MediavataarMe News Desk
Following a number of recent launches around the globe, namely, Poland, The Netherlands, Romania and Croatia, Ginx TV has expanded its footprint in the Middle East by signing an agreement with My-HD, one of the leading satellite Pay-TV platforms in the MENA Region.
My-HD will launch the full channel along with the exclusive Ginx's 24/7 video-gaming channel for the first time in the region.
My-HD is available on the Arabsat satellite, and for a promotional period of three months Ginx will be available to the full Arabsat universe of 33 million homes, after which it will be available as part of My-HD's pay tier.
Ginx, the world's only international channel dedicated to video-gaming and video-gaming culture, is now growing its footprint around the world and is fully localised in over 40 territories and 9 languages.
The fast growing international channel focuses on all forms of video-gaming, ranging from console and PC games to mobile games and apps, as well as reporting from major video-gaming events such as E3 and Gamescom.
Ginx CEO, Michiel Bakker commented, "We are very excited to be part of the My-HD platform in the Middle East and North Africa. Video-gaming is now a massive mainstream leisure activity and it is fantastic that we are able to bring our full channel to gamers across the entire Middle East and North Africa for the first time. Our shows highlight the latest games and provide news, reviews and behind the scenes insights for fans of videogames and we hope they resonate with our new viewers."
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Cliff Nelson, CEO of My-HD, said, "We are very pleased to be the first Middle East platform to offer Ginx 24/7 to our subscribers. In our offering to our customers we aim to offer channels that meet every individual interest. Video-gaming is a fully-fledged mainstream activity in our region and we are convinced that Ginx will find a broad and loyal audience within our customer base."
Atlas Group, one of the Middle East's leading print and publishing houses, has launched its APM division to meet the evolving needs of the region's marketeers. APM, which stands for Atlas Precision Marketing, offers organizations personalized, relevant communication, leveraging variable data printing to fully customize the message that is imparted to target clientele.
To stay ahead of the game in this era of digital overload, especially in a fiercely competitive market such as Dubai, companies must seek out new and effective ways to speak directly to their customers, which is where precision marketing can play its part. Research shows that consumers are bombarded with over 5,000 marketing messages every day - worldwide, 294 billion emails are sent, 534 million Facebook updates are posted, not to mention 400 million tweets. Precision marketing enables businesses to retain, cross-sell and up-sell to existing customers, with relevant target material to the individual. The technique works by identifying consumers' personal preferences, as well as collecting and analysing their behavioural and transactional data, then reacting to this information to create unique, individualised communications to a customer database.
According to Atlas Group's CEO, Amit Radia, "Precision marketing is proven to offer greater response rates, increased customer loyalty, and further revenue opportunities than traditional methods of customer communication. Each message is fully customized for target clientele, leveraging variable data printing to offer personalised, relevant communication."
At APM, precision marketing can be utilised across a variety of platforms, including variable data, campaign and loyalty programmes, database management and reporting, transpromo and web-to-print portals.
Jonathan Day, divisional head at Atlas Precision Marketing (APM), adds, "Offering a hosted platform, APM's variable data printing (VDP) and marketing adapts key elements such as text, graphics and imagery to target individual users on a company's database. It goes beyond traditionally personalised collateral (such as e-blasts, letters, invoices or statements), to offer everything from bespoke VIP print solutions and customized brochures to transpromotional mailouts. In simple terms, precision marketing delivers key messages to the right person, at the right time, and through the right channels. Precision marketing is the key to separating an organisation from the rest of the pack."
In a major step forward, Hsoub has today announced the launch of its new Affiliate Network as a powerful addition to the already-thriving Hsoub Ads , the leading internet advertising platform in the Arab world. This affiliate program comes as an answer to the demands of many satisfied customers, who wanted even more options to double their profits.
In simple terms, the network connects advertisers and publishers, allowing the latter to publish and distribute offers and promotionals made by the former, using blogs, forums, social media, and even email messages. The publishers (AKA affiliates) earn money for each purchase, conversion or a new customer referred by them to the advertiser’s website.
