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Elie Aoun - Photo ResearchIpsos Connect launches in MENA

2015-11-26 16:34

media ResearchCarat reveals results of Qatar consumer study

2015-11-26 12:17

Android Friends furever DigitalGoogle Android’s ‘Friends Furever’: most-shared ad of 2015

2015-11-26 10:13

Kevin Pietersen CampaignsCricket star Kevin Pietersen launches Sprite 24/7 Project

2015-11-25 15:25

du launches new duApp feature to cut out queuing for customers in stores-2 Press Releasesdu launches new app feature to cut out queuing for customers in stores

2015-11-25 15:18

Andrew Benett AgencyIt takes a village

2015-11-25 12:26


More from Communicate


Ipsos Connect launches in MENA

Ipsos MediaCT and Ipsos ASI, the two specialized worldwide business lines, have merged to form Ipsos Connect, which aims to be the preferred partner for companies to measure and amplify how media, brands and consumers connect through content and communications. Ipsos will be connecting the knowledge from both Ipsos ASI and Ipsos MediaCT in brand, [...]

2015-11-26 16:34

Carat reveals results of Qatar consumer study

Carat, Dentsu Aegis’ media arm, reveals the results of its first Consumer Connection System (CCS) for Qatar. CCS is a research, insight and planning tool that aims to understand the consumers’ attitude toward media channels and how those same consumers will engage. The study reveals that social networking sites are relevant digital touch points. Data [...]

2015-11-26 12:17

Google Android’s ‘Friends Furever’: most-shared ad of 2015

Google’s ‘Friends Furever’ campaign promoting Android has been named the most-shared ad of 2015 globally. According to video ad tech firm Unruly’s annual Top 20 Global Video Ads Chart, the clip has also overtaken Activia’s ‘La La La’ as the most-shared ever. The ad, depicting surprising animal friendships, has attracted 6,432,921 shares across Facebook, Twitter [...]

2015-11-26 10:13

Cricket star Kevin Pietersen launches Sprite 24/7 Project

KP24, England’s all-time top scorer Kevin Pietersen’s official foundation, has launched the Sprite 24/7 Project, in which seven teams of underprivileged adolescents will be invited to a ten-day cricket camp and tournament in Dubai. Teenage boys between 16 and 18 years old will participate in training sessions with players and coaches before competing in a [...]

2015-11-25 15:25

It takes a village

In light of Havas Village Dubai’s September launch, Andrew Benett, global CEO of Havas Worldwide and Havas Creative Group, stopped in for a chat with Communicate. Having just opened the doors to the 35th Havas Village recently in Manchester, UK, Benett looks back at the Havas Together Strategy that was conceived in January 2014. He [...]

2015-11-25 12:26

Du’s National Day campaign celebrates the UAE’s diversity

As part of its UAE National Day celebration, du sets up seven blue doors at prominent locations such as Marina Mall – Abu Dhabi, Global Village, Al Majaz – Sharjah, Ripe Market – Zaabeel Park, Dubai, Fujeirah City center, Mall of the Emirates and Al Manar Mall – RAK. Visitors who walked in through the [...]

2015-11-24 16:23

J. Walter Thompson agrees to acquire majority stake in Cleartag

WPP’s J. Walter Thompson agrees to acquire a majority stake in Cleartag, a regional full-service digital marketing agency. The digital agency will continue to trade as Cleartag, while strengthening J. Walter Thompson’s digital offering in the MENA region. Currently, its digital offering is represented by Heathwallace in the UAE and KSA. Cleartag was established in [...]

2015-11-24 16:13

Does a brand make my identity?

Let me start by asking you the much-debated question – which came first, the chicken or the egg? Many scientists and researchers have come up with expert theories and explanations, only to contradict each other. An equivalent situation arises in engineering and science, and is known as a circular reference, wherein a parameter is required [...]

2015-11-24 15:45

TECOM invests AED 60 million on new media incubation centre

(L to R: Saeed Al Falasi, Malek Al Malek, Mohammad Abdullah, Jamal Al Sharif, TECOM Group) TECOM Group has announced an investment of AED 60 million to set up a new innovation centre for media start-ups and entrepreneurs, part of its wider goal to spend AED 4.5 billion on new innovation driven initiatives. Christened in5 [...]

2015-11-24 14:54

Middle East’s most viral ads

Communicate’s Middle East Ads Chart is devised using data compiled by the Unruly Viral Video Chart: a comprehensive source for video sharing data around the globe since 2006 that measures the share of voice and campaign effectiveness. Owned and operated by video ad tech company Unruly, the chart tracks and ranks the most popular videos [...]

