Dubai Consumer Mirror

Monday, November 07, 2005

Dubai Med!a Show

In GITEX, IT companies demo their software and/or hardware to their visitors. In Auto shows, car manufacturers display their cars inside out and schedule test drives. In construction exhibitions, developers display highly detailed miniatures of their estates and properties..

But what would an advertising agency showcase in a media/marketing exhibition?

1. a funky stand
2. great freebies and brochures
3. hot young promo girls with skimpy outfits
4. Non of the above

If you answered anything but 4, do yourself a favor and do NOT pursue a career in marketing.

One of the main reasons organizations participate in exhibitions is to demonstrate key service/product offering to potential customers and investors. And an advertising agency's core offering revolves around "creativity".

This weeks Dubai Media Show is the best opportunity for advertising agencies to show themselves at the top of their game. Sadly, only 2 or 3 agencies did that.

Organizationally, the event was OK - no problems to get into the halls and parking was easy. Its the some exhibitors that were royal screw ups this time: very poor visitor attendance/traffic, non of the major big players (Leo Burnett, Team Y&R, Publicis, FP7 ..) were present and whoever exhibited -especially the ad agencies- they could've been a bit more creative.

One exception was Saatchi & Saatchi. Their stand was in the form of a private vip lounge padded with red velvet cushions, fluffy red hearts pillows and a big red "Lets Make Love" sign on the top of the stand. I spoke to Saatchi's regional creative director who told me that the main idea is to offer drained visitors a place to stretch their feet and chill out with the Saatchi guys.

Personal, imaginative and leaves visitors with that "it felt comfortable to deal with that agency" feeling.

The only other exception was B Marketing. This young agency is run by a very active PR/Event management professional who about 2 years ago convinced a group of investors to start a new agency and called it B. The agency is doing well and employs a number of good talents.

Since they work intensively with agencies as sub contractors, I think B's objective at this event was to Maximize awareness. To do that, B decided to pull a "stunt" - they constructed a boxing ring next to an audience stage. They got two professional Mau Tai (Thai Kickboxing) champions who staged a number of good rounds - the theme was "Flies like a Butterfly, Stings like a B". It gathered crowds from all over the place.

All the other so called "creative" houses were very passive, sitting down, nibbling on free snacks and hoping they can spot someone with a badge other than "EXHIBITOR" on it.


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