VISA ARRIVES IN DUBAI
GLOBAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR
THE NETWORK SALUTES THE 88th MOST ON THE GLOBAL
POWERFUL ARAB IN THE WORLD FINANCIAL CRISIS
CONTENTS Worldwide news 04
WELCOME TO THE LAUNCH OF BACKSLASH!
Regional news 08
We’ve been keeping ourselves busy from the very start of the year
Networking 14 and what a year its been so far.
In the beginning of the year Adweek and Ad Age two of the leading
Awards 18 trade publications, unanimously announced TBWA the international
network of the year in 2008. Needless to say, we are very proud of
Family matters 20 that accomplishment.
We’ve moved to our new home in Burj Dubai Square and what a
New business 21 difference this has made to our work environment. Check out the
feature on the new office space.
Case study 22
We’ve expanded our family by welcoming new staff from all over
the world at all levels within the organization.
We’ve welcomed new clients mainly Visa, Limitless, Pepsi’s Amp
Initiative 31 and Qatar Foundation, more on that in the new business section.
We’ve diversified and strengthened our group offering and
Issues 33 continued our geographic expansion into the region.
Essential reading 36 We’ve managed to win at the Lynx awards on real work for real
Reviews 39 All in all, we continue to navigate this 2009 economic crisis
carefully and hopefully we will continue on our journey to become
Fun stuff 42 one of the top ten most creative companies in the world by 2010.
I hope you enjoy reading Backslash and I would love to get your
point of view on it.
Group Managing Director
Editor in Chief Reda Raad
Editor Michael Bianchi
Contributing Writers James Holman & Deger Cotelioglu
Design Design Lab - Kris Balerite & Andrea Gruneberg
Artworking Ajoy N. & Valery Starr
Production Manager Kishore Ramchandran
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In its selection of TBWA Worldwide, the Adweek article noted
the Network’s «...deep client relationships, strong growth,
great work and successfully embracing digital, plus a seamless
leadership transition at the top.»
Tom Carroll, President & CEO TBWA Worldwide said of the
recognition, «We have spent the last 10 years building a
culture of inclusiveness, truly wanting to be international and
Global Agency Led by the efforts of Carisa Bianchi and Rob Schwartz in
Los Angeles on Visa and Pepsi, we have also fostered an
of the Year
environment where we have redefined how a network can
operate effectively on behalf of its clients.
TBWAWorldwide CEO Tom Carroll had even more great
It’s working, we’re getting better every year. Thanks for news for the network in the second half of last year, when he
TBWA Worldwide has been named the
2008 Global Agency of the Year by noticing.» announced the PepsiCoGatorade win. PepsiCo is one of the
Adweek magazine. world’s iconic brands, and will surely be a source of an endless
* Global Agency of the Year amount of exciting creative work in the near future.
* Agency A-List: #2 TBWAChiatDay
* Tom Carroll Executive of the Year
DUBAI READY TO
Just another great start to 2009, Advertising Age magazine
announced that it has named TBWA Worldwide as its 2008
GO WITH VISA
Global Agency of the Year, recognized TBWA’s President and
CEO Tom Carroll as Executive of the Year and placed TBWA
ChiatDay 2nd on its exclusive A-List of top agencies in the
United States. In October last year, VISA announced that they would work
above:: Tom Carroll, Jean-Marie Dru and Lee Clow with us globally. This is obviously a tremendous win for our
In its selection of TBWA Worldwide, AdAge noted: «TBWA is network – not only because Visa is a great brand and a great
our Global Agency of the Year because its uncommon success company to work for but also because they are an incredible
in marrying global scale with tremendous creativity.» AdAge leader in their own field. For those of you who don’t know, as
further noted that, «A company that grew up as a confederation Ad Age reported this week, they enjoy a 60% market share of
of independent states could really behave as a network... the credit-card market, double that of MasterCard, which has
Judging by the Visa win; its success in assembling a new around 30% and much greater than American Express, which
agency to win the Adidas’ digital business; its respectable only has 10%.
revenue growth in a tough climate; and its continued creative
excellence in a number of international markets, TBWA has This pitch has been the ultimate one. Everything was so deeply
done just that. That’s why it’s Advertising Age’s Global Agency prepared and so carefully thought of, from the first client meeting
of the Year for 2008.» in New York to the final word last Thursday in San Francisco.
When you join passion and talent together, there is no limit to
Tom Carroll, President & CEO TBWA Worldwide said of TBWA’s how far you can go. And there was a lot of passion and talent at
recognition, «Over the last 10 years, under the leadership of table, as well as behind the scenes thanks to Laurie Coots.
