Tag Archives: advertising

UAE Marketing Misses

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Language is a funny thing.  Language interpretation is even funnier sometimes.  In my shopping here (which happens WAY too much) I’ve found some advertising copy that just misses the mark for me, or that truly made me laugh out loud…. So you gotta know, right?  Read on…..

A local luxury hotel chain’s loyalty program (Rotanarewards.com) advertises “When exclusive is not so much a privilege, but a lifestyle.”  So, wait.  Does that mean they’re too exclusive for me?  If my lifestyle is already exclusive, does this add privilege?  Or perhaps I’m so privileged that this exclusivity should be my lifestyle…..  I’m not certain exactly who this one is aimed at, but I’m guessing it’s not me or the other 85% of the population here made up of expats ….. not sure.

Be-dazzled duster and dustpan – I have no explanation.  Does it make your cleaning cleaner, maybe?  Things sparkle more?  Try for the life of me,  I have no clue about this one.

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And soap with a “killer price” – literally?

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This was a giggle too, who names a sports drink “sweat”??  Apparently, this company does…..

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I didn’t get a photo of this one, but one of the handbills on a light post downtown advertised “House Shifting”.  My first thought was that perhaps it was something to do with house-movers, like I’ve seen in the states…. They literally move houses from one location to another.  But, one of our neighbors here has lived in Dubai since 1998, and talked about “shifting” from one neighborhood to this so that’s how I learned that it meant moving!

And, in the toilet paper department….  The always-popular “puppies on a roll”.  *shrug*  I honestly got nothing on this one, can’t for the life of me fit anything into that line.

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Or, how about one enriched with shea butter.  I mean, what the heck use is that??  Not sure I actually *want* my toilet paper enriched with anything, thank you…..

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Or this one, advertised by a sultry-speaking woman….”Andrex classic white.  Soft, Strong, and Veeerrrry Long”.  <snort>

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Now, I’ve never personally had one….. but this was certainly eye-opening….. a bust-firming massage???  Holy cow….

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Or the popular tapioca-pearled drinks called “Boba”….. this one has an interesting attribute…. It’s “fatally fruity!”

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While we’re talking about drinks…. Check out these… um….. well, if you can’t read the label, turn it over!

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Cute little drawstring teabags – took me a bit to figure these out once I got them home….

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And here, the Thai Dried Plasaitan.  Otherwise known as “deaddriedfishinabag”.  :::shudder:::

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Hhmmmm…. Something from cows that you can turn into a mexican-looking flan with a perfect crunch topping.  *snap*  Got it.  Sweetened condensed milk…. There it is, in tiny little letters.  But isn’t the packaging brilliant?  No more scraping that thick stuff out of a can that’s got sharp edges and you never get the last bit out…..

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Just squeeze it up and done.  Less space in the landfills, less space on the shelves of both the grocery and your pantry.  Lighter weight too.  Brilliant idea!  Here’s another along the same line… I love these bags!  “Honey, run to the cold store and get me a bag of spaghetti sauce!”.

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How about some pocket tissues?  Cute little dotted bag, would be easy to slip into my handbag…… wait, WHAT does it say??

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“The plant has strong vitality.  It grows into beautiful flowers and fruits and moisten our lives”.   Okay…..

Now this is cute…. Took me a minute or two….

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Get it?  “jiggle it loose”??  It’s a spray lubricant!  Kinda like WD-40, I’m guessing.

One of my favorites so far that even made TBG laugh outright was this one…. A local propane/LP gas delivery company has its company name emblazoned on the delivery trucks…. And it truly tickled my American sense of humor.

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Get it?  “Al Boom”??  “Boom” like an explosion…. And it’s a propane truck?  I think the cartoon character Hank Hill of the FX TV show “King of the Hill” would appreciate that humor, don’t you??

Anyhow, just a few of the things that have caught my eye that didn’t translate as expected.

Door Mail – we get Door Mail

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And yes, that was a really bad play on the words from the US television show “Survivor” where they get “tree mail”……

Dubai has no real Postal Service like westerners are accustomed to.  So how do you get all that good junk mail??  Well, necessity is the mother of invention, right?  Ya get Door Mail.

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Mail that gets stuck to your door, hung off the door handle, tucked in the cracks, woven through the wrought iron, however it can be stuck on or around your door, it is.  And, what exactly *comes* as door mail you ask?  Menus,  newsletters,  sales flyers, advertising cards, lost cat flyers, newspapers, catalogs, brochures and more menus.  Here are a few photos of some of our daily door mail…

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The lack of street addresses means that any type of postal service customarily found in other countries is not possible here.  If you want an address, you can rent a Post Office Box here (starting around $600USD per year  if I recall correctly) and you have the ability to go to the Post Office here and pick up any mail you might receive.  Or, opt for home delivery 3x a week at a cost of around $1200USD per year, and you must buy their box, and pay to have it installed according to their directives.  So, if you’ve really been missing all the junk mail, catalogs, flyers and ads, you can get it, you just gotta pay.

Locating things here is interesting.  Some streets have no name or number, most buildings are known by the largest entity occupying them, or by a name.  But there is no such thing as an address that looks like

Bobby Jones

123 Woodham Way

Central, KS 11101

An address on someone’s business card might look like this….

Jafar’s Worldwide Carpets

Jumeirah Plaza, Close to Trade Center Roundabout, Across from Amman’s Auto Repair

3rd floor, Suite 308

974.351.6751

So, pretty much if you can’t find someone’s shop based on their description, you call for directions.

But what about all those flyers?  The junk mail, the ads, the sale papers screaming about how much money you can save??  How do they actually arrive at your door as door mail?  They’ve got a guy for that – driving around neighborhoods, attaching these to doors.  Bingo – jobs created.  What’s that?  What about if you go on vacation or holiday you ask?  Well then, your door looks like this….

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And yet *another* opportunity for some enterprising soul to begin a business to remove all those items from your door so it’s not so obvious that you’re not at home.  Could create even MORE jobs!