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May 2020

  • 1985: Founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the relief of famine in Ethiopia, the star-studded Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia rock the entire world.

This is scary! Thirty-five years since we started our agency ­– Graffiti… So long ago that François even had hair back then! 😬 How time has flown…

1985: It started as a one-man band, with – a bit later – the very first Mac II ever on the island, brought over from France (40MB HD and 2MB RAM if you please! Unheard of, mind-blowing power back then!). But very soon this was no longer enough. Clients flocked. Regional accounts: TNT Skypak, Elopak, UTA French Airlines. Local ones: Directorate of Tourism, Arabian Exhibition Management, Alba, Banoco, Banagas, GPIC, Balco, Hempel Paints, Hilton Hotel, Banque Indosuez – to name but a few. It wasn’t long before we had to recruit and move from our one-desk office to a bigger space. Recruit again. Move again 🚚📦. Before we knew it there were 17 of us and growing, a trove of Macs, and we’d taken over an entire floor of our old building, in town, behind the British Embassy. And then a floor and a half…

1992: One fine day George Middleton – the one and only – shows-up in our office with grand plans to build a publishing empire 🗺. But he needed a partner. We struck a deal and “The Bahrain Official Pocket Guide” was born. It’s only after some twenty editions or so that we mutually agreed to part ways (most amicably so, I must add): we each had different plans for the future. He went on with Red House Marketing and we carried on as Graffiti – the friendship unscathed.

1993: Phone rings: “knock-knock who’s there?” DDB Worldwide, looking to build a network in Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi, Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait, initially for their prized client Volkswagen. A few more calls, a couple of quick meetings here and there – Manana, Jeddah, Dubai, Paris – and boom… abracadabra ✨: suddenly we were DDB Bahrain!

2020: How did time go by so fast??? It’s not always been an easy ride for sure, but we’re still here, still kicking and full of beans, and looking forward to many more years to come. Naturally, a big huge thank you to all those who have supported us along the way, and to all those who continue to do so: clients, suppliers, team members, partners, freelancers, friends and buddies of all sorts.

Sob, sob, sob…. OK, guys, enough reminiscing now 😢. Come on, let’s get back to work! Chop-chop.

  • Above left: Evolving identity over 35 years

  • Above right: Part of the team back in 1992 (just for the record: no internet, no email, no smart phones, no Facebook yet 😜)

  • Above left: May 2020 – Celebrating our 35th with panache and gusto

  • Above right: First issue of the Bahrain Official Pocket Guide, 1993

  • Above left: The first Macintosh II in Bahrain, 1987

  • Above right: First DDB Middle East agencies regional meeting, Bahrain, 1994


November 2019

For the fifth year running we worked very closely with the Al Muhaidib Group on planning and organizing their Annual Senior Management Conference, held this year at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa.

This is not just the event branding, but more importantly, selecting and planning ✏️📋 hand-in-hand with their corporate communications team, a theme, a title (“Dare to Thrive!”), content, flow, agenda and so on for the event; recommending, sourcing, commissioning and managing top notch keynote speakers, and of course, collaborating on all aspects of the management of the event.

The successful two-day conference was, as always, an amazingly enlightening and inspiring event, with an array of fantastic regional and international speakers sharing their outstanding experience and insights. We were delighted, this year, to recommend, invite and handle all arrangements for two notable such speakers: Nour Al Hassan, founder & CEO of Tarjama, and George Strakhov, European Strategy Director at DDB Worldwide.

Nour spoke of her brilliant path to success, ground-breaking innovation and novel thinking as an independent, Arab, female entrepreneur, and George, as the closing keynote speaker, literally blew everyone’s mind with his amazing, jaw-dropping “Stop Talking to Robots” presentation!!! 🤖🤯

  • Above: Nour Al Hassan and George Strakhov speaking at the Al Muhaidib Executive Conference 2019. Attendees at the conference.

We can now only look forward to working on next year’s event with the great Al Muhaidib corporate communications team. As for now, beyond surviving, let’s all “Dare to Thrive!”


November 2019

In a most impressive process, our client Sulb manufacture all sorts of steel sections – right here in Bahrain (as well as in Saudi). Literally coming over the fence from sister concern Bahrain Steel, the raw material – in the form of high-quality iron ore pellets – is converted into white-hot molten steel 🔥🥽👨‍🏭 and then formed into a variety of billets, beams, angles and other products. Whilst the vast majority of the production is made to order, Sulb were keen to make extra stocks and scraps available for purchase through an auction process.

This is when they thus commissioned us to develop from scratch an entirely bespoke online auction system to meet every single one of their very specific requirements in this regard.

Working in very close collaboration with our IT solutions partners in India and to a solid and comprehensive brief from Sulb’s marketing and IT teams, the system gradually took shape, overcoming a number of challenges before going through multiple testing 🤓🔎 and refinement phases. The first real life online auction took place earlier this month with our developers ready on hand to immediately address any teething problem in real time, should one come-up. But thankfully, on the day there were none and the whole process worked like a dream 😌. More auctions are coming up soon and thereafter, and as our IT teams remain on stand-by just in case, we look forward to our continued and extensive collaboration with Sulb, Bahrain Steel and Foulath Holding Group and wish them all the best in their respective and mutual ongoing success.



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