MediavataarMe News Desk
TBWAZeenahDigital is Oman's leading and multi-award winning agency — delivering disruptive ideas, nurtured with the spirit of breaking through the conventional. On the evening of Tuesday 23rd April, 2013 the creative expertise and savvy design abilities of TBWAZeenahDigital within the digital and social media landscape was officially recognised with four wins at the Oman Web Awards, an event held at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel - A Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Oman's youngest and most dynamic agency was honoured with two gold medals, one silver and a bronze at the event which aims at promoting innovation and creativity in the online world and also to encourage greater awareness of the role of online and digital media for connecting organisations, companies and people in this digital era.
Congratulating the TBWAZeenahDigital team on their achievements, Mohammed Al Farei, Managing Director at Zeenah Group noted, "In recent times, Oman has seen an upsurge into social media implementation and digital media marketing which has influenced the market significantly. A large number of companies are now embracing the digital route and are 'active' on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter among others. In such dynamic times, it is necessary for an integrated communications agency such as ours to emphasize to our clients the important role online and digital communications plays within a communication strategy. These wins at the Oman Web Awards are evidence of our success story and I would like to thank the members of the jury, our clients and everyone at TBWAZeenahDigital who worked towards making this possible."
The agency won Gold for its own website (www.tbwazeenah.com), in the corporate category. Operating as part of the international TBWA network, TBWAZeenah is Oman's leading advertising agency. Its website proved to be the ideal platform to highlight disruptive marketing communication solutions and was awarded for its fresh approach and interactive interface.
In the category of Health Care, TBWAZeenah was given the Gold award for 'Lets Rise', a website created in association with the Ministry of Health (www.letsriseoman.com). The Let's Rise campaign highlights potential risks and shares healthy tips to inspire the people of the Sultanate to improve their lifestyles.
The 'More Oman' website (www.moreoman.com) won Silver for its featured tours and corresponding offers, providing Omani residents with unique reasons to explore Oman. In just 3 months, the website garnered over 20,000 page views.
Furthermore, the Zeenah Group website (www.zeenahgroup.com) received Bronze in the Advertisement, Media & Event Management category. Comprising of 5 separate companies spanning from events to PR, media, publishing to advertising, Zeenah Group is Oman's leading, fully integrated agency and welcomes interested parties to learn more about its services on its user-friendly website.
Ruba Abu Saleh, Head of Digital at TBWAZeenahDigital, said, "As Oman's leading and multi-award winning agency we profess and practice breaking through the conventional as a core philosophy, and there is certainly no medium more vibrant and fast-moving than online and digital media. TBWAZeenahDigital boasts a completely equipped team with digital skills to help our clients get the best of this new domain."
Shortly after the successful launch of “Layalina.com” back in November 2012, and surpassing the 1 Million unique visitors to its site in March 2013, Layalina.com by breaks the “1 Million Fans” barrier on its Facebook page.
Layalina’s teams all over the region celebrated this success in the presence of partners, advertisers, and friends who wished “Layalina.com” continuous growth & success.
“Surpassing 1 Million Fans on our Facebook page in a record 5-months from the launch of Layalina.com is a genuine reflection of a market eagerly looking for quality Arabic content that meets the needs and aspirations of today’s youth all over MENA. People from all Arab countries follow our news to stay in the loop of everything related to local, regional, and international events, celebrity news, and the latest trends in fashion and beauty all in on place” – says Majd Sleiman, CEO | AWI Company.
“We are very happy and excited with this achievement, which wouldn’t have happened without the convergence of 3 important elements. The first is Layalina’s unique and exclusive content, the second exceptional management of our Facebook community and the posts’ selection that suits the tastes of millions of Arab visitors, and the third is the valuable trust and love of our Facebook fans to whom we credit our success” – says Anas Abbar, MD & CPO | 7awi.
As for Imad Lahad, Director of Marketing, Communication & Social Media | 7awi, “reaching the 1 Million fans on our Facebook page is an important and strong success statement but is not the only one. Our fans’ high level of engagement and sharing our news with their friends and family is the true success indicator for us. One of the main contributors to our success on Facebook is the launch of Layalina’s Social Bar Facebook App on Layalina.com. This app is unique to Layalina.com compared to other Arab-based websites in MENA. Through this App, Layalina.com’s visitors are able to share what they read on the site with their friends directly on Facebook and at the same time, they can discover what their friends have been browsing and reading on the site”.
