Copywriter in UAE: Does cleavage sell in Dubai?
You lot just clicked because of the display pic, didn't you? Sort of proves my thesis. But backstory time. Rewind:
It’s just another client meeting. With an agency I know and like. We’re talking social media plans, viral videos, movie scripting and VOs. EPCs vs CPCs. And possibly the odd website. Digital content, they say. SEO optimised, they say.
I nod knowingly. The usual stuff. I'm the copywriter in UAE, after all.
Until, in the spirit of bonhomie, my handler also asks to take over a menial task that is supposedly the purvey of a recently hired buxom peroxide type blonde. And here’s a possible conversation that may or may not have actually happened - it may also be an amalgamation of several such conversations I've had (deniability):
Agency: “We’ll need you to generate content for rapid responses to clients.”
Me: Right you are. What sorta rapid responses? Well-aimed newsletters, a judicious tweet or three, perhaps a tailored prequalification documents with only the salient bits included?
A: No, No. Just responses for those who usually revert to us after a digital enquiry…
Me: Revert…you mean come back to, or reply. You can’t revert to anyone unless you're a future version of them and regressing to apelike qualities…but never mind the pedantism. What’s the nature of this digital enquiry that you send out?
A: Usual electronic means. Online
Me: Er…you mean email?
A: Yes. Email.
Me: So she sends out email business shots. That I wrote for you two months back?
A: Yes, er, you did. We really liked them. Huge clickthrough rate. But we find the response is better still if a female sends them out.
Me: Through her Tinder account? Or just email? Or is sexting part of work protocol too?
A: Look, it’s how the Gulf countries work. We get far better responses from emails sent to clients if a lady sends them. Particularly with an Arabic name.
Me: Righto, and then what does she do with said responses?
A: Pass them onto us. And then if we need catchy words, we ask you to help.
Me: So she doesn’t really reply to them?
A: No, we do.
Needless to say, those ‘rapid responses to clients’ were generated. No problem. It’s what I do. Even if it essentially means answering someone’s emails and getting paid a premium. And everyone’s happy with the lovely rate of conversions we’re achieving on behalf of the client.
But this brings me – in circumlocutious fashion – to the matter at hand.
Whisper it, and whisper it softly, but agencies and event people etc., in the UAE have always known that women have the potential to generate better sales results than men.
Largely gone might be the days – and I remember them well – where every sales job had the requirements “European, CIS, Western educated, European, Australian & NZ only " and any other number of euphemisms that basically went "Woman! Blonde! Blue eyed if possible! Now!" But those job ads still filter through every now and again, don’t they?
Don't believe me? Pull a job search for sales/receptionist position now and see how you go.
In Dubai, women are at a premium for jobs requiring client interaction. Most nightclubs have hostesses, not hosts A simple Facebook search for instance throws up many a good looking lass attached to many a popular Dubai night out.
And then consider this, from someone busted in the UAE cuz they were creating fake female profiles to win in online poker.
“Basically, in this game, people can give other people chips, and when men see a very good-looking girl on the table, and she asks for chips, they send [them to] her."
Or this article on bait female Facebook profiles getting enough of a warm welcome to jeopardise organisational security.
“She's had marriage proposals and people offering to send her plane tickets to New York," said Mr Michaux. "It was absurd. People are somewhat gullible."
Yeah, Don Draper would be proud.
No intention of starting a battle of the genders, but are females be more effective than men in selling and attracting leads in the UAE? Why do you think?
Is it the old canard that men are bas#$r$s, and they're the decision-makers so please them, please? That a lovely pair of pins is fair game to close a sale?Is it older school ideas of chivalry? Or that old truism: sex sells - end of?
What’s your take? Would love to hear from you lot.
Fair warning, though: If I get enough evidence that females actually do better the business bottom line, I might go away only to re-emerge as voluptuous Farah Al Fairbanks, the copywriter, MC and digital content gal. Couldn't hurt. Also, comments under moderation, so might take a few minutes to clear.