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26 March, 2006

My doctor, my driver

The most eye-catching feature at the International Advertising Association congress was a display of cause-related adverts in the central atrium of DIEC. They contained images such as a paleface in a glittering diamond necklace; next to her a dark-skinned woman with a gash of blood around her neck - "quel prix pour ces diamantes?" Or a hollow-eyed baby on a white sheet, shown dead in the next shot. The world is tranformed into a melting scoop of blue and green icecream in a global warming ad. In another, a map of Africa is transformed into a skull.

According to the organiser of the exhibition, the labourers that put up the displays were very drawn to the ads. One series in particular particularly grabbed the attention of the boys-in-blue. What did it show?

1. A taxi driver's photo ID card hanging in the back of a cab. His name: Dr Khalid Rafiq, PhD.

2. A supermarket job application form, filled out in biro. The applicant: Dr Rajiv Suri, former cardiologist at a heart hospital in India.

3. A fast-food worker's name tag. It reads: Mei Yin, MBA.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Shaper85 said...

Those are some extremely moving ads. I wish some of the Dubai marketing companies would be a bit more creative. Then again, I doubt most of their target audience would be able to "get it".

26 March, 2006 02:19  
Blogger Cokey said...

Very creative stuff there !! I agree..dont think the audience here can grasp it, which reminds me an investment firm had got there ads done from New York and it said something like "We can handle your problem in any angle"

The creative part was they put up these ads upside down and sideways saying We CAN handle your problems in any angles"

In Kuwait or Qatar they had put these signs on the light poles along the highway and people just laughed and blamed the workers and publishers for putting making huge mistakes!

26 March, 2006 02:28  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

But as for the underemployed people, I guess thats one of the problems of an oversupply of qualified people in developing countries.

A friend of mine in Singapore has a maid who was a doctor in the Phillipines but worked as a housemaid in Singapore because she would get paid more than back home. I guess when supporting a family back home, people are forced to swallow their pride and work in menial jobs. And servants in Singapore are treated the same way they are in the UAE.

26 March, 2006 02:38  
Blogger Cokey said...

True...In USA, A maid gets paid $2000 per month. Thats like a managerial salary here.

26 March, 2006 03:11  
Blogger A Yahya said...

I work in the industry... the people here are alot more sophisticated than you give them credit for. They will get it.

26 March, 2006 08:47  
Blogger Mohamed Elzubeir said...

a yahya,

Agreed. You know who doesn't get it? Advertisers, clients and creatives don't get it. They don't get that the audience will get it.

People generally feel insulted by the way ads speak to them, as it feels as if it's telling them, "we know you're stupid, but please try to understand this one now, will you?".

26 March, 2006 09:36  
Blogger Krishna said...

I have noticed in UAE, employers prefer the less educated, more experience rather than the reverse. I understand certain amount of experience is needed, however most are only willing to hire somebody who would not "come up with new idea" but who has done the same job for 10 years or so. This gives fresh graduates quite a dilemma. Is this phenonmenon found in anyother countries?

26 March, 2006 09:40  
Blogger archer14 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 March, 2006 09:51  
Blogger archer14 said...

Another ad which might be in the offing could be 'call center careers'. Getting a job is extremely easy and most graduate engineers often join immediately after graduation. 5 years down the line, the resume reads nothing but 5 years of smooth talking on the phone. Till then it's been an extension of college life. Lack of dress codes and business ethics can be enticing at first but who needs tomorrow?

Yes Krishna, they want people who don't think out of the box. Because of the simple fact that these freshers may jeopardize their job. Thats also why specialised entities such as 'The Sales Engineer' spring up, who are localised con jobs in the making. Which may also explain why call centres are teeming with engineers.

26 March, 2006 09:58  
Blogger nzm said...

It's not always that there is an oversupply of qualified people.

Read the Campaign Name in the links that SD provides. It says: "Recognise Immigrant Credentials."

The bigger issue which these ads are drawing attention to, is that a lot of the qualifications that people earn in their home countries aren't recognised in other countries - i.e. their degree is as worthless as the paper it's printed on.

Some countries do have programs in place that requires expatriate workers (especially in the medical fields) to sit a series of exams and courses to prove their experience. But this costs a lot of money, and often the immigrant workers don't have enough to do it when they first arrive. So they take lesser skilled jobs as they try to survive and save. Often, it takes so long that in the end they stay in that job.

And even more often, they don't have the choice to work in their chosen fields.

If they're studying in unrecognised world institutions, the students studying in the UAE universities may also face these issues if they choose to work out of the UAE.

26 March, 2006 10:21  
Blogger dubaiproperties said...

Cokey said...
True...In USA, A maid gets paid $2000 per month. Thats like a managerial salary here.

26 March, 2006 03:11

I once called in a cleaning service in the US. The lady they sent me was a graduate Electrical Engineer. It was so sad that she was doign this work but even more inspiring her attitude towards her work - while she told me proudly she is an engineer by qualification - she was equally proud to do the cleaning work and said "work is work" and cleaned the house with much pride in her work.

The total pay for the day was $75 - so I guess she must have made $30 or so for 5 hours of work.

Things are not as glamorous in the US as well. People look outside the US just look at the total pay - they dont realize how expensive it is to live there and at the end of the day she probably spends all of the $2000 or even borrows to make a living.

26 March, 2006 10:27  
Blogger Robert said...

Whether it's clients or creatives, Dubai has got a long way to go in advertising. If I hear one more radio ad where a 'newsreader' breaks off the story to dash to a sale, or a traffic cop stops a speeding motorist I think I'll take my @#$%^%$# and *&^%^$ it all over the $^#$%#!!!!

26 March, 2006 11:20  
Blogger hdastoor said...

I am sorry, but looking at ads on UAE tv, newspapers,magazines , i can say that UAE advertising/media is in a sordid pitiful state.
Whats amazing is that every year they have the audacity to honour themselves with bogus advertising awards. Such ads will not stand up in any other region except middleeast. There is no creativity in UAE advertising industry. Morever they failed Dubai during the dubai ports fiasco

26 March, 2006 11:52  
Blogger archer14 said...

Hdastoor, it's pointless to talk about ads and their targets. The rich guys don't read newspapers, let alone listen to the radio. The middle class is more interested in Robbie Williams/Now you see - now you don't e-pehla channels/devising ways to stay on in that Deira apartment by increasing 'bed spacers'. The lower class are busy counting every fil which goes out rather than in.

Which ads that work? Hoardings. From Emirates to Etihad to ADCB to Dubai Islamic Bank. They'll bore through your eyes even if you choose not to look. Why? Because of the sheer number of them. You even subconsciously know where Emirates flies to and for how much. Now thats called advertising by numbers!

26 March, 2006 13:36  
Blogger archer14 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 March, 2006 13:37  
Blogger the shadow said...

Ads like these aren't uncommon in Europe, North America, South America, South Africa etc. but I can't see anywhere in the Middle East ever running ads like these because who's going to pay for the media space to run them here, where alot of people can't even tolerate social criticism on a blog? And what sort of call to action or social commentary could be made without upsetting the powers-that-be?

I do have one idea: the social cost of dangerous driving.

"You want the truth?! You can't handle the truth!"

26 March, 2006 14:22  
Blogger unJane said...

My personal fave is RAK Banks's reference to saving me from 'card sharks'. I laugh ever time I see it. I've though about calling in the error....and then laugh again imagining how THAT conversation would go!

26 March, 2006 20:02  

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