MediavataarMe News Desk
Seven of Europe’s key aviation hubs have seen a dramatic rise in traffic from users of Wego’s 50 customised metasearch sites in 30 languages around the world. Travellers are comparing a wider range of travel options in the region which has seen booking volumes directed to Wego partners increase by 71 per cent in January compared to last year, despite the economic squeeze.
London, Paris and Amsterdam have each gained around 60 per cent more bookings, Zurich closer to 80 per cent. Frankfurt has doubled, beaten only slightly by Berlin which grew 111 per cent in January, against the same month in 2012. The clear leader in growth, however, was Madrid which surged ahead at 140 per cent.
Wego’s dominant role in metasearch in the Asia Pacific, and more recently the Middle East, is producing new business in volume from younger travel markets as they continue to scale: South and Southeast Asia in particular. Route expansion between the Asian hubs via the Middle East to Europe, along with low cost flight options have accelerated visitation and encouraged industry growth for both business and leisure travel, many mixing low cost connections with full service.
“With a more open-minded approach, these users are trying new and alternate brands based on price and it’s creating an expanded and increasingly competitive market online,” explained Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer for Wego, currently attending ITB 2013 in Berlin.
Travellers from these regions are comparing Europe’s national carriers, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, KLM and connecting airlines, Etihad Airways and Emirates with regional alternatives. Examples of Wego’s recently signed partners in the region include Vueling Airlines, Czech Airlines, Air Berlin and WOW air, together with sites Opodo.de, Airtickets.com, Rumbo.pt, Barceloviajes.com, eBookers, Bravofly.fr and Voyages-SNCF.
From India, user searches directed to Europe’s seven major cities have almost doubled year on year, with the adoption of Wego India’s 11 customised national language sites making affordable travel planning easy, with price the determining factor. Thai bookings too were up by 137 per cent and Singapore, the city state, lifted 84 per cent. The emerging travel market in Indonesia is also looking to the northern hemisphere with online bookings up 37 per cent out of Jakarta.
“Metasearch has become mainstream even in emerging online markets. Indians and Indonesians have embraced Wego to plan their travel which is evident in the large volumes we’re experiencing and clearly Europe’s major hubs are included in their itinerary choices,” Wicks added. “Given the size of these user communities, it’s a huge opportunity.”
The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity and JWT are partnering to create an important new programme for senior marketers, Think Tank, to impart knowledge of how to better utilise creative thinking to drive their brands forward with effective strategies in today’s constantly changing business environment.
Think Tank will open up a new level of understanding and co-operation between major partners and will optimise and develop ways in which brand owners can look at unlocking the hidden potential of their brand within the diversity of the marketing mix.
The customised two-day programme, taking place 12 and 13 March during Dubai Lynx, will allow up to 20 influential senior market leaders to benefit from a transparent, thought-provoking dialogue with experts. They will attend selected seminars and enjoy exclusive sessions with internationally acclaimed speakers. In addition, Think Tank will provide participants with a unique opportunity to network with peers, debate and discuss the challenges each one faces in their business.
Think Tank will be moderated by Edward Poultney, Editor of AMEinfo.com, the leading online provider of Middle East business information (ABC audit March 2012 – 2.45million UBs), and SMEinfo.me, the innovative all-in-one digital resource for Small & Medium Enterprises in the UAE. Edward has been a journalist for over 10 years, working on national broadsheet titles The Independent and The Daily Telegraph in the UK, and Gulf News in the UAE prior to moving into digital products.
Think Tank’s guest moderator is John Defterios, CNN's Emerging Markets Editor and anchor of Global Exchange, CNN’s prime time business show focused on the emerging and BRIC markets. John has also been the anchor of ‘CNN Marketplace Middle East’, since 2007, a weekly business programme featuring in-depth analysis and top newsmakers from across the Middle East. He is a World Economic Forum media leader and member of the Global Agenda Council on the Arab World and has served as Chairman of the Business Week Leadership Forums in London, Beijing and New York, the World Islamic Economic Forum amongst others.