2015-11-24 12:05

Hide and seek

Currently, a viewable desktop ad is one where 50 percent of the pixels of the ad are visible for one second and 30 percent of the pixels of video ads are visible for one second. Since the release of the first set of guidelines by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) in June 2014, there have [...]

2015-11-23 11:00

Roth Observatory opens shop in Dubai

(L to R: Stuart Pocock, managing partner UK and John Little, regional managing partner) Global management consultancy Roth Observatory International is opening its Dubai office this month as the hub for the MEA region. Set up in 2006, the company has established its presence across Europe, US, Asia and now the MEA region. Roth Observatory [...]

2015-11-22 17:15

Human Era branding

One of the most striking trends impacting our industry at the moment is the “Human Era’’. Now is the time for brands to embrace their softer side and move away from institutional identities in favor of more personable characteristics that customers can relate to. With the proliferation of online media, today’s consumers are looking to [...]

2015-11-22 16:35

Intelligent design

The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was coined in 1956 when American computer scientist John McCarthy defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs”. AI, also known as machine learning, now refers to a machine’s use of algorithms to understand human activity and provide a response to it. There [...]

2015-11-22 09:19

Emirates NBD launches Fitness Account for Apple Watch

Emirates NBD has launched the Emirates NBD Fitness Account that turns “health into wealth”. The Fitness Account is a mobile-based savings account that allows customers to earn higher interest on their balances by linking it to their level of physical activity. Customers will earn interest of up to two percent per annum (pa) on their [...]

2015-11-19 17:06

PR and digital agency Omnia hires new strategy director

Dubai-based branding, digital and PR agency, Omnia, appoints Amy Frengley as strategy director to oversee the direction and execution of the agency’s branding projects. Previously, Frengley worked as managing partner at Brandsmiths and, subsequently, as a freelancer. In a press statement, Frengley says, “After a number of years working in the region, I’m delighted to [...]

2015-11-19 15:22

Hill+Knowlton Strategies expands its Middle East team

Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) has announced three new appointments within its Middle East management team and, specifically, within its UAE operations. Stuart Macaulay, a communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience, joins the consultancy as general manager Abu Dhabi. Lucy Harvey, the former general manager of Dubai is promoted to regional director, while Lisa Welsh [...]

2015-11-19 15:21

20/20 Productions opens shop in Dubai

Recently, 20/20 Productions, a creative communications agency based out of Edinburgh, Scotland, opened the doors of its new Dubai office. The company’s directors claim to have made the decision to launch the Dubai presence because of various contract wins and an increase in demand from clients for support in the Middle East. The privately owned [...]

2015-11-19 15:15

Wassim Hmaidan made managing director for MEC Egypt and Lebanon

Media agency MEC announces the promotion of Wassim Hmaidan from GM of Egypt to managing director for Egypt and Lebanon. A three-year veteran at MEC, Hmaidan has been key to the establishment of the Cairo office. Formerly, he managed the transition of Vodafone to the agency, actively pushing MEC’s business forward in the realms of [...]

2015-11-19 12:18

Effie MENA 2015 Awards winners

The Effies MENA Awards 2015, held in partnership with Communicate’s sister title Gulf Marketing Review, celebrated the marketing and advertising industry’s best and most effective in a high-spirited night of celebrations on November 18. Out of 326 shortlisted entries, 79 made the cut. Twenty-three walked away with Golds, 26 with Silvers and 30 with Bronzes. [...]

2015-11-19 06:09

Abu Dhabi to host 44th IAA Congress

Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) will be organizing the 44th International Advertising Association (IAA) World Congress that will be in Abu Dhabi. The congress will take place at the Jumeirah Etihad Towers from March 21 to 23, 2016, under the theme “Breaking Boundaries”. The two-day conference will examine key challenges facing the advertising and media industry. [...]

2015-11-18 16:41

Al Aan TV signs exclusive advertising representation agreement with IMS in MENA

Al Aan TV has assigned Intelligent Media Services (IMS) to be its exclusive advertising representative in the MENA region. The agreement allows the two companies to form a strategic alliance committed to developing various commercial offerings within the region. Armand Andrea, Al Aan’s Group regional sales director, says in a press statement: “The agreement with [...]

2015-11-18 16:36

Grey Riyadh lands Riyad Bank account

Grey Group Middle East and Africa (MENA), global advertising and marketing agency, has landed the Riyad Bank account. Under an all-encompassing remit for the large banking group, the agency will handle Riyad Bank’s through-the-line communication, marketing and branding strategies. The win extends the agency’s roster of banks and financial institutions on both global and regional [...]

