ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

The ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try, like all in­dus­tries to­day, is wit­ness­ing a sig­nif­i­cant trans­for­ma­tion and is be­ing called to re­visit how it does things.

The en­vi­ron­ment is tough, there’s no doubt about that and the changes we’re fac­ing are hap­pen­ing on all fronts at once:

The over­all eco­nom­i­cal sit­u­a­tion of the coun­try is un­sta­ble to say the least, and as al­ways, brand build­ing bud­gets are cut first. As a way to fur­ther re­duce costs, ad­ver­tis­ers are of­ten re­cruit­ing in-house tal­ents to han­dle their de­sign or dig­i­tal needs, and redi­rect­ing their ef­forts to­wards so­cial me­dia and short-term ac­tiv­i­ties.

And a lot of peo­ple are on­line, most of the time. This is prob­a­bly the ma­jor change agent in what we’re wit­ness­ing. It means com­pletely dif­fer­ent me­dia con­sump­tion habits and be­hav­ior, an ever-chang­ing set of ex­pec­ta­tions to adapt to among con­sumers, the emer­gence of new com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels (such as In­flu­encers), and a dras­tic change in mind­set among young cre­ative tal­ents and how they con­nect to Ad­ver­tis­ing.

All of this makes it a real chal­lenge for ad agen­cies to grow, es­pe­cially when they’re un­will­ing to com­pro­mise on the qual­ity and stan­dards of their work. On the other side, this is the age of ac­count­abil­ity, which means that the agen­cies that are go­ing to sur­vive are the ones who pro­duce good work and gen­er­ate real re­sults, and that’s great news.

The chal­lenges we are fac­ing are noth­ing new to the world: when­ever an eco­nom­i­cal cri­sis arises, com­mu­ni­ca­tion bud­gets are cut. And there will al­ways be, in Le­banon like ev­ery­where else, busi­nesses and brands that can see and take the op­por­tu­nity of those tur­bu­lent times to stand out, con­nect with their au­di­ence, and build bonds that are meant to last.


What the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try needs most of all is to re­mem­ber the beauty and magic of what it can do, then the rest will fol­low.

Ad­vert­ing has al­ways been on the lead­ing edge of cre­ativ­ity, home of new ideas and new tech­nolo­gies. It brings art into busi­ness and com­bines many dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines, look­ing for new ways to con­nect with peo­ple and to con­nect peo­ple to each other.

When we for­get all of this and think of ad agen­cies as me­chan­i­cal ser­vice providers, we for­get what gets ideas flow­ing and busi­nesses grow­ing: pas­sion, cu­rios­ity, and ex­cite­ment.

Let’s cre­ate ads that we haven’t seen be­fore. Let us find ways to truly speak with the un­pre­dictable youth of to­day, and add value to their lives. Let us de­sign ex­pe­ri­ences that ex­pand our cre­ative un­der­stand­ing. Let us re­mem­ber the power of cel­e­brat­ing re­ally good work, and bring back the an­tic­i­pa­tion of win­ning a lo­cal award.

Let us do that, and the rest will fol­low. The work will speak for it­self, clients and brands will re­mem­ber the im­pact good ad­ver­tis­ing can have on their bot­tom lines, ad­ver­tis­ing bud­gets will be seen again as in­vest­ments rather than costs, and we’ll be able to get back and keep our best tal­ents in the coun­try.

Let’s not for­get what gets ideas flow­ing and busi­nesses grow­ing: pas­sion, cu­rios­ity, and ex­cite­ment

Ge­orge Slim Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Pimo

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