“Think Tank is an intense programme unlike any other currently available in the region,” says Philip Thomas, Chairman of Lions Festivals. “It’s tailor-made for a group of highly influential senior marketers who ultimately have responsibility for maintaining and developing their brands in the face of demanding and empowered consumers. It will provide them with improved tools and knowledge to return to their companies better prepared to deliver sustainable and durable brand values. We are delighted to partner with JWT to provide such a unique and valuable experience for senior marketers and to welcome such professionals as Edward Poultney and John Defterios to steer the programme.”
Vatche Keverian, CEO, JWT MENA says, ”When you bring together the best marketing communications show in the region in partnership with an agency of the heritage of JWT to organise a forum of elite marketers, moderated by a world class anchor and a renowned business journalist, one would expect something special. We're looking forward to an amazing couple of days.”
Building on its strategic partnership with MBC Group, My-HD Media, the secure and affordable television platform that offers a single viewing card solution for High Definition (HD) channels in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions, announced today that MBC3, the leading kid’s entertainment TV channel in the MENA region, will now be available in HD via its leading-edge platform starting from March 2013.
Aimed at adding further value to MBC3’s wide base of regional viewers by enhancing children’s viewing experience, My-HD Media will also be the first to offer viewers an English audio option, which is expected to attract non-Arabic speaking viewers to enjoy the channel’s wide range of popular programs and serve as an educational tool as well as to help children who want to learn English.
Commenting on the partnership, Cliff Nelson, My-HD Media CEO, said: “We are delighted to add MBC3 HD to our bouquet of HD offerings. The partnership with MBC Group has significantly developed over the months, and I am confident our HD platform will ultimately provide mutual benefit for both parties, through driving more subscribers to our platform and securing more MBC3 viewers but most importantly enhancing the quality of their viewing experience.”
The new offering will allow subscribing viewers to enjoy MBC3’s popular animation and LIVE series, movies and edutaining local productions in HD, making for an enjoyable viewing experience. The channel will be available in all 22 MENA countries.
“MBC Group traditionally pioneers the introduction of services that enrich audience experience, and such initiatives will continue,” said Sam Barnett, MBC Group CEO. “The popularity of MBC3 among children of all ages will continue to grow as we broadcast their favourite programs in High-Definition.”
Viewers who purchase My-HD Media’s approved receivers or viewing cards will be able to enjoy MBC 1, MBC 2, MBC3, MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC Drama, MBC MAX, and Al Arabiya News Channel, for free, in High Definition available on Nilesat.
The My-HD platform is compatible with HD digital receivers from various brands such as Humax, NHE in Kuwait, Tru View and Dansat in Saudi Arabia and Tevicom in Morocco as well as Altech UEC and Linux which will soon launch in the region.
Google’s annual Mobile Planet smartphone study has revealed the United Arab Emirates has some of the highest smartphone penetration in the world, with 62 percent of mobile phone users in the country reporting that they own smartphones.
The study, which was conducted with Ipsos MediaCT, surveyed mobile phone users in 26 countries around the world. Smartphone penetration was also extremely high in Saudi Arabia, where 60 percent of mobile phone users had smartphones. By comparison, smartphone penetration in the U.S. was 44 percent according to the study.
Smartphone users in affluent Middle Eastern countries like Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were also more likely than Americans to make mobile purchases. According to the study 41 percent of smartphone users in Egypt and 39 percent of smartphone users in UAE had made a purchase on their smartphones, compared to 35 percent of Americans.
Middle Eastern smartphone owners were also more open to mobile advertising. Google’s study found more than 90 percent of smartphone users in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia noticed mobile advertising while accessing the internet using their smartphone’s browser. It also found smartphone users in affluent Middle Eastern countries were also more likely to go online with their smartphones multiple times a day, had more apps on their phones, and looked up local information more often than users in other emerging smartphone markets like China and Brazil.