Hsoub Ads affiliate network is very flexible, and it allows businesses to calculate commissions for affiliates based on actual conversions, whether it was a sale, signing a contract, subscribing to a newsletter, buying a piece of hardware or software. Accurate statistics on clicks, conversions and conversion rates are provided to help advertisers plan their offers smartly and effectively for best results.
Abdelmohaimen Alagha, CEO of Hsoub stated that “in its endeavor to develop the Arabic web and provide innovative solutions to cater for the needs of businesses and consumers alike, Hsoub has provided and is still providing reliable advertising solutions that are specially tailored for the Arab market. The new affiliate network is just one additional step on this path; we are doing great progress in making the Arabic web richer and more enriching”.
Mukhtar al-Jundi, head of marketing at Hsoub explained that the affiliate network was created after the great demand for it: “We carefully examine the market, monitor developments, and above all, listen to our clients and create solutions that even exceed their expectations. That is why working through our affiliate network is very easy and simple, with high flexibility in offer choice and targeting”.
Hsoub Ads and the other advertising platforms powered by it, the Affiliate Network, and Hsoub Ads Marketplace, are developed by Hsoub, which also develops various other web solutions for Arab users, including the popular Khamsat , the first Arabic micro-service marketplace. The affiliate program is expected to get noticeable success in the online advertising market and greatly increase the potential and expand the horizons of both advertisers and publishers in North Africa and the Middle East.
RGH Entertainment (a division of Rubicon Group Holding) has announcedproduction of its latest animated feature film, Life and Adventures of Santa Claus,which will be released in CG 3-D Stereoscopic.
The film is directed by Anthony Bell (Rugrats, Alpha and Omega, and the upcoming Norm of the North) from a screenplay written by Rob Edwards (The Princess and the Frog, Treasure Planet). RGH Entertainment’s Randa Ayoubi and David Corbett are serving as executive producers.
Inspired by the book authored by L. Frank Baum, the creator of The Wizard of Oz, Life and Adventures of Santa Claus tells the story of a young boy who overcomes the odds to become one of the most beloved characters the world has ever known.
RGH will be attending the Cannes Film Festival with worldwide rights to the film, which will be available for a global theatrical release for Christmas 2014.
“Including L. Frank Baum’s timeless tale into our growing portfolio of IPs for children and family audiences has attracted some of the industry’s most respected names wanting to work with RGH Entertainment.” said Randa Ayoubi, Rubicon Group Holding CEO “Our production of Baum’s century-old book will reveal the little known story behind the myth of one of the most enchanting imaginary characters of all time”
“Our talented teams at RGH in Los Angeles, Manila, Dubai and Amman, Jordan are well on their way to crafting a highly entertaining film that will become a holiday tradition for many generations to come,” adds David Corbett, RGH Executive Director North America.
Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, follows close on the heels of its first feature film production, ‘Postman Pat: The Movie – You Know You’re the One’,produced in partnership with DreamWorks Classics.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world's largest and most prestigious annual awards and celebration of creative excellence in advertising and communications. Every year, the Festival organisers present The Media Person of the Year Award to a prominent personality who is an influential figure in the development of today's media landscape, ultimately playing an integral part in shaping the future of the industry.
This year, Cannes Lions is proud to honour YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar, who leads the video community that 1 billion people across the globe use to access information, share video, and shape culture.
Founded in 2005, YouTube was acquired by Google the following year. Since taking the role in 2009, Salar has overseen the expansion of YouTube into a global broadcast platform. Under his leadership, YouTube's site design and its investments have been reshaped to focus on channels and the emerging content creators behind them. YouTube's usage has been increasing at tremendous rates, to six billion hours of video watched each month, a 50% increase over the past year. YouTube has also launched TrueView, the advertising format whereby advertisers only pay for ads watched, and has doubled the number of advertisers using it in the last year.
Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions says, “YouTube has become a global phenomenon under Salar’s leadership. The statistics say it all: more than one billion unique users a month watch more than six billion hours of video. In 2011, YouTube had more than one trillion views - a simply staggering statistic. But YouTube is more than a formidable communications tool of everyday life. YouTube has become a key way for people throughout the world to share their cultures and stories, helping us understand and connect with one another. And for businesses, YouTube is enabling the next generation of great channels, similar to how cable systems enabled the emergence of modern TV programming and advertising. In the coming years, YouTube will surely become ever-more important to content-creators and advertisers the world over, and so Cannes Lions is delighted to recognise Salar’s achievements and present him with the Media Person of the Year award."
Salar Kamangar says, “Content creators and advertisers alike are building successful YouTube channels that tap into a global community of fans, with more than one million of these channels now earning revenue. I’m delighted to accept this award not just on behalf of YouTube, but on behalf of the artists and producers across the world whose creativity has established YouTube as the global destination for video.”
Google’s ninth employee, Salar's early roles at Google included drafting its first business plan, starting its early legal and finance functions, and helping to found Google's product team. While leading product management for Google's advertising and monetisation products, Salar and his engineering partner designed and launched AdWords, helping the program grow into a business generating billions of dollars a year. Salar also led product management teams for Google's web applications, including Gmail and Docs. Salar earned his bachelor's degree in biological sciences with honours from Stanford University.
Salar Kamangar will be presented with the Media Person of the Year honour on Wednesday 19 June in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.
Previous recipients of the Media Person of the Year Award include, Jack Dorsey, Creator, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Twitter; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook; Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Tsuneo Watanabe, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings; Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom; and Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner.
YouTube announced the first-ever YouTube Comedy Week in the MENA region, a special event from May 19th through May 25th, that will showcase the best of comedy with video premieres and creative collaborations from the region's funniest people.
Comedy Week in MENA is part of a global campaign to celebrate comedy on YouTube.
YouTube Comedy Week will bring together the biggest names in comedy on YouTube in the region in a collaboration with "Kharabeesh", to create a one of a kind experience for comedy fans. The week-long event will showcase different channels and new talents in the realm of comedy. This event will consist of dedicated programming that includes new episodes from popular YouTube stand up comedy channels, news parody channels, social/political satire channels, cartoon animation and more.
"YouTube is the home of comedy for the next generation," says YouTube's Diana Baddar, Head of video partnerships in MENA. "If you like to laugh, come join us during Comedy Week as we celebrate the best of comedy with sketches, pranks, stand-up routines, parodies, and brings together the best comedians in the region in a way that truly reflects the unique sense of humor in the Arab region."
Comedy is big in the MENA region with nearly half of all top 10 channels around the region belonging to the comedy category. Comedy continues to grow as more comedy channels move up the ranks of top 10 lists in the region.
Tune in at youtube.com/comedyweek starting May 19 for the week-long comedy lineup!
● Al Tase3a illa rob3 (S7 Channel) ● Kharabeesh Cartoons ● N2O ● Black Mousiba ● Jeddah Comedy Club ● FemalesShow ● 2050 Series ● HawwaShow ● Stand Ub ● 7abtein ● 3asa Kheir ● iToonsi ● Yam3iris.
Middle East Communication Network (MCN), one of the leading advertising and marketing communications agency networks in the MENA region, announced the launch of Platform5, a new performance-driven, integrated services and technology agency that will offer key digital support across the MCN Group's UM, Initiative and Magna brands.
The new entity will be headquartered at MCN's Hive building in Dubai, and will be led by Mohamad Itani, General Manager.
Platform5 will add greater value by helping agencies reach and engage with their most valuable audiences in real time through its five distinct elements: Reprise Media is a results-driven digital marketing agency with expertise in search engine marketing, search engine optimisation, and social media marketing; Cadreon is a specialised real-time bidding (RTB) platform that integrates technology, data and inventory to manage audiences for MCN's clients; its Mobile Solutions arm will assist consumers on their purchase journey through strategy, mobile apps, mobile marketing, analytics and more; with Ad Serving and Trading elements providing support to the holistic solution.
