The creative technology company Bureau Béatrice born out of Antwerp sees its introduction into the Middle Eastern region with a base in Dubai and a third office soon to open in the KSA.
Founded by CEO, Kevin Alderweireldt and Creative Director, Jon S. Maloy along with Managing Director, Stan-Louis Bufkens, the bureau first established in Belgium, aims to bring emotion and creativity into a category too often seen and perceived as clinical to the MENA region.
Bureau Béatrice accompanies brands to tell their stories in a more immersive and meaningful way and in doing so venture into new playgrounds. Their work lives at the intersection of art, entertainment, and culture and they use their know-how to fill spaces with amazement and enchantment.
In an exclusive interview with Communicate, the Co-founders at Bureau Béatrice discuss the expansion in detail. Maloy discusses the developments that led to the expansion to the Middle East and how the bureau’s creative side will unfold.
What inspired you to expand to the Middle East?
There are a couple of reasons for that. The market is continuously evolving since we were already collaborating with brands in the region. Since I take care of the creative side of things, I am able to get a firsthand understanding of working with brands like Jeep, Cartier with a local base here. Moreover, COVID really slowed everything down, especially with the experiential side of curating. Today in a post-pandemic era everyone is picking up on that and experimenting with both digital and virtual spaces. The Middle East is one of the fastest moving markets in the world and they have the ability to pivot faster than any other region. Since we focus on immersive experiences for our brands, the launch in this market was natural to us.
How have your target audiences and the market responded to the expansion?
The response has been very positive. We’re a creative technology company before anything else and that's how people in the business define us. Essentially, clients come up to us with inspiration and ask us to put it together for them. It is our job to put two technological branches together and come up with something that's completely original. I think that's the first task we’re focusing on - opening our doors to making technology more accessible, and not so scary. Brands across the luxury space are keen on coming and joining forces with us, including beauty and lifestyle ones. One of them is MAC Cosmetics, we’re working on the region's first-of-its-kind 3D interactive show which is being put across through 82 screens in KSA's Riyadh Boulevard. All in all, we are a bit surprised by the response, because we thought it’d be hard. Moreover, there is so much more education that we can get across our clients.
In the image above: MAC Cosmetics STACK Campaign launch through Mobile Apps, and OOH show.
What do you mean by the ‘couture approach’?
The couture approach focuses on the concept behind everything. Instead of just applying a one size fits all approach, we make sure that our designs are custom-made and cannot be replicated by someone else. Around 50% of our clients are from the luxury space and we feel the obligation to take the time to cater to their needs. At the end of the day we sell products and those which are wrapped in beautiful ideas, help create incredible stories.
Deep down we also believe that the agency model is not sustainable, especially for a smaller company, because clients tend to not want to pay for pitches, they don't think ideas need to have a price tag on them. So, we're very adamant about delivering something that's unique and that's what we mean by couture.
A lot of your work is derived and embedded into art? How do you think the growing art scene in the region is going to aid your work culture here?
Well, I think there are two things. First, the art scene has grown and it's booming. Second and what is important to us is that there's an art culture. Islamic arts have been around for perhaps longer than the renaissance that KSA is experiencing now. So, let's not forget that, while Europe was in the medieval age, the Islamic world was booming, it was like a beam of light in the dark. So, as long as you have an art culture, the opportunities will come. The industry is going to catch up eventually.
Commenting on the upcoming expansion in KSA, CEO, Kevin Alderweireldt explains how they’re looking forward to contributing to the nation’s building, “In the KSA, the government is open to talking to us, they are willing to see how we can bring technology in a very comprehensive manner to them and how with technology we can help them trigger the emotions of their audience. For instance, we’re talking to the land development organizations like PIF, and other investment funds operated by the government, to see how we can help them with tangible marketing solutions."
"What is different about this region is being able to have such direct access to those big organizations, that’s what sets us apart and allows us to contribute to the growth of the nation. We find gratification in that because we'll help people build experiences. I think this is a completely unique scenario, which is not available to us anywhere else in the world,” concludes Alderweireldt