Facebook teams up with TBWA\RAAD for #LoveLocal campaign

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Ramez Shehadi, managing director at Facebook MENA.
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Updated 28 September 2020

Facebook teams up with TBWA\RAAD for #LoveLocal campaign

  • Facebook will be working with content creators and communities from across the MENA region

At the beginning of September, Facebook Inc. announced the launch of #LoveLocal, a new initiative to support local small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which have been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

It has now partnered with leading regional creative agency TBWA\RAAD for the campaign, which aims to amplify the voices of local SMBs, shed light on their stories and challenges and help generate consumer demand for them across the region.

The campaign’s main video depicts eight unique stories filmed across Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, featuring a real and diverse cast of small business owners in local shops who share their daily experiences and personal anecdotes.

A host of content pieces and executions have been developed for the campaign, including videos, IG stories, interviews with small business owners and a content creators’ activation idea. One of the executions includes a #LoveLocal pledge frame that users can add to their Facebook profile and pledge support to SMBs. On Instagram, this filter will be available as a trackable augmented reality filter where users will be able to post and highlight their favorite small business.

As part of the campaign, Facebook will be rolling out video content that will serve as a reminder of the emotional connection the public has with small businesses beyond the transaction. Facebook will also be working with content creators and communities from across the MENA region who will take part in a fun, interactive challenge for one day that will see them nominate each other to pick and support a local SMB.

“The relationships people have with local SMBs extend beyond the products and services. In our region, you don’t go to the hairdresser or to the corner shop. You go to Tony’s, or Emm Nazih’s, or Abou Houda’s. SMBs are not businesses; they are the people. Their names are on the signboards. We wanted this element to come to the fore, and this is what is exceptional about the campaign,” said Reda Raad, group CEO of TBWA\RAAD.

The move comes amid Facebook’s global ad boycott by major advertisers. When asked how Facebook is working with SMBs to ensure that they feel comfortable using the Facebook family of products and services, Ramez Shehadi, managing director at Facebook MENA, said: “We work closely with our SMB community to reassure them of our approach to hate speech. Facebook stands firmly against hate. We don’t benefit from it and we never have. Our users don’t want to see it and our advertisers don’t want to be associated with it.

“We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies. We’ve opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram. The investments we have made in AI mean that we find nearly 90 percent of hate speech before users report it to us, while a recent EU report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube. We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”


Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

Updated 20 October 2020

Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

  • Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets
  • Shoueiry founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region

RIYADH: Publicis Groupe MEA today announced the departure of Kamal Dimachkie, chief operating officer, Publicis Communications, UAE and Lower Gulf. Dimachkie is a senior executive who joined Leo Burnett in February 1985. The company has appointed Samer Shoueiry to assume the role in conjunction with his current responsibilities as chief digital officer, Publicis Communications, Middle East from Dec. 1. Dimachkie’s decision to leave comes after 33 years with the company. He will leave his current position on Dec. 31 and continue to act in a consultative capacity until June 2021 in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets including the US, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

Raja Trad, executive chairman at Publicis Groupe MEA said: “I respect Kamal’s decision. He has been a friend and a colleague for over three decades, and not just I but the entire Publicis Groupe family will miss him. His tenure at the Groupe has been characterized by a clear commitment to values that are central to our philosophy. Kamal’s adept leadership propelled the agency to new heights — we won more than 250 accolades and added numerous international and local clients to our roster. I want to thank him for his immeasurable contribution to the Groupe and wish him all the best for his professional future.”

Dimachkie added: “Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe have been my life for the past 33 years, and I am proud to have been a part of a glorious journey during which I have had the opportunity to serve the company in different roles in six countries, to have contributed to numerous clients and raised the bar internally and within the industry. Part of this has been the joy of working with a wonderful team and leadership, whom I have partnered with, learnt from and shall forever call my friends and brothers in arms. I am grateful to have lived the glory days of advertising with one of the best agencies in the world and to have worked with some of the most inspiring and creative people. I look forward to working with Samer on the upcoming transition and wish him success in his new role.”

Shoueiry, who will take on Dimachkie’s role, has over 21 years of experience across business, design and innovation. He has consistently delivered a robust performance in Publicis’ Experience Design and Experience Strategy, founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Trad said: “Samer has a record of leadership and value creation, deep experience in generating groundbreaking brand experiences, as well as a focus on strategic design, innovation excellence and a strong technological footing. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him to drive our digital transformation in the region and support the spread of innovation through investments in our people, technology, platforms and tools. Together, we will ensure that we continue to move our business forward in the Connected Age through a data-led, digital-first approach.”

Shoueiry further added: “Kamal has built a strong foundation for future growth, including strengthening our team and expanding our scope of work. The current climate has accelerated digital transformation globally, and we are looking at a future where online and offline coexist to augment consumer experience in an interconnected brand universe. E-commerce is a necessity, digital equities are your flagship stores, search and social your new outdoor. With this new beginning, I will focus on further strengthening our creative strategy-to-results development to offer the best consumer-centric experiences and build brand value.”