2015-11-18 16:32

Jumeirah and Google develop interactive 360-degree hotel experience

Jumeirah Inside has been developed to provide travelers with a unique look into Jumeirah hotels. The web-based virtual reality application has been optimized for tablet, mobile and desktop, providing a Google Street View–like look into the group’s 23 hotels. Jumeirah worked alongside Google and MediaMonks, a production company, to develop the tool’s 360-degree video, photography [...]

2015-11-18 15:54

Siegel+Gale launches findings from its sixth annual Global Brand Simplicity Index

Global brand strategy, design, and experience firm Siegel+Gale announced last week the findings of the sixth annual Global Brand Simplicity Index™. Leading discount supermarket chain ALDI topped the list as the world’s simplest brand for the third year running, while Google dominated the Middle East rankings. The study, based on an online survey of more [...]

2015-11-16 17:36

AdZouk chosen as a Google Certified Publishing Partner in the MENA region

AdZouk, a premium MENA region supply-side platform (SSP), has been announced as one of Google’s Certified Publishing Partners (CPP) for the region, to help publishers. AdZouk was chosen for this program, based on its expertise in Google AdSense and DoubleClick AdExchange, as well as high rankings in customer satisfaction. The Google badge for Certified Publisher [...]

2015-11-16 14:46

OSN signs long-term output agreement with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution

Pay-TV network OSN has signed an exclusive output agreement with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution for first and exclusive access to its premium content for the MENA region. The long-term agreement has been extended till 2020. This means, OSN subscribers will have continued first and exclusive access to Warner Bros.’ breadth of movies in the [...]

2015-11-16 14:09

Blismedia expands to the Middle East with new office in Dubai

The operation will be led by Puja Pannum, Blismedia’s managing director, Middle East. Pannum has previously held senior sales roles at Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo. Most recently, she operated as the business development director at digital media company Reach MENA. She will report to Paul Thompson, vice-president EMEA at Blis, who oversees the company’s regional [...]

2015-11-15 15:47

Google debuts programmatic ad sales for native, mobile video

Publishers can now sell native and mobile video ads programmatically through Google’s DoubleClick, the company said last Friday. The ads can be sold through either DoubleClick’s open auctions or the private marketplaces run by publishers and can appear on websites or apps. The system will soon enable buyers to purchase an ad to run across [...]

2015-11-15 13:49

Through the periscope

Periscope is a live-streaming platform that broadcasts a live video feed from your smartphone to your followers. Periscope is available on iOS and Android, and was acquired by Twitter in early 2015. The app reached more than one million users in ten days and, now, there are more than ten million users using the platform. [...]

2015-11-15 00:03

Pinterest users can now search with pictures

Pinterest introduced a feature on Monday that allows users to search for products with pictures instead of words. Dubbed visual search, the technology might make searching for that rondeau pot for your kitchen a little easier. For example, a user looking at an image of a living room could zoom in on a lamp and [...]

2015-11-12 10:29

Twitter appoints Kinda Ibrahim as director of media partnerships for the MENA region

Twitter has appointed Kinda Ibrahim as director of media partnerships for the Middle East and North Africa. Based out of Twitter’s recently opened Dubai office, Ibrahim’s team will work to accelerate Twitter’s push for content partnerships across the news, politics, sports, TV and entertainment verticals. Her team will work with key publishers to prioritize Twitter [...]

2015-11-11 15:56

The evolution of Microsoft’s brand strategy

Recently, Communicate had the opportunity to sit down with Tim O’Brien, Microsoft’s general manager of global communications, for a chat about Microsoft’s branding strategies and how they have changed since the tech giant was born. How has Microsoft evolved as a brand? In the earliest days of the company, most people associated it with a PC on [...]

2015-11-11 14:59

Middle East’s most viral ads

Communicate’s Middle East Ads Chart is devised using data compiled by the Unruly Viral Video Chart: a comprehensive source for video sharing data around the globe since 2006 that measures the share of voice and campaign effectiveness. Owned and operated by video ad tech company Unruly, the chart tracks and ranks the most popular videos [...]

2015-11-11 12:23

It’s all about the experience

Depending on what time it is right now, you’ve been marketed to anywhere between 100 to 5,000 times. Of that, you may be aware of perhaps 86 of those instances of ad and brand exposure. Ultimately, only a dozen would have made any impression. However, when it comes to choosing one brand over another – [...]

2015-11-11 11:29

Coca-Cola Light collaborates with local artists for new can designs

Coca-Cola Light reveals its second series of custom-designed coke cans, created by four new regional artists: Emma Boutras, Fidda Al Hussan, Faisal Al Fouzan and Raha Moharrak. The cans featuring the new designs are limited editions and have been released across the UAE, KSA and Kuwait. The production of the first series of #LoveLife cans [...]

