We all need a break from informal trade Union protests throughout the usually somnolent Sultanate, and news of evil Dragon Gangs plotting parties with cocktails a-la Molitov in Sohar. At least the press are now helpfully (if unusually) identifying with pictures and names in the Omani press.
This naming and shaming is very strange for the local main stream media, but perhaps the Omani Government is starting to get some help, me thinks, in how to handle propaganda in a more 21st century way. Give these violent miscreants a catchy name! "Dragon gangs"... Sounds terrible. Perhaps Oman's local media are doing what they are told once again.
If it wasn't for Dan in Sohar, we wouldn't really know what was going on at all. Well done and thank you Dan (& Jillian!).
Well, sticking with a media theme, have you heard the latest radio station in Oman on 104.8FM? They are targeting 'cool Omani youth'. Really! At least that's what my media friends in the UAE tell me. It's called "Merge FM".
Oman's new "Merge FM" and their cool new look stationary. Suoper hip and connected to the beat of Oman's young, just not actually broadcasting to Oman's youth right now. K?
You don't have to just believe me, here the new radio station (that doesn't yet exist) is described in 'media marketing creative award-speak' at Dubai Lynx:
The Omani youth lives in a constant struggle to balance local customs with the ever growing western influence. Our goal was to tap into this cultural tension with a positive attitude, creating a brand that was both international and unmistakably Omani.
Describe the brief from the client:
Our client needed to brand their new venture, an English-language radio targeting young Omanis in Muscat.
Description of how you arrived at the final design:
We chose to embrace the change and celebrate the mix of cultures. "Merge" became not just our brand name, but a concept to guide our work. Every piece of design carried on the concept of “merging”, from the message to the way the paper was folded (please have a look at the stationery samples). 5 works of art that portray traditional local elements with a modern perspective were commissioned to renowned Arab artists. These were used as part of all designs to create a strong and lively identity.
Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market:
The radio station is still due to launch soon, but initial business to business activities saw a great response to the fresh new identity.
My friends in Dubai say it has indeed won some awards for ... er... outstanding stationary. And the DJs (imported from the UK and bored out of their brains) have been ready for months, but so far all they've been allowed to broadcast is test tapes due to... red tape.
Given the recent disruptions in Oman's Government and how busy the (not replaced) Minister of Information has been explaining the new policy on what the media should be reporting (ie the Government's POV), who can blame a few hold ups in permits allowing a new Omani radio station, especially one aiming to focus on 'The Omani youth living in constant struggle to balance local customs with the ever growing western influence'. Indeed.
It's all apparently very early days, not to be talked about, hush hush, confidential etc. But perhaps Merge 104.8 FM will one day hum not to the sounds of static, but to the 2 imported* UK DJs who have already been here for 3 months. Watch out Darren Short!!!
Yes, the frustrated unemployed Omani youth is a great media market. Those Kias kitted out with woofers boasting more horse-power than the car's engine need feeding with hip-hop, as the boys endlessly circle the Sohar and Shatti Al Qurm roundabouts, looking for
Guys, instead of doing Dragon-gang violence shit, how about protesting that your own home-boy radio station is being blocked from even broadcasting by 'the man'?
*Now, why can't the DJs be Omani DJs, man?