As Singapore cements its position as a beacon for new technology in Asia and with Berlin growing into the new silicon valley of Europe, a leading author and head of one of the foremost mobile marketing solutions companies, says there is a great opportunity for a GCC country to establish itself as a the region's innovation hub.
Gary Schwartz, President/CEO of Impact Mobile and author of The Impulse Economy and Fast Shopper, Slow Store says that in addition to Singapore and Berlin, Austin, Texas in the USA reinvented itself as the creative entrepreneurial capital of North America with the South By South West (SXSW) festival, while Cape Town has emerged as an innovation hub in Africa.
"These innovation centres emerged based on big ideas, good planning and active lobbying of businesses globally," he says. "The public and private leadership proactively championed services and summits to attract talent and business investment and now the same opportunities exist in the Middle East - specifically the GCC."
"Through the first decade of the 21st century, digital business changed the way global companies, governments, educators and healthcare professionals innovate and grow," he adds. "Disruptive technologies are transforming mature markets overnight."
Schwartz says that Governments that can provide infrastructure, identify successful innovation and facilitate growth with win big in the GCC. Promoting mobile access is a crucial first step.
"Nairobi Kenya has reinvented itself as 'Silicon Savannah' by making broadband internet accessible to over 12 million of the 40 million population," explains Schwartz. "Singapore has provided subsidizes to SMEs to move into new digital markets and expand overseas. Being a financial center such as Singapore, London, Berlin, Dubai provides a solid base. However there must be a multi-ministry coordinated policy and commitment to then become an innovation center. This step requires nimble and entrepreneurial decision making."
The question is which country in the GCC will take the initiative to play this important role in the region.
Schwartz will debate this at the second annual Digital Media Forum (One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, 22nd-23rd May 2013). He will also examine if civic leaders are prepared for growth in this arena and also what tools are required to accelerate innovation adoption in the Gulf region. Last November SHUAA Capital issued a new report on the GCC telecom sector which revealed that the UAE has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world with headline active mobile penetration rates exceeding 230% as of Q2 12.
This compares to Asia, where the region has skipped PC based e-commerce and moved straight to tablet and phone m-commerce.
"The exceptionally high mobile phone penetration figures - not only in the UAE but across the wider GCC - means that mobile commerce has tremendous market potential as local consumers become increasingly more accustomed to making credit card payments via mobile devices through Paypal and other platforms," says Schwartz.
He says in Asia 40 per cent of consumer purchases are on small screen devices and over half of Indonesian and Thai consumers use their mobile phones to shop. But mobile commerce is more than purchase behaviour; it is driving path-to-purchase, engagement and affinity.
"As I wrote at length in my book The Impulse Economy, all these are bundled into the term mobile commerce and all these areas are healthy opportunities to exploit as shopping behaviour moves from large screen (immersive) shopping to small screen (impulse) shopping," he says.
'SCREEN WARS: How connected screens are changing the way we move, meet and buy' is the topic of Schwartz's presentation, one of a wide range of subjects to be addressed by international and local experts individually and in panel discussions. Other themes include 'The Evolution of The TV Experience, the 'Bombardment of Social Media' and 'The Impact of Social Media On Today's Youth'
Organised by SPOTON Media and Events, the key note address will be given by Elie Khouri, CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA. The two day event also brings together Guy Yalif - Head of Global Product Marketing, Twitter, US, Tariq El Haj Omar, Strategic Partner Manager, Google, Ralph Rivera - Director of Future Media and Member of The Executive Board, BBC, UK, Khalifa Al Shamsi - Chief Digital Services Officer - Etisalat Group.
MyOffice Business Solutions Center and The PR Professionals initiated a high profile, women's only event for entrepreneurial and high achieving women across the UAE.
Sam Malik from The PR Professionals and Melissa O'Neil from myOffice strategized the event off the back of the International Women's Day that was celebrated on Saturday 9th March 2013.
The women's only event took place at Thiptara, The Palace Hotel, Downtown Dubai against the stunning backdrop of the Burj Khalifa. The decision was taken to host this women's only event as part of an incentive to bring innovative women together within the UAE.
