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LG’s World Largest Outdoor Advertising Billboard

LG’s World Largest Outdoor Advertising Billboard

4145The joint efforts of three entities had lead to a record-breaking achievement. The Guinness World Records had honored LG, JCDecaux and King Khaled International Airport – Riyadh (KKIA) with a Guinness World Record Award for an unprecedented achievement that took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three entities contributed to the construction - in just 3 months - of an incredibly huge outdoor advertising structure - measuring 250m x 12m, with a total surface area of 3,000m2.

Strategically positioned to the side of Riyadh airport’s Access Road where the average reach attains 100% of the airport’s passengers, the landmark JCDecaux structure enabled LG not only to showcase its new LG G3 advertising campaign, but also to express its own brand identity. The campaign started on July 16, 2014.

Commenting on this event, Mr. Deuk Soo Ahn, President of LG Electronics Saudi Arabia said: “LG is very proud to be part of an initiative that leads to international acclaim and being part of the Guinness Book of World Records is an incredible result. This is part of what makes our product one to beat. Branding at KKIA is a major part of our media mix and we believe this activation reflects how seriously we view the Saudi market.

On the same occasion, Mr. David Bourg CEO of JCDecaux also declared: “The realization of this project is a remarkable achievement for our team based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An efficient and well-coordinated execution allowed us to give life to this fascinating advertising opportunity in just 6 month. This clearly demonstrates JCDecaux’s commitment to add value to our partners and to enhance the passenger experience through creativity, innovation and perfect execution.”



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Digital Advertising Spend to Reach $1B in the MENA by 2017

Digital Advertising Spend to Reach $1B in the MENA by 2017

4248Global ad spend is on track to grow by 5.5% this year and reach $537 billion, with online ad spend accounting for nearly one-quarter of the staggering amount. The global growth of the advertising sector is paralleled closely in the MENA region: digital ad spend in 2013 reached $300 million, and is increasing at 37% per year to reach an astounding $1B in 2017. “Digital advertising is the fastest growing segment in the region – and not surprisingly,” says Tom Roychoudhury, Chief Innovations Officer of Middle East Communications Network (MCN). “With a majority of the population under 25 – who spend a significant portion of their wake time online, digital advertising is the only real channel for brands to engage today’s target audience in the region. The GCC leads this, with the UAE, KSA and Qatar on the digital ad market leaderboard.

Global interest in mobile advertising is also surging: mobile ad spend grew 105% in 2013 and is expected to reach $31.5B globally. This is also mirrored in MENA, where mobile ads grew by 58% to reach $85 million this year (compared to $50 million last year). “Smartphone penetration and hours spent online in the Arab world, and the GCC in particular, are amongst the highest worldwide,” says Zafer Younis, co-founder at The Online Project. “Traditional media in these countries is still heavily controlled and monitored by the government. So, I do expect our region to be fast in switching to digital. The consumers have already made the shift, advertiser will follow shortly.”

The increasing interest in digital and mobile advertising is disrupting the traditional business of ad agencies, many of whom are restructuring their organizations and building digital capacities to enable them to better serve their clients’ digital marketing needs. Chief Innovation Officers, like Roychaudhury and Yousef Tuqan of Leo Burnett, are in many cases charged with leading this transformation. “We have seen the steady evolution of communications & content from analog to digital, and from digital to mobile and social,” states Tuqan. “Any successful communicator, in the GCC or anywhere else, must adapt to this new paradigm.”

Digital marketing and advertising are key topics that will be discussed in depth at the upcoming ArabNet Digital Summit, taking place on June 3-5 at Atlantis Hotel, The Palm, Dubai. The conference will include Ad+Tech Academy, a full day of workshops on digital, social, mobile, and video advertising. ArabNet’s summit is set to convene more than 1,000 executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and media from the four corners of the world. More than 130 speakers will gather during the event to discuss the latest digital opportunities shaping the Arab digital industry.




