Conversations with an advertising Don
Ramzi Raad, chairman and CEO of TBWA/RAAD, speaks to Kipp about the region’s industry, the Lynx debacle and why he expects digital advertising to boom.
May 21, 2009 9:16 by Dana El Baltaji
Kipp: That’s a huge shift.
Raad: Definitely, and to be able to catch up with the world shift it’s going to take a lot of effort.
We have to gear ourselves up, hire the talent or train people on how to plan and execute dynamic digital campaigns.
Kipp: How do you think that sort of a shift will be perceived in this part of the world? Do you think it’s too new?
Raad: Definitely it’s new. We’re all stampeding to develop the expertise. This is a new media and you need to develop the knowledge and the expertise, noting the many challenges of language and the perception of governments towards certain social sites.
At the beginning everybody thought: “I’ll do a web banner or something and everyone will be happy.” But that’s not enough anymore.
Kipp: Do you think that a lot of people are shifting toward digital media because they know exactly how many hits that they get?
Raad: It’s partly that. And that is the first step in making the decision to use digital advertising. But the more you learn about the medium, the more you realize it’s beyond the hits: it’s how the consumer, the reader and the internet surfer will engage with your message.
For instance, recently we discovered that many Saudi ladies spend a good part of the day on the internet. This creates a new opportunity for us because you can reach these ladies, you can engage in a two-way dialogue with them. It’s a good way to interact with Saudi society.