Arab Mothers Feel Misrepresented by Advertising Industry: Report

The Arabian advertising industry says it’s necessary for brands to target “mothers” as they drive 70 to 80 percent of purchase decisions. But a recent study “Marketing to Arab Mothers”, a survey of 6,200 Arab mothers conducted by Webedia, highlights that 77 percent of respondents feel they are misrepresented and 67 percent feel the image portrayed doesn’t represent reality.

George Maktabi, CEO of Webedia Group, says the study reveals alarming findings on the nature of the advertising sector at a time when Arab mothers are going through important societal and professional transformations. The study does not discredit the advertising sector, but draws attention to the grave lapses and puts forward a recovery and transformative roadmap that puts the people back at the center.

advertising Women in Arab countries find themselves torn between opportunity and tradition

Ahmad Abu Zannad, founder and lead strategist at Native, believes data on media consumption could reveal important findings on the digital identity and online behavior of female-Arab consumers. However, he warned of the allure of assuming to know her inside-out. “The reality is deeper and much more complex for an Arab woman. And the assumptions that we know her are resulting in ads she doesn’t even relate to.” He believes the approach of finding where she is and intrusively bombarding her with messages she doesn’t necessarily relate to, has become outdated. “Arab mothers have become outspoken and more decisive.”

“Marketing to Arab Mothers” revealed alarming but insightful findings. It said 82 percent of the surveyed Arab mothers do not see themselves in the ads that they encounter, 77 percent of respondents feel they are misrepresented, and 67 percent feel the image portrayed doesn’t represent reality.

More than half of those surveyed, that is about 56 percent, saw zero similitude between their identity as Arab mothers and the image presented to them in ads. As such, they prefer to visit diverse platforms because they do not relate to one identity. This means that multiple identities define them. It also means that a meaningful marketing campaign is one that succeeds in presenting content that reconciles these multiple identities in a manner that is engaging, trustworthy and empowering.

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