"With the constant fragmentation of digital media and its touchpoints, it has become necessary for leading agencies to adapt and evolve their approach to cater for this change. Platform5 is a natural evolutionary step for MCN to embrace the best use of technology and talents to the benefit of its clients," said Mohamad Itani, General Manager of Platform5.
Platform5 was created by MCN as a response to the increase in devices, channels, touch points and data. MCN's client base will be empowered to develop unified brand experiences that transcend screens, all while satisfying the demand for greater accountability and measurability with the optimisation and efficiencies that Platform5 provides. Today, Platform5 consists of 17 specialists, with plans to hire a total of 20 staff by the end of July.
"Platform5 is a major step - one of many to follow - which will further improve our offering, in line with global best practice. MCN and its agencies are determined to embrace innovation in order to deliver an integrated solution to our clients," said Ghassan Harfouche, Group CEO of MCN.
During a visit to Washington DC, Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer of Twofour54 Abu Dhabi, spoke at the Aspen Institute about ways to increase online Arabic media content, as well as the impact that the 'content gap' has on the Arabic speaking community.
The program was organized with the assistance of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, as part of the Emirates-Aspen Partnership.
The Aspen Institute briefing was attended by senior US government officials, business executives and other policy influencers and media industry representatives. H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, and other UAE Embassy diplomats were also present, along with Walter Isaacson, Aspen Institute President.
At the briefing, Ms. Al Kaabi also discussed the role of Twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, which has become the home of 200+ local, regional and international media and entertainment companies. Twofour54 and its partners are all focused on generating content, exported from Abu Dhabi to the region and the world, building bridges across Arabic and non-Arabic speaking communities.
The Emirates-Aspen Partnership was established in 2010 to develop a dialogue that will cultivate relationships between civic, business, and government leaders in the US, the UAE, and the broader Middle East.
The Emirates-Aspen Partnership organizes events, roundtables and exclusive discussions that explore issues and opportunities figuring prominently in US-UAE relationship. The Partnership addresses issues ranging from catalyzing science and technology innovation, to the role of women in civil society, to the UAE as a key patron of arts and culture.
The Emirates-Aspen Partnership provides an opportunity for UAE and US leaders of all sectors to share and examine best practices, and develop new partnerships as the Emirates continues its rise in the region and in the world.
With mobile penetration continuing to grow significantly in the Middle East, consumers’ perceived value of mobile marketing is not yet aligned with marketers’ expectations.
The study, Channel Preference for Both the Mobile and Non-Mobile Consumer by Epsilon, found that 80% of the consumers surveyed are not yet interested in receiving location-based mobile offers during or after a visit to a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, there was a notable preference, ranging from 40-50%, for digital communications among mobile device users compared to non-users.
Similar to last year’s results, the research showed that direct mail is the preferred channel for U.S. and Canadian consumers to receive brand communications in nearly every product and service category including financial services, insurance, general health, cleaning products, food and charitable causes.
Key findings from the study include:
Mobile device users were 40-50% more likely to prefer email and online communications, respectively, than non-users;
21% of U.S. consumers and 26% of Canadian consumers use their cellular devices for sending and/or receiving email on a daily or weekly basis;
3% of U.S. consumers and 3% of Canadian consumers use mobile QR codes;
U.S. tablet users are 50% more likely, on average, to prefer receiving information via email compared to those without smartphones or e-readers;
42% of U.S. consumers and 39% of Canadian consumers said direct mail is the preferred channel to receive sensitive health information;
36% of U.S. consumers and 35% of Canadian consumers said direct mail is the preference channel to receive insurance information. 39% and 38%, respectively said the same for Financial services information, and 26% and 20% respectively said the same for Retail information;
73% of Americans and 62% of Canadians said they receive a lot of emails that they simply do not open;
70% of Americans and 69% of Canadians said they have received more emails in the past year than the year before;
62% of Americans and 63% of Canadians said they enjoy checking the mailbox for postal mail;
51% of U.S. consumers and 49% of Canadian consumers said they pay more attention to postal mail than email;
73% of U.S. consumers and 67% of Canadian consumers said they prefer direct mail for brand communications because they can read the information at their convenience.