Jean-Marie Dru and Lee Clow, we have been delivering both
‹Disruptive› and creative ideas in a truly global and inclusive
culture. Our objective is to bring out the best in our clients and
their brands. Fortunately for us they want and expect TBWA
to create work that gets us this kind of recognition. Thanks
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The brief was simple: become the centre of creativity and communications excellence in the Middle East and North Africa; be the agency that clients would turn to for The new office comes at a time when the MENA
Disruptive ideas, and attract and grow the best new talent. With the launch of the 10x10 initiative in 2007, TBWARAAD decided to focus on the 4th challenge: to foster the region is experiencing phenomenal growth. Egypt,
most dynamic and creative culture. The agency then turned towards the Burj Dubai, the tallest man-made structure in the world at 818 metres, and set about forming a space Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait recorded the
that would become a crucible of creativity. biggest percentage advertising growth in the world
last year. TBWARAAD is certainly well on its way to
The office was officially opened late last year when TBWAWorldwide leaders were in Dubai. Official guests included our CEO Tom Carroll, Keith Smith, Denis Streiff, Reg
Lascaris and Giulio Cimato. They were greeted by the cheers of the entire agency, and an Arab ceremonial dance at TBWARAAD’s new office – an environment designed to
disrupt, innovate, and create.
achieving its vision of being the centre of creative and
communications excellence in the Middle East and
HAS A NEW HOME
The office space was designed collaboratively with input from the agency’s entire staff, and quickly received considerable positive media coverage. Newspaper ‘7 Days’
reported that “TBWARAAD in Dubai boasts some great office features… it’s certainly not a chore to walk through their doors!” With beanbags in an astroturfed garden, a
basketball court with a Playstation 3, and a foosball table in a majlis lounge area, the new office was the perfect place to foster creativity. And with commissioned art and an
expression wall, it encapsulates everything that TBWA stands for. Tom Carroll described the space as “…a nexus of TBWA’s operations in Africa, Europe, and Asia.”
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TBWARAADKSA moves in style to new offices in Jeddah and Riyadh
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TBWAZEENAH welcomes new
TBWARAADKSA talent to Oman
CRACKS THE WELCOME TO THE NETWORK…
CRISTALS Ian Butlin joins the agency as Group Account Director
Adam Byars joins the agency as Account Director
Jacqueline Zivkovic joins the agency as Account Director
History was made at this year’s MENA Cristal Awards, with Melodi Marx joins the agency as Account Manager
TBWARAADKSA winning two awards for their work on Masa Sherrin Davie joins the agency as PR Manager
Pest Control. Matt Horobin heads up the new Strategic Planning
department at the agency.
The awards were won in the mailing and daily press categories. Elizabeth Davis joins as Planning and Development Manager
Saadi Alkouatli, TBWARAADKSA Creative Director said, Liz Foley joins the agency as Event Manager
“We’ve been working hard and pushing our creative buttons
to deliver work that disrupts convention, answering the TBWARAADEGYPT MAKES TBWARAAD DUBAI WELCOMES SOME NEW FACES
demands of Saudi consumers and their enormous enthusiasm SOME NEW DISCOVERIES
for innovation.” TBWARAAD Dubai welcomes some new faces International
Did you know that a new pyramid has been discovered deep talent has been brought on board, with Julia Foster from
TBWARAADKSA Managing Director Ghassan Kassabji beneath Egyptian sands, archaeologists announced late last TBWAToronto joining as Director of Business Development at
proudly described the occasion as “an amazing achievement year. The 4,300-year-old monument is believed to be the TBWARAAD. We also welcome Peter Hubbersty to his new
that places Saudi Arabia on the global creative map.” tomb of Queen Sesheshet, the mother of Pharaoh Teti and the position as Managing Director of Tequila Middle East. Peter
founder of ancient Egypt’s 6th dynasty. That’s nice. joins TBWARAAD from Britain to spearhead new business
Speaking from the agency’s regional headquarters in Dubai, development and drive digital and CRM marketing in the
Ramzi Raad, TBWARAAD chairman in the Middle East and What’s even more interesting is that TBWARAADEGYPT has region. Newcomer Leila Abdel-Malak has been appointed as
North Africa, congratulated Saudi Arabia’s team on their been making its own discoveries in the shape of new company Human Resources Director, as well as Ralph Khoury who joins
achievement. “This recognition is proof that TBWA fosters high players. PLEASE WELCOME… us as Chief Financial Officer.
professional environments around the world, which makes it Firas Abouzeid – General Manager
one of the most recognised agencies globally,” he said. The Arindam Sengupta – Chief Creative Officer
excellent result was emulated by TBWARAAD Dubai, as they Yasser Abdel Basset – Creative Director
won a Cristal Award with their ‘Oud’ TVC for MTV Arabia. Bassam Ayass – Account Director
Congratulations to all who won! Sherine Abdel Fattah – Account Director
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TBWAJORDAN are in the pink!