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Global ad spend to return to pre-financial crisis peak

Global ad spend to return to pre-financial crisis peak

471Advertising will continue to strengthen over the next three years, with global advertising spend predicted to surge from 3.9 per cent in 2013 to 5.5 per cent in 2014. This is then set to increase to 5.8 per cent by 2015 and 6.1 per cent by 2016, mainly driven by improvements in the global economy, the spread of programmatic buying and the rapid rise of mobile advertising.

According to ZenithOptimedia’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, global ad spend will be boosted by three ‘semi-quadrennial’ events – the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the mid-term elections in the US – which will benefit television, in particular. Advertisers are also gaining confidence, as growth returns to the Eurozone, which now looks more stable and less likely to deliver more negative shocks to the world economy. In general, advertisers are in a strong position to invest in expansion, with large reserves of cash and high profitability.

Eurozone returns to growth

The Eurozone emerged from recession last year and its recovery appears to be gathering pace. This has encouraged advertisers to start committing higher budgets to the region, which has suffered a 15 per cent drop in ad spend since the financial crisis began in 2007. The Eurozone’s ad spend shrank by three per cent in 2013, but this was loaded towards the front of the year; at the end of 2013, several key media owners were reporting growth in their ad revenues. The study suggests that the Eurozone’s ad spend will increase by 0.7 per cent this year, achieving its first year of growth since 2010. Finland, Italy and Greece are still shrinking, but should stabilise next year, helping the Eurozone to accelerate by 1.6 per cent by 2015 and 1.7 per cent by 2016.

Television remains dominant

Television is still, by some distance, the dominant advertising medium, attracting 40 per cent of spend in 2013, approximately twice more than the share enjoyed by the internet (21 per cent). TV offers unparalleled capacity to build reach and establish brand awareness and associations. Television ad spend is expected to grow by 5.2 per cent in 2014, up from 4.4 per cent in 2013, as it gains the most from the benefits of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and mid-term US elections.

Programmatic buying to boost internet display by 2015

The internet is still the fastest-growing medium to some extent, as it grew by 16.2 per cent in 2013. The best-performing sub-category is display, which is estimated to grow at 21 per cent per year until 2016. Traditional display (banners and other standard formats) is rising at 16 per cent per year, boosted by the revolution in programmatic buying, which provides agencies and advertisers with more control and better value from their trading. Social media (developing at 29 per cent per year) and online video (growing at 23 per cent per year) are also starting to benefit from programmatic buying, which is helping to sustain their rapid growths. The report expects internet display to overtake paid search (which is increasing at 13 per cent every year) for the first time in 2015. In 2016, internet display ad spend will total $74.4 billion, while paid search ad spend will reach $71.1bn.

Continued growth of mobile

Mobile advertising has now truly taken off and is growing six times faster than desktop internet. The report reveals that mobile advertising will grow by an average of 50 per cent between 2013 and 2016, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets. By contrast, desktop internet advertising will grow at an average of eight per cent per year.



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Leo Burnett Dubai launches innovative CrowdStorming concept to celebrate creativity at Dubai Lynx 2014

Leo Burnett Dubai launches innovative CrowdStorming concept to celebrate creativity at Dubai Lynx 2014

4106Leo Burnett Dubai launched an exciting new creative concept at the opening of the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity: CrowdStorming. The groundbreaking idea was seen at Leo Burnett’s Lynx Academy booth within the Festival at Madinat Jumeirah Arena from March 9-11, where the correlation between collective brainstorming and creative inspiration was demonstrated in an interactive, live art installation.

This year’s Leo Burnett booth was composed almost entirely of white canvas, creating a blank page onto which three urban artists – Rami Afifi, Victoria Viray, and Tarsila Schubert Cury – painted throughout the Festival. They drew inspiration for their work from tweets sent by Festival-goers using a dedicated hashtag (#crowdstorming); these tweets included anything from thoughts and ideas to words and images, whatever came to their mind throughout the Lynx sessions. The tweets were displayed on a screen for the artists to see, and tweeters who had their content chosen received the canvas they inspired.

