Tony Ting’s Afghanistan experience

“In total, I spent seven days in Kabul. Before I boarded the plane, I wrote a will. I’m just kidding. The danger in Kabul was real. But I never felt my life was in danger at all. When I was there, Roshan put my safety first. I don’t have many pictures to show because I was told not to take any pictures when there were soldiers and policemen. Everywhere I looked, there were soldiers and policemen. It’s a pity because Kabul is absolutely stunning with its majestic mountains. I enjoyed the food, especially the fruits and vegetable. I was told they were locally farmed. They were 100% organic. I didn’t know cucumbers could actually be sweet, until I tasted one in Kabul.  When things are calmer, I would like to visit Kabul as a full-fledged tourist.”

– Tony Ting

kabul_2

Tonic International in 2015

It’s end December already and I can’t believe 2015 is almost over. This was a already a year ago.

We started the year on a massive high after winning the Starz Play launch for media, advertising and branding; a massive project that kept us very busy for the first half of the year. The most interesting project was the YouTube Masthead we produced in May, which is now a new benchmark that Google uses.

Tonic Branding was also very busy during that first half. Yaraan by Roshan was created and launched in time to become a commercial success. They won international awards such as Silver at the Transform Awards.

Roshan also picked up the prestigious Top 10 Most Innovative companies in Social Good.

In February we finished the production for the global launch of the all-new Audi A6.

The tonic team grew rapidly too. We were around 40 at the end of 2014 and almost 70 mid 2015. This resulted in a completely modernized media team, able to manage everything digital, from research to RTB, search and analytics. Our creative team grew three fold in that same period. All these newbies also perpetuated tonic’s tradition to cook for the rest of the team. For an entire week we enjoyed them cooking for us.

In the summer we were busy consolidating; putting in place new systems to manage a team that size.

We then also launched Audi Challenges Arabia, which saw 3 films so far (R8 Challenge, Elevation and Number 10). This redefined how we can leverage our social media platforms to strengthen Audi’s brand image.

Tonic_Elevation_ShootA lot of clients were also very busy on social media this year and it is set to continue growing on 2016.

Working since 2011 with Yas Waterworld paid off this year when they won the best Print Media campaign at the World Waterpark Association Show in Santa Fe for the Yas Waterworld’s Emirati Adventures Brand Campaign.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 10.20.52 AMOur Christmas party hosted our most successful potluck ever, an epic HintHunt competition and the longest game of beer pong in history. This was only the last of a long list of good parties. In 2015 we celebrated 3-Kings, Easter, Halloween, and Diwali as we should.

Tonic_Diwali

At the end of the year we worked with cooler brands, most visible Wendy’s. We also worked on a lot of projects for Emaar and Jumeirah. DP World, our client of 8 years, also decided 2015 was a good year to start advertising again.

Our Tonicians were blessed with a lot of babies this year. Congratulations to Amr, Karen, Alice, Walaa, Jinto and Michelle.

We end 2015 on a high, an ideal place to hit 2016 running.

Yas Waterworld Wins Best Print Media Campaign

On October 23rd, our Yas Waterworld’s Emirati Adventures Brand Campaign won as the best Print Media campaign at the World Waterpark Association Show held in Santa Fe.

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is a themed waterpark based on a legend that represents Emirati Culture and heritage. The brand campaign brief was to develop the 2015 image building campaign for the now established Yas Waterworld, and to introduce the new additions to the park that further cement the Emirati experience at the park.

Philippa Kevan from Yas Waterworld explains about the brief and how we helped:

“With the latest attractions to reinforce our message as an Emirati themed waterpark, we faced the challenge of promoting the ideal destination for a fun family day out without overlooking that first and foremost, we are a waterpark. Tonic created the award winning ‘Emirati Adventures’ which did exactly that.”

The park was introducing camel rides, falcon photo opportunities and additional attractions. Thus the creative focused on incorporating the camel and a falcon in a story where they get dressed up in swimming gear as they make their way through the desert to Yas Waterworld.

The campaign served to highlight Yas Waterworld’s authentic Emirati theme while staying fun and refreshing.

