Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jumeirah and all that Burj

When it comes to a company which own the likes of Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and The Emirates Towers, cutting the 'International' out of it's name and acquiring a new identity does not come cheap.

$8 Million to be precise.

The expectations could have been enormous, but I thought Gregg Sedgwick did a decent job in developing the new identity. Consolidating the Jumeirah brand especially when considering the larger-than-life projects were already well-established was never going to be easy.

So is the Burj Al Arab really too big to do any marketing? I decided to find out.

If you are one among the lucky few who has got hold of a Burj Al Arab Brochure or managed to have a good look at it (it is said that only a few copies were printed and a reprint is highly unlikely) you will wonder if you are 'that' lucky.
There is some great photography and lots of gold, but nothing to suggest that you are reading about an architectural wonder or that it costs 250 Dhs just to have a close to look at it. The opulence in the photos itself is a bit hard for the eyes, which is probably why the creative agency decided to avoid more design elements.

I was never a fan of the Burj Al Arab logo (which reminds me of the belly of a clumsy pregnant woman). The copy is a bit flowery too, understatements not being the norm in this part of the world.

All said and done, no amount of advertising can beat a Tiger Woods playing a tee shot or an Andre Agassi vs Roger Federer on the hotel helipad.

I am taking a look at the Madinat Jumeirah and a few other high profile projects on how they do their marketing, how they send VIP invitations and the thought processes behind it.


Blogger Jump Images said...

I'm not sure I agree with your comment regarding: "So is the Burj Al Arab really too big to do any marketing?"

When you are an icon, as Burj al Arab is - you don't need to gloat. Their approach helps to reinforce the image of 'class' they have worked so hard to build.

That said - I'd love to see a copy of that!

5:51 pm  
Blogger Woke said...

"So is the Burj Al Arab really too big to do any marketing?" was a question. I never concluded likewise.

Infact, I have also mentioned what they gained out of PR can never be gained from advertising/marketing.

5:55 pm  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I thought the entire overpriced re-branding was an absolute pile of shite.

Pretty much every person I know in the media and PR industry here delights in deliberately referring to the company as often as possible "Jumeirah International". And even those that don't do it out of malice do it out of practicality - how else to differentiate from Jumeirah-the-suburb?

Never has eight million dollars (and my sources put it multiple times higher than that) been so ill-spent.

2:20 am  
Blogger Woke said...

I think the idea of rebranding and consolidation made business sense for Jumeirah International as a Group. But the choice of cutting out the 'international' was more on the lines of an international trend which hardly made any sense because of the reasons you specified.

I think $30 Million was the figure quoted, but that includes the advertising campaigns and events as well.

8:35 am  
Anonymous boing boing said...

Woke: 8 million for what? What exactly does that logo represent to the average Joe public? Is it a flame? If so, what's the link? Or is it a "J"? Too convoluted to be a "J". Is it the Arabic letter "jeem"? No, because that requires a dot underneath, otherwise it would be a "hah". So what is it? Who knows? What is it's appeal--is it some very nice funky shape? No sir. if anyone knows anything about what this eight-million-dollar logo represents, I'd love to know...then I can pass it on to Mr Average Joe Public.

2:37 pm  
Blogger Woke said...

Boing boing,
Im not justifying the 8 millions spent. Maybe some start up rookie agency could have done the same logo. Aesthetically, I like how it looks - not necessarily in terms of branding. Whether it has some rationale or some relevance or attached to the region is another story altogether.

Nice funky shape sounds more like it.

3:14 pm  

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