TBWA’s famous red was almost overtaken by the colour pink as TBWAJORDAN was picked by the Jordan Breast Cancer Program
as its communications partner for a major awareness campaign.
TBWAJORDAN localised the globally-recognised pink ribbon by turning it into a pink Jordanian Hatta (head-dress). The pink
Hatta in the JBCP’s logo scored high marks with the over 250,000 Jordanian women effectively reached by this integrated media
The post-campaign analysis showed an outstanding outpouring of public support for the program, and a vast increase in visits to
the JBCP’s website, road shows, lectures and open days. Calls to the information hotline, as well as visits to healthcare centres
by women also increased.
Commenting on this momentous campaign, Qais Al Rousan, the GM of TBWAJORDAN, said “we were particularly proud of our
role in this campaign. Yes, it was quite a demanding task to produce all this work simultaneously, but we were more than happy
to do it knowing that our work is contributing to a very noble cause.” The successful partnership between TBWAJORDAN and
JBCP is continuing with rejuvenated enthusiasm as they prepare for the follow-up March campaign, which aims to maintain the
momentum achieved in the October campaign.
PLACE AD HERE
TBWAJORDAN AND STANDARD CHARTERED FORM A DREAM TEAM
Standard Chartered Bank, the flagship account of TBWA SCB has reported a significant response to the campaign and
JORDAN, launched its Dream campaign in Jordan with the aim numerous winners including a winner of one of the 2 grand
of generating a wave of new accounts through draws on prizes prize Mercedes cars.
for those who open SCB accounts.
Members of the TBWAJORDAN team were present at every
The launch press conference, organized by TBWAJORDAN, event held by SCB for this campaign in a display of their true
was immediately followed up with a full rollout of the print partnership spirit, and were praised by SCB for their dedicated
and outdoor campaign, while the agency also coordinated the efforts throughout the campaign, and their effective use of
PR aspects, including displays of the grand prize Mercedes available media to help the Dream campaign make the desired
cars. Since the launch of this campaign back in August ‘08, impact.
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The Lynx List Global Recognition
On the international awards front, TBWARAAD has made its
It was another successful year for TBWARAAD at this year’s presence felt with a Merit at the One Show Design Awards for
Dubai International Advertising Awards. TBWARAAD Dubai the Nissan Xterra ‘Piece of Cake’ campaign, plus 2 Finalists
took home 15 Lynx Awards, including 9 silvers, and 6 bronzes. at the CLIO Awards for the Dial Hand Sanitizer ‘Anywhere’
and Nissan Xterra ‘Piece of Cake’ campaigns.
TBWARAADKSA excelled as well, collecting 1 gold Lynx, and
1 silver, for their work on Masa Pest Control.
The successful night began on an exciting note, as TBWA
RAAD’s representatives in the Young Creatives competition
took out the top prize. Amritraj Gupta and James Holman,
of TBWARAAD Dubai, beat competition from over 15 other
agencies to be awarded for their work on a brief set by the
awards festival itself.
TV & Cinema:
Silver: Big no-no Saudi kiss, Arab Media Group, MTV Arabia
Silver: Don’t ruin my make-up lebanese kiss, Arab Media Group,
Silver: Emirati nose kiss, Arab Media Group, MTV Arabia
Silver: Long-time-no-see Saudi kiss, Arab Media Group, MTV
Silver: Car, Henkel, Dial hand sanitizer
Silver: Office, Henkel, Dial hand sanitizer
Silver: Park, Henkel, Dial hand sanitizer
Bronze: Brawl, Henkel, Pattex wood glue
Bronze: Heist, Henkel, Pattex wood glue
Bronze: Shootout, Henkel, Pattex wood glue
Silver: Knee, Beiersdorf Middle East, Hansaplast plaster
Bronze: Car, Henkel, Dial hand sanitizer
Bronze: Office, Henkel, Dial hand sanitizer
Bronze: Park, Henkel, Dial hand sanitizer
Gold: TBWARAAD Saudi Arabia, Miniature magazine, Masa
Silver: TBWARAAD Saudi Arabia, Miniature magazine, Masa
Congratulations to all our winners! We’ve managed to win at the
Lynx Awards on real work for real brands!
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FAMILY MATTERS NEW YEAR NEW BUSINESS
KETCHUM KEEPING AHEAD With whisperings of redundancies, budget cuts and the apparent failing economic
TBWARAADPR, the exclusive affiliate of Ketchum in the climate for 2008/2009 the outlook was not good for any advertising agency in the
Middle East and North Africa, had an exceptional year in 2008,
broadening its portfolio with several new accounts including region. However, in true disruptive style TBWARAAD showed the world exactly what
Eurocopter, Desert Islands, Saadiyat Island, Kohler, NetJets,
PlayStation, Pfizer products and Yahsat. can be achieved given the right amount of drive, passion and of course leadership.
