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‘Online branded content likely to pick up in 2015’



The trend of brands creating and curating content online is likely to pick up in 2015, says Darius Labelle, head of creative strategies for the Mena region at Havas Digital, who spoke at the arab luxury world conference, which is concluding today (Tuesday, June 3).


“Over the past few years, we have heard a lot about brands as publishers. Hopefully, next year we will see that happening for the first time,” he says at a panel session, entitled: It’s All About Content.


He adds that the way advertising is evolving will help drive luxury content online. “We are moving into a model that is multiscreen. Content that is being created for TV or online needs to move across mobile, desktop platforms and social platforms, among others”, so this will add to the digital content space.


While highlighting the importance of adopting a multi-channel approach, the session’s panellists also stressed on the need to keep the messaging consistent across different platforms.


With the rise of the use of mobile phones, it may become essential for brands to adapt messages to a smartphone audience or create content specifically for mobile, says Berengere Chardier, marketing manager at


According to Labelle, one of the challenges luxury brands in the region face with regards to online content is the lack of a “cohesive governance model”.


“A lot of brands locally are keen to get on social media, start developing their own content and [have] very sound strategies, which, when sent up to the global [headquarters], end up being shot down, simply because a structure doesn’t exist in order to implement it or there is not  model in place,” he points out.


Amira Rashad – head of media at Yahoo! Middle East, Africa and Turkey – adds that over the past few years, brands have become more aware of the large role user-generated content plays: “Advertisers are realising that they can shape the conversation and have more leverage beyond a 30-second ad or [the piece of content they produce]. So, strategies have evolved to embrace more of the technology and to realise that it is a moving, mouldable product that changes.”


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