-president of the audio sector at Rotana
RIFAAT DARWISH MAHMOUD. Radio marketing manager at MBC Group
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he Saudi radio scene is about to emerge from a sleepy couple of decades, during which time the airwaves were monopolised by one private operator, MBC, broadcasting two channels. But the beginning of 2010 proved eventful when, after being lobbied for five years for a more liberal and competitive industry, the government began awarding licenses to private operators, allowing them to broadcast and compete with MBC FM and MBC Panorama. Industry insiders heralded the move as the beginning of a new dawn. Five licenses were awarded to the highest bidders: Alf Alf, Creative Edge, Riyadh Electronic Resources, Shams Radio Consortium, and MBC’s biggest potential rival, Rotana. We spoke to them before they went on air. Rotana, like the other broadcasters, was testing its frequencies in Jeddah and Riyadh, checking the quality of its broadcasts by airing back-to-back songs. When we spoke to Firas Khashman, vice-president of the audio sector at Rotana, the station was still preparing for its end-of-2010 launch date. “Our launch is reliant on the Ministry of Culture and Information,” Khash-
man says. “The ministry gives us the schedule for when the cities within Saudi Arabia will be ready, and when the frequencies will be available in every city. So far they have given us Jeddah. They were supposed to give us Riyadh [at the end of October], but that hasn’t happened yet, and we are waiting for Dammam in the Eastern Province, then Medina, Mecca, and the rest of the country. We cannot launch before we get the three main cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. We are ready in terms of preparation, studios, staffing, and grids. Everything is ready.” WE’VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU. Rifaat Darwish Mahmoud, radio marketing manager at MBC Group, says the broadcaster has been expecting competition for a long time now. “We have always been aware that one day the radio scene and the market in Saudi Arabia will change, that regulations will take shape, and that new stations will be given licenses to broadcast,” he says. “We have enjoyed a monopoly for a very long time, but we believe it hasn’t affected the
RADIO | FEBRUARY 2011
creativity and innovation that we believe make MBC, on a group level, a media leader in the industry and the Arab world. We are always working on our content and offerings, trying to get the best presenters – those who have the potential to be stars – on the air, to be creative, and to connect with listeners. Excellence comes from the continuous improvement in our offering and our programming, and our main objective is to develop in order to give listeners what they want, when they want.” Over at Rotana, Khashman says the team noticed changes on MBC’s stations as the time for new frequencies to launch approached. “They changed some of their programs and grids, and the way of targeting the different segments, but in reality they still have the same strategy,” Khashman says. “At Rotana we are coming with a different target, a new way of presenting radio to people. MBC is improving, but in the same direction, which we believe was not really successful. As I know from statistics from the market, MBC FM and MBC Panorama don’t capture more than 25 percent of listeners in Saudi Arabia, even though they have a monopoly.” MORE THAN MUSIC. While Rotana owns 70 percent of music royalty rights in the region, Mahmoud says not only does MBC share a contract with Rotana, allowing it to use the same music database, but that being a leader in music repertoire isn’t enough to be competitive. “We believe radio’s success as a medium depends on the music, but also on the content being delivered, and on fulfilling the social and interactive needs of people,” he says. “If it was only about the music, radio would have been replaced by iPods and MP3s. So it’s about how the music is being delivered, the presentation, the programming; those components make it such a popular medium despite the presence of other big mediums such as television and the Internet.” Mahmoud says MBC’s stations are working on integrating social media. This is in response to demands from clients who have asked for campaigns that can air in connection with other media. Khashman says digital, among other media, will be a part of Rotana’s strategy, but declined to reveal more information before the launch of the stations. Mazen Fakhoury, managing director of Mindshare in Saudi Arabia, says the launch of radio stations is undoubtedly going to create a new dynamic in the market, even if each station is waiting for the others to launch in order to tailor its offering in a more competitive way. “All stations wait until the last minute to see what the others are offering,” Fakhoury says. “But with radio on board, what you really have is two multimedia platforms, as broadcasters can now take on digital content. This competitive scene is also creating an environment that is conducive to branded content innovation; this will force MBC channels to actually become innovative and update themselves, because they
STRONG SIGNAL. With a big catalogue of artists and content, Rotana could challenge MBC were controlling the market and didn’t need to innovate. But they did, and this added competition is always healthy.” ON THE RADAR. And while advertisers had not yet included new radio channels in their media plans by the end of last year, Fakhoury says the stations are certainly being considered by potential advertisers. “At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding,” Fakhoury says. “We’re still on a learning curve, and it’s difficult for clients to imagine things before they happen. But when they talk about 2011, the new stations are definitely up there on the radar, and clients are asking, ‘How do we look at radio?’” Fakhoury says clients that had never thought about radio before are now considering adding it to their plans. Khashman says when news of the new licenses emerged, MBC – because it had a monopoly – was not making an effort to attract “neighborhood advertisers.” “Usually, radio advertisers are not just big companies. There are small businesses here and there that rely on radio stations, and this happens the world over. MBC is not doing that. Their spot prices are very high, and they are already sold to those who can afford them.” (See “Sounds of Saudi,” page 56, Communicate, April 2010.) Today, Khashman says things have changed. “As we’ve seen from the bidding for
the licenses, the licensing fees were relatively high,” he says. “Radio stations will, therefore, not reduce their spot prices. But, nevertheless, there is huge potential for anyone to advertise on radio in Saudi Arabia; advertisers will advertise more even if spot prices don’t go down.” Fakhoury says it’s a trend Mindshare noticed in out-of-home advertising, when new outdoor media owners came into play in Saudi Arabia and previously unseen brands began advertising using outdoor media. “On radio, some advertisers did not have programs to use but now, because of the variety that’s coming up and the segmentation of stations, this opens up new opportunities,” he says. “The local second-tier players – not the big, established, multinational brands – who don’t use television advertising much will certainly become more active on radio stations.” With the advent of a new era in the Saudi radio scene, Mahmoud is confident the industry will grow. Not only will more clients be able to advertise, but the medium will also be highlighted. “The awareness of radio as a solid advertising medium will increase among clients,” Mahmoud says. “Up until now, there has been a lack of understanding about radio as an advertising medium. With the launch of new stations, agencies will be forced to follow up on research findings, to see how listener patterns will change, and how listeners will be divided.”