The year 2009 is shaping up to be even more exciting than Speaking of leaders, we were lucky enough to gain a new one in the form of Julia
2008, having kicked off with IMG’s Capitala World Tennis
Championships, the first ever international tennis tournament Foster, TBWARAAD’s new Business Development Director.
in Abu Dhabi featuring six of the world’s top ten players. The
event was a huge success with tickets selling out for all three
days of the event and over $4 million worth of coverage being LIMITLESS QATAR FOUNDATION PEPSICO (AMP)
generated across the region.
After a grueling, but equally exhilarating pitch journey, TBWA With an expanding presence in Doha we are pleased to announce Whilst our United States counter parts were busy wooing
Over the past twelve months, TBWARAADPR has diversified RAAD in Dubai has been appointed the agency of choice by that TBWARAAD has won the Qatar Foundation account. This is PepsiCo in their own territory, TBWARAAD were busy doing
and developed, expanding its practice groups and furthering its global masterplan developer Limitless. For more information an exciting win for TBWARAAD and work is already underway so the same in Dubai with PepsiCo’s energy drink brand AMP.
planning resources. These key developments have contributed about the latest Human Thread campaign turn to our case watch this space for more news and developments. After a successful win, we are still in the early launch phases
to seeing a dramatic rise in demand for the Ketchum strategic study section. but watch this space for breaking news.
products and style of service, making TBWARAADPR unique
in its offering and top of mind in the market, whether among
global or regional leading brands or media.
TBWARAADPR is looking to extend this success further into
2009, commencing work on an exciting new project in the
FMCG industry, further expanding operations into key markets
such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and raising industry
standards using the best global practices.
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Limitless, a global masterplan developer, asked TBWA
RAAD to create a global corporate campaign that would truly
differentiate them from the sea of sameness that too often
epitomises communications in the real estate sector. Limitless
has a very clear vision: to plan cities around people, but
the challenge was how to communicate that in a clear and
compelling way. As a result ‘The Human Thread’ was born,
depicting the approach Limitless applies to all of its projects
– building an environment in which people are naturally
connected to the places that make a true community.
In the absence of having anything real to show from
their developments, players resort to chest-beating,
superlative-laden, un-inspiring and meaningless
communication through which they talk in a ‘mine’s
better than yours’ way.
Developers plan and build communities around the
car, not around people.
Modern cities are ‘broken’. The lack of positive
human interaction does not make great communities.
And yet everyone wants to belong and craves a
more balanced life.
Build cities around people, not cars, reclaiming a
better way of being.
Our disruption was to develop a unique territory for
Limitless based on a genuine brand belief that goes
far beyond communication and instead signals a
promise that is both philosophical and physical .
We expressed Limitless’ focus on people through
their ability to ‘weave humanity into the urban fabric’.
It’s what we call The Human Thread .
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What makes a man influential?
A M ZLXXXVIII
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DISRUPTORISSUE NO. 1 27
Ramzi Raad has moved a long way from the entourage in search for coffee. Though, in Ramzi Raad’s case,
‘days at the garden’, those times of trying his morning ritual is comforting, an instant shot of motivation.
to establish an advertising agency. Today A sheer assurance that reminds you: great minds who persist,
TBWARaad is a living organism with a mind one day shall conquer.
and attitude of its own, creating difference,
changing those damn rules. In a world of last With his network of advertising genius spread all over the
name initial studded agencies, the name Raad Middle East and North Africa, Ramzi Raad continues his
doesn’t only stand for an agency or it’s owner, unstoppable growth, leading TBWARAAD into one of the most
but a visionary man, a leader, a pirate-in-soul, promising, inspiring hubs of the global TBWA network; while
and in times of chaos, a wise grandfather. his passion, dedication and vision, establishes him as “a key
figure in region’s advertising industry”.
Admit it; it’s not a common sight to see a chairman
arrive to his headquarters earlier than most do. To celebrate his latest recognition from Arabian Business
It’s even more exceptional to see one on a routine magazine, everyone in Dubai office gathers in the oh-so-hip
morning stroll around the office. A ‘good morning’ basketball court wearing Ramzi tees, custom designed for the
coming from any CEO might feel a little uneasy, celebration. The wait for Mr. Raad is accompanied by some
even intimidating for the bleary eyes of office staring at the “88” shaped cake standing in the middle of the
field, and by some wondering “will I ever create something as
grand as he has?” TBWAWorldwide’s President & CEO Tom
Carroll’s personal web cast greets him as the court echoes with
cheer. When the hurrah calms down a minute later, all that can
be heard is “how good he looks on the magazine”, followed by
Then it’s time for Mr. Raad to take the word. “Any success and
recognition that is received by this company is down to the
people around me and all that work here. I thank you all.” If
every single person that he meant to thank were there, he
would have been standing all day shaking hands. He did. For a
good fifteen minutes, wearing his notoriously wise smile. The
title ‘influential’ don’t come easy, people.