By the end of the Dubai Lynx Festival, Leo Burnett’s stall had been transformed into a colourful creative expression of collective thought – a true demonstration of the inspirational power that collaboration can have on the creative process.

“CrowdStorming is the result of our desire to create something innovative that would be both creative and engaging,” said Bechara Mouzannar, CCO, Leo Burnett Group MENA. “Creativity is the core of our business, and CrowdStorming is an exciting live demonstration of how creativity can come from anyone. Everyone can contribute , be part of it and watch creativity as it unfolds”.



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How much value do awards add to the advertising industry?

How much value do awards add to the advertising industry?

4140With more than 39 recognised award shows (as of the end of 2013) in the advertising industry, some argue that they might be losing merit. Awards have had both critics and advocates since their inception, and the Mena region is no different in having witnessed its share of controversy on the topic.

Most award entries, which can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars, include a written case and a video that illustrates the campaign strategy. In 2012, the fee per entry was approximately $275 for the Effies, $305 for the Dubai Lynx, $320 for the Mena Cristals and $400 for the Cannes Lions. The latter is considered the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers. Every year in June, approximately 12,000 registered delegates from 90 countries visit the festival in Southern France.

With the MENA Cristal Festival around the corner and the Lynx just approaching, the debate was timely at the first session of the International Advertising Association (IAA) in 2014, held in Dubai Media City. The panel of debaters included Carla Hassan, CEO at PepsiCo MEA; Hubert Boulos, CEO Middle East at DDB and Mounir Harfouche, CEO at Lowe MENA.

Harfouche, in particular, is outspoken about the absence of regional presence on the Dubai Lynx jury. He says: “Advertising is the only industry where creativity is used to deliver a very business-driven objective. That’s where it becomes a currency and the best investment a brand can make. Creativity needs a context for its value to be measured, otherwise it becomes pure artistic expression, which makes it totally subjective. Clients and agencies need to be aligned on the definition of creativity and that’s how we can improve the outcome of the work. Our industry needs its chance to be respected and recognised. Our people need to be part of the experience, including taking part in judging regional awards.”

Boulos also echoed Harfouche’s sentiment: “The absence of Arab jurors at the Dubai Lynx is an absurdity; I feel it is actually insulting to all of us. I can’t imagine something like this happening in France, for example.”

Nicola Gregson, managing director of Ketchum Raad Middle East and chairwoman of Middle East PR Association (MEPRA), says: “[I believe] the value of winning can be huge – from any point of view; most people are passionate about receiving awards, as long as it is on a level playing field. The word that underpinned most of the comments and discussions during the debate was ‘integrity’ – something that every client, agency and judge must operate with. [Only then can we] experience the true value of winning awards.”

When it comes to determining what makes a campaign creative and worthy of awards, the answer can be rather relative. More importantly, should advertisers aim for metal or should the work focus on carrying its objectives?

“I believe in shooting straight. Hence, I’ll give you an unshakeable fact: There is a robust body of evidence of correlation between work that wins (creative) awards and work that builds business,” Lance de Masi, president at IAA UAE Chapter – the largest IAA chapter in the world – and moderator of the Dubai event, tells AMEinfo.com. “I’m a believer in awards. They recognise and encourage creativity. And, as referenced previously, creativity builds business.”

When asked about what a judging panel should consist of, de Masi says: “The ‘perfect’ judging panel is a diverse group of communications professionals, many of which have themselves won awards. I call for diversity in nationality, native language and, of course, professional extraction.”


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‘The age of mobile advertising optimisation is upon us’

‘The age of mobile advertising optimisation is upon us’

465Reports by Addictive Mobility and RBBi reveal its potential for growth in the GCC region

The year 2014 is poised to be the year that mobile becomes a mainstream marketing solution, according to the 2013 Insights Report on Mobile and 2014 Mobile Trends Report, both of which were released today by digital agency, RBBi and international mobile advertising solutions company, Addictive Mobility, respectively.

“Consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets is now ubiquitous. The numbers are just too large for brands to ignore and 2014 will likely be the tipping point, with companies seriously embracing mobile,” states Addictive Mobility’s report.

Mobile media consumption has doubled in the past three years, whereas 82 per cent of post-click interaction is for embedded videos.

“Although the methodology by which the calculation of mobile ad spend ROI is still up for debate, what is evident is that users now control how they interact with brands on their mobile devices,” says Naveed Ahmad, CEO of Addictive Mobility.

Emerging markets, such as the GCC region, are showing extraordinary interest in mobile advertising. The GCC region is showing a post-click interaction average that is six times higher than the US average, with Saudi Arabia leading post-click engagement, impressions and unique users.

Furthermore, smartphone and tablet adoption is on the rise. In most markets, they represent more than 50 per cent of media engagement. “The year 2013 saw a significant increase in specific verticals that were spending on mobile advertising, however many brands are yet to adopt the ‘mobile-first’ strategy,” adds Ahmad.

When it comes to in-app advertising, Addictive Mobility’s report reveals that Android performed slightly better than iOS in click-through rates and post-click engagement.

However, challenges still remain, as creative is not innovating exclusively for mobile capabilities and technologies. Moreover, publishers and exchanges need to accept more innovation on creative work, since there’s no uniform method to traffic mobile campaigns.

Both reports conclude that for mobile ad spend to continue its exponential growth, every campaign should have an array of reporting tools, so that there is a clear path to improve engagement and performance.


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Memac Ogilvy Egypt keeps its team’s mind refreshed and active

Memac Ogilvy Egypt keeps its team’s mind refreshed and active

5Memac Ogilvy, the multinational Advertising and PR agency, organized recently Activities Day for its employees to challenge its members with mental activities to refresh their minds and recharge their creativity.

The Activities Day started with memory exercises and mind challenging games which picked the teams’ brains to the highest level. The staff was divided into teams to solve a difficult puzzle resembling another team members’; the competition was on fire between the teams to know the answer.

“We at Memac Ogilvy believe that mind games exercises are the best practice to revive the minds and enhance the creativity in finding solutions. We decided to have monthly activity to energize our minds and souls.” said Tarek Lasheen, PR Director Memac Ogilvy Egypt.

The Activities Day was fun and the different teams competed together in mental activities where the winners got awarded with valuable prizes.

One of the core believes of Memac Ogilvy is finding unique solutions to achieve target and in this case the target is to refresh minds.



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Ketchum recognized by Holmes Report

Ketchum recognized by Holmes Report


3262Ketchum, one of the world’s leading communications firms, was named EMEA Consultancy of the Year by the Holmes Report, a leading publication in the global public relations industry. The recognition encompasses the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa region and headlines a list of individual geographic honors.

Ketchum Raad Middle East, headquartered in the UAE, is the regional division of Ketchum, and is responsible for offices across the Middle East and North Africa. The awards will be presented May 30 in Barcelona as part of the 2013 EMEA SABRE Awards.

Of the award, Holmes Report editor-in-chief and CEO Paul Holmes wrote, “Ketchum can credibly claim to be the largest public relations agency in the EMEA region, with 29 offices and 29 affiliates providing comprehensive regional coverage.” Holmes also cited the firm’s strength in developed markets like Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K., as well as “impressive growth” in emerging markets like Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Ketchum senior partner and CEO Rob Flaherty said, “The Holmes Report’s analysis underscores many aspects of our network that position us well for the future - award-winning client work, strong new business success, depth in all major and emerging markets, and scale that makes us the market leader. This honor is an important and highly visible validation of how we operate.”

David Gallagher, Ketchum senior partner and EMEA president, added, “This recognition reflects the hard work, innovation and commitment of Ketchum colleagues in EMEA and beyond. I’d like to personally congratulate and thank all of the clients, colleagues and business partners who make our continued success possible.”