FullSizeRender[4]

The shoot was just as legendary as the campaign. In 50 degree summer heat, we used a 42 meter high crane to lift our team of photographers and art directors to achieve a great ariel shot of the park. It doesn’t get more authentic than this! The photographers and retouchers were Staudinger+Franke, and as always, they helped bring the vision to life.

The campaign was aired all across UAE and targeted to tourists through print ads, outdoor, social media, digital screens and digital banners.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 10.21.21 AM Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 10.20.52 AM

-Reem Al Shak’a

13 Things to know before you become a Tonician

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  1. We all have cool titles on our business cards, so pick yours very carefully. It needs to be creative. We are judgmental folk and will not be kind when teasing you for your lame-o title
  2. All our lunch conversations (and throughout the day) are about TV shows. We are obsessed with TV shows! So you need to be up to date with TV and know when Fargo’s season 2 airs the first episode and what happened on the last episode of Game of thrones!
  3. We are also obsessed with food. Tonic is going to be hard for you is you are happy eating cardboard. If you know the hidden food gems that serve the best biryani – we are all ears. (and we automatically like you) Be warned, if it is a poor food recommendation you will lose some serious points.
  4. We are extremely politically incorrect. Yes, there are several jokes and remarks that are passed around, and you better be thick-skinned. However we can afford to be politically incorrect because no one nationality is a majority in Tonic. No, we don’t have a mafia.
  5. We don’t believe in cubicles or personal offices. Everyone sits next to each other regardless of title and in some cases discipline. We do have meeting rooms for brainstorming, gossiping and napping.
  6. We are an opinionated bunch. If you are a yes-man (or woman) then Tonic isn’t right for you. It just means that you don’t care enough. #SorryNotSorry
  7. We LOVE to party! Halloween, Christmas, 3 kingsmen, birthdays, baby showers – all a big deal! Participation in these events is important. Oh, and for Christmas, we have mean Tonic awards that we give out to the staff.
  8. Know your history! You need to know the fundamentals. If you do not know about the Apple 1984 commercial or the Old Spice campaign or the Red Bull Felix Baumgartner activation – we don’t have anything to discuss.
  9. Once you have been Tonic’d, it never leaves you. We are still in touch with ex-colleagues, they come by and say hi often and some of them even come back to work at Tonic.
  10. Never, ever, ever think of using Mamta’s red polka dot mug…unless you are ready to face the consequences.
  11. A lot of important discussions happen by the Nespresso machine – so being a mocha-head is a plus.
  12. We don’t like ‘Normal’. Normal is boring. If you are quirky, passionate and celebrate your idiosyncrasies (and everyone else’s) then you are right for Tonic.
  13. We classify people we interview as Sunshine people and Sunset people. We only hire Sunshine people.

 

-Mamta Varerkar

Tonic & Audi All-New Q7 #ExperienceGreatness

Last weekend we were invited to the launch event of the all-new Audi Q7 in the Middle East. Thanks to Audi’s attention to details and an amazing new Q7, it  was a fantastic day.

We started with a briefing in Downtown Dubai.

Q7 EG 1

Followed by a technical drive in Dubai’s latest upmarket District One. Pretty scary…

Q7 EG 2

Then we went into the desert and discovered new lakes to experience why this SUV is the flagship of the quattro range.

Q7 EG 3

The all-new Audi Q7 rules.

How to become a booming DJ

If you’re thinking about trying your luck as a DJ, here’s a little guide that might come in handy. I was asked to try and somehow link my experience as a DJ back to advertising and while I thought it would be difficult, writing this made me realize there’s definitely some interchangeable skills. Whether it’s about understanding the content you’re working with or making sure you know your audience, there are quite a few similarities. But nobody’s bothered about that, being a DJ is cool so just read on.

  1. Like music

Before you can be a DJ, you have to actually like music. If you’re the type of person that spends more time taking selfies or telling people about your “cheeky Nando’s” than actually listening to music, do yourself and everybody else a favour – DO NOT BECOME DJ.

