Red Bull With Another Creative Marketing Stunt in Kuwait

By: Jameel W. Karaki

We’ve written about Red Bull before and their creative marketing stunts such as the previous Art of Motion, but this time they are inviting free style football fans to attend the Worldwide Freestyle Football competition “Red Bull Street Style”, which kicks-off Sunday, April 19, 2012 at 6:30pm at the Marina Crescent in Kuwait. The top 16 freestylers in Kuwait will compete but only one winner will qualify to the World Final that will take place in Rome, Italy on September 2012. 

CCS which stands for Control, Creativity and Style is the name of the game at Red Bull Street Style. The Judging panel in the final will feature of Ahmad Al Mutairi (Kazma football club star) who will evaluate the Control category. Marzouk Al Ajmi, head of sports in Annahar newspaper and Media Coordinator of the 2006 FIFA World Cup will evaluate the style category while Khris Njokwana the Freestyle Champion from South Africa will handle the creativity category. 

The Red Bull Street Style final will see the best 16 freestyle footballers compete against each other in head-to-head battles for a ticket to the World Final. Each battle follows the same format: 3 minutes, 2 players, 1 ball, with each freestyler having 30 seconds to impress the judges before passing the ball back to his competitor. 

Keep it up Red Bull, and continue on to show us just that marketing and advertising does not have to be in the form of push, one-way communication, but rather interactive events and themes that are actually of real interest to people.

Social Influence Marketing is the New Global Advertising

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

We’re not sure who came up with the term, Social Influence Marketing (SIM) but it has been shown in reports and presentations conducted by Razorfish, the advertising agency that has taken on the difficult social engagement task for the giant brand, Nike.

Social influence marketing, in a nutshell, is to influence the attitudes and actions of your target customers through their social spheres of friends and family. In other words, it is to create customers who create customers!

I know this is like our twentieth time mentioning the above Nielsen study (Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most), but it shows a very important insight pertinent to SIM, and that is the claim that 70% of people trust the opinions of consumers online. These are not friends, but rather complete strangers! Because if you look right above it, 90% of people trust recommendations from people known.

And that is why Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales & Service wrote a book on the subject called “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth" (ZMOT) in which ZMOT is described as the moment when online purchasers go online to read the reviews and recommendations from their friends and virtual strangers. One shocking stat from the book is how 83% of Moms Do Online Research After Seeing a TV commercial.

So what does this mean? It means that recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising. So it is vital for brands to monitor review and opinion sites such as Yelp and Amplicate to see what their consumers are saying about them. 

And don’t you dare forget about the micro-blogging phenomenon, Twitter, where 340 million tweets per day are conducted, many of which may be about your brand. 

Last but not least, here in Kuwait blogging is a very big part of the culture where many of them make it their full-time job to try out different restaurants and cafes and then blog about it, and that’s why we’re starting to see a lot of restaurants proactively inviting these bloggers to come and try out their food for free and then have them write unbiased reviews about them. Such brands have the realized the power of SIM and have already taken steps to adapt to the new global way of advertising.

Raad Afyouni Helping Promote Youth Creativity in Kuwait

Our CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Houssam Afyouni, was honored on Jan.18th, 2012, to take a role as one of the creative judges at the 5th Annual Art Olympiad event-an initiative by Landmark Group Kuwait to promote social responsibility and youth creativity development. 

The contest involved more than 10 different schools and 150 students, where each student got the chance to improvise their flair and show off their innovative and creative ability through art submissions. Here are some of the young creative minds that participated in the contest.

It’s very important that we as creative agencies, set the stage for the next generation to carry on the creativity torch for the tough times to come in the advertising agency, especially in light of the innovative information age we now live in. This is the least we can do, as part of our corporate social responsibility towards the youth Kuwait, because if we don’t inspire them, then who will?

Much-Needed Ad in Middle East: To Fight Bullying, Corruption, & Greed

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

Ad Week labelled this video as “ad of the day” but after viewing the video ourselves, we think it should have been called ad of the year, especially after all of the turmoil that occurred in 2011.

The turmoil that took place this year was fueled mostly by greed and corruption, and what helps overcome those two evils: kindness and fairness. And this is exactly what this video tries to portray, how small acts of kindness can help cure a troubled world. Have a peek at the video ad yourself:

The video was produced by Life Vest Inside, a NYC nonprofit whose goal is to encourage the spreading of happiness through small acts of kindness—as a way of combating bullying and teen depression.

We think advertising agencies, especially those in the Middle East after our recent Arab Spring, have a lot to learn from this video so we could start producing inspirational videos alike, to help spread small acts of kindness in the hope that it snowballs into something greater than ourselves to bring about a revolution of positive influence and change.

A Creative Marketing Stunt in Kuwait: The Red Bull Art of Motion

We could say this is an example of a PR campaign, executed by the world-famous Red Bull, but I would say it is more of a guerrilla marketing stunt, a creative one that is!

Red Bull invited some of the top Parkour athletes to partake in this year’s Red Bull’s Art of Motion contest by showing off their moves throughout the streets and even islands, of Kuwait.

Check it out (of course you seen it coming), here’s a YouTube video of the event:

This is not your traditional advertising, but rather is more of a guerilla marketing stunt, which is defined by Wikipedia as: “The concept of guerrilla marketing was invented as an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination.”

There’s plenty of energy and imagination tied into what Red Bull is doing with this event, especially when you have harmonic teenagers doing flips throughout the streets of Kuwait.

Middle East: A Business Hub for Big Investments in 2012!

Despite the unrest seen from the recent Arab Spring, the IMF predicts a 4% growth rate for the whole Middle East region in 2012 and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries could even see a striking 7% growth rate, which is good news for us here in Kuwait!

It’s also good news for the advertising industry in the Middle East, because where there’s business, there’s advertising. A study done by Harvard shows that two activities businesses cannot afford to cut back on: employee training and marketing!

Another piece of good news is that Coca-Cola announced a nearly $1 billion investment in Aujan Industries, the region’s largest juice, fruit drinks and cordials company. Here’s their comment on the deal: “It’s the largest fast-moving consumer goods deal in Middle East history and our partnership will give Coke a majority stake in the juice portfolio in the Middle East and a minority stake in Aujan’s bottling operations.”

Let’s hope we see more of these types of investments to help improve the Middle East’s economical outlook, especially for the advertising industry in Kuwait (we’re usually selfless but we have to look out for our own self-interests sometimes as well ;)

Houssam Afyouni Honored as a Keynote Speaker at AUK Again

The American University of Kuwait (AUK) has once again honored our CEO, Houssam Afyouni to educate their students on some of the valuable lessons he has drawn from his 10-year journey in providing creative marketing and advertising services in the Middle East, through his company Raad Afyouni.

We would like to thank the American University of Kuwait back for giving us the privilege to come and educate their students seeing that the future of advertising in the Middle East lies in the hands of their generation, and for this reason it is worth investing in them.