Change to Sur­vive


Arabad’s July/au­gust is­sue is lit­er­ally packed with rich fea­tures ad­dress­ing some of the most press­ing and in­no­va­tive sto­ries tran­spir­ing across the MENA re­gion.

We kick off the is­sue by bring­ing you an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Philippe Skaff, the founder and former cre­ative di­rec­tor and CEO of Grey. We dis­cuss the rea­sons he left the ad­ver­tis­ing world back in 2011 then delve into the big­gest project he’s un­der­taken, namely a the­atri­cal mu­sic show en­ti­tled ‘Clus­ters of Light’, the story of the birth of Is­lam.

We then move to a lighter though equally-rel­e­vant sub­ject-- with our monthly fea­ture ti­tled ‘Cre­ative Cul­ture’-- on the death of cre­ativ­ity and rise of ‘re­cy­cling ideas’ with a show­case of twenty se­lected works cour­tesy of Joe La Pompe that re­ceived var­i­ous awards and com­men­da­tions at this year’s Cannes Lions award fes­ti­val.

An­other highly-in­for­ma­tive fea­ture tack­les the dig­i­tal strate­gies em­ployed by agen­cies through­out the re­gion and elab­o­rates how this tech­nol­ogy is fast be­com­ing the core to communications so­lu­tions. It di­rectly dis­cusses the ef­fects this rel­a­tively novel struc­ture has had on in­ter­pret­ing and in­te­grat­ing en­gag­ing con­tent de­signed to boost the con­ver­sa­tion on­line. For a more in-depth over­view of the mat­ter Arabad dis­cussed the progress achieved and chal­lenges faced with a num­ber of industry ex­perts in this spe­cial re­port.

We also talked to a num­ber of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ex­perts em­ploy­ing an ad­vanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nique called pro­gram­matic buy­ing and how it’s go­ing to change the world of me­dia buy­ing. With an in­creas­ing num­ber of brands tak­ing ad­van­tage of the ben­e­fits of au­to­ma­tion in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, mar­keters are now able to pur­chase ads through soft­ware, as op­posed to tra­di­tional ef­forts that in­volve hu­man ne­go­ti­a­tion, mak­ing ad buy­ing cheaper and more ef­fi­cient. How­ever, as is the case with ev­ery new tech­nol­ogy, a num­ber of con­cerns have arisen. Chief among those is the abil­ity of brands to con­trol where their ads will ap­pear. Mar­keters also fear that con­tent will lose its qual­ity, since pro­gram­matic soft­ware has yet to in­cor­po­rate cre­ative per­for­mance mea­sure­ment. Opin­ions dif­fer about pro­gram­matic, and while some brands are on board, the con­sen­sus is that there are still some kinks and ad­ver­tis­ers will be more likely to adopt pro­gram­matic when they can mea­sure cre­ative im­pact and seg­ment au­di­ences ac­cord­ingly.

Pro­po­nents of the tech­nol­ogy be­lieve that pro­gram­matic will re­place ad­ver­tis­ing in a few years. Whether this trans­for­ma­tion will take place is any­one’s guess. What is cer­tain is that we find our­selves at a time and in a place full of great prom­ise con­sid­er­ing the changes un­fold­ing and though things ap­pear muddy, a sig­nif­i­cant shift re­mains clearly im­mi­nent.

In this is­sue you will also find many in­ter­est­ing news ar­ti­cles as well as think pieces like the one on MEA’S most re­cent ad cam­paign cel­e­brat­ing the com­pany’s 70-year birth­day told from the per­spec­tive of a brand ex­pert who took lib­erty to dis­sect the work and of­fer rel­e­vant rec­om­men­da­tions re­gard­ing the fu­ture of the com­pany from a brand­ing per­spec­tive.

We took great care in procur­ing the con­tent con­tained within th­ese pages, which we hope will be both in­for­ma­tive as well as en­ter­tain­ing.

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