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In order to become one of the ten most creative companies on
the planet, we will have to develop new ways of thinking and
work with concepts with which we may be unfamiliar. After all,
the world is constantly changing. Shouldn’t we be constantly
The UDMA is a TBWAWorldwide initiative with the ambition
to inspire and to help change the way we work. It is designed
for all levels, all disciplines, and all departments.
The core program supports the key philosophies, tools, and
culture that make TBWA different. Tom Carroll, CEO TBWA
Worldwide, introduced this program late last year. The
curriculum is based around four distinct areas:
1. The new approach to Disruption & Media Arts and how it
affects how we work. There are explanations of each stage
of the process and pieces on how it changes our approach
to work in brand leadership, creative, and planning.
2. Case studies about our clients and our companies with
real background stories highlighting what we learned
when bringing out some great campaigns, and building
3. Practical skills to help you improve the practice of your
agency. For example, there are explanations of specific
Disruption tools. There is also a whole module on dialogue
to improve the conversations we need to have and our
ability to facilitate meetings.
4. Explanations of parts of our thinking and capability. This
section is least complete at the start but will build rapidly.
We expect every person in every agency to build up to at least
25 hours of learning each year. It is not a complete curriculum
yet. New material will be added over time to expand, replace,
and refresh the content.
As Steve Jobs said to Stanford graduates in 2005:
“Stay Hungry. Stay foolish”
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Each issue, the staff at TBWARAAD will attempt to answer one of the big questions in life – questions that have confounded
the preeminent thinkers of our day. Questions that, if answered, could re-shape the way in which we see the world around us.
This issue’s question: who is the better superhero, Batman or Superman?
VS. Name: Reem Ayyash
Position: Account Manager
Hometown: Dubai, UAE
All time favourite 3 tracks: Aerosmith – Ain’t That a B**** ,
Staind – For You, Dave Matthews – Superman
Last good movie you’ve seen: Before Sunrise
Favourite website: MarthaStewart.com (YIKES!)
Favourite place in Dubai: Bastakiya
Batman or Superman: Batman
Name: Samantha Stewart-Palmer
Position: Account Director
Hometown: Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
All time favourite 3 tracks: Ladyhawke – Delirium, Golden
Horse – Maybe Tomorrow, Ozzy Osbourne – See You On The
Other Side (we like!)
Last good movie you’ve seen: Vicky Christina Barcelona
Favourite website: Stuff.co.nz
Favourite place in Dubai: Maria Bonita’s
Name: James Holman (aka sexy jexy) Batman or Superman: Batman
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
All time favourite 3 tracks: The Temper
Trap – Sweet Disposition, The Walkmen – In
The New Year, Kanye West (Feat. Santogold
& Lykke Li) - Gifted
Last good movie you’ve seen: In Bruges
Favourite website: FFFFound.com
Favourite place in Dubai: Barasti
Batman or Superman: The Phantom (doh)
Name: Candice Hildebrandt Name: Kedar Iyer
Position: Missionary (sorry boys, she’s taken) Position: Strategic Planner
Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa Hometown: Pune, India
All time favourite 3 tracks: Jimmy Eat World – All time favourite 3 tracks: Slumdog
The Middle, Mary J Blige – The Breakthrough, Soundtrack – Jai Ho, Ali Bagheri - Yade To,
Pink – Long Way To Happy M.I.A. – Paper Planes
Last good movie you’ve seen: Taken Last good movie you’ve seen: The Reader
Favourite website: Facebook (deeeep)
Favourite place in Dubai: Departure lounge at Favourite website: Google Reader
the Airport (nice, very nice Candice!) Favourite Place in Dubai: Smiling BKK
Batman or Superman: Batman Batman or Superman: Superman
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Name: Daryl Villanueva Name: Ellen Fletcher
Position: Art Director Position: PA to Group Managing Director
Hometown: Manila, The Philippines Hometown: London, England
All time favourite 3 tracks: The Beatles – Rocky All time favourite 3 tracks: Leona Lewis,
Raccoon, Keith Jarrett Trio – You Took Advantage Girls Aloud, Phil Collins
Of Me, The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry Last good movie you’ve seen: Knowing
Last good movie you’ve seen: The Fall Favourite website: Facebook
Favourite website: Gmail Favourite place in Dubai: Dubai Marina
Favourite place in Dubai: My local Shisha place Yacht Club (woooweeee!)