Communicate I 45
© Getty/Gallo Images
FEBRUARY 2011 | MARKETING
Product offerings are pretty slim for obese consumers
As Americans grow larger, most marketers outside clothing are content to ignore the demographic by Matt Carmichael
endy Wimmer describes a recent trip to the plus-size section of Target department store as entering the “fat-girl ghetto.” She passed racks of “cute-as-a-button” Liz Lange maternity wear with envy. Finally she found a lackluster selection of clothes to fit her frame, tucked in the far corner of the store near the big-box Siberia, known as layaway. “Someone is pregnant for nine months, but people are generally fat for their entire lives,” says Wimmer, who has contributed to the Big Fat Deal blog since 2005, under the screen name “Weetabix.” It’s the one growing demographic marketers seem intent on largely ignoring: the overweight. In 1996 there wasn’t a single state in the US where the adult obesity rate was greater than 20 percent. A mere 14 years later, 49 states have crossed that line, leaving Colorado as the most svelte state in the union. Some blame this solely on a 1998 redefinition of “overweight” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the figures were already increasing. Consider: 33.9 percent of adults in the US are obese and 68.3 percent are overweight. Obesity,
46 I Communicate
defined by the CDC as a body-mass index greater than 30, hits women (35.5 percent) and blacks (44.1 percent) harder. No demographic is spared, and the numbers are becoming worse and worse. The stats for children are especially appalling. Some 10.4 percent of kids aged two to five are obese. Nearly one in five of those aged 12 to 19 is, and the figures have doubled and tripled, respectively, in the past 30 years. Despite a heavier America, the selection of products for them remains thin. “I can go out and see women my size and know exactly where they bought everything they’re wearing,” says Lesley Kinzel, 33, who has maintained a blog at Fatshionista.com since 2007 and was part of the Fatshionista LiveJournal community – a hub of the “fatosphere,” with 8,000 active members. MAKE ROOM. Yet, as Americans are getting bigger and bigger, few marketers seem to be taking notice. While it’s not a problem that makes an impact on all sectors – overweight consumers don’t need
MARKETING | FEBRUARY 2011
a different kind of battery or toothpaste – more spacious restaurant booths, wider desk chairs and more leg- and shoulder-room on airplanes could present an opportunity for marketers to adapt to a changing consumer. Taking larger consumers into account when planning a retail environment would have ancillary benefits as well. “Until we as a nation go on a diet, being conscious of our size is simply good business,” says Paco Underhill, president and CEO of retail consultancy Envirosell. But there are reasons they don’t. “It seems like this would be more of a product development than a marketing issue,” says Ryndee Carney, manager of dealer and marketing communications at General Motors. And it could backfire for some – McDonald’s would certainly never be able to produce an ad saying, “We made our booths wider so you can fit in them after eating too many of our products.” Even so, subtle changes would still be noticed by the consumer, even if they’re not advertised overtly. JetBlue has been running a video testimonial on its site featuring a customer named Kervin, who espouses the comfort of the middle seat he barely fits in. JetBlue says in a statement that “we included Kervin because he was, first and foremost, a real customer who could talk about the experience on JetBlue – just as we did with all the people in experience videos – and his size did not have anything to do with it, either way.” TOO FAT TO FLY. It’s subtle, but the online-only spot produced by Firstborn Multimedia is a stark contrast to rival Southwest and its policy of charging fliers for two seats if they can’t fit within the arm rests. The danger of that policy was demonstrated well when the airline got in a very public Twitter dispute with movie director Kevin Smith, who reportedly got booted from a flight even though he claimed the armrests went down fine. Milan might have banned the starving-urchin look, but you still don’t see obese people in TV shows unless they’re about fat people, like Biggest Loser or Huge; nor do you see many in commercials. It seems like a valid theory: Appeal to plussize consumers with plus-size models in order to get them to feel better about themselves and associate that positive feeling with your brand. So, if overweight Americans are now the overwhelming majority, why aren’t more brands and the media responding? “The tricky thing is: How do we push that line and remain aspirational and respectful of the beauty industry and what that represents?” says Lauren Crampsie, chief marketing officer of Ogilvy and Mather North America, whose work on Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign famously showcased fuller-figured models. “It’s a scary time. People don’t want to piss off the industry, and the industry is based on size-two models.” Also, it might not work. Naomi Mandel, an associate processor at Arizona State University’s
BIG DEAL. JetBlue ads feature Kervin, who espouses the comfort of the middle seat he barely fits into W.P. Carey School of Business, conducted a study for a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing earlier last year. Her research looked at the impact of models of varying weights on the self-esteem of overweight women. “There isn’t any size model that improves the self-esteem for overweight consumers,” she says. They reacted most positively to ads with no models in them. Additionally, in a previous study, Mandel found that exposure to ads with slightly plussize models tends to lower the self-esteem of normal-weight women, who see the similarities to what they view as flaws with their own bodies. COMFORT AND SUPPORT. It also isn’t an issue that affects all brands to the same extent. As Peggy Howell, a spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, put it, “Fat people don’t need a whole lot more than skinny people.” The major needs are clothing that fits, furniture that is comfortable and can support weight, and products and services related to travel such as wide airplane seats and seat-belt extenders for both planes and cars. Those are products that drive a large portion of consumer spending. Americans spent more than $260 billion on clothing and furniture in 2008, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. Many marketers don’t see overweight people as an audience to reach, even if their products can easily be targeted to the demographic. Ryndee Carney, manager of dealer and marketing communications at General Motors, says, “There is no strategy about how we market to obese people. I can assure you no one
