Madison’s Thoughts About Video Content In MENA

Video content in the region is on a boom. Many brands like to interact with their clients by producing quality video content.We caught up with the founders of a creative content agency to get their thoughts on state of Video content in MENA.
© Louise Shrigley

What is Video Content to you?

“According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience.” The end goal or objective is to drive the profitable customer to positive action.

We at Madison refer to content as anything that intrigues the online viewer to take interest and engage with the content. Viewers look up different material whether its news, comedy, documentary or others depending on demographics, taste, mood and time in the day.”

In your opinion, what is the current status of Video Content in the MENA region? Any change from the past?

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 11.37.44 PM“Let’s differentiate here. Content produced by individuals is skyrocketing. Arab spring has been a key motivator. Every individual feels the urge to report, to share and to make a statement. We at Madison, The creative content makers focus on commercial brand videos. Our objective is to help clients strengthen their owned media by creating commercial brand videos without sounding like advertising. Commercial video is still in its infancy however we started creating powerful format such as “In the Boardroom” web series, the 1st business web show based on consumer advocacy in the middle east.”

In your opinion, which video content language is leading in the MENA region? Arabic or English?

“Individuals are mainly Arabs and hence arabic content. I would encourage Arabic content across the board except in few markets like the UAE.”

In your opinion, which video content type is leading in the MENA region? Comedy? Entertainment? Edutainment? News?

“Comedy and entertainment are high on search. But again the question is general and depends on the target audience. Our research reveals that Saudi females 25+ are high on search for food recipes. While Saudi male tweens prefer comedy and automotive amateur drifting videos. The demographics are wide and we need platform owners like google to conduct bigger and frequent research.”

In your opinion, which countries are leading on Video Content in the MENA region?

“Morocco, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.”

In your opinion, what is the future of Video Content in the MENA region?

“As i said earlier, it is still in its infancy. At Madison we are currently investing in launching 5 new formats within 2014. Our objective is to provide the viewers with beneficial content that would add value to their knowledge. As such we are committed to creating valuable content. We are about to launch more than 70 minutes of edutainment reaching mothers and children in Saudi with the commitment to help increase happiness at home and help the mothers find new ways on how to engage with children.

Our newest format, would be targeting arab children age 13 to 17. Due to the age group and demographic, we are following a unique edutainment approach which will be engaging to the audience and widely accepted by the parents due to the beneficial message the show carries. Two regional broadcasters are interested in the format at the moment.”

Are advertising / media / digital agencies doing enough to push Video Content in the MENA region?

“There is a general misunderstanding in the market on how to use videos. some Media agencies and digital outfits are comfortable working with traditional planning tools and tend to neglect video unless the material is viral. This excites all of them. However, i ask everyone to commit to creating valuable content that enriches a viewers experience. Looking around the video platforms, you come across many junk videos. If i create a new content that involves using a helicopter to carry an expensive car and throwing it in the sea next to Burj Al Arab, i can guarantee you millions of views however what is the message behind it and how did i benefit the viewer? My intention is to create content that is educating, enriching, motivating and relevant to a specific target audience (not to everyone). That is how you build your online tribe, one step at a time.”

Are there enough / a lot of companies specialized in Video Content productions in the MENA region?

“We at Madison pride ourselves with In the Boardroom, the 1st business web show based on business advocacy in the Middle East, I haven’t seen anything like it. Maybe others will copy and compete which is healthy competition. I understood all the major agencies are starting their own content units but many come to us to create their clients’ content. Production houses on the other hand, who can create compelling content do not want to anger the agencies and so need agencies like Madison to mirror their work with clients. We are in a unique position that enables us to work with the three of them Client, Agencies and Production Houses.”

Are brands receptive of Video Content production in the MENA region?

“Majority of our clients are multinationals who are very eager to create compelling content and share the same vision of Madison of creating good content.  To answer your question, we have created more than 120 webisodes in a quarter. So, yes clients are receptive. Our target is to produce 500 webisodes in the next 12 months.”

On top of your mind, can you please name a couple of brands being avant guardists with regards to Video Content?

“Jaguar Middle East and Nestle Middle East. The two brands will lead in their own category.”

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