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Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Communicate Online | Regional Edition | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

Can you put a price tag on creativity?

Waseem Yaki, CEO, Zia Creative


Can you put a price tag on creativity?

By Waseem Yakdi, CEO, Zia Creative Network

Once considered to be incomparable, the relation between creativity and return on marketing investment delivering effective and staggering profitability has now become a new normal in the current advertising scenario.

Now, in agencies, planning departments work much more closely with creative departments. Amid economic uncertainty, there is greater impetus to show how well a big creative idea is working.

The creative element in the campaign leaves a lasting impression on the audience, reinforcing the brand, stimulating endorsement and repeat purchase. This is undoubtedly priceless, and that is why there is always a high price tag attached to a creative idea.

Hiring a creative team of talented writers, artists, designers or directors – or paying an agency big bucks for an ad – sounds like a budget-busting expense. It is, since expressing a thought-provoking idea in a powerful way that will attract buyers requires a combination of out of the box imagination, market research, brand positioning, art design, and typeface selection. Why wouldn’t that cost a reasonable sum of money?

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UAE’s creative approach

The advertising industry in the UAE is highly inspired by contemporary global trends. The current UAE market is flooded with international brands. This competitive scenario and the emergence of countless ad agencies in the country has made creativity something which companies and even the government cannot afford to overlook in order to stand out. For companies, it is extremely vital to keep innovating on a constant loop to ensure freshness and relevance of the brand and for this, they are even ready to spend exorbitantly on creative advertising.

An ideal campaign or a commercial should be able to blend media, content and technology, in a way that creates an easily accessible, live brand experience for the audience. Therefore, the agencies in the region are striving hard to get an edge over each other in terms of putting the most thought-provoking and innovative ideas on the table. Creativity is what separates the good brands from the outstanding ones in the UAE. But, in this race, there are only a few agencies, which are taking the lead and winning big accounts due to their extraordinary creative approach. And, of course, such agencies charge a bomb for that.

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Apart from private companies, there is also a paradigm shift in the advertising culture of government entities, which now give high priority to exploring innovative and creative ways to connect with the people and showcase their programs and other welfare policies. The government departments of the UAE have resorted to hiring specialist creative agencies armed with gripping concepts and strategies to help them develop creative voices and stand out via commercials, print ads, events, online engagement and more.

In the digital marketing space since the cost per click in the UAE is highest in the world, it becomes imperative for companies and the government to enhance their marketing budget and align their marketing objectives with creative and compelling campaigns, artworks, videos in order to effectively reinforce the brand in the highly competitive market.

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 Encashing a million-dollar idea

A million-dollar idea ideally fits into the current advertising scenario. A study designed to measure the financial impact of creative ads, published in Harvard Business Review, found that the amount invested in highly creative advertising campaigns, particularly if the ads are artistic and elaborate or illustrate a product benefit, return twice the revenue as the money spent on “ordinary” ads.

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