These award wins follow a number of high honors bestowed to Ketchum in 2012. Last year, Ketchum was honored with the European Excellence Award for Agency of the Year and was named Large Consultancy of the Year by PRmoment at the inaugural Golden Hedgehog Awards. Ketchum and IBM took home the Best of Silver Anvil Award and Platinum SABRE Award for the best campaign of the year, and Ketchum won more Silver Anvils and Americas SABRE Awards than any other firm, with 10 total Anvils and six Gold SABRE Awards. Earlier this year, Ketchum and its clients took home three PRWeek Awards.






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Y and R Dubai wins coveted ‘Agency of the Year’ at Dubai Lynx Awards

Y and R Dubai wins coveted ‘Agency of the Year’ at Dubai Lynx Awards


4165Y&R Dubai, part of the Menacom Group, has won the coveted ‘Agency of the Year’ title at the Dubai Lynx Awards for the third consecutive year, making it the most awarded agency in the region and in the advertising festival’s history.

The Agency also picked up the Grand Prix in Design for Land Rover’s ‘Personal Extinction Prevention Book’ as well as a handful of Golds in Direct for their work with Dubai-based Quint Magazine, titled ‘Dubai’s got Culture’.

Y&R Dubai’s final tally was one Grand Prix, three Golds, 10 Silvers and six Bronzes across multiple categories including: Print, Outdoor, Radio, Design, Direct, TV and Mobile.

The winning work was created on behalf of clients such as Land Rover, Harvey Nichols, Red Cross, American Garden, Brax, Gulf News and Diamond Foil.

“Winning Agency of the Year at Dubai Lynx is a truly outstanding achievement,” said Nadine Ghossoub, Managing Director, Y&R Dubai. “To bag this honour for three years in a row is testament to our creative consistency as an agency. Most of our awarded work is for clients who have been with us for many years and these long standing relationships have enabled us to push the creative boundaries for their brands even further,” she added.

Y&R Dubai also came second in the Network of the Year competition at Dubai Lynx 2013 and in 2011 was ranked third most creative agency in the world by the Big Won Report becoming the first agency from the MENA region to make it into the top 10.




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Batelco named Advertiser of the Year at Dubai Lynx International Advertising Festival Awards

Batelco named Advertiser of the Year at Dubai Lynx International Advertising Festival Awards


4126Batelco, Bahrain’s leading telecoms services provider has been presented with the Advertiser of the Year award at the prestigious Dubai Lynx International Advertising Festival.

The award is presented to the company that has distinguished itself for inspiring innovative marketing of their products and encouraging the creative work of their support agencies. Over the past two years, Batelco’s advertising, produced by FP7, has won a total of 26 Dubai Lynx awards which has led to this great achievement in being named Advertiser of the Year.

Batelco General Manager Consumer Division Muna Al Hashimi was in attendance to collect the award, in front of 1300 industry peers, at the major event held at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Dubai. Mrs. Al Hashimi was accompanied by Batelco Senior Manager Marketing and Communication Abdulla Abuidrees and Batelco Manager Public Relations Osama Alsaad.

The Dubai Lynx International Advertising Festival, which is part of Cannes international advertising festival, is a yearly event to award creative excellence in advertising and related fields in the Middle East and North Africa. Annually, Dubai Lynx receives a huge number of entries from all over the region including from telecom operators and big international corporations.

Batelco General Manager Consumer Division Muna Al Hashimi said that she was delighted to hear the great news that Batelco had been recognised once again for its creative advertising programmes which follows the company’s previous successes of 2011 and 2012 when Batelco took home several Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards from the annual event.

“I extend my appreciation to the many people on the Batelco team who contributed to this success. Winning such an accolade will undoubtedly encourage everyone to continue with their excellent efforts with the aspiration to bring further success for Batelco during 2013.”

Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals who with Motivate jointly organise the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity said they were delighted to present Batelco with this year’s Advertiser of the Year Award.

“Batelco has won numerous Dubai Lynx awards across many different categories in the last couple of years, a clear demonstration of the company’s willingness to embrace creativity to help build the brand across its territories,” added Mr. Thomas.





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