2015-11-10 16:58

Google and IPG Media Lab research effectiveness of branded content

In collaboration with IPG Media Lab, a division of IPG Mediabrands, Google recently revealed the results of a global branded content effectiveness study. This particular research defines branded content as content that lives on its own, produced by and for the brand, as opposed to content produced by someone else the brand affixes itself to. [...]

2015-11-10 16:15

Al Aan TV announces new appointments

Al Aan TV has appointed Sarah Sohail as digital sales manager. Sohail will be working closely with Al Aan’s exclusive advertising representative, IMS Media, which currently handles channel portals, SNG Studio and transmission services. The TV channel has also appointed Kirandeep Singh Ahluwalia as its lifestyle programs manager. Ahluwalia will be responsible for producing lifestyle [...]

2015-11-09 22:32

NARS appoints Social Eyez as regional social media agency

NARS, a global cosmetics brand owned by Shiseido, has appointed Social Eyez as its regional social media agency. With an established global presence of 1.9 million Instagram followers and 1.7m Facebook fans, the brand is now ready to branch out its social media presence in the Middle East. Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO of Social Eyez, [...]

2015-11-09 15:20

Facebook to tell brands more about who’s near their stores

Facebook knows a lot about where you go online, but it also knows a lot about where you go in the real world. And now it’s going to start sharing some of that information with marketers. Starting in the US, Facebook will provide marketers with more information about the people in the vicinity of their [...]

2015-11-08 15:53

MEC and Wamda partner to launch corporate entrepreneurship services across MENA

MEC and Wamda have signed a partnership to give MENA businesses access to innovation from the region’s start-up community. With this partnership, MEC can offer its clients an opportunity to meet and work with entrepreneurs and start-ups in order to create marketing transformation for brands. In return, Wamda will provide its community of new companies [...]

2015-11-08 15:34

Why there’s still a market for online ads no one sees

Earlier this week the ad tech company AppNexus announced what it described as a major innovation: it would allow advertisers to pay only for those digital ads that are actually seen by people. To those uninitiated in the ways of programmatic advertising, this might seem like table stakes. Given all the talk about sophisticated tracking [...]

2015-11-08 14:26

Sharing is caring

The sharing or collaborative economy is the latest business model for marketers and business owners to sink their teeth into. Companies such as AirBnb and Uber have transcended their position in the market by recognizing the incomparable advantages of e-commerce as their main platform for doing business. Top-down communication and business models will soon be something [...]

2015-11-08 12:48

Carl Erik Rinsch joins Filmmaster Productions

Carl Erik Rinsch has signed an exclusive agreement with Filmmaster Productions to grow the roster of the production company in the advertising business for the Italian and Middle Eastern markets. Carl Erik Rinsch is a prominent personality in the advertising business. He has taken the lead on many award-winning commercials for top global brands such [...]

2015-11-05 16:23

Brazen launches representation division with Mommy in Dubai

PR and content marketing agency Brazen has launched a personal representation division. Its first client, Corrine Fuchs, is the founder of one the UAE’s blogs, Mommy in Dubai. Brazen will be handling all of Fuchs’ media publicity and will be acting as representative for all brand partnerships. At the core of the strategy will be [...]

2015-11-05 16:04

J. Walter Thompson and Zain Kuwait create “InstaBook” for children

J. Walter Thompson’s new campaign for Zain Kuwait gives Instagram a new spin by using the layout to create an “InstaBook” for children. The book, Zain and the Stars, comprises 156 pictures with an Arabic storyline. The agency explains that this new format allows parents to “be the heroes of any bored moment” as they [...]

2015-11-05 14:19

Emirates NBD recycles ad billboards to make children’s school bags

Emirates NBD and Mediavest launch a new green initiative to upcycle advertising billboard banners into schoolbags and pencil cases for schoolchildren.  This effort is in line with Emirates NBD’s sustainable programs, “Passion for giving” and “Green with pride”, which will be ongoing efforts on a global scale to provide assistance to underprivileged children. The first [...]

2015-11-05 10:36

BOLDtalks Innovation announces 2015 agenda

UAE-based event management company BOLDtalks is hosting its third annual conference, BOLDtalks Innovation 2015, on November 6 at the The Fridge, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai from 3pm to 8pm. This year’s conference aims to reveal the secrets of Mumbai’s sophisticated 125-year-old logistics system that has an error rate of one in 16 million, to hosting [...]

