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Sun 20 Nov 2005 04:00 AM

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Makeover helps MBC4 target Saudi women

Pan-Arab channel MBC4 has received a makeover, thanks to TV star Oprah Winfrey.

Pan-Arab channel MBC4 has received a makeover, thanks to TV star Oprah Winfrey.

The channel unveiled a new identity and schedule on Saturday, with the American chat show queen at the heart of its weekday programming.

The move is part of a commercial drive to make the channel more appealing to young women in Saudi Arabia.

Andrew Maskall, marketing manager for MBC2 and 4, said: “We have found that the biggest hit with our viewers has been Oprah. So we have identified a commercial gap in the market — an opportunity for targeting younger females.

“The thinking behind this campaign is all about Saudi women expressing themselves within the boundaries of their culture.”

Broadcaster MBC teamed up with Jeddah-based advertising agency 3Points to produce the new identity for the station and its accompanying slogan: “It’s for you!”

An ad campaign supports the rebrand, with backlit posters in beauty salons and women’s universities in Saudi Arabia, and print ads in leading women’s magazines.

The creative shows Saudi women dressed in modern clothing that adheres to local dress codes. They are shot against bright and colourful backgrounds. “We have been a bit different with this campaign. The girls in the ads are covered up, but in a very fashionable way,” said Maskall.

The new weekday schedule is built around Oprah and also includes the final season of American drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer and imported reality shows like Supernanny and American Princess.

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