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Manuel Borde: On Work and Cre­ativ­ity in Dubai’s Ad World

a coun­try, will­ing to fight for and pro­mote the best work from their mar­ket even if it´s not their own. I’m not sure we have reached this level in UAE yet. Dubai’s di­ver­sity is both awe­some and trou­ble­some or rather chal­leng­ing. How to craft mes­sages that fit so many cul­tures at the same time in­clud­ing that still im­por­tant chunk of the pop­u­la­tion that are lo­cals? And it gets even more chal­leng­ing when you add other re­gional mar­kets like KSA or Qatar. The chal­lenge is left for us to find sto­ries and in­sights that are uni­ver­sally rel­e­vant. I some­times do feel we over­es­ti­mate the term “cul­tur­ally rel­e­vant”. Do I have to show Asian ac­tors, to be rel­e­vant to Asian ex­pats? Why??? I ac­tu­ally got told once while pre­sent­ing a cam­paign, that a me­teor was not rel­e­vant to the cul­ture… I don’t think it’s a “thing” of any cul­ture, it’s just as rel­e­vant as the plan­ets and the stars I guess. I think the big­gest chal­lenge cre­atives have to­day is not fall­ing into that zone of com­fort and be­com­ing stag­nant, and a mar­ket like Dubai can dan­ger­ously put you there. You will prob­a­bly get a bet­ter salary and qual­ity of life in Dubai than in your own coun­try, and win a cou­ple of awards here and there, but it’s a clean slate ev­ery year and you have to be con­stantly hun­gry for great work. As they say, “you are only as good as your last ad”. I can’t think of any in par­tic­u­lar… But I will tell you I dis­like all the in­cred­i­bly over­acted ra­dio spots here in the UAE. I hon­estly do not know how they make their way through the speak­ers into peo­ple´s ears. Such a waste of a truly fun me­dia. Well I wouldn’t be here if I thought oth­er­wise. I be­lieve this is a mar­ket that will only be­come stronger, more com­pet­i­tive and more cre­ative.

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