Rami Husseini: 'The potential for brands in the Saudi marketing and advertising fields remains huge'
Posted on 2023 Feb,04

A vibrant advertising market that is witnessing tremendous growth, the scene in the Saudi Arabia looks geared toward progress and meaningful change as the Kingdom embraces all manner of new technologies, innovation and creativity to cement its pioneering spirit and leadership.

ArabAd sought insight from a selection of advertising professionals to get a true feel of the pulse of the Saudi ad business, and to delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities facing the local ad industry, by asking them the following:

Saudi Arabia looks like the new “El Dorado” for the regional communication industry to such an extent that numerous foreign ad agencies are extending their footprints into the kingdom. How do you view the mushrooming of agencies and the increased competition this creates? Do you think the market can accommodate all these new arrivals, and can these agencies thrive easily in this new open environment that seems to promise so many opportunities? What are you doing to sharpen your agency’s edge? Can we talk about a new era for the Saudi ad industry?

Here is what Rami Husseini, Managing Director, Havas Saudi Arabia had to say:

'The realization of the Saudi Vision has taken a major step forward. The diversification of the Saudi economy and the newly emerging sectors have led to organic growth in the advertising and communications markets. Since the adoption of Vision, the spike in events and entertainment boosted digital presence and the need for constant online communications, resulting in 29.5 million people in the Kingdom being social media users today (Global Media Insights study).

With the events sector demonstrably on the rise, we’ve seen a significant surge in new opportunities resulting from high demand for creative, branding, digital and social media marketing, as well as corporate communications strategies and events – whether corporate, consumer, luxury or mass. The core of our industry’s growth lies there and is undoubtedly acting as a major catalyst for the national economy.

A new and larger set of agencies is entering the market and obviously trying to grab a fair share of the pie. The potential for brands in the marketing and advertising fields remains huge, mostly due to the Saudi society becoming increasingly socially active and hyper-connected. This also brings along a sense of excitement and competitiveness, inviting us industry professionals to change the way we look at the advertising landscape in Saudi Arabia, which is no longer dominated by the top international networks.

Many regional, international and local players are now joining the market. Loaded with talent, drive and ambition, they also bring a high sense of optimism and the desire to achieve more. And, most importantly, this is all encouraged and empowered by the Saudi government, which is inviting and setting the stage for everyone – individuals and investors – to participate however they can. 

At Havas Middle East, we sharpened our edges by implementing a more streamlined, efficient and cost-effective way of working. Being a full-service, fully integrated communications powerhouse that operates seamlessly across all our disciplines – Creative, Media and PR, including events and strategic corporate communications – allows us the facility and luxury of building a unique client-centric solution. We build teams, not structures. Through this lens, we work with our clients to develop a team made up of the right people, from the right disciplines, with one client lead. And through that, we create impactful work that makes a meaningful difference for our clients, businesses and those around us.

Last year, the Group launched Metaverse by Havas, a new consulting, creative and media offer dedicated to brands that, in the metaverse, see opportunities to reinvent branding, storytelling, experience, audience targeting and revenue generation.

The growth we are achieving at new business levels is a true reflection of our clients’ satisfaction with our Havas Village model, which brings together talented people from across all disciplines, encouraging and empowering them to think together and work side by side to best serve our clients. The number of regional and global nominations and awards Havas Middle East has bagged in 2021 and 2022 –the most recent being the Outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2022 – is a confirmation of the success of our core competencies and our agency’s cutting edge versus the competition.'