DUBAI: Achieving consistent messaging across 22 MENA countries is a difficult task, and agencies need to be more sensitive to the cultural differences of the region – which is likely to require more localised campaigns.

Speaking at a WARC event in Dubai, Laura Chaibi, Head of Digital Research, MBC, observed that these differences were “huge” and that even attempting consistency could feel like being “set up to fail”.

There is, she said, a “need to discuss how to collectively improve in terms of culture and context across the region”. (For more, read WARC’s report: Brand transformers and localised insight: lessons from the WARC Prize for MENA Strategy.)

Her comments came during a panel session, where she was backed up by Olga Kudryashova, Strategic Planning Director, Y&R Advertising, who argued that “the best insight is universal truth. Then find the localised way of working with it.”

And local means more than simply adapting a global campaign for the MENA region – that shortcut is unlikely to work.

“Don’t be safe, with the thought that, if it works in Saudi, it’ll work everywhere,” Kudryashova stated. “This approach is no longer correct – or safe.”

Nonetheless, OMO’s award-winning The Least Active Kids in History campaign showed it is possible to come up with an idea that resonates across cultures while also bringing the detergent brand’s global Dirt Is Good positioning to life in an interesting way for the region.

This built on the finding that children in the Middle East were only active for one hour a day, so OMO ran a 23-hour long Facebook Live ad showing how they spent the rest of their time glued to tablets and smartphones, watching Netflix and playing on games consoles.

The campaign achieved a 22% uplift in stain removal equity – the key metric that affects purchase for detergent brands.

Sourced from WARC