Batman or Superman: Robin (not!) Batman or Superman: Superman
Name: Kris Balerite
Hometown: Manila, The Philippines
All time favourite 3 tracks: Rob Roy – Fur
in Your Cap, Nike Drake – One Of These
Name: Amy Campion Things First, Toots & The Maytals – 5446-
Position: Strategic Planner Was My Number
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia Last good movie you’ve seen: Taken
All time favourite 3 tracks: Leonard Favourite website: Highsnobiety.com
Cohen - Halleluiah , The Church – Favourite place in Dubai: Satwa
Under The Milky Way, Tchaikovsky – Name: Ayla Nayal
Batman or Superman: Adam West’s Batman
Nutcracker Suite (yussus!) Position: Designer
Last good movie you’ve seen: Slumdog Hometown: Aleppo, Syria
Millionaire All time favourite 3 tracks: Franki Valli
Favourite website: My personalised – Beggin’ (Pilooski Edit), Michael Jackson
Google homepage – Dirty Diana (go Ayla ;-)), Elton John –
Favourite Place in Dubai: My bed Your Song
Batman or Superman: Batman Last good movie you’ve seen: Yes Man
Favourite website: Facebook
Favourite place in Dubai: Sakura
Batman or Superman: Batman
Name: Laura McCabe
Position: Designer, Tequila
Nice pic Daryl! Hometown: Cork, Ireland
All time favourite 3 tracks: MGMT – Electric
BATMAN rules, hands down!
Feel, The Arcade Fire – Ocean of Noise, The
Magic Numbers – I See You, You See Me
Last good movie you’ve seen: Gran Torino
Favourite website: Peoplesrepublicofcork.com
Name: Andrea Richards
Favourite place in Dubai: Madinat Jumeirah
Position: PA to Chairman
Batman or Superman: Superman
Name: Basel Anabtawi Hometown: London, England
Position: Senior Account Executive All time favourite 3 tracks: George Michael,
Hometown: Amman, Jordan Abba, The Bee Gees (DOUBLE YIKES!)
Name: Ruschdi Msaddi All time favourite 3 tracks: Opeth Last good movie you’ve seen: Forgetting Sarah
Position: Senior Account Manager – Deliverance, Seether – Careless Marshall
Hometown: Homs, Syria Whisper, Biffy Clyro - Mountains Favourite website: Cainer.com
All time favourite 3 tracks: Paul Van Dyk, (rrrrrroooooccccckkkkk oooonnnnn!) Favourite place in Dubai: The beach
Armen Van Buren, Ferry Corsten (I said Last good movie you’ve seen: Slumdog Batman or Superman: Superman
tracks Ruschdi, tracks....) Millionaire
Last good movie you’ve seen: Iron Man Favourite website: Phride.com
Favourite website: Facebook Favourite place in Dubai: Century
Favourite place in Dubai: 400 at Fairmont Village
Batman or Superman: Batman Batman or Superman: Batman
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Caught in the Web: Arabic culture and
A year and a half ago, an online conversation between two marketing
professionals in the U.S. and Australia evolved into a collaborative
the knowledge gap
writing effort by more than 100 bloggers from nine countries that
created a book called “The Age of Conversation”. The project raised
nearly $15,000 for Variety, the international children’s charity.
Following the success of the first book, which was published in the
summer of 2007, Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton, organizers of
So you’ve finally convinced your grandmother to use email. Is the gap too large? If on the international technology adoption the first project, published “Age of Conversation 2: Why don’t they
Congratulations. Now she can forward you endless virus-laced bell curve, the Middle East is sitting on the far right with my get it?”, which compiles written thoughts on the role of conversation
pictures of ducks cuddling with kittens. But why does it have grandmother, then there are many larger issues at stake in marketing today from 237 marketing professionals who blog in
than simply maximizing the web’s marketing potential. The the U.S. and 15 other countries. The marketing world is abuzz with
to stop there? Can she not see the value in sharing the pics on
internet doesn’t have borders. Content developed for Western words like ‘conversation’, ‘social media’, ‘co-creation’, ‘collaboration’,
Facebook or sending Twitter updates about how they made her
and Asian markets is already flooding the region, threatening ‘conversational marketing’ and ‘interactivity’ among others, so
smile? Of course it is difficult for her to grasp the concepts of
an important cultural niche that has no presence online and bloggers from around the world decided to put their words into
social networking but she could be sharing her cookie recipes
therefore offers very little locally relevant alternative. According action by writing this wonderful book that captures the essence of
through a blog and building networks of entrepreneurial
to the Financial Times, less than 1 per cent of the internet’s how citizen marketers are changing the brand landscape.
grannies on LinkedIn.
