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Mon 31 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Time for procrealligence

A brand new word sums up Impact/BBDO’s refined approach to the media business. Alain Khouri, chairman and CEO, explains more.

|~|alain.jpg|~|Alain Khouri: enriching the English language.|~|A new word has entered the English language: Procrealligence. This amalgamation of the words pro-activity, creativity and intelligence is the work of Impact/BBDO Group, one of the Middle East’s top marketing and communications firms, and is designed to sum up its new corporate vision. Alain Khouri, chairman and CEO, explained more.

What is Impact/BBDO?

Impact is a media company I started in Lebanon in 1971, and today it is part of BBDO, which is again part of Omnicom. In 1979, we merged with BBDO when they bought a substantial minority and since that day we’ve been working very closely together. We also have OMD, Impact Porter Novelli and Impact Proximity [media buying, PR and online divisions.]

Why did you decide to go for a slogan like this?

It’s not a slogan. If it was a slogan, I would not dare publicise it on the TV or in the press. It’s a credo and believe me, it’s not a joke.

To get there took us a year and a half. It’s very difficult to get to one word that encapsulates what you want you to be, what you want your team to be and what you want your product to be. I thought the best way was to put everything into one word. It’s difficult to memorise, difficult to forget. But it encapsulates everything I want us to be.

What is more important in life than to be proactive, creative and intelligent? My belief is that if we can encapsulate this in our people, it will become second nature.

We will be the best agency around. As a very active member of the BBDO Worldwide network since 1979, Impact/BBDO shares the international organisation’s positioning. This positioning is: The work. the work. the work. This will allow us to deliver the work, the work, the work.

When will you use this word?

It will be used inside the agency. We will not use it outside or next to the name. My dream is that this will become reality here inside this agency, in every one of us. Everyone should have this attitude. People will enjoy their work better.

If you do not enjoy work, imagine how bad it is. If you do something that is procrealligent, you will feel a lot better and work with pleasure. When we interview someone, every time we evaluate someone, every time we evaluate our work, it will be based on this. It should become a way of life.

How will this word benefit clients?

Taken separately, these words are part of the claim many agencies make. In fact, most agencies tend to promote their creativity. Some mention pro-activity in providing strategic input to their clients and some even use words such as smart or insightful to cover the intelligence turf.

But Impact/BBDO wanted to be the only communications group to offer a combination of pro-activity, creativity and intelligence and we wanted to own those three words in a convincing, unique, provable way in order to clearly capture those values. So, the decision was taken to combine those three words into a single one.

Is this new vision based on the findings from any research conducted?

Absolutely. The decision to adopt a new vision for the group is a direct result of market research conducted in 2003. This research was aimed at assessing new positioning opportunities for the group and at capturing a better understanding of what today’s clients expect from their regional and local advertising and communication partners.

Do people ask what this word means every time they see it?

I’ve been asked so many times, I’ve become fluent in explaining it. Everyone in advertising will hopefully use this word one day.

What will your competitors say?

I have a competitor whom I respect a lot and he liked the concept, but he was not enamoured by the word. One thing I can say is that I am very serious about it. All the management is in love with the concept and the people in the agency are taking it very seriously.

Why do this now?

It is not everyday that an agency takes the deliberate decision to re-invent itself, particularly when this agency is enjoying a leading position and reputation in its market.

But it is by far better to take the initiative of a new vision when you are successful, because an improvement from such a position of strength stands a very good chance of leading to excellence.

It’s about the future, about people bring procrealligent.||**||

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