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30 November 2008
Realty adverts ‘need to get real’
Lack of consumer confidence means developers can no longer merely ‘sell the dream’, says executive
By BEN FLANAGAN/Contributing editor
DUBAI Local property developers must realign “Now [our marketing] is about confidence and
their advertising and branding strategies in order to reassurance. It’s no longer about capturing the imagination,
reassure worried investors, says a Dubai-based real it’s about converting that to reality. It’s gone from
estate executive. aspirational marketing to realistic marketing, about how we
Alex Andarakis, managing director of sales and bring that aspiration to life,” Andarakis tells Media Week in
marketing at Omniyat Properties (pictured), says his an interview.
company will employ a less bombastic approach as part Omniyat will now focus on construction updates,
of a new marketing strategy that comes as a response to personalised communication and face-to-face meetings in
the global credit crisis. its marketing, says Andarakis. The company’s tagline—‘Live
Omniyat is to reposition its marketing and advertising the Future’—will change in the second quarter of next year.
strategy to be more practical and less ‘aspirational’, and “Over the last three years, property advertisements have
has a new advertising campaign—which was created by become almost like wallpaper. I think you’ll see a lot more
TBWA and is set to launch in January—that will “no longer one-to-one marketing by real estate companies, through
be 100 per cent about selling the dream”, says Andarakis. digital, direct mail customer newsletters and events,”
The change of strategy comes at a time when investors says Andarakis.
are fleeing the Dubai market, property prices are falling, Andarakis is keen to emphasise that the “three pillars”
and buyers are unsure whether developers can deliver of the Omniyat brand—design, technology and innovation
their promises. Cashflow problems recently prompted —remain the same and will be reinforced by the advertising
Omniyat to sack 69 employees. campaign and a new internal marketing strategy.
Sky still ‘not certain’ on bureau
Qatar to host
Odds stand at 60:40 in favour of the news channel setting up a UAE base Tribeca film festival
DUBAI The Tribeca
Film Festival is coming
to the Middle East in
2009, to be hosted by
Doha at the Museum
of Islamic Art, and
other cinemas across
the city.
Actor Robert de Niro
and film producer Jane
ABU DHABI Sky News has still not NewsCorp-owned company. the third trip to the UAE by the Rosenthal started the
made a firm decision as to whether “Sky is just considering setting up broadcaster’s representatives. Tribeca Film Festival
it will set up a bureau in the UAE, a bureau here,” a source close to the John Ryley, head of Sky News, in New York in 2002
with one source close to the company company tells Media Week. “While has said that he wants to open a following the 9/11 attacks and the resulting decline of
claiming that the odds stand at just the [global financial] meltdown is “front door in the Gulf region” to the Tribeca neighbourhood.
60:40 in favour of the move. likely to strengthen that desire, it complement the channel’s eight According to Qatari organisers the event will be
Representatives of the London- could also change at any second. I’d other bureaux around the world. A based along the same open ideas of global filmmaking
based 24-hour news channel were say that the odds are stacked at 60:40 presence in the Emirates would allow and diverse audiences as its US counterpart. The
in the country last week to explore in favour of the move.” Sky to compete with its global rival announcement comes as Dubai builds up to the
locations for a possible bureau, but A Sky employee claims that the CNN, which has an office in Dubai Dubai International Film Festival, starting December
could not confirm whether Dubai proposal is being looked at “very Media City and plans for another in 11. Media Week’s film-focused festival issue is out
or Abu Dhabi is favoured by the seriously”. Last week’s visit marked Abu Dhabi. December 7.
Dubai Lynx announces jury presidents
New sponsorship director
DUBAI The Dubai Lynx Awards Media City on March 15-17 next DUBAI The Dubai World Championship—the world’s newest,
has revealed the names of two year. The Media Jury President richest, but yet-to-be-played golf tournament—has a new
jury presidents to preside at the will be Richard Beaven, worldwide director of sponsorship. Leisurecorp, owner of Jumeirah Golf
ceremony taking place in Dubai CEO of Initiative. Direct, Sales and Estates, which hosts the competition, has appointed David
Interactive President will be Dylan Collins, who was previously Octagon vice president.
Taylor, direct creative director at Collins’s appointment will see him take on the job of
BMF, Sydney. overseeing The Race to Dubai, which is the re branded
Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes European Tour of Merit. It is the first sporting event to be
Lions, organisers of Dubai branded by a city in this way, while also having the highest
Lynx says: “Their leadership winning pot: the best ball-hitter will walk away with $20
skills, international experiences million. The first Dubai World Championship will also launch
and knowledge will add to the the ‘Earth’ golf course, which is ready, but, according to
burgeoning reputation of the Collins, will remain untouched until the competition next
Dubai Lynx as the foremost creative autumn.
awards in the region.” Collins says: “The Dubai World Championship and The
Both Beaven and Taylor Race to Dubai are unprecedented. We want to take to it to the
will lead international jury market but need to be a bit more creative, realistic and prudent
panels, comprised of industry in the current market conditions. We want the right partners
professionals. Between them they for the long term.” For media execs booking long term 2009
Richard Beaven
have almost 30 years of advertising
Dylan Taylor
days off—the championship takes place in just under one
and marketing experience. year, November 19-22.
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