The UM MENA Point of View

Welcome to UM Mena. This is our blog, our website, our window to the world. This is where we share the results of our Curiosity, our continuing hunger for information, insight and inspiration...

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 5 September, 2013:  Following a lengthy review process of its media planning and buying account that started in December, The Hershey Company recently appointed UM to oversee the global confectionary giant’s media planning and buying duties in the Middle East region, along with the U.S., Canada, China, India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.

UM will take over from the incumbent agency OMD, after The Hershey Company decided to consolidate its media planning and buying activities within the UM global network. From its headquarters in Dubai, UM will service the global confectionary giant’s through its network of 14 offices across the MENA region.

Speaking on the appointment of UM, Denis Sison, Vice President, Global Marketing Excellence & Equity for The Hershey Co. said: “After a comprehensive review, UM will be a strong partner for The Hershey Company and our portfolio of iconic brands.”  In a statement, Hershey’s also mentioned that the selection of UM was based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the participating agencies, including their capabilities in the U.S. and in key international markets.

“A sweet addition to our portfolio of renowned multinational clients,” said Paul Katrib, Regional Managing Director of UM, on the media partnership with Hershey. “The win is the result of a true collaborative effort from around the globe. Offering the client intelligence, insights and a true competitive media advantage via the network; it’s a pure demonstration of UM’s Curiosity spirit at its best.”

The transition from OMD to UM begins Sept. 1.

The day-part construct as a primary time slot in the buying, selling and valuing of TV media is obsolete, misleading, damaging and should be dramatically deemphasized.

Today, people consume almost all of their media – even TV – where, when and how they want. The “Leave it to Beaver,” “Archie Bunker” and “M*A*S*H” decades, when American families gathered around their living room television sets with their tray tables and TV dinners and watched the same shows at the same time, are gone. Gone too are the days when 70-75% of TV audience viewing took place during the primetime day-part. Which is one reason the soap operas have died a slow death.

In those days, the day-part that a TV spot aired was of essential importance to advertisers. Prime-time spots meant popular shows, enormous audiences and families. Daytime meant those soap operas and housewives. Saturday morning meant kids and cartoons. Overnight meant test patters or infomercials and or movies for insomniacs. In those days, you couldn’t watch reruns of your favorite crime drama six times a day, seven days a week. You couldn’t watch live news or weather 24 hours a day. You couldn’t watch live sports or sports news 24 hours a day seven days a week on dozens of different sports channels. You couldn’t delay your viewing for hours or days. Today, you can do all of that and we do.

In the old days, the day-part defined the audience, its scale and its programming for media buying and selling purposes. Within day-parts, there was a lot of consistency and homogeneity of shows and audiences but across day-parts, there were stark differences. Those days are long gone. Current data tells us that day-parts are no longer the primary descriptors of the types of viewers or shows or scale of audiences available on TV today. With the massive fragmentation of audiences across networks, shows, day-parts and devices, the historical notions of the day-part probably deceives more in media than it accurately describes.

For example: Want to reach younger, upscale married households with school-aged children? Network primetime is not the best place to reach them. They can be found in higher concentrations on dozens of cable nets outside of prime, particularly during late-night. Yes! Imagine that. Upscale viewers watching TV late at night. The same for single, working mothers. Seems blasphemous? Don’t believe me? Just check Nielsen AudienceWatch. That data doesn’t lie.

Given the massive changes in American’s lifestyles and TV viewing behaviors, why then does the media industry still think and talk about day-parts the way we did in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, beholden to truisms that really haven’t been true for more than a decade? History, simplicity, stability, comparability and protection, that’s why.

