Memac Ogilvy cuts its business cards down to size

September 10, 2009

Recessionary down-sizing is a phenomenon the whole region’s agencies Ogilvy business cardshave had to face. But Memac Ogilvy Dubai have taken their reductionist efforts above and beyond the call of duty.

A new range of business cards designed in-house at the agency, have turned the downturn into a positive by becoming a physical example of the agency’s recession-managing know how.

The significantly under-sized cards use 78 per cent less paper than previously and have been sent to current and potential clients to highlight the agency’s drive to cut costs without compromising on output.

The cards are also direct users to a website which gives business managing strategies in a tough economic climate.

Dubai Metro makes it to number 1 in Twitter’s ‘trending topics’

September 9, 2009

The Dubai Metro has made it to the number 1 spot in Twitter’s ‘trending topics’, which indicates the subjects most discussed globally on the micro-blogging service on a particular day.

dubai-metro-1Thanks to a concerted effort by Twitter users in the region, the new Metro system, which launches today, has managed to overtake Jay-Z and The Beatles in terms of popularity.

The Middle East’s Twitterers used the hashtag #dubaimetro repeatedly within the 140 character message limit allowed by the service, with each use of the tag counting towards the Metro’s popularity rating.

An attempt is currently underway to keep Dubai Metro at the top of the popularity rankings as the USA begins its working day and goes online.

Consolidation of Dubai’s media begins

September 8, 2009

The consolidation of Dubai’s media assets appears to have begun, with ownership of Al Bayan newspaper switching from the Arab Media Group to Dubai Media Inc (DMI).

Najla Al Awadhi (pictured), deputy CEO of DMI, said in an interview with Campaign in June: “I would think in the next couple of months you will see some interesting changes in the media landscape of Dubai. There definitely is going to be a drive to consolidate media assets, with synergies between the Dubai media assets, us being one of them, amongst many other assets which are media related.”
najla 059
The switch of ownership of Al Bayan, including assets, properties, commitments and rights, is the result of a directive from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai.

According to the announcement, all employees of Al Bayan will be transferred from the Arab Media Group to DMI in order to offer the best service for readers. Further consolidation is on the cards.

Remind us: whose Metro is this again…?

September 7, 2009

The Dubai Metro’s decision to open only to VIPs on its much-vaunted launch date of 09/09/09 makes a mockery of the high-profile campaign proclaiming it ‘My City. My Metro’.

The line presumably sets out to establish the new public transport system as a user-friendly means to access Dubai, putting the consumer in the driving seat, albeit metaphorically.

You would think then, given the strategy, all efforts would have been made to make the Metro appear as consumer-friendly as possible – and that’s to the likely regular paying commuters, not the high profile one-day-only crowd.

That the general public have been excluded on its landmark first day compounds the image its garnered in the pre-launch period as something that’s anything but in ‘My’ control.

Puzzlement still surrounds the decision to open only ten seemingly arbitrarily selected stations; the means of access to and from those stations is still mystifying; and in a recent phone call, the RTA was unable to answer Campaign’s query whether parking at the stations themselves would be free.

Shouldn’t the Metro at least try to kick things off by staying true to the ‘democratic’ premise sold to it by its agency? Until it does, the only message it seems to be sending is that it’s very much ‘Their City. Their Metro’.

Lowe dropped as twofour54 holds pitch

September 6, 2009

Abu Dhabi media zone Twofour54 is in the final stages of a pitch after putting its creative account out to tender.

twofour54The process has seen the selection whittled down to two agencies, with a final confirmation believed to be imminent. But possible contenders for the account do not include incumbent Lowe, which was not invited to defend the business.

Lowe was originally brought on board to handle the brand positioning of the ambitious initiative, creating an international media, PR, online and advertising campaign for the launch of twofour54 less than 12 months ago.

Paul Venn, head of communications for twofour54, declined to comment on the pitch saying they were “unable to comment on specific agency relationships”.

The government-funded project, which is part of Abu-Dhabi’s 2030 plan to diversify its economy, hopes to become a centre for content creation in the region and attract established international and regional brands, as well as offering training to nurture young Arab creatives.

Lowe’s work for twofour54 included the creation of the media zone’s name, logo and brand architecture.

Scammers to be banned from One Show for five years

September 6, 2009

The One Show has said it will ban agencies for five years if found guilty of creating fake ads following yet another awards scam controversy.

DDB Brazil’s ‘Tsunami’ ad for the World Wildlife Fund, which was ousted as a scam and condemned as “offensive and tasteless” by the WWF, has caused an outcry in the US and forced the WWF to issue an apology.
The print advert showed dozens of planes heading for New York landmarks, with the copy: “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.”

Critics rushed to condemn the ad – which won a merit at this year’s One Show – as trivialising 9/11 and causing offence to victims’ families.

The outcry is reminiscent of FP7 Doha’s ‘Jesus’ ad for Samsung, which caused a religious fall-out in Lebanon and was ousted as a scam earlier this year after the Dubai Lynx. Samsung was also forced to issue a statement saying: “The company did not commission, develop or approve the publishing of the religiously insensitive advertisements.”

The One Show statement says: “In the light of the recent events surrounding the “Tsunami Ad” created by DDB Brazil for WWF, the One Club announces today that we will implement what we believe to be the most stringent and thorough “fake ads” policy in our industry.

The One Club defines “fake ads” as: ads created for nonexistent clients or made and run without a client’s approval, or ads created expressly for award shows that are run once to meet the requirements of a tear sheet.

For 2010 and onwards, the One Show will be adopting the following new rules and penalties.

1. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad made for nonexistent clients, or made and run without a client’s approval, will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.

2. The entire team credited on the “fake” entries will be banned from entering the One Show for 5 years.

3. An agency or regional office of an agency network that enters an ad that has run once, on late night TV, or has only run because the agency produced a single ad and paid to run it themselves*, will be banned from entering The One Show for 3 years.

* The One Club reserves the right to review ‘late-night, ran-once’ and launch versions, at The One Club’s discretion. If it is determined that the ad was created expressly for award show entry, the penalty will hold.”

Cadbury joins push towards user-generated content

September 1, 2009

British confectionary firm Cadbury has joined the march towards user-generated content in their latest ad campaign, which launches a new chocolate bar called WispaGold.

Chocolate fans will be able to create messages which could have a chance of being displayed on a billboard in a location of their choice in the UK and Ireland. The work was created for Cadbury by Fallon, who also produced the multi-award winning ‘Gorilla’ spot on their behalf.

An email has already been sent out to the public permitting them a preview of the site

Logged messages will be considered for inclusion once the site goes live on 7th September, to coincide with the availability of the chocolate bar in stores.


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