2015-11-04 14:44

Octopus wins Metromed account

Metromed, a UAE-based distributor for healthcare and pharmaceutical brands, has appointed Dubai-based Octopus as its PR agency in the Middle East. Arlene Hooper, marketing manager of Metromed Dubai, says in a press statement, “Octopus has been very successful in using PR to increase ROI for its clients in health and beauty, and pharmaceuticals. Over the [...]

2015-11-04 12:06

J. Walter Thompson MENA’s new report studies consumers aged 50+

J. Walter Thompson MENA has released its Generation Bold deep dive, featuring original analysis and key insights into the untapped Arab demographic of the 50+ age group. This age group is “looking to have its needs met, with the spending power to match,” says the company in a press statement. The agency terms the demographic [...]

2015-11-04 12:04

No perfect integration of traditional and non-traditional marketing?

Today, people are talking about the world being engulfed by the digital forum – all communications are part of the digital era. All shouts of communication seem to be of the “digital” kind and the favorite phrase in everyone’s vocabulary is ‘digital marketing’. Why then do we still see print media in the market? Why [...]

2015-11-04 10:00

Havas LuxHub reveals the Luxury Customer Journey

Havas’ strategic consulting practice, LuxHub, has revealed its first global observatory on The Luxury Customer Journey (LCJ) that examines the path to purchase for luxury fashion goods. The proprietary study, conducted in eight markets with more than 6,400 consumers and 25 brands, aims to provide an understanding of luxury consumers’ behaviors, preferences and expectations. The [...]

2015-11-03 11:51

Middle East’s most viral ads

Communicate’s Middle East Ads Chart is devised using data compiled by the Unruly Viral Video Chart: a comprehensive source for video sharing data around the globe since 2006 that measures the share of voice and campaign effectiveness. Owned and operated by video ad tech company Unruly, the chart tracks and ranks the most popular videos [...]

2015-11-03 09:57

ArabNet reveals report on Middle East’s mobile app economy

In collaboration with On Device Research, ArabNet Business Intelligence unveils the “ArabNet App Report” on the mobile app economy in the Middle East. The insights gathered by the report are based on a 2,500-person study from May 2015 across Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, KSA and the UAE. Below is a sample of the survey’s findings: Paying [...]

2015-11-02 16:10

Agencies give thumbs up to YouTube Red

A year after first mooting a subscription model for users wanting to avoid ads, Google announced the launch of YouTube Red on October 21. Costing $9.99 per month, YouTube Red provides subscribers with access to all YouTube videos without ads, as well as original content featuring prominent vloggers such as PewDiePie, Lilly Singh and Joey [...]

2015-11-02 10:18

evian brings the French Alps to Dubai

Evian brings its #FrenchAlpsPurity campaign to Dubai with a life-size snow globe that was set up at JBR from October 11 to 17 and was then moved to Fashion Forward Dubai from October 22 to 25. The globe will be relocated to DIFC in early November. Evian invites passersby to enter the snow globe where [...]

2015-11-02 10:14

Just where exactly is my data going?

With the days of unlimited data becoming a thing of the past, there has been a growing trend in customers using up mobile data much quicker than what they were doing previously. Is this because user habits didn’t factor in just how data hungry our habits were or is there something else at play? It’s [...]

2015-11-01 17:53

As data grows more valuable, marketers seek new ways to secure it

Data is arguably the hottest commodity in marketing, which makes it a tempting target for bad actors. But it’s not just Eastern European hacking networks that companies have to worry about. Marketers are also increasingly facing questions about how to keep other countries and even competitors out of their data troves. Data breaches in recent [...]

2015-11-01 16:10

Tarek Abdalla to replace Nick Barron at MediaCom MENA

Following Nick Barron’s departure from MediaCom earlier this month, Tarek Abdalla, has been named as CEO MENA effective January 2016. Abdalla’s most recent role was at Google where he served as regional head of marketing for MENA since 2012. In that role, he established the B2C and B2B marketing operation, scaling Google’s reach to 16 [...]

2015-11-01 12:19

FP7 Cairo creates “Uber for Baheya” campaign for breast cancer awareness

For their client, Baheya Hospital in Cairo, FP7 Cairo has recently launched a collaboration campaign with Uber Egypt for breast cancer awareness month (October). Baheya opened its doors in March 2015 as the first free hospital in Egypt specializing in women’s cancer treatment. The early detection and prevention initiative features Uber cars, which can be [...]

2015-10-28 11:25

Google-partnered AstroLabs opens tech hub in Dubai

AstroLabs, an entrepreneurship platform, launched the first Google-partnered tech hub in the MENA region in Dubai’s DMCC Free Zone. AstroLabs offers technology-based startups a space for collaboration, mentorship and business licenses for UAE operations. Additionally, AstroLabs Dubai’s partnership gives budding entrepreneurs access to Google for entrepreneurs’ global network and resources. Locally, Louis Lebbos and Muhammed [...]