Sam Malik, Managing Director and Owner of The PR Professionals, "It is important to initiate events of this sort as we get so busy in our day to day business routine that we forget the potential we retain within a group of highly professional women. We generate great business amongst ourselves therefore it is vital to mix women of likeminded background and of similar caliber."
Gina Costa from Avventura Group spoke at the networking event that attracted several women business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. She walked through her journey of setting up her business and shared words of encouragement with women who were interested in setting up their own business.
Melissa O'Neil, General Manager of myOffice, "We were really pleased tying up with The PR Professionals to host the first 'Women in Business' event. We have many international enquiries that come through our business centre, but only a few from entrepreneurial businesswomen. After meeting Sam and having several in depth discussions, we both realized that there are many women who aspire to set up their business or who have already established their company and are looking for likeminded support. We met with some really inspirational women and are looking forward to our next event."
Each 'Women in Business' event will have a different focus point to aid and engage pioneering women who want to learn more about the constantly evolving industry. We will be involving influential women from the business front to co-operatively strategize key business focus points and share ideas with other higher management females.
Women in Business would like to thank The Palace Hotel, Lama Bazzari CEO of NStyle, Gina Costa from Avventura Group and Hyku Desestos from Hyku Photography for their continuous support
Catering to the much overlooked need for video and audio broadcast services in conflict regions within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region such as Libya and Syria, Broadcast Systems Arabia, a UAE based company specializing in all aspects of production and broadcast , is deepening its commitment to this task which most systems integrators are steering clear off. A shining example of this dedication has been the company's involvement with Libya Al Ahrar, a channel launched by Muhmud Shammam, the ex-information Minister of Libya, during the revolution and now the most watched news channel in the county.
"FM distribution and the availability of information is helping mold the future of war-torn countries. While these services are essential, there are few players who are willing to undertake business in these markets. For obvious reasons, executing such projects is both extremely challenging and dangerous. However, at Broadcast Systems Arabia, we believe that offering our services to help create these vital messaging channels is a fulfilling utilization of our knowledge and expertise," said Muhammad Irfan Gondal, CEO of Broadcast Systems Arabia.
The company acted as one of the driving forces behind the success of Libya Al Ahrar, popularly known as Libya TV. Despite the dangers and risks involved, Broadcast Systems Arabia was able to provide the channel with a fully equipped studio in Benghazi and twelve Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) mobile vans, as well as a host of broadcast related services. Furthermore, under the aegis of Broadcast Systems Arabia, Libya Al Ahrar has now been transformed into a fully digital television network.
Another project that the company completed during the Libyan revolution was the set up of six FM radio transmission points in all major metropolitans in Libya including Tripoli, Benghazi, Sabha, Masrata, Nalut and Albayda. These FM transmitters relayed the Al Aan FM channel feed to over 3.7 million listeners via a satellite downlink. Broadcast Systems Arabia has also been responsible for the installation of 4 FM transmitters for Al Aan TV in Syria.
From its UAE based regional headquarters, the company is ideally positioned to offer everything from consultation, analysis, system integration, equipment acquisition, installation, training and support and extended services to its customers across the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to its market leading ability and willingness to deliver services in war-torn regions, Broadcast Systems Arabia also engages in activities in other MENA countries. A recent success for the company has been the setting up of a four channel radio playout facility complete with a live production studio for a client in Dubai Media City in the UAE.
Stating the company's strategy, Mr. Gondal said, "Our goal is to provide the highest quality products and to guarantee complete client satisfaction. We have created a name for ourselves by doing this on a consistent basis- and that too even in the most challenging of situations. We will continue to serve our customers with this high degree of commitment as we expand our presence in the region."
The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) launched 'Unshor', a one-year mentoring programme for Emirati publishers aimed at boosting their professional skills and expanding their experience, during a press conference held on the 28th of April on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Book Fair.
The programme, which will run with support from the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development ( KFED) to the tune of half a million dirhams, is in line with the EPA's strategy, which is aimed at enhancing the local publishing industry and ensuring the creation of an educated society in the United ArabEmirates and the Arab world. The objective of the programme is to provide a systematic process through which publishers can grow with the help of experienced professionals who are available to guide and help them to overcome the obstacles in their way.