is taking obesity into account when we create marketing plans.” For those who are actively targeting this demographic, the consumer isn’t always easy to reach. Traditional means of advertising, such as print magazines, might not be the best venue. “I’m not sure my girl is there,” says Chris Daniel, president of teen retailer Hot Topic’s plus-size off-shoot Torrid. Daniel works with Coburn Communications for Torrid’s public-relations work and handles the rest of its advertising in-house. He has been diverting advertising dollars to affiliate and searchengine marketing, events, regional advertising, and public-relations efforts. “The number of impressions you have to make in order to reach someone – it’s kind of daunting,” he says of the vast array of media messages that bombard his tween and millennial target. The rewards can be great. Lane Bryant is the leading plus-size retailer for women, with nearly 800 stores. Its parent company, Charming Shoppes, had more than $2 billion worth of sales last year for its three plus-size brands. Torrid’s revenue for 2009 was just more than $150 million, with almost 20 percent of that coming from online sales. As far as men go, it’s possible they are shopping plus-size and just don’t know it. Esquire recently posted a story on its site that a “36-inch” pair of pants at a number of retailers actually ranged in size from 37 inches at H&M to an extra-generous 41 inches at Old Navy. While a spokesperson for Old Navy’s parent company, Gap Inc., denied that was true, the prevalence of “vanity sizing,” as this practice is called, matches well with this author’s shopping experience in recent years.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | BOOK OF TENS
The coolest iPad apps of 2010 Which neat offerings caught our attention last year? • Flipboard Last year Flipboard managed to publish arguably the prettiest, most fluid content app without paying a single editorial team, photographer, or journalist. The souped-up news aggregator launched as a reader that transforms links from social networks into a slick e-magazine, with images and copy pulled from the source. While the app initially induced terror among the publishers it gleaned content from, it recently struck revenueshare deals with the likes of ABC News, Bon Appetit, and The Washington Post to serve full-page ads against their content. (Free)
I am T-Pain auto-tune app, built in ways to keep collecting from the Gleeks – new songs for the app are released periodically for an additional 99 cents. (99 cents)
• Netflix While Netflix’s app is basically its Web-streaming service formatted for the iPad, it’s reliable, easy to use, and gets around that little problem of your spouse wanting to watch football while you’re in the mood for melodrama. Since you’ll probably (hopefully) have got an iPad for Christmas if you didn’t already have one, remember that it fits perfectly on your lap when you’re in bed or on the tray table when you’re on the plane, making the $8 it now costs per month for a streaming-only Netflix subscription more than worth it. (Free)
• Remote Palette Power up Remote Palette for any antsy child and you’ll immediately see why this painting app, from digital agency Dare, London’s innovation studio, won the distinction of coolest on iPad last year. Parents, you’ll thank us. Considering most iAddicts were first in line for the tablet device last April, it’s likely not a problem that this app also requires an iPhone – the painter’s palette to the iPad canvas. Via Bluetooth, tapping the iPhone determines the color, brush size or loads up a coloring book stencil, which turns a fingertip into a paint brush. It’s magic. (99 cents)
• Glee So anyone can live out their Glee fantasies, app developer Smule created this karaoke app so Gleeks can sing along with the cast, record their ditties, and share them. Plus, Fox and Smule, the developer behind 2009’s
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• Keynote This app version of Apple’s Powerpoint is cool insofar as being able to save presentation edits for the flight, and not having to lug a laptop can be cool. Keynote is not the only app version of Apple’s office products iWork; Pages for word processing and Numbers for spreadsheets are available too. ($9.99)
• Scrabble for iPad It’s Scrabble, but cooler because the tiles can’t go flying all over the place if you knock the table, and iPhones can be used as tile racks. ($9.99)
• Dofl Ball From New York digital agency Firstborn, this app is perfect for the inevitable travel delay or mindless coffee break. Solo or with two players, the game is basically touch ping-pong, and it has a sense of (Free) humor, too. • Instapaper Better suited to the iPad than the iPhone, Instapaper is the perfect e-reader for those of you with link ADHD on Twitter and e-mail newsletters. Have 14 tabs open on your browser of Ad Age stories you just have to read? With Instapaper, save them for later. By clicking a button, you install the files on your desktop or mobile Web browser. When you’ve got the time, Instapaper keeps those stories in a queue in the clean page format we’ve seen in e-books. ($4.99) • Air Display Did you always wish you had a sweet, dual-screen workstation set up like a trader or supercool hacker? Once you install a program to your desktop, this app turns your iPad into an extra monitor. ($9.99) • World Atlas HD This National Geographic app toggles between different maps of the same locations: old-timey sepia, political, and satellite view, thanks to Bing Maps. There are also the usual stats and figures, as well as the fun of zooming and scrolling around the world that’s been native to physical globes up until now. ($1.99)