It starts with history. It’s always been done that way. Simplicity follows. It’s almost always easier to do what you’ve done than to do something new. It’s stable and comparable. When your business runs in annual cycles, sameness means things stay stable and can easily be compared year over year. It’s protective. If you want to keep your job, it’s better not to have its core operating metrics change underneath you.

an article by Dave Morgan

Sourced from Advertising Age, January 8, 2013

Here’s what happens in an internet minute

UM Dubai’s outdoor for Goodyear’s Hot Weather tires: with a live temperature readout on Dubai’s main highway

Google and YouTube in the Middle East and Africa have announced the arrival of the HomePage ad on YouTube. The world’s largest entertainment platform, YouTube in the MENA region will offer ad space on the home page. With over 6.2 million impressions daily in the KSA, UAE, Egypt and Morocco online and around 5.2 million impressions per day on mobile, this is going to be huge for media planning. YouTube says that viewers are 437% more likely to engage in a key brand activity as a result of the home page ad format! And, the TV vs YouTube viewership stats are astounding.

YouTube vs TV

YouTube has no prime time as on TV – or rather, any time on YouTube is Prime Time. As a digital agency in Dubai, we see this as a high impact opportunity for marketers and brands. YouTube in our region is offering embedded video content on the home page ad format – with an average interaction rate of 15% – which is huge. This will encourage high Click Through rates and drive results. YouTube says that viewers are 437% more likely to engage in a key brand activity as a result of the home page ad format!

YouTube stats released by Google assure us that users seeing the homepage ads between two to three times interacted twice as much with the brand. All home page ads come with an automatic upgrade to a brand channel as well as a mobile brand channel – helping the brand’s home on all screens. The homepage ads on YouTube come in three formats: Premium, Expandable and Mobile, with a value add of brand channel and mobile brand page as well. Brand channels are also available with interactivity buttons.

Standard format homepage ads for the UAE cost around $15,000 for 800,000 estimated impressions, while KSA has an offering of 2.500,000 impressions for $43,000.

A Google study also reveals interesting daily viewing trends – with KSA peaking on Thursday, while viewership in the UAE peaked on Fridays. YouTube is everywhere in our region. Globally, YouTube has over 4 billion views per day with 600 million viewed on mobile. It is the 3rd largest site on the internet.

At Innovations_Digital, a digital and interactive full service agency in Dubai, we can help with planning content and planning your brand’s YouTube media planning. Innovations_Digital is part of UM, one of the largest communications planning agencies in the MENA region. Drop us a line at for more information on how we can help you create better impact using YouTube’s high-visibility ad formats on the home page.

Globally, news today is breaking every day via social media, rather than on major tv channels or newspapers. But how does this work for brands?

Managing content on Facebook? Here are some quick tips on what you can’t do on the Cover Page Photo, and all the image sizes you need to know…

Check out our new Facebook page where you’ll find the results of our Curiosity. Check it out for news, insights, inspiration and answers…

APRIL 22, 2012

A content management system (CMS) is a computer system that facilitates publishing, editing, modifying and maintaining content from one centralized platform.

Essentially, any CMS should
– allow for controlled and well managed data input towards building a system
– allow multiple number of people across pre-set levels to share and make inputs
– facilitate proper storage, retrieval and managing of information
– make the process of information input simple and easy

READ MORE by clicking on the title above…

A really insightful blog post from our digital, search and social marketing specialized agency Innovations_Digital. This highlights how brands can go wrong on their Facebook pages.

Tech companies great and small always have a gimmick or two up their sleeve, and Google has been known for their screen adaptations and their playful renderings of their logo on the main Search page. But this year’s “Let It Snow” frosting of the search result page takes the icing on the cake.

Just do a search for “let it snow” and watch the flakes fall across your screen until the search result window gets completely ‘snowed’ over and the blue ‘Search’ button at the top becomes ‘Defrost’.  What’s even cooler is that once your screen gets completely fogged up you can also draw on the Google search results page like a finger on a window.

As of today (three days past Christmas) the trick is still on, and it may be a nice idea for Google to keep this on through the cold season. So, yes, even in Dubai, we can sit back at our offices or at home and enjoy the snow.