During the press conference, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, EPA President, gave an address in which she detailed the vision, aim, and importance of the programme. She commented, "The publishing industry in the UAE has entered a remarkable period of growth, yet despite the drive forward that has been made through the implementation of relevant and efficient legislation and the great care that is being taken by all parties involved to nurture this vital sector, Emirati publishers still face numerous challenges, the most significant of which is a lack of experience and guidance. Through this programme we aim to lay the foundation of sustainable growth in the industry by giving up-coming publishers access to resources that can aid them in their growth and expansion process."
"Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development was established six years back to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation among various society segments in United Arab Emirates and to develop the small and medium sized enterprises sector", said H. E. Abdullah Saeed Al Darmaki the Chief Executive officer of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in his speech.
"Khalifa Fund is very interested since its establishment to support the entrepreneurs and the innovators in different sectors including the cultural sector. The Fund financed 13 projects in different cultural and educational sectors with a total amount of 17.7 million dirham", added Al Darmaki.
"Khalifa Fund initiative to support "Unshor" training program is part of its effort to contribute in enhancing the skills of Emiratis Publishers and improve their expertise to ensure a positive progress in the coming generations of United Arab Emirates".
A presentation on the scope and schedule of the programme was presented by Jamal Al Shehhi, member of the EPA Board of Directors and "Unshor" Project Manager, in which he detailed the various aspects of the course. He explained that the mentors and professional mentors, which were carefully chosen from among a professional and experienced group of publishers from the UAE and abroad, will be guiding each participant throughout the duration of the programme.
The selected mentors' names were also revealed during the launch; among them are Dr Giath Maktabi from Al Maktabi Publishing House, Ashraf Shaheen from Al Borj Media, Fady Moqanzah from Universal Publishing, Maalem Publishing's Nassir Asi, and Tamer Said from Kalimat Publishing House. Five participants - Nasser Nasrallah, Ali Al Shaali, Qais Sidqi, Nora Al Noman, and Mohammed bin Dakheen - were selected for the mentorship programme.
Jamal also explained that applicants must have a valid membership in the EPA, hold UAE citizenship, and have at least three books published for them to join the programme. Over the course of the year, participants will be guided to develop integrated and comprehensive publishing plans for the titles that they will be publishing, which will be supervised by their mentors. Participants will also be guided through the promotional phase, with agreements in place with top booksellers, Kinokuniya Bookstore, Jashanmal, and Virgin Megastore, to allocate shop-fronts to display the books, hold book signing ceremonies, as well as to promote the publishers' titles through the media.
The programme has been designed to give its participants access to the professional expertise of established and experienced publishers combined with in-depth training through theoretical and practical training courses in all publishing specialisations. The participants will also have the opportunity to partake in a number of visits within the UAE and abroad in order to expand their experience, thus allowing them to effectively meet and overcome the challenges facing the UAE's publishing sector. By providing these varied levels of support, the programme also aims to encourage entrepreneurship, and the innovation and growth that most often accompany entrepreneurship, amongst aspiring publishers from the UAE.
The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) was established at Al Qasba, Sharjah, on 25 February 2009 as a public entity dedicated to developing the UAE's publishing industry.
EPA aims to represent UAE publishers at regional and international events, exhibitions and seminars on publishing. It also works to disseminate the UAE's intellectual output throughout the Arab world and worldwide. EPA aims to improve the publishing industry in the UAE by training and supporting UAE publishers, and to improve publishing-related conditions and laws. EPA gives special attention to translation from and into Arabic, protecting intellectual property rights and other related rights.
du is proud to announce that Hala Badri, its Executive Vice President, Brand and Communications, has been selected to join the judging panel at The Festival of Media Global 2013, taking place in Montreux, Switzerland, from 28-30 April. As a jury member, Badri will join a panel comprising some of the world's the most influential advertisers and influential media agency heads to evaluate global advertising and integrated marketing communications campaigns.
"It is an absolute honour to have been chosen as part of The Festival of Media Global 2013 judging panel. I look forward to joining my fellow judges in enjoying some of the finest work that the media industry has to offer. Media across the world has been particularly vibrant recently, and I have every confidence that the calibre of entries will be impeccably high," said Badri.
