‘Emotional intelligence’ is the driving force for effective marketing in MENA


Emotional intelligence emerges as the overarching theme of WARC’s 2021 MENA Strategy Report, which outlines insights and successful marketing trends based on analysis of the winning entries for this year’s WARC Prize for MENA Strategy

That theme is broken down into four different areas: 

  1. Targeted experiences cut through in the pivot to digital

KFC, Bose and Burger King all created experiences that supported specific audiences or communities. Personalisation, which this year increased in popularity as a creative strategy, was a key element of such activations. “Targeted approaches are a ‘must-have’: implement them intentionally and at scale,” advises jury member Roxane Magbanua, Business Unit Director, PHD, UAE. 

  1. Empowering communications heighten engagement

Participation was the the top creative strategy this year. By empowering their audiences – whether by providing tools for life improvement or giving them a voice – brands such as Almosafer, Diari and Knorr showed the engagement potential of empathetic participatory strategies. Judge Laura Chaibi, Senior Consultant, Global Media, Nielsen Media Middle East, notes: The big winners were those which empathised with consumers by acting as a channel for them to express themselves.”

  1. Switched-on brands leave a mark on local culture

By having their finger on the pulse of local issues and events, winners Emirates Nation Brand, An-Nahar and LADA showed that reacting to cultural happenings can build strong connections with audiences.“By being plugged into local pop culture and current affairs, brands can tackle relevant moments with confidence, even when it comes to controversial topics,” says jury member Rohit Arora, General Manager, Liwa Content Driven, UAE.

  1. Real-life stories lend humanity to brands

Featuring real people instead of actors, as well as creating relatable characters, has paid off for winners like Emirates NBD, Burger King and Home Centre. These winners showed how infusing communications with humanity can aid brand perception. “It’s imperative for brands to recognise they cannot succeed without people,” comments judge Tahaab Rais, President – SLC and Regional Head of Strategy & Truth Central at FP7 McCann MENAT. “There’s a return and reward in conscious empathy.”

The report is available to WARC subscribers and includes chapter analysis of the four themes with views and opinions from the judges, what these mean for brands, media owners and agencies, as well as winning case studies and data analysis.

This article first appeared in www.warc.com

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