With a mind boggling figure of people hooked on to their smartphones everyday, different forms of apps are ruling their brains. There is an app for every possible thing you desire or even an impossible thing could be made possible with these high-end yet simple apps.
What if you could design your own app and that too with whatever basic technical knowledge you have??
Sounds interesting right?? Here is how?
A program has just been released called Infinite Monkeys, a web-based tool geared toward niche communities who want to share content on the iPhone and Android platforms.
It is completely web-based, and works on any computer or tablet device. There is no need to touch the source code and don’t have to know what it is or how it works.
Infinite Monkeys’ web-based graphic user interface allows users to incorporate existing web content from social networking sites like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and blogging sites.
These web-based apps of course don’t compare to more advanced apps like Angry Birds, but they are great for small niche communities and businesses, such as school associations, sports teams, musicians and restaurants, who want to share content privately or publicly.
Certainly a good, reliable quick fix and you don’t have to pay a fortune to have it done.
Middle East is one market that unquestionably has immense potential for such great products. According to an industry analysis, the region will see over 250 million mobile phone subscriptions by the end of 2012. Iran, by far the biggest market in the Middle East for mobile phone subscriptions, is predicted to grow to 122 million by end of 2016.
In terms of smartphones, the UAE is predicted to have over 70% smartphone penetration by 2016.
The rocketed usage of smartphones and applications to reach the hefty number of consumers, more and more brands are following the suite of those who have adopted the mobile medium for their advantage and the day is not far when almost every brand would not be able to neglect this personal and focused approach. Having an idea of self designed customized app is definitely not bad to flag off the revolution!
Dubai and the greater Gulf region are gaining an international reputation as global marketing hub and business gateway, says renowned global marketing expert from the United States' prestigious George Washington University School of Business, Salah S. Hassan, Ph.D.
Dr Hassan and 15 of his MBA professional students visited the Emirates last month to study Dubai's unique position as a marketing hub for the region, and to better understand the political, economic, social and technological forces that impact the economic success of the Gulf region.
Dr Hassan said: "For a number of years now, the UAE and its neighbours have been an important place for leading international firms to do business, given the political stability and strong economic growth enjoyed by the region. This makes the UAE important for both local and multinational corporations to understand how to make the most of these favourable conditions, so they can boost their bottom line and improve their strategic market position in an increasingly global marketplace".
Dr Hassan said that George Washington University chose the Emirates as the destination for its MBA programme's international residency experience because of the country's growing reputation as a diversified economic centre, and the need for leading international marketers to better understand its emerging position as a global marketing powerhouse.
The delegation visited several leading local and international firms based in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah including one of the globe's leading advertising agencies, Leo Burnett, to identify what constitutes a successful marketing strategy in the Gulf, and to gain an in-depth understanding of marketing behaviour in the Arab World.
Students worked with firms to design and analyse local marketing programmes, review successful regional marketing research and appreciate the unique cultural sensitivities that need to be considered when conducting a marketing campaign in this region. Four teams of students worked with leading companies to develop strategic marketing plans that address local and regional issues.
Mr. Kamal Dimachkie, Executive Regional Managing Director, Leo Burnett said he was impressed that the MBAs from the George Washington University were taking the development of marketing strategies in the Gulf so seriously, saying: "It is important that our next generation of marketing experts understand the unique cultural, religious and political nuances of the Arab region if they want to be able to effectively market goods and services in this increasingly important market". The book co-authored by Dr. Salah S. Hassan "offers a unique perspective on how to build strong and successful brands to compete locally as well globally".
The group also visited the regional headquarters of the education, publishing and media group, Pearson, where they received copies of Pearson's Arab World Edition textbook, Marketing Management.
Pearson's Executive Marketing Director for the region, Ms Sue Mainey said the visit reinforced the importance of creating educational resources that focussed on the learning needs of Arab students, saying: "Here at Pearson, we are committed to providing our customers with learning resources that reflect the needs of those using them. We want to provide learners in the region - across all levels and disciplines - with materials they find engaging and inspiring. Our Arab World Edition of Marketing Management gives students from this region the very best in international business and marketing research, but presents it in a way that resonates with Arab students, and ultimately leads to them achieving at higher levels".