2015-10-28 09:38

Middle East’s most viral ads

Communicate’s Middle East Ads Chart is devised using data compiled by the Unruly Viral Video Chart: a comprehensive source for video sharing data around the globe since 2006 that measures the share of voice and campaign effectiveness. Owned and operated by video ad tech company Unruly, the chart tracks and ranks the most popular videos [...]

2015-10-27 18:08

Chief Marketing Officers will be the highest spenders on IT

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) in many organizations have become bigger IT spenders than any other business function, including the CIO. This is because the role of the CMO has effectively moved to that of being the ‘chief digital officer’. Customer engagement and lifetime value expansion have become integral in the entire business process, whereas customer [...]

2015-10-27 12:21

Nestlé Middle East, MBC Al Amal and Arabian Radio Network establish program for healthier children

Nestlé Middle East, MBC Al Amal and the Arabian Radio Network launch United for Healthier Kids (U4HK). U4HK strives to help parents with children aged between four and 12 years develop healthier habits in their kids, educating them on healthy choices related to drinking, eating and lifestyle. The World Health Organization claims that global obesity [...]

2015-10-26 17:05

Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson tries the HTC Vive in the Middle East

Jack Gleeson, famous for playing King Joffrey on Game of Thrones, tried out the new HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) headset when the HTC Vive World Tour stopped in the UAE. He checked out the gear alongside Dave Fennoy of The Walking Dead and Adam Harrington of The Wolf Among Us video games. “Our VR [...]

2015-10-26 15:08

Now open

In March 2015, Twitter announced its plans to open an office in Dubai. The plan saw the light of day in late August, marking the Middle East’s first Twitter office. Explaining why the company chose to open its regional office this year, Benjamin Ampen, head of sales at Twitter MENA, says that Twitter has been around [...]

2015-10-26 11:03

Elan Media partners with The Huffington Post to introduce Huffpost Arabi

Elan Media, the media arm of Elan Group, has partnered with Integrated Media Strategies and The Huffington Post to become the official digital media sales representative and introduce the publication’s Arabic edition to the Middle East. HuffPost Arabi was officially launched in London on July 27, in a ceremony attended by Arianna Huffington, co-founder and [...]

2015-10-25 17:48

Equation Media wins new accounts across UAE, KSA and Lebanon

The Network Communication Group’s media agency, Equation Media, recently won eight new accounts: three each in the UAE and KSA, and two in Lebanon. The agency’s new portfolio includes Al Aan TV, Chili’s and Joe’s Crab Shack in the UAE; Timebridge, Patchi and H&M in KSA; and Think Kitchen and Grohe Blue in Lebanon. As [...]

2015-10-25 15:02

Friends in high places

The UAE’s airlines, Etihad and Emirates, signed on Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston, respectively, as their brand ambassadors earlier this year. Kidman faced a fair amount of backlash from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) for being associated with Etihad, which has allegedly discriminated against its female flight attendants, especially considering that she has [...]

2015-10-25 14:49

Mind over matter

A robust approach designed to help brands secure decision rights, make better branding decisions and drive long-term strategy in the region – that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Through capturing quantitative research of the organization, market and target audience, fact-based branding is heralding a fresh approach to uncovering organisational truths, evaluating the effectiveness of activity [...]

2015-10-25 12:47

Inga Thordar is CNN’s new editorial and programming director of digital international

CNN announces the appointment of Inga Thordar as editorial and programming director of digital international. Thordar will oversee the EMEA-based digital news and sports team at CNN. Based in the network’s London bureau, Thordar will oversee all digital news and sports output and will manage, coordinate and communicate the content flow of other digital units, [...]

2015-10-25 12:32

Mindshare announces new appointments across the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco

Mindshare’s team will see several key changes in the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco. Mindshare Dubai sees the appointment of Travis Harding as regional director – head of social media for the MENA region. Harding is an award-winning digital marketing and social media expert who gained experience at global media agencies like Universal McCann and Horizon [...]

2015-10-22 16:52

YouTube unveils ad-free subscription service

Google’s YouTube unveiled a paid version of its video-sharing service, a new source of revenue for parent company Alphabet Inc. as the Internet giant tries to make the website more profitable and fend off competition from other premium content sites. The new service, called YouTube Red, will cost $9.99 a month and is available beginning [...]

