It’s amazing what you can learn in a single week

Some things that I’ve learnt this week: Number one: Don’t set the deadline for your awards on the same day that your weekly edition goes to press. Seriously — it’s a very silly thing to do.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  December 11, 2005

|~||~||~|Some things that I’ve learnt this week: Number one: Don’t set the deadline for your awards on the same day that your weekly edition goes to press. Seriously — it’s a very silly thing to do. The good news is that we’ve been inundated. As I write, Karen, our awards co-ordinator, is surrounded by so many courier delivery boxes she could build a fort around her desk if she wanted to. And if so, I can’t say I’d blame her. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, so hectic was the pace of deliveries arriving at our office from across the Middle East, that we began to wonder how we were going to get this edition out. And just as any self-respecting agency person goes right to the wire in preparing a pitch presentation, it’s been the same for the awards, with last minute phone calls about entry criteria flooding in from across the region. Still, it’s been a brilliant response, and it means that 31 January is going to be a seriously big night. We’ll be announcing the details in a couple of weeks’ time. Number two: if you don’t already understand the Saudi youth market, then you’d better do something about it fast. As we report on the front page this week — and feature in our Saudi Arabia Report inside today’s edition — the demographic timebomb is going to define virtually everything about this lucrative advertising market in the coming years. Saudi youths aren’t just going to be a big part of the market, they’re going to be the market. And as they grow up and rebel, the culture will probably change dramatically and the consumer mindset certainly will. Number three: media agencies have started scanning people’s brains to see how they react to advertising. Honestly, I’m not making it up — see page 10. Whether the region’s clients buy into the science of neuroplanning remains to be seen though. Number four: Rich Saudi princes can influence the policy of rabid American news channels. Even if they seem to be under the impression that they’re just ordinary viewers. Prince Alwaleed has just demonstrated that with Fox News, as he revealed at the Arab and World Media Conference. Number five: Agencies don’t half choose some silly names. I mean, SpiderMonkey? Still, I guess it will stick in everyone’s minds. But after being cut loose by WPP’s Red Cell network, the Lebanon agency certainly deserves some success. And I guess it’s not as bad as some agency names I could mention. Like Dave in the UK. Or Strawberry Frog in Amsterdam. Or, come to that, considering the esteem or otherwise that the US is held in over here, Mediaedge:cia. It’s a long time since Chris Ingram and his Associates were involved, so maybe it’s time to retire the cia bit, even if only from the Middle East. Number six: magazines about bringing up kids don’t half choose some silly names. We’ve already had Yummy Mummy, and this week comes Bumps & Babes. Number seven: Fadi Salameh, the larger-than-life “El Presidente” of the Promoseven Network is going to be on telly. But can just the one outing on Dubai TV really be enough to introduce him to a no doubt adoring public? Number eight: don’t sit in the public stands at the Dubai Rugby Sevens if you want to stay dry. If you don’t believe me, ask Starcom boss Matt Blackborn why — or see The Spin. Number nine: Nirmal Diwadkar, boss of Lowe Dubai, admits: “I pry into people’s lives.” Actually, that’s what he sees as the creative’s role. Number ten: lists are great. When editors can’t choose what to write about, lists let them have their cake, eat it, then have several slices more. (Number eleven: I like cake.)||**||

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