MENA Power List 2023: Brand strategies to resonate with Saudi audiences, by MMS’s Ahmed Al Sahhaf

Being part of people’s moments is crucial, but relevant content is equally important

Campaign Middle East recently covered industry movers and shakers from the advertising, marketing and creative space for our MENA Power List 2023 issue and there was a strong sense of optimism about the region’s landscape for marketers to flourish.

Ahmed Al Sahhaf, CEO, MBC Media Solutions (MMS)

Al Sahhaf has been the CEO for MMS for 3 years and guiding the company towards long-term success.  His favorite hobbies are Tennis and Ballot, a popular trick card game in Saudi.

Saudi Vision 2030

Connecting with audiences in Saudi Arabia lies in embracing and being a part of the historical shift that the country is undergoing. With significant investments in sectors like entertainment, tourism, and sports to name a few, Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy in line with Vision 2030. Major entertainment and sports events taking place in the Kingdom are evidence of this transformation.

For instance, the Saudi professional football league has gained prominence by attracting high-profile football stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Their involvement has not only enhanced the talent in the league but has also brought global attention, expanding the reach of Saudi football to a wider audience.

This surge in popularity has resulted in increased viewership for televised matches and online streaming platforms. A top Saudi League match receives between 2.1 to 3.2 million views per match across TV and Shahid, which presents a valuable opportunity for brands to reach a larger audience and maximise brand exposure.

The same is true for major entertainment events featuring international artists, like the MDLBEAST music festival and the Riyadh Season winter festival. These events present rewarding sponsorship opportunities for businesses to be a part of Saudi Arabia’s most memorable moments. By associating themselves with these iconic moments, brands can enhance their visibility, revenue, and create lasting memories in the minds of viewers.

As the commercial arm of MBC Group and the advertising representative for the Saudi Sports Company (SSC), MBC Media Solutions (MMS) has focused on providing state-of-the-art solutions to help brands tap into these emotional experiences. This enables brands to establish a deeper connection with their audience, increasing brand loyalty and advocacy.

Historical moments

To succeed in this evolving landscape, brands need to recognise the importance of adapting their strategies to resonate with Saudi audiences and beyond. Being a part of people’s moments is crucial, but being a part of relevant content is equally significant. Saudi Arabia’s rich culture and traditions are being highlighted through localised production and content created in the past few years.

Brands can leverage this high-quality and engaging Saudi content to build a loyal customer base and establish themselves as industry leaders in the dynamic Saudi Arabian market.

MBC Group, for instance, has made it a priority to produce Saudi-focused content that features local actors and presenters. This commitment to showcasing Saudi talent and stories further strengthens their connection with the audience.

Moreover, MBC Group’s collaboration with the Ministry of Culture in launching the channel ‘Thaqafeyah’ demonstrates a deep dedication to highlighting Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. By aligning themselves with initiatives that celebrate the country’s traditions, brands can connect with Saudi audiences on a deeper level and build trust and loyalty.

Additionally, as the MENA region’s largest and leading media company, MBC Group produces localised premium content beyond Saudi productions that resonate with audiences across the region.


MMS is intensifying its efforts in these markets, in countries such as Egypt, Iraq and Morocco to enable organisations in the region to connect with audiences by leveraging the group’s expansive reach and premium content.

This not only provides opportunities for government and private entities in Saudi Arabia to expand their businesses regionally, but also supports Vision 2030’s objective of fostering a thriving economy by establishing economic relationships with countries beyond the GCC and elevating promising local companies to become leaders at both regional and global levels.

Brands aiming to connect with Saudi audiences and beyond must actively embrace the changing landscape of the region and adapt their strategies accordingly.

By being a part of people’s moments through major events and associations, and by aligning themselves with relevant content and platforms that resonate with the target audience, brands can establish a strong presence in Saudi Arabia and the region’s rapidly changing landscape to foster meaningful connections with their consumers.

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them”