Waseem Yakdi, CEO, Zia Creative Network offers his thoughts on the advertising industry and how the seasonal changes impact campaigns.
Despite the fact that the onset of summers in the UAE brings distress to most businesses, which in turn adversely affects advertising industry, the marketers turn their heads towards finding ways to reach out to their target audience even during the slack season.
In the UAE, the advertising industry looks darker under the sun
If you are planning to run advertising campaigns for your brand in summer, you must give it a second thought since the weather in the UAE can have a notable influence on your target audience’s behaviour. There is no doubt that the onset of summer visibly slows down general activity in the UAE, but the same also applies to advertising. Apparently, there are quite a few obvious reasons why sweltering summer days of the UAE make advertising go sluggish.
The summer vacation mood
“I’m sorry, but this is going to take a while since my boss is away on vacation and there is nothing in our hands that we can do until he returns.” Do these words sound familiar to you? They should. They’re spoken every summer in the UAE.un
During summers, the heat is on, and the vacation days pile up. The scorching heat of the UAE and planned summer vacations often affect the advertising industry of the region. Most of the residents and expats plan their annual leave during summers, while others remain less motivated over the summer months. For the same reasons, people here count the days for their annual leave but the vacation period isn’t all about fun and family. The mass exodus that occurs with the arrival of summers cause a considerable meltdown in the marketing budgets of the companies.
The reasons seem to be quite evident with the absence of audience during this period. From print media to broadcast and OOH, the whole advertising industry witness a remarkable freeze during summers.
When it comes to holidays, the UAE offers twice the global average and with that comes twice the slowdown, and twice the impact. Is escaping the heat worth the cost?
Summers make people lazy
The warm months of the UAE undoubtedly make us all relaxed, cheery, and hideously unproductive. The manner of how customers purchase products are affected by changes in the weather too. During summers, people would normally want to stay indoors to avoid the extremely hot sun. In such circumstances, the brands become reluctant to spend on advertising campaigns as it would be a futile effort.
Despite all this, the only advertising platform which is lesser affected by the summer skirmish is digital marketing. Social media advertising is a powerful tool to legitimise communications and contextualise ads during summers. The brands and agencies get on their toes to bombard the entire digital advertising ecosystem through offers, ads and engaging content during summers.
Consumer mood swings during summers
Although it may not be glaringly apparent to us, weather influences overall consumer buying behaviours along with the advertising trends.
Weather in the UAE has a deep-rooted effect on consumer psychology and purchase behaviour. Aware of the impact of summers on consumer’s purchasing behaviour, most of the marketers in the UAE implement a weather-responsive marketing campaign to deliver much more targeted and impactful promotions.
During summers the brands and advertising agencies are in a run to engage consumers with a plethora of diverse advertising campaigns, mostly on digital platforms, with personalised and customised content since the consumers are usually indoors and witness a lot of mood swings due to summer heat.
The reason behind withstanding the long summer slowdown is always the anticipation of the extremely busy winter season, both for the businesses and advertising agencies. Winters bring limitless opportunities for the brands and the agencies, as it’s during winters that most of the events take place. There are offers and discounts on almost all the products during winters and it is the time when people throng attractions like Dubai Shopping Festival and Global Village for shopping and hanging out in the pleasant weather.
The months from September to March are undeniably the most packed months for the agencies since the pile-up of the campaigns and projects during summers gets activated during winters as both the brands and agencies try their best to catch up with the loss incurred during summers. With deadlines set in stone, an environment of high-pressure is created in the agencies during winters and the employees are forced to work for long hours.
However, despite the volatile nature of the UAE’s advertising industry, the profit margins during the short winter season drastically exceeds the loss figures in the balance sheet obtained during the long summer season and this has considerably encouraged the brands and marketers to stick their feet in the UAE’s ad market.