Dr Hassan, who is a co-author of this book, says that the marketing potential of the region has long been neglected by marketers: "Finally, we are waking up to the huge business opportunities of this region, and understanding how we can harness them through culturally relevant and competitive marketing tools. This international residency program, which is now in its sixth year, along with Pearson's recent publication of a book especially tailored to the needs of the local market, are a step in the right direction. I believe all companies operating in this region, no matter how big or small can do more to tailor their marketing campaigns to better identify and respond to the demands of the Arab world."
Radio Mirchi, Abu Dhabi Media's leading radio station catering to South Asian audience, and recently voted as the "Best Radio Station" in the Masala Awards, announced the opening of a new Studio in Dubai, located at the Concorde Towers, Media City, with a clear view of what the Emirate of Dubai is famous for - Palm Dubai, Burj Al Arab & Burj Khalifa.
What is better than having the famous Bollywood music composer trio, "Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy". Known for their "Har Gana Hit har doosra gana super hit", "Every song hit every other song super hit" to inaugurate the Studio. The famous trios were in Dubai for the launch celebration today and joined the Abu Dhabi Media and Radio Mirchi teams in cutting the ribbon.
This expansion for Radio Mirchi, positions the station as the only channel in the South Asian realm to possess multiple Studios in both the cities of Abu Dhabi & Dubai. This strategy affords listeners across the UAE an opportunity to experience the tunes of Bollywood and enjoy a variety of promotional activations.
Abdul Rahman Awadh Al Harthi, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Radio Network commented, "Abu Dhabi Radio Network continuously strives to serve the needs of all communities in the UAE as a Media Group. Keeping this in mind, Radio Mirchi was launched in Feb 2012 as the first Chanel in the South Asian Space to offer three exclusive frequencies thus providing uninterrupted clarity across UAE. Now exactly after a year, it also becomes the only Channel in the South Asian Space to have multiple Studios in the cities of Abu Dhabi & Dubai."
"This move strengthens the brand's positioning as the UAE's leading Radio Station that engages with audiences in multiple cities - be it events happening locally or in case of access to Stars visiting the Mirchi Studios. Apart from this, it also offers listeners across UAE an opportunity to meet with their favorite RJ's or be a part of the everyday excitement as & when it happens! . It could not have gotten any bigger or better for a Radio Station," said Sandeep Sud, Head of the Radio Mirchi Station in the UAE.
Radio Mirchi has been the pioneer of private FM radio in India since its launch in 2001, and with a presence across 14 states and 32 stations, it is the largest FM channel in the country.
LIA Announces Tony Granger to lead the 2013 “The NEW” Jury Tony Granger, Global Chief Creative Officer, Young & Rubicam returns in 2013 as Jury President of one of LIA’s thirteen media. Granger is no stranger to the role of Jury President for LIA, although this is the first time he will be chairing The NEW Jury. A medium that LIA introduced to create a new vocabulary for the industry, new avenues of thought and ideation, and hint at new roles for agencies.
Since arriving at Y&R in 2008, Tony has attracted some of the industry’s best creative talent and fully integrated digital into the agency. He has also built a global creative community in both spirit and practice. As a result, Y&R’s clients — anywhere in the world — get access to precisely the right creative talent they need to create the most appropriate and powerful work.
Creating a collaborative creative culture has resulted in great work and results for clients such as LG, Virgin Atlantic, Land Rover, Dell and Xerox.
With Tony at the helm, Y&R has earned great industry recognition. Since Tony’s arrival, the agency has moved up in the Gunn Report rankings from #14 to #6, a reflection of the agency’s strong performance at the most prestigious international creative competitions. At the 2012 Cannes Festival, Y&R enjoyed its best performance ever — the agency was named the #4 Agency Network in the world. Y&R’s agencies won 51 Lions across 14 categories, including a prestigious Titanium/Integrated Lion. In 2010, Y&R was named Network of The Year at LIA. That same year RKCR/Y&R, London was named LIA Agency of the Year.
