HOW HAVE CONSUMERS CHANGED IN SAUDI ARABIA IN RECENT YEARS?
To know how consumers changed in Saudi Arabia, we need to understand the drivers behind this change. I believe the most important of them is the fact that Saud Arabia has a such a large young population. This young energetic generation is so curious and fast in adopting all new technologies as they emerge, jumping on trends and even creating new ones. The transformation started in our country after the announcement of Vision 2030.
The ongoing progress and achievements of this transformation has strongly impacted the mindset, spirit and lifestyle of Saudi consumers. Saudis today live with the inspiration of a ‘confident creator’. While this is not the place to detail how the clear vision of our country has recreated them anew, when it comes to the communication industry and brand creativity, Saudi consumers are well-informed and have a stand and an opinion about products, services, and most importantly, on how brands should communicate to them.
With every creative campaign, people are quick to critique with a solid convection about a specific idea or particular execution. Their loyalty to commercial brands has come to stand on a fragile ground; they help the brands that understand them well and consistently know how to talk to them. Since the dawn of the internet, the Saudi population started as digital savvies, but throughout the recent years, the line between online and offline is rapidly blurring.
We are witnessing an era where online and offline are inter-dependent and each one is creating the other. Moreover, with being more open to the world and becoming an influencing member of the larger global society, young Saudi consumers are gradually growing concerned about social and environmental issues. This was not the case a few years ago. They have started to value brands that are committed to making a positive impact on the world. Such unique consumers will give a share of mind, time, money and loyalty, only to brands that understand them and use this understanding to earn being part of their lives. We in FP7 McCann had made this our mission: we help brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives.
HAs THE SAUDI AGENCY MODEL CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
The creative communication industry is no exception to all the transformation that has happened across other fields, because of Vision 2030. And when people change, agencies must change or vanish. Consumers are constantly changing, old technologies die in and constantly new and stronger ones emerge, all the time. In such a world, we need to keep reinventing ourselves, holding onto the one pillar that is defining our industry and it is our core business: CREATIVITY. The agency today cannot but be an irrefutable leader of the business of creativity. The spectrum of offerings is endless and below are a few:
- Advertising creativity
- Content creativity
- Experiential creativity
- Social creativity
- commerce creativity
- Relationship creativity
- Entertainment creativity
- Data creativity
- Product creativity
- Design creativity
If we are in the business of creativity, then we are in the business of talents: the new agency model holds a hybrid world of man and technology, at the service at creativity.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN THE KINGDOM?
The creative industry in the kingdom faces two challenges: talent (quality and availability) and the low percentage of women working in agencies vs men in agencies, and vs women in other industries. As agencies, we have a responsibility to accelerate the maturity of this industry and introduce our business to talent with a modern, fun and young face. At FP7 McCann, we have 4 seats available for internships and external collaborations with young artists and talents all year long.
Mohammed Bahmishan, CEO/CCO, FP7 McCann