"UAE ads lack originality," screams a headline in Arabian Business.
Appearing as it does, a week or so before Ramadan, this headline isn't so far from the truth. I have a small collection of 'Ramadan' ads from last year - in categories ranging from real estate to cars, and appliances to supermarkets - which feature the 'mandatory' crescent moon in a way that just begs you to hastily turn the page and ignore the ad. Yes, it's a sad reflection on one's chosen profession.
Back to the survey, there were some grim figures thrown in:
55% say advertising is not original
71% believe only a small percentage of advertising is relevant to them
68% believe the advertising does not predispose them favourably towards the brand
Apparently, the survey has "revealed for the first time the size of the gap between what advertisers are trying to achieve and the actual impact of advertising."
So what will bridge this cavernous gap?
Research, apparently. Companies are 'urged to spend their advertising dollars better by testing creative concepts at the start.'
Is it a coincidence then that the company that has conducted this very revelatory survey and recommended research also happens to be a "market research company working all over the Arab world and specialising in qualitative research and online polling"?