Th­ese are In­ter­est­ing Times

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

“Ad­ver­tis­ing is dead, long live ad­ver­tis­ing!!!” I’m us­ing this term to pro­claim the ac­ces­sion of a new era, a new era in ad­ver­tis­ing. A chal­leng­ing era I might add.

Ad­ver­tis­ing hasn’t changed; it has evolved.

Just like it evolved through the 60’s, the 70’s and the 80’s.

In fact, it would have been sad if ad­ver­tis­ing did not evolve. Imag­ine us with­out th­ese mod­ern medi­ums and tools such as Pho­to­shop, or with­out ad­vanced film edit­ing tools.

The very thought of it sends shiv­ers down my spine.

Ad­ver­tis­ing, like all in­dus­tries, is ad­just­ing to the in­evitable, evo­lu­tion.

Sir John He­garty, one of the founders of BBH and the author of ‘He­garty on Ad­ver­tis­ing’ (highly rec­om­mended book) once wrote: “al­ways re­mem­ber, a brand is the most valu­able piece of real es­tate, a cor­ner of some­one’s mind”. We ad­ver­tis­ers should take him at his word, be­cause that is the core of every­thing we do. We cre­ate brand value in peo­ple’s minds and hearts…

Ad­ver­tis­ing was, is, and will al­ways be re­spond­ing to chang­ing busi­ness needs and mar­ket de­mands, me­dia chan­nels and tech­nolo­gies, as well as cul­tural con­texts.

No mat­ter how you put it or try to be smart about it, we all strive to do one thing.

That is to cre­ate dis­rup­tion and grab at­ten­tion, and in or­der to do that we need to get with the times.

Th­ese are in­ter­est­ing times, which I am lucky to be part of.

Years ago, Ravi used to be my travel agent back when I was liv­ing in Dubai. All it took me was a phone call and all my travel plans were in or­der. Where is Ravi to­day? With Airbnb, Book­ and Uber, Ravi is no more. In fact, Ravi be­came ob­so­lete. That is in a way a sad no­tion if you think about it, but what’s the point of evo­lu­tion if you can’t adapt? I gen­uinely hope Ravi is liv­ing on an is­land some­where, sip­ping Mai Tai’s while or­gan­is­ing other peo­ple’s travel plans through one of the dot­coms. We are wit­ness­ing the evo­lu­tion of gi­ant in­dus­tries…

True, our busi­ness mod­els have evolved and most of the old guards won’t recog­nise to­day’s ad­ver­tis­ing busi­ness, be­cause it is driven by data and tech­nol­ogy. But the very heart of our busi­ness is still called ‘ad­ver­tis­ing’. We can all look for dig­i­tal tal­ents, search for new data, in­tro­duce new train­ing mod­els or even de­sign ad­vanced tools, but th­ese pa­ram­e­ters are not go­ing to help us change the game. It’s what we do with them that set us apart, and make us game chang­ers.

Per­son­ally, if you ask me what makes and keeps an ad agency rel­e­vant and suc­cess­ful, I wouldn’t know how to an­swer. In a sur­vival mode, we have to go back to our pri­mal in­stincts, I for one still rely on my gut feel­ing, and the day I lose that feel­ing in my stom­ach, is the day I quit ad­ver­tis­ing.

Ad­ver­tis­ing is dead, long live Ad­ver­tis­ing!!!

I for one still rely on my gut

feel­ing, and the day I lose that feel­ing in my stom­ach, is

the day I quit ad­ver­tis­ing.

Emile Atal­lah FP7 Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor

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