“I’m really excited to be chairing The NEW Jury. NEW - is a word that is banded around a lot these days, and thankfully so. Where would our industry be without new?” remarked Granger.
Barbara Levy, President of LIA, says of Granger, “We are extremely honoured that Tony has agreed to chair again. In 2007, Tony was LIA Jury President, overseeing our traditional advertising juries. As Granger has morphed Y&R into an agency for the future, it seems quite fitting that he is chairing the medium that looks to the future. Tony’s excitement and belief in the future of this Industry, in a climate where many are questioning its future, makes him the perfect candidate to chair The NEW.”
Tham Khai Meng, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather will head up the LIA 2013 TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury in Las Vegas this year.
Khai has explored every corner of the ad business in a 27-year career that has seen him building brands and agencies on four continents. Advertising Age considers him "one of the world's most influential people in the communications business." Khai is Chairman of Ogilvy's Worldwide Creative Council. He is also a member of their Board and Executive Committee.
In 2000, Khai joined Ogilvy & Mather as Regional Creative Director and Co-Chairman of it's Asia Pacific network. While there, he was named Campaign Brief Asia's "Creative Director of the Year" for seven straight years, an unprecedented honour that led to his 2008 induction into the Campaign Brief Hall of Fame. He has had the good fortune of working with some of the world's greatest brands including American Express, Cadbury's, China Mobile, Coca-Cola, H. J. Heinz, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Mercedes-Benz, McDonald's, The Economist, Toyota, Unilever, and others.
Khai has won countless Awards and Grand Prix over the years from every major award show including Cannes, LIA, and Clio. He's also chaired jury panels for all of them. In 2012, Khai led Ogilvy & Mather to victory at the Cannes Lions, bagging a Grand Prix, 83 Lions, and the coveted Network of the Year award for the first time in the agency's history.
“It's great to have Khai return as Jury President presiding over the TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury. Selecting him to chair was an easy decision for us. Khai is thorough, driven and passionate. With Khai in the judging room nothing will be overlooked and only the cream will rise to the top,” stated Barbara Levy, President of LIA.
“It's a great honour to be chairing this year's LIA TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury. LIA is one of the world's preeminent award shows. So to win here is to win big. For this Jury, we will be looking for work that not only go for the jugular, but also go for the heart. They will need to have flawless execution, emotional punch, undiminished re-watchability and has to be fresh. Above all else great storytelling. For us in the communications business, storytelling is the Holy Grail. I'm really looking forward to the experience,” Khai enthused.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced the launch of the Cannes Lions Young Account Executive Academy, a new learning programme aimed at nurturing young industry talent, which will run during the 2013 Festival from 16-22 June.
The Cannes Lions Young Account Executive Academy will equip young account executives (aged 28 years and under) with the tools to lead and achieve ground-breaking creativity for their clients and their companies by focusing on how to build stronger client relationships and provide a deeper understanding of how creativity is making the difference for both client and agency. A tailored programme will offer the inspiration, secrets and hands-on-tools of the trade needed to lead, motivate, sell and realise forward-thinking, innovative campaigns.
The tailored programme of training will include:
Leading the Team – creating a bravery culture
Digging for the Gold – unearthing the motivating desire for the brand and client
The Killer Brief – creating the idea, for the idea
Spotting the Genius – inspiring idea development
Bringing it Home – selling your idea to win
Making it Great – executing the ‘product’ as big as the idea
The Academy will be guided by veteran ad man Kevin Allen. Recognised as one of the advertising industry’s most accomplished growth professionals, Kevin has spent more than 20 years at the likes of McCann-Erickson, the Interpublic Group and Lowe Worldwide. Commenting on his appointment as Dean of the Academy, Kevin says, "It's nothing short of a thrill to be part of the Cannes Lions experience and to play a part in inspiring, encouraging and equipping our young account people to be champions of creative bravery. As an ex-Account Man myself, it’s an honour for me to bring the well-deserved recognition at the Festival to this vital, and indeed, resurgent role the account person plays in their position between agency and client, in galvanizing creative brilliance."