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FEBRUARY 2011 | BOOK OF TENS
Ten disruptive trends set to shape our world this year What to keep your eyes on – from local loco to the end of resumes by Pete Blackshaw
f you thought 2010 was disruptive, wait until 2011’s over. Last year saw major game-changers – the iPad, a flurry of mobile apps, the rise of social commerce, C-suite fixation on enterprise socialmedia. This year we’ll see even more dramatic change. Keep your eyes on the following:
PETE BLACKSHAW. Chief marketing officer, NM Incite
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• Rise of defensive branding While 2010 kicked off with high levels of almost irrational exuberance over social media, December’s Twitter-powered Wikileaks attack on MasterCard, Visa, and other major brands primed 2011 for higher doses of brand and corporate paranoia. Influencer management will go miles beyond sampling “power moms” to smarter segmentation of activist groups. Highly adaptive “sense and respond” listening infrastructure will move from “nice to have” partner to socialmedia engagement, to reputational table stakes. Marketing and communications departments will
tear down more walls between them – there’s no choice. • QR codes everywhere Thanks to smartphones and mobile innovation, QR codes have landed at the beaches and are storming the marketing hills. Expect a torrent of innovation, with QR codes linking to everything from instant promotions to just-in-time how-to videos. Along the way, we see a fresh crop of startups on the heels of others already out there, such as SPARQCode and Stickybits. • All the world’s a service desk Get ready for anywhere/anytime customer service, from the usual suspect brand stands –Twitter and Facebook – to vastly improved online communities and real-time chat. Aided by better measurements, brands will come to appreciate that efficiently answering questions and solving problems for consumers not only pays out, but also leaves a
BOOK OF TENS | FEBRUARY 2011
viral media annuity. Think Apple Store’s Genius Bar across multiple channels. We’ll also have vastly improved ROI models around such investment. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness will sit on lots of desks in 2011. • Media blending This year will see more than just media optimization. We’re going to get much smarter and more sophisticated with “media blending,” a form of digital chemistry revolving around the POEM inputs (paid, owned, earned media) framework. We’ll get smarter about maximizing earned media dividends from paid and owned inputs, and we’ll even start to dial up investments in service operations to get better “earned” dividends. TV buys will no longer be looked at in isolation from the socialmedia echo effect. •Sharing takes a chill pill We’re about to get beyond the age of innocence in sharing, and we’ll have much better data in hand to tell us about the cost and consequences (and occasional liabilities) of over-sharing. Of course, we’ll still share, but our tell-all blast mentality will narrow significantly in 2011. Services such as Path will gather pace because they keep the sharing stream limited to a smaller, arguably more trusted, circle of familiar acquaintances. •Local loco (anywhere/anyplace shopper tools) Aided by mobile, shopping behavior will continue to take dramatic turns. It’s already happening – location-based shopping, proximity-based shopping, shopping cartels (Groupon, Son of Groupon), and more. Large and small retailers, often in partnership with manufacturers, will arm their shoppers with new tools and apps to find and navigate their store as well as their lifestyle. Retailers may also start opening their databases to consumers via apps in order to remind consumers of previous purchases or develop smart shopper lists against pre-established goals (for example, losing weight). • Mood check-ins While location-based marketing is all the rage, 2011 will also see like-minded consumers coalescing around particular moods or mindsets (for example, Pete checked into “a state of Nirvana.”) We’ve already started checking in to TV shows, and even topics such as the “writing implement” on the likes of Get Glue, and new startups such as score.ly are keeping a portfolio of all our badges and digital trophies. • The end of resumes Resumes will become increasingly irrelevant to the job-recruitment process. With or without formal policies, more recruiters and employees will lean on the Web as a primary form of candidate due diligence. On top of this, new models of Myers-Briggs worktype analysis will emerge from non-survey-based means. Concurrent with this development, companies will continue pushing employees as an advertising
TIPPING POINT. War rooms similar to the one Gatorade created will become increasingly common channel, recognizing that employee advocacy in a digital/social environment is highly effective and even comes in handy when the going gets tough. • The rise of speedbacking Expect more highly adaptive sense-and-respond behavior by marketers. We’ll see more listening war rooms along the lines of Gatorade and Dell. Responding to consumers in near real-time will become increasingly common. As brands engage across social-media venues, expect them to bring a decent chunk of monitoring and measurements in-house. War rooms similar to the one Pepsi’s Gatorade brand created will become increasingly common. • Hispanic/Latino marketing hits a tipping point Yes, I know we’ve said this before, but in the US, the Hispanic census number will slap us in the face in 2011, motivating real action and investment by brands. The “media blending” success of the 2010 World Cup on Univision will push American marketers to even smarter Spanish-language cross-platform integration. Banks will no longer be the only players opening up dialogue with consumers asking for a language preference. – Pete Blackshaw is chief marketing officer of NM Incite, a joint venture of Nielsen and McKinsey, and author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000.
