MEPRA’s Remap Conference shines a light on NFTs, marketing in the metaverse and creative brand strategies for PR in the middle east

MEPRA’s REMAP Creative Communications Festival was held as part of Marketing Mania on 17th October at Dubai World Trade Centre.


MEPRA wrapped up its fourth REMAP Creative Communications Festival this week, which was held as part of Marketing Mania at Dubai World Trade Centre for the first time. Speakers explored how communicators in the region could push the boundaries and advance the communications practice when it comes to creative strategy for brands using NFTs, augmented reality and more.

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Hosted by MEPRA Vice Chair and New Media Academy CEO, Rashid Al Awadhi, the event included five in-depth sessions covering Storytelling in a Polarised World, Marketing in the Metaverse, Transcending Borders, Influencing the Influencer and Storytelling through blockchain.  Unlike any other MEPRA event, REMAP brings in creatives and digital marketing leaders to inspire communications professionals to integrate new disciplines into their everyday work.

Speaking on the success of the event, Alawadhi said: “REMAP aims to bring together the best minds innovators and leaders in the hope for a paradigm shift in communications in the Middle East and this year’s event did just that.”

“Hosting our conference as part of Marketing Mania put communications and PR in the spotlight to thousands of MarTech professionals and provided MEPRA the opportunity to introduce new brand strategies involving NFTs and augmented reality, and highlight the importance of purpose, content creators and creativity in communications campaigns,” he said.

Jeremy Williams, globally recognised NFT expert & NFTeach Podcast Host moderated the session on ‘Storytelling through Blockchain’ to discuss how brands were embracing NFTs in their marketing and communications strategies with Avery Akkineni, President, Vayner NFT and Adam Brotman CEO of Brightloom, former co-CEO, President and Chief Experience Officer at J.Crew and former Chief Digital Officer, Starbucks. Williams said: “Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are changing the way artists participate in the creator economy.  Now, consumer brands have taken notice and are looking for unique ways to engage in the NFT/Web 3 space.  Visa recently purchased an NFT for $150,000 and other brands are getting involved as well.”

Steve Bambury, multi-award-winning AR & VR pioneer shared his expert insights into the metaverse and explored the impact that it will have on current marketing practices. Bambury said: “XR is not just a new fad, it is the next evolution of computing as a whole and as we move towards the tantalising vision of a shared metaverse, brands need to be proactive in how they prepare themselves for the limitless possibilities this will afford them.”

Nick Barron, Deputy CEO, MHP+Mischief, PRovoke’s UK Agency of the Year 2021 spoke on the agency’s Purpose Pathfinder model, which has helped clients design brand purpose narratives that resonate with their audiences, while also balancing the polarised views of different audiences. Barron said: “Polarised audiences are more susceptible to fake news, more likely to ‘cancel’ brands whose values they oppose, and more likely to purchase and advocate for brands whose values they share. This makes understanding your audiences’ values and articulating your purpose in a way that resonates with them – while effectively navigating polarised debates – even more important.”

During the event, two MEPRA Fellows were inducted. MEPRA Fellowship is the highest grade of membership nominated and voted by the MEPRA Boards for outstanding contribution to the communications profession in the Middle East. The inductees included Souad Al Serkal, MEPRA Executive Board member and is the VP of communications at Tabreed and Lisa Welsh, MEPRA Strategy Board Member, former MEPRA Vice Chair & Managing Director at Hill+Knowlton Strategies METIA.

Marketing Mania continues until 20 October 2021, for more information visit https://www.marketingmaniashow.com/