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Ads that work

Ads that work

It’s all very well planning an advertising campaign, but how to you create ads that will travel well across this diverse region? Amol Ghate, of AMRB Dubai, shows us what works.

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August 24, 2010 4:35 by



TV advertising is a multimillion dollar business with huge sums being spent by advertisers.

Making an ad is equally expensive. Hence there is always the need to maximise the ROI. One way to do that is to use the same ad across many countries, which not only reduces production costs but also ensures that brand communication is consistent across the markets.

For marketers in the MENA region, there is a huge added advantage – the Arabic language. There are, however, significant differences across the region, which can make a common communication theme across the region a challenge.

• Economic prosperity varies across the MENA region, therefore the challenges that brands face vary depending on whether they are premium or economy offerings.
• Consumerism across markets differs with varied exposure to brands – consumers in the Middle East having far more choices than those in North Africa.
• Subtle differences in the cultural context can mean that the same communication theme may not necessarily work across the region – for example, showing a woman at a workplace might be very aspirational even to upper class Saudi women, but that would not necessarily be the case in countries such as Egypt and Morocco where, among the upper classes, a woman in the workplace is not so rare.

Although MENA consumers are regarded as culturally similar, it would take a brave man to claim that one can air the same ad across the region with similar results.

Mining our extensive database of more than 500 ads tested across Saudi Arabia and Egypt shows that trying to predict the outcome of ad performance across the two markets is akin to predicting the outcome of a coin toss.
We observe that on Enjoyment, which is a good measure of the power of the creative, ad performance is similar only 50 per cent of the time.
Thankfully, we do find some commonalities among ads that performed similarly, and these can act as signposts for marketers:



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