Monday, May 15, 2006

Incognit-O(Monday Resident)- Lip Service or Truth

Has anyone else gotten really bored from reading Campaign these past few weeks?

Don’t get me wrong. I love the publication. They have great stuff a lot of the times (this week’s article on the new creative hot-shop in New York – Anomaly – is particularly recommended).

Yet it seems like every week there’s some new agency boss or newly hired creative director that has been sent to their agency – or our region for that matter – as some sort of self glorified savior.

Every week.

Week in.

Week out.

There is someone who is there to lecture us all on what we are so obviously doing wrong and how they plan on shaking the industry up and setting new standards.

I love the enthusiasm, really. I do.

But is anyone else sick and tired of being told how bad we are?

Let me re-phrase that. We’re not actually bad – we’re just held down with so many limitations, being in the Middle East and all.

We’re constantly reminded how many limitations in this region we have.


“Cultural sensitivities”

“Several nationalities”

“Marketing across several borders and regions”

“Language barriers”

“People don’t read”

“People aren’t that intelligent”

“Not to mention Saudi”

Yet as Ma’an said in his Coffee Chat with DC – it’s all crap.

This region is different. This region is full of different limitations, challenges and gems that you would find in other regions.

And even more so – it will be those very limitations & challenges unique to this region that will push our creativity even further. Simply because we have no other choice.

Now, before I start sounding like one of the weekly saviors in Campaign, here’s a thought I’d like to open for discussion:

The Far East (in terms of the advertising world) used be known as the place for ad-people who couldn’t cut it where it counted. ‘Rejects’ or even talented people who couldn’t find a job in the UK or US would flee to Singapore & Malaysia because there was less competition.

Now of course, the Far East is one of the fastest growing in the industry. Awards left and right – and some of the hottest creative hot-shops would also like to open up there.

Lately in Campaign, we’ve had the likes of Sir Martin Sorell and others talk about Dubai and the Middle East following suite and becoming the next ‘hot spot’.

Naturally this region is growing and growing fast.

Lip service or truth? What are your thoughts…

Also if anyone has been in the Far East, do share some interesting stories…


Blogger X said...

The constant criticism translates into a self fulfilling prophecy, u tell someone their shit enough times they A) start believing it and B) start becoming it.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Ish said...

another thing is the western criteria, doesn't allow people to think free of associations.

2:06 PM  
Blogger AD MAD said...

The term you are looking for is


"Failed in London Try Hong Kong"

Anyway on to many bad ads appear in the US and Europe for every good one? Well of course I don't know, but a lot!!!

How many millions get spent before you see a good ad in the US and Europe? More than here you can bet on it!!!

So considering the age of the industry here, the experience of the people, the budgets available and the amount of work on offer - I think what is coming out is pretty good for our "limitations".

This region has challenges and the the industry is growing quickly so why complain - enjoy the ride.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Incognito said...


That's term! I read it once in an article and completely forgot the acronym. Thank you.

As for enjoying the ride - Precisely. I don't mean to make it sound like I'm complaining (this week was not a rant). I 'm just interested in exploring why ths region is different - and why it shouldn't be viewed different rather than comparing - which a lot of people around here constantly do.

ish - you brought up a very interesting point on thinking free of associations. Please elaborate.

6:55 PM  

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