Local Relevance & Connection Key To Branding: Peter Kim, Cheil Worldwide


Brands today are moving towards localised and personalised branding to increase the local influence and better connect with consumers. While many markets are doing so, this is being witnessed in the Middle East where brands have tried to drive the local conversation. According to the Chief Digital Officer at Cheil Worldwide, Peter Kim, for the Middle East local relevance and local connection is the key. “Middle East is using technology to have local relevance. A recent initiative by Samsung is taken up during Ramadan where families come together to break their fast, have a point of connection, bringing meaning to their lives in a digital way”.

“Its typically about the biggest. the best, the most, for the UAE region and when you have got that drive and target, we are seeing a lot of potential in this market,” he added.

During his visit to Cannes Lions International festival of Creativity, Mr Kim highlighted trends that will be witnessed in social media in the next 10 years, one of which was social media will be gone.

“Its been about 10 years that we have seen the rise of social media in the corporate sense with many sites having monetised like Twitter or Facebook. The way brands use them is starting to change, the techniques brands use today are losing its effectiveness and the same strategy to drive traffic is getting less effective. Hence, social media will be gone as we see it today.”

Mr Kim points out that with only 4% of the world population connected to high speed internet, this is bound to change. “Certain countries like UAE, South Korea, USA, Finland have widespread broadband coverage and high speed internet, but according to statistics only 4% of the world has broadband. There is still a need to connect more people online and connecting them means having new experiences and new beginnings.”

Showing positivity towards the way brands are budgeting digital revenue, Mr Kim said the consumers are increasingly moving towards digital, which brands are realising. “In the process of changing digital revenue, marketers find that consumers are increasingly moving towards digital. TV won’t die but consumers’ usage online is increasing. One reason for marketers to move towards this is that digital is more accountable and measurable and the entire revenue spent can be tracked and measured.”

Speaking about the Cannes festival, he said with Innovation Lions this year, digital was slowing creeping into awards festivals also. “We are not just seeing a shift of brand budgets there is also a shift of awards. Almost every campaign seen at the festival have the technology element to it. We see the world is becoming digital and the festival reflects that.”

The marketing landscape is seeing a change as now brands have already started focussing more on social movements, on value based messaging, moving towards collectivism rather than consumerism and commercialism.

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