The study found that direct mail continues to be a highly trusted and preferred channel among the general consumers and mobile usage is having a distinct impact on communication channel preferences. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to understand consumer behavior and create a two-way dialogue to incorporate each individual’s wants and needs into your marketing strategy. For marketers to be successful, they need to understand their consumers and communicate with them in a meaningful and relevant manner. This takes deep insight, sophisticated analytics and segmentation.
The 2012 Channel Preference Study also found:
Women are more trusting of word of mouth information received from family and friends than men (55% versus 47%);
Not surprisingly, doctors and nurses are the most trusted sources of healthcare information (according to 78% of U.S. consumers and 86% of Canadian consumers) while YouTube and Twitter are the least trusted sources (6% among Americans and 4% among Canadians).
Of the social channels included in the study, LinkedIn had the strongest growth in consumer usage in 2012 versus 2011 in the U.S., from 12% to 19%;
17% of U.S. consumers and 25% of Canadian consumers are very or somewhat interested in receiving offline communications for brands they have liked or visited on social media sites.
Group Deal awareness is 40% higher among mobile device users;
On average, 40% of consumers who own mobile devices are likely to prefer email communications compared to non-device owners.
The growth of social media and mobile has been unprecedented amongst the Gulf users. However, marketers shouldn’t focus on either channel as a standalone communications tool. By integrating across digital and traditional channels, marketers can create a truly seamless, omnichannel strategy that improves the customer experience, builds brand value and drives behavior.
Cohn & Wolfe announced it will take a minority stake in BPG | pr, one of the most respected PR agencies in the Middle East.
The move strengthens and broadens Cohn & Wolfe's offer to clients across the MENA region and follows on the heels of the agency's Asia-Pacific expansion in China, India and Southeast Asia.
BPG | pr is part of the BPG Group that has been creating and executing integrated solutions for its clients since it began operations in 1980 in Dubai. Since inception, the Group has helped build global brands out of local initiatives.
The new agency, BPG | Cohn & Wolfe, will provide current BPG clients with access to an award-winning international network, while bringing Cohn & Wolfe clients deep expertise in the MENA region across lifestyle, FMCG, travel and tourism, healthcare, corporate and government.
BPG | Cohn & Wolfe provides PR and marketing services to leading global and regional brands including Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Visa International, Omega, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), Masafi, Jumbo Electronics, Oetker Collection, Ellucian, Rivoli, Mall of Qatar, Alshaya Group and Jashanmal. BPG | Cohn & Wolfe has a multinational, multilingual staff of 34 professionals from 13 countries.
The network is one of the few public relations agencies established in the Middle East, with headquarters in Dubai and additional offices in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Doha, Jeddah and Kuwait as well as affiliates in Cairo and Muscat.
"The Middle East is one of the world's most dynamic and fastest growing regions and is becoming increasingly important for our global clients. When it came to finding an established, credible partner that understands the complexities and opportunities of this market, and its demand for world class communications services, BPG | pr was best in class," said Donna Imperato, CEO of Cohn & Wolfe.
"Cohn & Wolfe is looking forward to ensuring that the synergies between our two businesses offer our global clients stronger services in the MENA region while providing clients of BPG | pr with an opportunity to benefit from our global network and international expertise," she added.
Commenting on the new partnership, BPG Group Chief Executive Avi Bhojani said: "Engaging in this new relationship will add significant value and further impetus to what is already a successful and growing public relations business at BPG.
"Cohn & Wolfe is recognised as one of the world's most creative agencies with a strong commitment to digital and social media that will enable us to share best global practice and bring new concepts to our clients in the region, while offering our local as well as regional clients access to a global network."
The new partnership is also in line with BPG's already successful strategy of forging alliances with best in class WPP businesses around the world.
The new BPG | Cohn & Wolfe alliance adds to the group's existing advertising brand BPG | Bates, digital business BPG | Possible and media business BPG | Maxus and world standard specialist healthcare business BPG | Healthworld.