content is in Arabic, while the world’s approximately 370m
Arabs form more than 5 per cent of the global population. This book has been compiled into eight cohesive sections starting
I love my grandmother but the ever-rapid transformation of the with Manifestos that challenge our thinking about what it means
web has created a technology gap so vast that she couldn’t to join the conversation and ending with how we should model for
In order to preserve the Arabic language and culture in an
knit it closed if she wanted to. Increases in broadband and a future of prosperity in Business Models. Great creative doesn’t
online realm, companies, media outlets and governments
processing speed will have no impact. 3G networks and mobile terminate on itself, it incites the creativity of others. This comment
need to embrace new media and take more risk in developing
capabilities won’t have her craving a Blackberry. She makes by Brent Dixon in “A Brand New Creative”, summarises well our
relationships and content on the web. Meanwhile, telecom
pies with blackberries. companies need to do more to invest in training and educating collective responsibility towards creating experiences that regard
the region’s Late Majority to take advantage of the internet’s people as active participants rather than passive consumers. You can
The Middle East region is at an important crossroads. Much vast possibilities. It will ultimately boost user and subscriber read more about this project, listen to podcasts from the authors, and
like my grandmother, it seems that the importance of the rates, build a viable market for the creation of quality Arabic buy the book at www.ageofconversation.com.
web as a social, political and commercial medium is lost on web content and ultimately carve out an important cultural
many businesses and consumers while others are simply niche online. Your purchase will help make a small contribution towards Variety,
misunderstanding where the real value lies. Abdullah’s the international children’s charity. However, if you’re interested in
Lighting and General Trading Co. has a website yet much of With knowledge will come a shift from consumers to creators reading the e-book version of “Age of Conversation 2” for free, feel
the information on government pages across the region contain of content and applications designed for an Arabic audience. free to grab me for a chat and I’ll happily share a copy with you.
outdated and useless information. Why are so many corporate Otherwise the gap will continue to widen and this region’s
websites bogged down in heavy flash animation that take an contribution to the web will forever be limited to cute pictures Kedar Iyer works in the Strategy and Planning department for TBWA
hour to load when users just want to know basic information of ducks cuddling with kittens. RAAD. You can reach him at email@example.com
about what the company does?
Jamie Read is our digital Media Consultant. You can reach him at
Meanwhile, telecom companies are weaving fiber optic cables firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @iamjamieread
and building wireless networks in an effort to appease the
younger generation who want to watch YouTube videos
on their iPhones. They are gloating that their efforts are
bringing the region up to speed with the developed world. But
what good is it to give my grandmother a super high-speed
connection? These tech-savvy youth are teetering on web 3.0
while businesses and governments are still trying to grasp
how to leverage social media. Some companies are trying but
how can they truly engage with consumers when they require
three levels of approvals on every tweet?
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I WANT ONE! REVIEW
Created with the intention of providing the reader with multiple
perspectives of how artshows are viewed, Artist/Artshow makes
it debut to the masses. The 368 page book presents a multi-
layered approach to book writing offering insight into various
high profile artshows from the views of curators, galleries,
viewers, and the artists themselves. The creative perspective
of several personalities is explored in-depth including artists
such as: Jose Parla, Barry McGee, Michael Lau, James Jarvis, So
Me, and Dave White amongst others. The book is now available
Wacom’s nextbeat DJ console
Wacom known for their award-winning graphics tablets and
interactive displays for designers and photographers, has
announced the nextbeat system, which is aimed at DJ’s.
Wacom’s nextbeat is a fully integrated professional DJ system, Music
incorporating intuitive touch sensor controls and innovative Bats for Lashes - Two Suns
live performance functions.
You can see why Bat For Lashes gal Natasha Khan has spoken
so enthusiastically about the book, Women Who Run With The
The nextbeat is a wireless portable control unit that enables
Wolves. It’s a series of ancient folk stories designed to return
performers to move freely from the main device, resulting in
women to their feral, wild selves – and its strange, nocturnal
more dynamic and energetic live performances inside. Nextbeat images resonated through the songs on Khan’s acclaimed
was released in March in good music stores nationwide. 2006 debut, Fur And Gold.
