Advertising Creative and Academic
American University in Dubai-Outreach Coordinator and Professor of Advertising
M.Digital.Des. (2006), Queensland College of Art, Australia
B.G.D., American University of Beirut, Lebanon
It was over a decade of serving in the industry when Dina made the switch to academia as Assistant Professor of Advertising at the American University in Dubai. Soon after her academic debut, Dina was appointed as Academic Coordinator for the whole major.
A passionate ad woman at heart, Dina could not stay too far from the industry; In fact, Dina firmly believes that the education of a true creative must engage the professional with the academic in order to offer a relevant, current and competitive education that generates life ready professionals.
Today, Dina, now a full professor of Advertising, curates the Brandvertising Series, to compliment her coursework and to allow for exclusive, direct engagement with award-winning industry professionals, ‘keeping things real and offering life-ready education’.
Dina also actively serves as member of the Board of Directors for the IAA UAE (International Advertising Association, UAE chapter), working to improve standards of best practice within the UAE. Further, Dina played a key role in the naming of AUD as University of the Year at the Dubai Lynx (2015, 2017 and 2018), thanks to the excellence of her student work. Dina was awarded for Excellence in Teaching (2014) by the President of the university and for Professional Engagement (2015 and 2016) by the Provost.
Today, Dina continues to breed award-winning advertising professionals, her #adbeasts, who prove that passion is infectious, every single day.
She is wise, caring, selfless, multitasking and hardworking; she is seductive, feminine, positive and entertaining as well; She is also obedient, fragile, weak and sensitive; but she lacks confidence, needs support and seeks approval. Across the MENA region, this has been the typical female image, as portrayed in advertising. This research aims to prove that, while this image might have been effective in terms of sales, even in brand building, this myth has created some enduring cultural stereotypes that no longer relate to its audiences, that lack creativity and that continuously defy ethics.
This paper aims to take a closer look at the cultural relevance and the impact of such identity myths. It will examine and evaluate female personas consistently portrayed in advertising, starting from initiation and conception: the process of myth creation and storytelling, then on to realization and execution: the communication piece itself, and finally, concluding with results as well as reactions and audience feedback.
Four specific countries will form the base for this research; these are countries known as the leading force behind most of the creativity in advertising within the region: Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and, of course, Saudi Arabia, the largest market in the MENA. Recent TV commercials created for various brand offerings will be evaluated at different levels, through interviews and focus groups:
At first, the strategic planners and advertising creatives behind the campaigns will explain and justify the works and the story of the persona they created. At a second level, male audiences will also be invited to review and assess the commercials. Finally, the originally intended female audience will also evaluate the works and determine how closely do they identify with these celebrated personas.
In conclusion, the research attempts to identify and recommend better practices when building identity myths that would effectively represent and relate to this widely misrepresented audience.
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