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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.

August 24, 2010 4:35 by



Ads that did well… made them emotional

Ads that tap into universal emotions tend to travel well – be it evoking the spirit of Ramadan or focusing on mother’s interest in the child’s development, or tapping into ageing-related concerns of not-so-young women.

Ads that did well… captivated their imagination

Ads showing romantic situations ending in the girl getting her man or ads that show appreciation for the female protagonist generate empathy in both markets. Personal care brands have tapped into this quite successfully.
For example, a haircare brand tapped into this theme with an ad that showed that the protagonist was able to capture the attention of the man she liked by making her hair beautiful, ending in the man proposing to her.

Ads that did well… kept away from very localised depictions

Slice-of-life ads that draw situational contexts from culture that is country-specific don’t lend themselves well for cross-country use. For example, an ad for a beverage that showed an Egyptian village souk was not appreciated in Saudi, where consumers could not relate to the setting.

Ads that did well… used a regional celebrity

Celebrities such as Nancy, Elissa, Mona Zaki, Amr Diab are popular across the region and many have been used to make ads with cross-cultural appeal.

Ads that did well… built stories around popular fantasies

We find that ads based around well-known folklore/fantasies such as Aladdin, Ali Baba, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, etc. tend to do well due to the universal appeal and understanding of these stories.

Incorporating some of these elements within the campaigns should ensure more cross-cultural appeal.

However, our experience also suggests that contextual background would also heavily dictate communication transference:
• The development stage of the category within the market would also have an impact on the messaging within the category.
• The brand’s life stage, whether the brand is an established player or a growing one, would dictate the communication needs for the brand.
• Brand’s competitive context needs to be factored into how to position a brand in the market.

Gulf Marketing Review magazine



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