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© Getty/Gallo Images
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From the big screen to any screen, some takeaways for marketers and media companies • Music videos become latest product placement vehicles Lady Gaga’s (pictured, above) epic nine-anda-half-minute music video for “Telephone” racked up huge traffic (95 million streams on YouTube alone), multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and huge exposure for brands such as Virgin Mobile, Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, PlentyOfFish.com and Polaroid, each of which were featured in extensive (and blatant) product placement throughout the buzzy mini-movie. It was a move echoed by everyone from Flo Rida (branded single “Zoosk Girl”) to Taio Cruz (the BMW-sponsored “Higher”) to Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars (Mini Cooper had a co-starring role in “Billionaire.”) With less and less revenue coming to artists from album sales, expect more deals such as this in 2011 and beyond. • Product placement on TV gets creatively campy Can you imagine Chuck without Subway? Ever since the sandwich chain became a marketing partner of NBC’s action-comedy spy series, the writers have
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found increasingly campy ways to weave the brand into the series without disguising the awkwardness – if not preposterousness – of the integration. In a recent episode, a Subway sandwich was used as bait to lure guest hottie Summer Glau into a trap. If only it were so easy in real life. • Product placement on TV stuck in creative rut The hit American TV series Burn Notice has, in the past, successfully worked with many brands, such as General Motors and Nationwide Insurance. Last year the show created custom spots with Hyundai that aired during commercial breaks to give viewers some added value with behind-the-scenes footage. But when burnt spy Michael Weston delivers his tips during an episode about what a good secret agent needs from a car, the integration does nothing to enhance the scene and only calls attention to forced script. •Jingles are back OK, so maybe the use of music in many ads
isn’t the jingles of yore, but brands are turning to original songs – if not sounds – to create a connection between brand and consumer. From Gatorade tapping hip-hop producer David Banner to pen a rockabilly tune for its current “Revolution” campaign to Doritos partnering with Rihanna recently to record a new song called “Who’s That Chick” for its Doritos Late Night, marketers are giving new life to original, branded music that helps lift band and brand alike. • Moviegoers can handle mystery It helps Warner Brothers no end that director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) is enough of a brand name that he can be used to help promote a film that’s next to impossible to explain in a conventional trailer. But the studio didn’t try to dumb down its efforts to turn the delirious Inception into a standard summer blockbuster. It showed just enough of the special effects to return audiences to theaters after a slow June at the box office.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | BOOK OF TENS
TEAMING UP. Doritos recently partnered with Rihanna to record a new song called “Who’s That Chick”
MAIN ACT. Unless your character is Iron Man, playing up a property’s ties to a comic book doesn’t excite the masses
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• Not everyone is a fanboy Last year was a mixed year for movies and TV shows based on comic books. But one thing became clear: Unless your character is named Iron Man, playing up a property’s ties to a comic book didn’t excite the masses needed to make a movie a hit, even if it did lead to strong wordof-mouth among the fanboys (see below). Iron Man 2, Red, and Walking Dead (and Human Target, to an extent) fared very well because they were marketed as mainstream entertainment events, not just niche adaptations. Properties that played up the comic-book hook such as Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World disappointed.
• Brands become producers – and distributors – of entertainment online It was such a watershed year in 2010 for branded content online that it’s probably easier to name the marketers that didn’t create a Web series last year. From Ikea (Illeana Douglas’ Easy to Assemble) and Lexus (Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy) to Ford, Mars, and Sprint (Seth Green-produced Control.TV), brands became the producers, distributors and occasional stars of their own Web content. And in several cases, they got strong sales lifts to boot – see Kraft’s “Real Women of Philadelphia” YouTube campaign with Paula Deen, or P&G’s Buppies Web dramedy with BET for proof.
• Twitter is a measurable marketing tool for movies Whether it was Disney’s launch sponsorship of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets platform for the release of Toy Story 3, or Paramount’s successful ability to leverage word-of-mouth to make surprise hits out of low-budget movies such as Jackass 3D and Paranormal Activity 2, Twitter’s promise as a tracking tool may have finally been delivered on this year.
• Marketers find success in media ownership Forget Viacom, News Corp. and Disney; the next big media companies are established brands and marketing organizations. Major League Baseball now has its own cable network, a hugely successful streaming sports site (MLB.com), and a back-end infrastructure that powers competitors’ websites such as ESPN3.com – and even CBS’s March Madness college basketball streaming coverage. Hasbro has a growing suite of hit movies (Transformers [pictured, above], GI Joe) and a new cable network under its belt with Discovery Communications (The Hub, which launched in October to middling ratings). Up next: The World Wresting Entertainment Corp. is prepping its own branded cable network for spring, following launches of its own film division and continued ratings strength of shows such as Smackdown and Raw.
• Twitter is an irrelevant marketing tool for movies Whether it was Universal’s low-grossing Scott Pilgrim vs. the World appearance as a top trending topic for a full two weeks after it flopped at the box office, or Disney’s ability to translate paid Tweets into ticket sales for the under-performing Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Twitter’s promise as a tracking tool may still be inconclusive at best this year.
