Cannes 2015: 6 consumer trends in the Middle East you may not know about

A contributing editor to Campaign Middle East surveys the complex advertising landscape of the region

To commemorate the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Campaign’s editors from around the world are sharing their view of the advertising industry from where they sit, including the work from their region most likely to be recognized this year and which consumer trends are shaping their landscape. Campaign US will be sharing these perspectives every day this week.

Keeping the Arabic language alive

The Arabic language may be in crisis but consumers are adapting it to their needs and so are brands. Colloquial is winning over traditional and Arabs are searching for authentic denotations that articulate their emotions.

Brands under increasing scrutiny

Four in five young Arabs aged from 18 to 24 would not rule out the possibility of boycotting a brand for political reasons. Arab youth also carefully consider a brand’s country of origin before purchasing a product. 

Saudis embracing social media

Mobile is the window to the world for Saudi Arabia, with 40% of Saudis among the most intensive users of social media on the planet. The country has the highest number of YouTube video views per day in the world. 

An empowered generation

A third of the Middle East and North Africa’s population is under 14 and parents are opting for private and international academic institutions for their children. The result is an empowered and opinionated wave of young people.

Luxury market poised for growth

Luxury is a status symbol in the Gulf and the number of high-net-worth individuals is set to grow by 58% over the next decade. With this comes an expectation of world-class products and services in all sectors.

Adopt a bespoke approach

The Arabisation of products means brands that don’t cater to the Arab market in their own language and culture will lose, as companies such as Estée Lauder add musk variants to their fragrance lines and developers localise global games.

Iain Akerman is a contributing editor with Campaign Middle East.

Cannes Lions 2015 Coverage

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