2015-10-22 11:34

WFA’s new research explores the importance of data for marketers

New research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) demonstrates how data has become important for brands seeking to understand consumers and deliver personalized marketing. The research has been conducted in conjunction with The Customer Framework and is based on responses from 32 companies with a global annual marketing spend of $35 billion. The research [...]

2015-10-21 17:36

Zomato shuts down Cashless in the UAE

Zomato launched its Cashless product in Dubai earlier this year. However, on October 18, the company announced through a blog post that it’s shutting down this business “due to a lack of product-market fit in its current form”. Deepinder Goyal, CEO and founder of Zomato, lists the following reasons for shutting down the product: • [...]

2015-10-21 15:57

Spin off

Because of the rapid advancement of digital communications, no industry is safe from adoption and adaptation. The PR industry’s evolution, in some ways, looks like that of many other industries, whereas, in others, it’s forging its own path. As overused as the words are quickly becoming, engagement and integration are the two points of change [...]

2015-10-21 14:26

Not so smart

I read an article a while ago titled “How to Manage People Who are Smarter than you” shared by one of my connections on LinkedIn…the same connection that didn’t reply to a humble request for a meeting. Suddenly, I started thinking about the gesture of acknowledging the fact of acquiring, retaining or even confessing the [...]

2015-10-21 14:24

On the money

While creative agencies are constantly looking to increase their offerings with a well-rounded approach, salaries still play a large role in an employee’s choice to join a workplace or their loyalty to one. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but according to Hays’ “GCC 2015 Salary & Employment Report,” 41 percent of respondents expect a pay increase [...]

2015-10-21 12:48

MEC appoints Marc Ghosn as general manager – UAE

Media agency MEC today announces Marc Ghosn as general manager – UAE. Ghosn has been working with MEC as a client-servicing director with MEC Dubai and as the regional head of digital for MEC MENA. In his new role, Ghosn’s primary focus will be to oversee the UAE operations and manage client relations and talent [...]

2015-10-21 12:41

Mediaquest partners with fashion and lifestyle platform Buro 24/7

Communicate’s parent company Mediaquest has announced its joint venture with Buro 24/7, the international and contemporary news website covering fashion and lifestyle. Mediaquest will be responsible for all aspects including content, sales and events. In just four years, Buro 24/7 has launched local versions in ten countries and regions, including Russia, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Ukraine [...]

2015-10-20 17:21

Memory lane

The Google logo as we knew it came into existence 16 years ago, when Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were just PhD students at Stanford University – albeit students with a small company and a big vision. Ruth Kedar, principal at Kedar Designs and the designer of the old Google logo, was a [...]

2015-10-20 12:05


Following the launch of Sky News Arabia’s radio station in August, Communicate caught up with Nart Bouran, head of Sky News Arabia, to discuss how the company has embraced social media, radio, TV and everything in between. Tell us a bit about the venture into the radio space. At the moment, [our] TV and radio [...]

2015-10-20 09:59

Melbourne-based agency Penso sets up shop in Dubai

Following a period of organic and new-business growth across the Gulf region, Penso, the Melbourne-headquartered creative communications and digital innovation agency, is opening an office in Dubai. Digital marketing and brand strategist Constantine Frantzeskos founded the agency less than three years ago. The move to create a foothold in Dubai was spearheaded by Penso’s ongoing [...]

2015-10-19 17:02

The winners of the 6th Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards 2015 have been awarded

The winners of the sixth Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards – one of the world’s most important festivals in the corporate audiovisual industry – were revealed on Thursday, October 15, at Palm Beach Cannes during an Awards Gala Dinner. More than 270 guests travelled from all over the world to take part in the [...]

2015-10-19 14:36

Art of seduction

Whether an agency calls its work environment its “culture”, “dynamic”, or “DNA”, creative industries have tried to set the bar high when it comes to adding incentives beyond salary and generic benefits packages. As Sasan Saeidi, FP7 UAE’s managing director, says, “This industry is very demanding, especially in this part of the world where things [...]

2015-10-18 18:28

RYMCO partners with OMD Lebanon and Annalect MENA

Rasamny-Younis Motor Company S.A.L. (RYMCO), the dealer for Nissan/Infiniti and other car brands in Lebanon, has tasked OMD Lebanon and Annalect MENA with its marketing analytics program. Designed to identify how successful its diverse marketing activities are in driving actual car sales, this partnership with the two Omnicom Media Group MENA companies will enhance the [...]

2015-10-18 18:10

TV is losing ground

The industry has spoken – anonymously – in an opinion piece we have received from an industry player. For the past five years, the industry has been listening to experts talk about TV billings dropping in favor of VOD or digital video taking the lead. What we have seen, in reality, is TV’s retaliation with [...]