FEBRUARY 2011 | BOOK OF TENS
Best marketer apps And they’re not just for the iPhone any more • Muji iPad apps The minimalist Japanese retailer launched a series of iPad apps that transferred its characteristic style in clothing and home goods – spare, clean, and functional – into digital products. Calendar (free) helps organize appointments and syncs with Google calendar; Notebook ($3.99) is a product to sketch and jot; and Muji to Go (free) is a tool for travelers with a world clock and calculator. • Weber’s on the Grill iPad app This iPad app has a meat timer. If that weren’t enough, the app cookbook from the outdoor grill company also contains recipes, how-to videos, and grocery lists. The app is just the latest in cookbooks from Weber, which reported at Ad Age’s ME Conference in November that it has sold more than one million cookbooks. • Big Fork, Little Fork iPad app This iPad app from Kraft Foods is a tool for parents to teach their children healthy habits. While the company, headquartered in Chicago, achieved app fame with its iFood Assistant, its recipe app for iPhone, it did not just add to that success for the tablet platform. Instead, it looked to mobile agency Hyperfactory and the editorial prowess of its magazine-publisher parent, Meredith Corp., to craft the editorial app – interlaced with a lot of Kraft products, of course – aimed at parents.
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• Starbucks Card mobile app While the coffee chain launched this mobile payment app in September 2009, it has now added a loyalty program and expanded the mobile payments program from test stores in its hometown of Seattle, northern California, and 1,000 Target stores, to 300 locations in New York City and Long Island. The app – available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and BlackBerry – still remains one of the biggest mobile payment programs in the US to date. • Tiffany Engagement Ring Finder iPhone app Not only does the app contain all the shapes, sizes, and designs for Tiffany engagement rings, it also has a sizing tool where a clueless bachelor can put an existing ring on the touch screen to compare her size to the standard ring sizes. • GE Mood Cam iPhone app To find your perfect lighting scheme, this app lets you take a picture of a room and adjust the lighting to what you’re after, and then constructs a shopping list of GE products to achieve those ideal levels. • Best Buy Movie Mode app The electronics retailer created a mobile app on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry to be used in theaters for the movie Despicable Me. While the film is playing, the app dims the phone’s screen and silences
the ringer, but during the end credits it translates what the cartoon characters are saying in their strange language. • Disney Tickets Together Facebook app For the Toy Story 3 release last summer, Disney created an app where fans could buy tickets to the film on the social network, and also invite friends to do the same. When a Facebook user buys a ticket, it publishes the purchase to his or her news feed and invites others as well. Disney has since used the tool for other releases, such as the recent Tangled movie. • D e l t a Ti c k e t W i n d o w Facebook app The Facebook tab on Delta’s fan page lets users search, book and share flights within the social network. Built by Alvenda, the app is a first for the airline industry – the transaction is completed within the social network, while an earlier tool for European budget airline Easy Jet started the process on Facebook, but jumped to its own website to complete the sale. • Walmart’s Crowdsaver Facebook app Digital agency RGA built the world’s largest retailer a group-buying app on Facebook called Crowdsaver. The first deal posted nearly 20 percent off a plasma TV, with 5,000 likes. Walmart has since launched other deals, such as $6 off the Back to the Future DVD trilogy.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | DEPARTMENTS
That special relationship
Tarek Miknas, CEO of Promoseven Group, says partnerships between agencies and clients are key to both creativity and effectiveness
e’re all in the business of business. Whether we’re a multinational giant, a specialist agency, or a small boutique. The recession and the cut in ad spend have amplified this considerably. We have to deliver on client expectations of faster, cheaper, and better. And we need to do this with proof – reliable, transparent, thirdparty evidence that work has made a difference to clients’ bottom lines. Each bit of information must be tracked and monitored by the minute. We are in the business of providing clients with solutions for their brands; solutions we drive through marketing and communications. The recent GEMAS Effies Awards (see “Effie one’s a winner,” page 38, Communicate, Dec. 2010) demonstrated, quite effectively, the direction our business is taking. The winning work showed that convergent media messaging centered on a big idea and brand experience leads to results. Whatever the nature of the business problem, be it sales, more subscriptions, or greater frequency, the new world interacts with
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what we do differently – probably because we’re doing it in a way that considers consumers at the center of the communication. But celebrating effectiveness doesn’t stop at the Effies. Cannes also celebrates the success of a campaign at the same time as it judges the originality of an idea and its craft. We’re part of a global trend. Nike partnered with Crispin Porter & Bogusky to produce a new product. (You link your shoe to an iPod, it tracks your vital stats while running, and you compete with a community of runners. Technology is incorporated into the product and used as a communication platform to join like-minded people.) Efficiencies are high as the product forces you to be part of an owned media site that not only transforms its category, but maximizes its marketing investment and builds a following that engages with the brand of its own will. A little closer to home, the work we’ve done for Batelco is another case study. The “Debate the Game” World Cup campaign (See Media
Work, page 50, Communicate, Sept. 2010) was a brilliant example of how a brand experience can effectively drive a brand’s positioning. Batelco is proud of its roots. It’s one thing to place an ad across the country (which we did), and another to actually do things that demonstrate that value. It’s advertising 101: Show, don’t tell. If you can build on that with even more brand meat, even better. In this case, the Debate the Game platform was all about people connecting, talking, and expressing their similarities and differences. That’s exactly what Batelco as a brand does on a larger scale, and in terms of relevance and insight, everyone can be a world-class football critic. We’re all experts and we love to have people around to experience our passion. Both of those examples involve partnership. It’s the most important thing in our business. There should be a level of trust between agency and client. It takes two hands to clap. And it’s our responsibility to earn our clients’ trust. They must know that we are in it for the right reasons. It’s about what makes sense for their brands and not about the cents we get out of it. Done right, we’ll both be profitable and both of our brands will thrive. We need to be judged by the value we add rather than by how cost-effective we are. It’s like looking through a telescope: You can either look from one end and see the possibilities, or you can flip it around and see the limits. For agency people, it never feels good to be considered a “vendor” or “supplier.” We are a part of our clients’ business as much as they are a part of ours. We’re one team with identical goals and dreams for our jointly owned brands. Advertising people working on brands are extremely proud of the brands they help build every day. We really do care and put all of our passion into every brief, brand-by-brand. And, as with any relationship, the more trust you are given, the more you want to do to earn it. I look back at my advertising career and think about just how much this business has changed. Starting as a creative in the late 1990s, the brief was always to go as far out there as possible, within the confines of traditional media. If the client liked the concept, a budget would be found or created. Today we, as an industry, are living on the opposite side of that pendulum, but if we focus on building our clients’ business through outstanding, integrated thinking, executed exceptionally and efficiently across the right convergent media, the grass might just be greener.
