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