A lot has changed since then: Khan traded her kindergarten
3. Fashion teaching job for tours with Radiohead (Thom Yorke is a big fan),
Creative Recreation - DiCoco Sneakers and relocated from Brighton in the UK, to Brooklyn in New York,
where she stayed for two years (‘a huge influence,’ she says). Film
These Dicoco Sneakers from Creative Recreation feature So it makes sense that this new album ups the electronica, Sin Nombre
signature perforation in black patent leather and a turquoise and has a sheenier, more expansive (and expensive) sound.
stripe contrast. Two velcro straps at the ankle provide a snug But you only have to glance at the cover, which has Khan in Sin Nombre is an epic dramatic thriller written and directed While Smiley quickly takes to gang life, Casper tries to protect
fit and add style to these cool sneakers. Get yours @ www.tobi. glittery body make-up surrounded by candles, to see that the by Student Academy Award winner Cary Joji Fukunaga in his his relationship with girlfriend Martha Marlene (Diana García),
com for a cool $105. four-pawed earthiness remains. feature debut. The filmmaker’s firsthand experiences with keeping their love a secret from the Mara. But when Martha
Central American immigrants seeking the promise of the U.S. encounters Tapachula’s Mara leader Lil’ Mago (Tenoch Huerta
‘Where’s my bear to lick me clean?’ she coos on ‘Moon And form the basis of the Spanish-language movie. Sin Nombre Mejía), she is brutally taken from Casper forever. Sayra and her
Moon,’ accompanied by simple piano chords and scratchy tells the story of Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), a teenager living in relatives manage to cross over into Mexico. There, they join
backing vocals. Like Hounds Of Love-era Kate Bush, Khan Honduras, and hungering for a brighter future. A reunion with other immigrants waiting at the Tapachula train yards. When a
sings of imagined worlds with such conviction that one is her long-estranged father gives Sayra her only real option – States-bound freight train arrives one night, they successfully
whisked off into the same dream, where emerald cities and
emigrating with her father and her uncle into Mexico and rush to board – riding atop it, rather than in the cars – as does
dancing planets don’t seem like that big a deal. It helps, of
then the United States, where her father now has a new family. Lil’ Mago, who has commandeered Casper and Smiley along to
course, that Khan’s pretty, breathy voice is offset by some tribal
drum-thwacking, courtesy of Yeasayer. The album’s other high- Meanwhile, Casper, a.k.a. Willy (Edgar Flores), is a teenager rob immigrants.
profile guest is the reclusive Scott Walker, who joins Khan on living in Tapachula, Mexico, and facing an uncertain future. A
the wobbly closer ‘The Big Sleep’, proving that while Khan may member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang brotherhood, he has just Coming soon in cinemas nationwide.
be a significantly bigger deal these days, she’s still every bit as brought to the Mara a new recruit, 12-year-old Smiley (Kristyan
wild-eyed. Available in stores. Written by Sophie Harris Ferrer), who undergoes a rough initiation.
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Bab’aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul
Bab’Aziz is a feast for the eyes, the ears, and most of all the heart. A small
girl follows her elderly grandfather out into the desert of the soul in search
of a gathering of dervishes, and what a gathering it is! But getting there, like
life itself, is the transformative part, without which the arriving itself can
never happen. This tale within a tale within a tale is sure to delight fans of
Sufism, mysticism, great epic tales, and good music.
Caramel (Sukkar Banat)
A Beirut beauty salon serves as a microcosm of modern society in director
Nadine Labaki’s look at liberated conversation in a conflicted society. Over
the course of their day it becomes readily apparent that women are truly the
same everywhere, regardless of the society they live in. While single Layale
struggles with her growing attraction to a married man. As with many women
who frequent the salon, Jamale does everything within her power to reverse
the visible effects of aging. As Rose laments the fact that she has sacrificed her
own happiness in order to care for her older sister, the intimate conversations
shared over the course of a typical day reveal just how universal the lives,
loves, and concerns of contemporary women truly are.
Natacha Atlas - Ana Hina The Idan Raichel Project
Recorded with the Mazeeka Ensemble, Ana Hina is a new di- The Idan Raichel Project breaks down walls and musical
rection for the Middle Eastern music icon and singing sensa- boundaries with their second international release. Within My
tion Natacha Atlas. The album finds Natacha exploring a more Walls features a diverse roster of guests and promises to bring
traditional roots world, again infusing Oriental and Western even greater worldwide fame to this unique multicultural
music but looking to the past to uncover a rich history of mu- scollective.
sical collaboration. Working with top British musical director
and arranger Harvey Brough, the band features outstanding Sung in Hebrew, Moroccan Arabic, Spanish, Cape Verdean
musicians from around the globe and from different musical Creole and Swahili, this one-man Middle East peace accord
backgrounds. In the specially created arrangements, locked makes music that is an ambitious celebration of multicultural
in the embrace of this exciting band, Atlas’ voice is heard as diversity. The ethnic elements are cleverly rewired with
never before, a priceless jewel in a rich and eclectic setting. modern grooves to create an ambient journey that thrillingly
bridges the traditional and the modern,
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SOMETIMES TO BE SUCCESSFUL, YOU NEED TO BREAK A FEW RULES
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Sunset at the 2009 TBWARAAD Volleyball Tournament. Look out for more on this in the next issue.
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