DEPARTMENTS | FEBRUARY 2011
Media Work Saatchi & Saatchi’s Clay Pigeons shot: Clay pigeons have been shot at, struck by arrows, and kicked out of frustration. Thanks to Saatchi & Saatchi London, the latest attack a clay pigeon has faced is by a golf ball. They’ve done it in Dubai, and they’ve caught it on tape. In December 2010, the agency launched a follow-up challenge for the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) European Tour’s “Every Shot Imaginable” campaign. Second in the series of stunts aimed at testing golfing pros, this one
challenged four professional golfers to hit clay pigeons that were fired through the air – with a golf ball, of course. The series’ first stunt, the “200 Yard Gong Shot,” took place in Ireland in August. Golf pros had to hit a nine-inch target that was 200 yards away. “The European Tour hosts golf tournaments across the globe, with courses so varied that for a golfer to really succeed they need a special combination of imagination and shot-making ability, hence the
campaign idea,” reads a statement from Saatchi & Saatchi. With Dubai’s desert sand between them and a clay pigeon trap, professional golfers Thongchai Jaidee, David Horsey, Johan Edfors, and Simon “Chaka” Kahn battled it out to see who could hit the moving target. The stunt video captures the golfers’ attempts (mostly failed), reactions to the almost impossible challenge, and Kahn’s winning shot. “The focus was on creating content so compelling people can’t help but
share it,” says Saatchi. “For this reason it was essential that Clay Pigeons was 100 percent authentic, with no post-production trickery.” “Saatchi & Saatchi is actively seeding the Clay Pigeons content through social media platforms to target both broad and core audiences without any initial media spend. It was also featured on all Sky Sports channels and Sky Sports News,” it adds. The video is available on Everyshotimaginable.com and Every Shot Imaginable’s YouTube channel.
BMW’s subliminal message: BMW Germany is getting inside consumers’ heads by burning its logo onto the insides of their eyes. Using pioneering “flash projection” technology, BMW is testing a cinema spot in Germany that does not feature a visible logo. Instead, a bright photoflash occurs during the ad, and a few moments later viewers are asked to close their eyes. At this point, the audience sees an after-image of the brand that has been created by the flash. The letters “BMW” appear, in the same way you might see a bright spot if you’ve been looking at the sun and then closed your eyes. The flash projection spot was filmed in English, and BMW plans
to show it in other markets after the German trial, but has not yet decided where. The black-and-white ad, for the car’s motorbike division, Motorrad, stars BMW motorcycle racing driver Ruben Xaus, who came second in the world Superbike championships last year. As dramatic footage of Xaus riding a motorbike is shown, he talks about the questions people ask him about his daredevil racing, and explains he is living his dream. During this sequence, the audience experiences an unexplained and unexpected flash. Then Xaus tells the viewers, “Just close your eyes. Look deep into yourself. Maybe it’s your dream,
too. It’s in you. Close your eyes and you will see it.” He looks directly into the camera and commands, “Close them. Now.” As the audience obey, they see the BMW letters hovering inside their eyelids. The company says the flash is completely harmless. A BMW spokeswoman says, “We literally got inside people’s heads, involving them instead of boring them, and generating a more intensive connection to our target group. Our brand should be innovative, emotional, and dynamic.” German agency Serviceplan worked with BMW on the project, which is part of BMW’s “Welcome to Planet Power” campaign, targeting young potential bikers.
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FEBRUARY 2011 | DEPARTMENTS
Client: Siblou. Advertising Agency: Impact BBDO, Lebanon. Art Director: Zeina Nawar. Production and Post-Production: The Fantastic Film Factory.
Dubai Aquarium Client: Emirates NBD. Creative Agency: Fortune Promoseven, Dubai. Art Directors: Alaa Demachkie and Amr Aly. Copywriters: Sabeen Ahmed and Kamlesh Shankar. These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com
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DEPARTMENTS | FEBRUARY 2011
Client: La Vache Qui Rit. Agency: Leo Burnett Dubai. Animation: Optix Digital Pictures. Dubai Producer: Andreea Gurbina. Creative Director: Sebastian Puhze. 3D Animation: Amin Faramarzeyan, Ramtin Ahmadi, Nicholas King, Geoffrey Dela Cruz, Firas Ershead.