2015-10-18 15:49

Mediavest creates back-to-school activation for Juhayna Foods

  Recently, Mediavest Egypt came up with an activation for Juhayna Foods, an Egypt-based manufacturer that processes and packages food products, like milk, yogurt, and juice. Juhayna’s goal in this activation was to turn back-to-school into a fun day for both parents and students of Egypt. The campaign commenced ten days before school started, with [...]

2015-10-14 16:14

We’re selling the marketing dream, but are we buying it?

Purpose gives a greater meaning to everything. In any company, explaining why you do what you do can help give your employees, clients and consumers a sense of meaning. Perhaps ironically, we in the marketing services industry are often terrible at ‘selling’ what we do. And it is hurting us. A lot. We’re notoriously better [...]

2015-10-14 12:31

Brian freeze

How has the creative process evolved in the industry over the past few years?  The difference is that clients are now more savvy than ever before. I was one of the first members of the PR industry to be assigned a chief creative role in the late ’90s, when creativity wasn’t held in high regard; it [...]

2015-10-14 12:18

Apple tops the UAE’s Brand Intimacy Report

According to the Brand Intimacy 2015 Report by MBLM, Apple is revealed as the most intimate brand to the UAE’s consumers. Local brand Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank earns a place in the top ten, alongside a collection of global names, coming in an impressive eighth on the chart – before global giants, Google and Ikea. [...]

2015-10-13 16:25

Communicate launches its first book for the advertising industry

Communicate is proud to announce the publication of it’s first book, which will be released along with the magazine’s October issue. De-Commoditizing the Ad Industry: How Ad Agencies Can Reinvent Themselves and Enjoy Exponential Growth is the first piece in a special collection series from Communicate and it’s publisher, Mediaquest. Penned by Leo Burnett MENA’s [...]

2015-10-13 13:03

Omnia appoints Susan Clowes

Omnia, the branding and digital communications agency, is expanding its team further with the addition of Susn Clowes as client services director for digital projects. Recently, the company established a new PR division and bringing Clowes onboard represents another step for the agency to integrate its PR and digital strategies. Clowes’ responsibilities include maintaining the [...]

2015-10-12 17:00

Middle East’s most viral ads

Communicate’s Middle East Ads Chart is devised using data compiled by the Unruly Viral Video Chart: a comprehensive source for video sharing data around the globe since 2006 that measures the share of voice and campaign effectiveness. Owned and operated by video ad tech company Unruly, the chart tracks and ranks the most popular videos [...]

2015-10-12 15:30

The [r]evolution of mobile

Communicate held a round table, called Mobile Talks, on the topic of mobile on September 16 in Dubai. Moderated by Ayman Haydar, managing director of Mediaquest, Communicate’s parent company, the round table was a half-day event bringing agencies, clients and mobile vendors together under one roof to discuss the evolution and revolution of mobile in [...]

2015-10-12 11:33

Marketing Kingdom Middle East 2015 returns to Doha this month

The Marketing Kingdom conference of 2015 will return to Doha for the second year in a row, taking place on October 18 and 19 at the W Hotel. Attendees will include marketing experts from Twitter, VISA International, O2, The Body Shop, Yahoo! and Microsoft. Benjamin Ampen, Twitter’s newly appointed head of business for the Middle [...]

2015-10-11 15:42

Girl power

Social media is one of the fastest growing industries in the Middle East and it is a great career choice for millenials, since social networks are an important part of their digital lives. When Meltwater opened its doors in the Middle East, one of the challenges was attracting the right talent. We foster an entrepreneurial [...]

2015-10-11 15:36

Communicate hosts first Mobile Talks

Mobile Talks, a round table designed for those with a stake in the Middle East’s mobile advertising industry, launched its first session on September 16, 2015, in Dubai Media City’s Radisson Blu. The event was attended by advertising and media agencies, clients and mobile players. Participants were split, based on their industries, and then brought [...]

2015-10-08 18:13

Mobile Talks session one discusses 360° campaigns

Mobile Talks: Session One debated on the 360° campaign. During the deliberations, members from all the tables agreed that a multi-channel, multi-media campaign strategy isn’t necessarily the best idea, as some campaigns are better off being more targeted to specific mediums. Additionally, speakers discussed mobile versus TV budgets and how money is being allocated in [...]

2015-10-08 18:12

Session two of Mobile Talks covers viewability

Viewability is a hot topic in the regional and global advertising industry and is eluding brands and advertisers, alike. While the MRC works to release its standards and guidelines on viewability, the regional industry can still take measures to alleviate clients’ concerns and look at measurability, holistically. The second session of Mobile Talks allowed members [...]

2015-10-08 18:11