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Aujan hails power of marketing

One of Saudi Arabia’s best-known firms has seen revenues soar after launching a multi-million dollar marketing campaign.

One of Saudi Arabia’s best-known firms has seen revenues soar after launching a multi-million dollar marketing campaign.

Those involved in the work for soft drink and confectionary manufacturer Aujan Industries say it is one of the region’s biggest case studies yet of how a marketing campaign can be an investment rather than a cost.

Aujan Industries has seen revenues soar by 27% in the first six months of the year after launching its multi-million dollar “5, 5, 5” region-wide marketing and advertising campaign, the company claims. It hopes to double turnover for its five core brands to US$500 million within five years.

The company, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, is investing US$30 million a year in promoting its Barbican, Rani, Vimto and Hani brands, and its licensed drinks Lipton Ice Tea, POM, Three Diamond and Canada Dry, across the Middle East.

The marketing strategy — the biggest in the company’s history — was launched in January and has already seen a region-wide ad campaign rolled out for its Barbican malt-drink and Rani orange fruit drink.

The news has been welcomed by media agencies, which claim it demonstrates the increasing marketing and advertising sophistication of businesses in the Middle East.

“Middle Eastern marketing is gradually moving from a region driven by the ‘souk’ mentality of short-term tactical practices, to a more strategically managed long-term growth environment,” said David Sheridan, regional director at MindShare.

“The change has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary and has, to date, been led by major multinationals such as Gillette and HSBC which have enjoyed consistent and impressive growth in the region over the past
few years.

“That Aujan, a regional FMCG company now under the stewardship of an experienced marketing professional, is reaping the rewards of strategically managed brand portfolio communications is welcome news for the Middle East marcoms industry.”

Tim Baker, client services director at Initiative, Aujan Industries’ media agency, said: “A clearly defined marketing strategy is the cornerstone to any campaign and companies in the Middle East are starting to realise that.”

Alex Andarakis, CEO at Aujan Industries, said the company was focusing on brand building its “new age beverage business” and will target the 50% of the region’s population under 20 years old.

“The first six months of our five-year strategy has just finished and we are already ahead of our target,” said Andarakis. “To deliver 5,5,5 we have to have 15% compound growth each year. At this stage we are well on the way.”
He said that revenues for Rani had risen by 30% in the first half of the year. Barbican had increased by more than 20% and Vimto was up 10%.

The company, which has its HQ in Dammam, has a manufacturing base at Dubai Investment Park and plans to open another regional plant.

The Barbican advertising campaign, created by Face to Face, features a group of young Arab friends in Jeddah, Kuwait and Dubai enjoying themselves, with the tag line “Barbican. This is Me”.

The company will roll out an advertising push for Vimto ahead of Ramadan and activity for Hani will also increase.

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