By Sharvari Alape
Having started his journey 25 years ago with Horizon FCB, Mazen Jawad is the president of Horizon Holdings that is home for five agencies. He moves around his office with ease and familiarity as he reminisces, “I used to love watching commercials more than going to the beach with my family. I love creativity, and I
love the work. I love creative when it’s meaningful, and people remember us in the best possible way. This is why I have been 25 years in the agency.” Mazen recently took over the role as president of the group.
The company that started in Kuwait is celebrating this year 43 years in business. Talking about Horizon Holdings’ success in an interview with Communicate, Jawad said, “It’s about timeless aspirations. It’s a lot about being brave and togetherness.” He believes that the group beholds a family spirit, with both a supportive and collaborative culture. “It’s always about moving forward,” he said.
With its five companies, Horizon Holdings has tapped into a little everything within the media industry: advertising, PR, video production and graphic designing. Jawad assures that all five companies have their structural strategies and are equally focused to remain relevant, innovative, creative and successful.
Within the industry, there is a strong belief that today’s market demands agencies to provide solutions to all creatives: strong creativity and the latest media tools in order to win the marketplace. Such resources have abled the company to one of the most sought after agencies for destination branding along with its product marketing. With destination marketing, the company has launched the Dubai South, VIP terminal, Al Hamra and recently the Coca Cola Arena.
“For products, you have to have a powerful local insight, while with destination marketing, most of the time you’re reaching out to a universal mind-set of an investor,” he commented on the differences in the marketing strategies. However, he states that despite the differences, whether destination branding or product marketing they share the same core. “The similarity is in the expertise of launching something that no one knows from scratch,” he added.
Despite, the technological focus being on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Jawad contends that technology alone cannot be a salvation. He believes that the group’s success is not merely based on their aspirations. Human resources are one of the essential assets and capital of a company. Jawad echoes these sentiments. “Talent is everything. So we are going to keep investing more and more on talent,” he added. “And then technology,” he added. Technology is vital for company’s thriving and advancement, “you have to keep upgrading your software.”
It seems Jawad is not the only one in the company that treasures its employees as he recalls a quote by one of the founders Fairfax Cone: “the inventory goes down the elevator every night.”
If talent is the company’s foundation, clients are their sustenance, he said. Jawad believes that “success is when you can make history by taking brands and clients from your local community and make them famous.” He believes that taking on local clients and giving them the platform to accomplish what they are working for is an achievement for his agency themself.
“These five pieces [the companies] are strong and work together well. We have all we need,” he concluded.