We hope you had a good 2011 and are celebrating the arrival of the New Year. At Innovations_Digital we wish you all the best for the Season. So, let it snow…

Sourced from our digital content and strategy agency: Innovations_Digital blog

Google has launched its news reader app on Android and iOS with titles including CNet, Huffington Post and Forbes among the initial publishing partners.
The app, dubbed Google Currents, lets publishers customise their content for the platform and is also integrated with Google+ so readers can share content.
Publishers can also monitor how their readers are accessing the content via the app by associating their account with Google Analytics.
By linking the Google Currents and Analytics accounts, publishers can track users’ content preferences, what devices their content is being viewed on and geographic distribution via the app.
Google Currents is currently available to US mobile users but remaining country launch dates has been publicly discussed at present.
Mobile users can download Google Current from the appropriate app store, choose the publications they want to subscribe to free of charge and also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions.
The launch was confirmed by a post on the Google Mobile blog.
“We’ve worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more,” read the post.
The launch sees Google join the list of other content aggregator apps, such as Flipboard, AOL’s Editions and Yahoo’s Live stand, which are an increasingly popular way for mobile users to consume media.

posted by Debi Hickey, Media Director, UM Dubai

You can have a thousand friends on Facebook, and 10,000 Likes, but what do they mean? If you’re running a social media campaign for your brand, how do you convert “Likes” to sales, friends to customers? The whole idea behind setting up a successful brand page on Facebook, and of course getting ‘Likes’ is to truly engage with your best fans – your loyal followers, your brand believers. If you are able to identify – and cultivate – people out there who are genuinely interested in your products or services, they will in some way or another tell others about it. And, eventually, with the trickle down, and with friends trusting friends etc – your following increases – and your chances of selling and moving product gets better.

One way of genuinely engaging your target audience via social media include finding out what your target customers are interested in and then talking to  them about it. That’s “content marketing” and this emerging leader in the tools of the trade game is showing up as one of the strongest performing channels – a very close second to e-mail. Yes, brands that are becoming “content publishers” – providing engaging, interesting content are winning the game. When you find it difficult to hard sell – and social media is not for hard sell anyways – creating and publishing content is a great tool.

Content is a great trust tool. If you provide value addition via content, people get to trust your brand. They find your brand and everything they associate with it relevant to their space. They end up trusting your product, believing in it. You get to the top of the top-of-mind position.

Another way is to ask your customers, your target audience about what they really want from you as a brand, or from your product or your industry. When you ask your ‘audience’ what they want to hear, you’re playing their hits, they’ll listen without hesitation – because it’s theirs, not yours. It’s relevant, and meaningful. That’s engagement, not monologue. If you are able to talk to your audience about what their interests are – and then build (or revise) your profile, your benefits around that dialog, you’ve got a winning strategy.

Lead them to where they want to go, not where you think they should. Follow their interests, listen to them, see what they’re really clicking through to, and provide a destination, a result that they want to see, to experience. If you are offering information on a new feature on a camera, no point taking them to a home page. If you’re selling a low-interest car loan, don’t take them to the Financing section on your bank site – take them to a page on the loan and a form that they can apply on.

Hard sell is the last thing you should be doing on social media. Think about it, you don’t go over to a friend’s place for dinner and start selling him your golf set. Friends don’t like that. If you’ve really gotten into “social” media, please do be social. Engage them, tell them a story, provide some information, share a joke, show them an interesting video. You can sell the product downstream.

And, finally, social is about shared experiences. If they genuinely “Like” what you have for them, they’ll tell friends, and friends will tell their friends, and like that it rolls forward. Make what you say easily shareable. If it genuinely adds value, brings a smile to someone’s face, causes a positive reaction – they’ll share it. But it’s your job to make that process easy. Provide all the buttons, the links, the encouragement. And, of course, the right stuff.

At Innovations_Digital, a digital marketing agency in Dubai, we work closely with our clients to harness the power of social media. Innovations is part of UM – and provides digital content, social media, search and mobile specialized solutions for clients’ brands.

The state of the US mobile platform base. Biggest opportunity: getting smartphones in the hands of non-smartphone users. (This is true of the US, but also very true of developing markets where the shift to mobile is enormous.). Apple slowing down, but Android growing by leaps and bounds…

The state of the US mobile platform base. Biggest opportunity: getting smartphones in the hands of non-smartphone users. (This is true of the US, but also very true of developing markets where the shift to mobile is enormous.). Apple slowing down, but Android growing by leaps and bounds…