The Re­al­ity of the Mat­ter

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

A More De­fined In­dus­try

The ad­ver­tis­ing scene in Dubai is a true re­flec­tion of the city it­self. Al­ways chal­lenged, but find­ing ways to adapt quickly and evolve. A true tale of sur­vival of the fittest. I be­lieve 2016 elim­i­nated a lot of medi­ocrity and pro­moted health­ier, more ag­gres­sive com­pe­ti­tion, not only in our in­dus­try but across most busi­nesses. It in­stilled a con­stant need for in­tel­li­gence and in­no­va­tion. From a num­bers per­spec­tive, I would say ‘the glass half full’ pretty much sums up the year. Q4 is done and dusted for the most part. The real con­ver­sa­tion that started back in Au­gust was around what’s in store for 2017 and I am no clair­voy­ant, but I see more of the same.

The Chang­ing Face of Cre­ativ­ity

‘Tra­di­tional Agency Model’ – what the heck does that even mean? Re­ally! I was and will al­ways be a great be­liever in big ideas that im­pact busi­nesses and that is the busi­ness Im­pact BBDO is in. That has been the case for years but the way we go about it has of course evolved with the ex­plo­sion of on­line/mo­bile and the as­so­ci­ated ac­cess to real-time in­for­ma­tion to fuel our in­tel­li­gence. Be­sides that, what re­ally changed? We are still about un­der­stand­ing peo­ple (con­sumers) and still about serv­ing them the right mes­sage at the right time and in the right con­text. Do we need to know how to pro­gram an app or sched­ule a dig­i­tal me­dia plan? No. We have ex­pert part­ners to do that. How can ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies be la­beled ‘tra­di­tional’ when those same agen­cies are the ones lead­ing the ‘cre­ative evo­lu­tion’ and redefin­ing the stan­dards year-on-year in the re­gional and global award shows. I am yet to see me­dia com­pa­nies and con­sul­tan­cies com­pet­ing with that propo­si­tion – so for now, I will con­tinue to call them ‘field ex­perts’. One would won­der though, what stops th­ese com­pa­nies from nick­ing the best cre­ative ta­lent? Well, some have started, but naive as I may sound I be­lieve that the same ta­lent won’t last there. Th­ese com­pa­nies are not in the busi­ness of cre­ativ­ity. For them, it is a means to sell their own prod­uct or ser­vice but for us, it is a ‘rai­son d'être’. That, for me, is fun­da­men­tal.

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