The Festival of Media, inaugurated in 2007, is the world's first festival of media creativity and innovation. It is designed to address the challenges the media industry faces, seeking out the global visionaries who are shaping the industry's future to gain their insight, while reflecting on the new opportunities that are developing for innovative, effective media communication around the world.
In a major addition to its advertising network, Hsoub Ads, one of the largest advertising platforms and ad networks in Arabia has announced the implementation of two new online advertising mediums: Pre-roll video ads and Rich-Media ads.
Hsoub Ads Video, which was under active development and testing for several months, allows advertisers to embed their video ads in video content that will be seen throughout hundreds of Arabic websites across the Hsoub Ads publishers network. Pre-roll video ads are streamed before the video content the viewer has requested and its power lies in that advertisers can launch highly targeted video ads within minutes at a much less cost compared to TV advertising.
The other new advertisement medium is HTML-based “Rich Media”. It allows advertisers and businesses to embed interactive forms within the banner ad itself. For example, one great way of using this ad format is embedding a registration form or a subscription form to a mailing list, in the banner ad. The visitor is only on click away from registration, as when he clicks the banner it turns into a form where the user can enter his details. By removing the need to browse to another page, this would boost conversion rate for companies and businesses seeking to expand their customers’ base.
Mokhtar Algendy, who is the Marketing Manager at Hsoub, stated that both Hsoub Ads Rich Media and Video Ads are available immediately to advertisers using Hsoub Ads. He also emphasized that these are but some of the new features and that Hsoub Ads is constantly developing and testing new solutions for Arabia’s online advertising market.
Discovery Communications has today announced that Founder and Chairman/MD of Dubai-based media company Takhayal Entertainment, Youssef El Deeb has decided to resign from the company in May to focus on new creative enterprises.
Discovery Communications announced an agreement in November 2012 to acquire Dubai-based media company Takhayal Entertainment and its affiliated companies, including its flagship TV network, Fatafeat, the #1 food network in the Middle East.
Kasia Kieli, President and MD of Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “Fatafeat has strong brand awareness and is well-loved in the region which is testament to the unique creativity and hard work of it’s founder Youssef El Deeb. For years he has invested in the company to develop the business and with his strong leadership that has resulted in a great team. We wish him every success with his future enterprises.”
Fatafeat broadcasts to approximately 55 million TV households in the Middle East and North Africa and the in-house studio contains a library of 700 hours of programs. The popular line-up of shows include Teslam El Ayadi (family cooking show), Matbakhna El Arabi (Our Arabian Cuisine hosted by award-winning chef, Mohammad Orfali), Shourba Wi Naknaka (Soups and Snacks), Houriyat Al Matbakh (Arabic and international cooking) and Wala Bil Ahlam (‘Dream Desserts’ from Egyptian award winning chef, Nermine Hanno).
Al Jazeera Sport has appointed OMD and TBWARAAD, two Omnicom Group agencies, to develop and deploy communications campaigns across the Middle East and North Africa.
Al Jazeera Sport (AJS) is the biggest and most popular sports television network in the Arab World.
It is widely known for owning the exclusive broadcasting rights in the Middle East for major football tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championship and the FA Cup amongst others.
Since its launch in November 2003, Al Jazeera Sport has enjoyed tremendous success in the region and its 17 channels, four of which are free to air, are now available in over 20 territories in MENA.
OMD and TBWARAAD will work together to bring Al Jazeera Sport's coverage to every home and further enhance its image as the leading sports broadcaster in the MENA region.
"For OMD, working with a powerhouse such as Al Jazeera Sport is a tremendous honor. We are excited to bring our strategic media planning experience to the table to help Al Jazeera Sport achieve its vision and become the home of sports in the entire MENA region", commented Fadi Chamat, general manager of OMD Lower Gulf.
"Together with TBWARAAD, our aim will be to connect Al Jazeera Sport with every household in the region, in an innovative and impactful way."
Speaking of the appointment, Reda Raad, COO of TBWARAAD Middle East said, "Needless to say, this is a very exciting win for us. The team is delighted to be working with Al Jazeera Sport and is really looking forward to producing innovative, inspiring work that will appeal to and excite the many Al Jazeera Sport fans throughout the region. The campaigns are fully integrated and are a great opportunity for TBWARAAD and OMD to demonstrate the team's knowledge and insight into the region."