FEBRUARY 2011 | DEPARTMENTS
Fresh and bright superheroes Client: Diesel. Advertising Agency: DoubleYou, Spain. Photographer: Robert Bartholot.
Never stop biting Client: Allianz Supplementary Dental Insurance. Advertising Agency: Atletico International, Germany. Creative Director: Waldemar Konopka. Art Director: Ron Oemus. Copywriter: Christopher Hoene. Designers: Wenke Schliesch and Kai Krause. These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com
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DEPARTMENTS | FEBRUARY 2011
If you see an animal, youâ€™re missing something. Client: WWF. Advertising Agency: Y&R, Milan, Italy. Executive Creative Director: Vicky Gitto. Art Director: Alessandro Stenco. Copywriter: Gabriele Caeti. Photographer: Maartje Jaquet.
Vintage denim from Killer. Advertising Agency: Grey, Mumbai, India. National Creative Directors: Amit Akali, Malvika Mehra. Art Director: Karan Rawat, Suhas Panchal. Copywriter: Rohit Malkani.
Builders of tomorrow. Client: Lego. Advertising Agency: Serviceplan, Munich, Germany. Executive Creative Director: Matthias Harbeck. Chief Executive Creative Director: Alex Schill. Creative Director: Oliver Palmer. Art Directors: Sandra Loibl and Julia Koch. Copywriter: Frank Seiler. Stylist: Frank Niedorff.
These ads (and more) can be found at adsoftheworld.com
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FEBRUARY 2011 | OFF THE RECORD
The Dish Drink up Thanks to Weber Shandwick PR agency for our invite to the launch of the first Nespresso boutique in Abu Dhabi (and sorry we can’t make it). The invite promises, “At this red carpet event you will develop and tease your coffee palate, understand the difference between Robusta and Arabica, Columbian and Brazilian, as well as learning how to make the perfect cup from premium coffee capsules and interview coffee experts and the boutique owners.” It then wins a Stating the Obvious Award. “Refreshments will be provided.” We wonder if we’d be able to find a hot, caffeinated drink anywhere near the event. Use your loaf For some reason we recently received a press release from UK-based PR agency Lexis PR, announcing, “Kingsmill launches the UK’s first smooth seeded bread as part of exciting new range.” Crikey, we thought, that’s got to be the best thing since… Oh. Use your loaf again There were lots of best wishes bouncing about our inbox in the run-up to Christmas. We were getting season’s greetings from all sorts of people. Including the UAE’s Golden Loaf Bakery. The e-mail had no attachments. Or content, come to think of it. But it was confusingly titled, “Eid Mubarak.” Festive. Missing in action “Dear Editor,” began the e-mail from Raee PR. “Please find attached a press release titled: … for use in your publication.” The gap around that ellipsis was actually longer, and there was no attachment. “If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us,” concluded the note. We chose not to. Core, blimey “Intel Brings ‘Eye Candy’ to Masses with 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family” was the headline of a release from Hill & Knowlton PR
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agency. After seeing the accompanying image, we had to agree. Hubba hubba.
Spam, squared “Hi email@example.com,” is never a very promising start to an e-mail. It doesn’t suggest the sort of knowledge of the recipient and his needs that will persuade him to take the time to read what follows. Take note, Tom Woods of Touchdown PR, who goes on to write, “Following the story about the sudden drop in e-mail spam that was reported yesterday, my client StrongMail has prepared a comment that I thought you may find of interest.” Communicate replied, suggesting that Woods had sent the same e-mail to everyone in his address book, and asking if he was aware of the irony of that. He didn’t reply. Perhaps our mail went straight to his junk folder. Fat chance Thanks to Al Aan TV for providing us with a press release entitled, “Arabs are unhappy about being obese, but won’t take action.” We might be able to see where the problem lies there. Unnecessary quotation marks Some people’s “use” of “quotes” is too good to go unnoted. Such as a copywriter, who sent us her CV on spec, with a covering letter that began: I hope you are well. I am writing to you to express that I would be very interested in bringing my unique knowledge and experience to your company. My “claim” of “unique” can be substantiated with proof in the attached CV/Portfolio.
“The Clarins woman is naturally beautiful. She is every woman… In his portraits for Clarins, Guido Mocafico has chosen to follow the principle composition codes of German portrait artists from the 16th century (Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Dürer). Refined, humanist pictures free of any artifice. Through his lens are real women who do not “pose”. Far from stereotypes, they are themselves. There is no scenery behind them. Quiet. Guido Mocafico is in full concentration, everything is still. Close-up on their eyes. With their eyes, they speak to us.“ – From a press release announcing Clarins’ new global ad campaign.
“There is always a question of authenticity of the property and the people involved in these cases. Property business would always remain traditional; wherein the agents represent their buyer and seller as in case of any matured property market. You require someone to champion your requirement to sell, buy, or rent. With a direct approach both parties involve rather on a compromise in deal, and the power of negotiation is lost. Apart from just liking a property, agreeing on a price, there is more to a transaction in terms documentation, co-ordination, registration process, handover, tenant disputes, so on. Agents have to be awarded for handling nitty-gritty of a property deal, efficiently.” – From UAE news website Emirates 24-7
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