Creative Commons Spurring Arab-Originated Digital Content

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

If you are an agency (creative, advertising or digital), publisher, blogger, artist, or you want to do any of the following, then Creative Commons is for you.

  • Let people share and use your branded visuals (photos, videos, graphics, etc.), but not allow companies to sell them.
  • Encourage readers to re-publish your branded content (blog posts, articles, press releases, etc.) as long as they give you credit.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that aims to enable the sharing and use of creativity and content through free and easy-to-use copyright licenses. Here’s a video to feed your visual urge and to give you a better idea of the concept.

With the ever-growing popularity and need for branded digital content and entertainment, protecting such work has become even more important seeing that it is so easy to copy and paste other people’s creative work.

Fortunately enough, we’re now starting to see this become more active in the Middle East, especially seeing that Creative Commons Qatar just celebrated their first year anniversary. Creative Commons Qatar has become an affiliate partner in order to help spur and protect arab-originated digital content. Check out the video they recently created:

Great job Qatar! Arab countries such as UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt have also joined the affiliate network. We hope to see more Arab countries become official affiliates especially Kuwait seeing that we’re based (or should we say ‘biased’?) there and all.

As you may have noticed from the video these licenses do not in any way conflict with nor replace copyright. Rather they work alongside with them to allow for greater protection and flexibility in the sharing and usage of creative work. Here’s a  list of the licenses that Creative Commons offers (compiled by the Australia Affiliate.)

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.

The Internet Show: “The Middle East’s Only Internet Business Event”

Terrapinn, an event planning and training company, is once again offering the Internet Show in Dubai. In the Social Media frenzy world and information age we are living in nowadays, especially after the social media ignited Arab Spring, many companies in the Middle East are flocking to attend such events so they can fully utilize the power of the Internet. 

Here is an excerpt taken from their Website describing the show for us: “The Internet Show is the only internet business event in the region. It focuses on everything any business needs to know to create and manage an online business, effectively move an existing business online & promote your business online. It brings together Big, Medium and Small business and government, all eager to find new ways of doing internet business. It is a business, not technology show.”

They are offering exhbitors and participants the opportunity to engage ideas, solutions and products in:

  • Digital advertising and marketing
  • Web 2.0 and social networking
  • E-commerce and payments
  • Content management and streaming
  • Hosting and infrastructure 

The event is going to be held in Dubai, UAE on April 17-18th, 2012. You can find out more about it at www.internetshow.ae.

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.