gru 6th, 2017

Dana Al-Kutoubi on How Brands Can Reach MENA Millennials

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Recently, Dana Al-Kutoubi, the Head of Strategic Planning at J. Walter Thompson KSA, judged at the inaugural WARC MENA Strategy Awards. This is a new kind of awards scheme for the MENA marketing community, because it focuses on strategy.

Following her judging experience, Dana was invited to speak at WARC’s first session in Dubai about how to successfully engage with the MENA youth. In MENA, 60% of the population is under 30, but only a third of the winners at the award show were youth-targeted cases.

This raised a few questions, like how can we bring brands back into the conversation and cut through to Millennials, when today most of the “facts” about Millennials are such common knowledge that they are no longer meaningful or important? 

Here are three tips on how brands can effectively reach the MENA Millennials. 

Change the Game: Give Channels Context

The youth expect brands to function well online, but don’t want to be talked at – and this is evident in the increase of ad-blocking software. While MENA youth may lay claim to having the highest viewership of YouTube in the world, as content creators themselves, they are far more likely to engage when they are active participants and contributors to content that speaks to their lives, their experiences and their perspectives.

Change the Conversation: Be Authentic

With the explosion of social media, the youth are no longer taking things at face value, and brands are very much exposed. The youth have a need to see things as they really are, and don’t want a spin and twisting of words to make something better – they want brands that are empathetic to their attitudes and behaviors, and that speak their language.

Change Behavior: Bring Purpose

According to an INSEAD study, 42% of Millennials want to work towards the betterment of their society – ambitious and determined, the youth are looking for ways to make a difference. Within the context of social cultural change in the Arab world, brands that empower the youth to do so will resonate well.

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