About the new academy, Steve Latham, Director of Talent & Training, Lions Festivals says, "Aside from a fantastic tutor and inspiring programme, the huge benefit of this academy is the environment that it takes place in. With the industry descending on Cannes for the Festival week, academy members have a unique opportunity to learn from and network with numerous global legends whilst immersing themselves in the greatest creativity from around the world. We're really pleased to be building such a strong foundation for the development of talent."
This new academy adds to a growing base of initiatives aimed at fostering young, new talent. Further academies running during Cannes Lions 2013 include: the Cannes Creative Academy for Young Marketers, targeted at marketers and brand managers aged 30 years and under; the Young Lions Creative Academy, aimed at creatives aged 28 and under already working in the industry; and the Roger Hatchuel Academy which offers training and education to students of advertising, marketing, communication or design. A further two academies will be added to the 2013 line-up, details of which will be released over the next few weeks.
The 7th Dubai Lynx Awards, the premier awards honouring creative excellence for MENA’s advertising and communications industry, has this year received a record 2092 entries from 19 countries, up 2.7% versus 2012.
The 2092 entries have been submitted into 15 entry categories, including the new Branded Content & Entertainment section:
Branded Content & Entertainment (66), Design (112), Direct (138), Film (219), Film Craft (172), Integrated (47), Interactive (138), Mobile (18), Media (270), Outdoor (193), Print (278), Print & Poster Craft (153), PR (50), Promo & Activation (155), and Radio (83).
The country with the most entries submitted is the UAE with 1256, followed by Lebanon with 276, Egypt with 256 and Saudi Arabia with 80 entries.
40 international jury members will be in Dubai to judge and award this year’s entries. Heading up the juries are: Erik Vervroegen, International Creative Director of Publicis Worldwide (Film, Print, Outdoor, Radio and Craft jury as well as the Integrated jury); Ian Haworth, Global Chief Creative Officer of Rapp (Direct, Promo & Activation, Interactive and Mobile jury); Iain Jacob, President of Dynamic Markets, Starcom MediaVest Group (Media jury); Sylvia Vitale Rotta, Chief Executive Officer of Team Creatif Group (Design jury); Tom Beckman, Executive Creative Director of Prime, Sweden (PR jury); and Mike Wiese, Director of Branded Entertainment, JWT, USA (Branded Content & Entertainment jury).
Terry Savage, CEO of Lions Festivals, which together with Motivate are organisers of Dubai Lynx says, “Increasingly we are seeing work from the region win at a Global level, so without doubt it is with great anticipation that we all await this year’s results which will be decided by a group of esteemed international jurors. The strong level of participation is an endorsement of the importance of winning a Lynx award and we look forward to showcasing some great work.”
The winners will be announced at the much anticipated Awards Ceremony and Dinner attended by in excess of 1,750 industry peers at The Arena Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai on Wednesday 13 March. Also awarded during the evening will be the Network of the Year, Agency of the Year, Media Agency of the Year, the Lynx Palm Award and the new Independent Agency of the Year Award. Roy Haddad, Director of WPP MENA, will be presented with the prestigious Dubai Lynx Advertising Person 2013 Award, and Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunications Company) will be honoured with the Advertiser of the Year Award, which will be given to Muna Al Hashimi, General Manager of Batelco’s Consumer Unit.
The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity, set to be the largest gathering of the MENA advertising and communications industry, takes place 10-13 March. Other innovations this year include the launch of the Dubai Lynx Digital Lab powered by TBWA\RAAD DAN, Think Tank powered by JWT, the Dubai Lynx Masar Creative Award for Print, and the Dubai Lynx 7-Day Brief, powered by YouTube.