 

  1. Know your music

Better than having the latest all-singing, all-dancing, all-lighty-up-and-flashy DJ equipment is to simply know your music. While you may look like the captain of the USS Enterprise behind your controller, it’s likely your set will have less charisma than Spock with a cold.

 

  1. Get some gear

Once you know your music, get some gear. The type of gear you get will depend largely on how fat your pockets are, but also the type of music you’re likely to play. If you’re into hip-hop, go for turntables. House, buy CDJs. EDM, just get the controller with the most lights within your budget.

 

  1. Have patience

Learning how to mix or even play two records that work well in sequence requires knowledge and skill. Knowing your fader from your filter, your funk from your folk will come with practice. Just stick at it and you’ll be smashing it in no time. Unless you play EDM, in which case DO NOT BECOME A DJ.

 

  1. Get a gig

De La Soul once prophesised, “Everybody wants to be a DJ”. They were right and that means getting a gig is easier said than done – unless you play EDM, in which case you just need a sleeve, a fruity pair of Nike Air Huaraches and ideally a couple of shuffling female mates. For the rest of us, it takes talent and effort. Social media channels and music sharing sites allow you share your music and skills, but moreover, attend the events you want to play at and meet the promoters.

 

  1. Know your audience and environment

Just like any form of communication you need to understand who you’re communicating to and the environment your doing it in. Yes it’s good to be versatile with your style, but that One Direction jam probably isn’t going to hype an audience expecting a Skrillex number. When you’ve got your gig, keep your head up, don’t hide behind your laptop and be aware of your environment.

 

  1. Don’t plan your set

Unless you’re expected to perform a specific repertoire, don’t plan your set. Not only will you have the flexibility to mix things up if your performance is going down like a stale cream cracker, you’ll also challenge and enjoy yourself more.

 

  1. Don’t be homophobic

Despite the fact you shouldn’t be homophobic anyway, don’t be a homophobic DJ. Two words: Ten Walls.

 

  1. Have fun

Smile and people smile back. Just as it goes for life, it goes for DJ-ing. Being in control of the music gives you power. If you’re enjoying yourself, it’ll rub off hugely on your audience.

 

By Ben Sharpley – senior business manager

What adland can learn from the ‘Uber-all’ economy?

First of all, you might ask yourself, what the heck is the Uber-all economy? Well, if you know Uber, you might be aware that they have completely hijacked the taxi industry (positively for us, transport users, but slightly more negatively for traditional taxi companies).

But if you’ve slept under a rock over the last 2 years and you have no clue of what Uber is or what it stands for, here is the most important principle that guides a brand willing to venture in the Uber-all business world:

No product or category benefit is exclusive to any particular product form or retail location.

In other words, this means that all benefits can be made available to consumers in many ways – not necessarily in the most acceptable and widespread fashion. It seems like a pretty harmless concept but in reality this is very threatening for these monsters of the corporate world that made status quo their national sport (just like taxi companies).

How does it work in real life?

Say you have already the entrepreneur spirit inside you, you might be thinking the Uber-all way without actually knowing it. According to J. Walter Smith from Futures Company, a typical Uber-all model should follow 3 parameters (see image below).

Uber-All Model-Tonic-International
Source: “The Uber-all economy: A Challenge to traditional business models”. J Walter Smith, Market Leader, Quarter 2 2015.

In the end, I think the Uber-all model goes beyond the reengineering of how the benefit is delivered to people. I believe it’s also a very valuable attitude we should all have. Thinking the Uber way means you’re willing to act like a smarter and more aggressive version of the typical notion of “challenger”.

And what’s the link with the profession of marketer?

I’ve explained it earlier, a Uber-all business model is about reengineering how benefits are profitably delivered to users. Ultimately, it’s also about finding a way to delight and satisfy better people’s need.

Does it ring anything familiar in your mind? To me, the whole Uber-all story rimes a lot with the practice of the modern marketer profession. Think about it, there are so many commonalities.

Regarding the parameter #1 (the service), Mr. Walter Smith says:

“Products and goods must add a service or find a service in which to get embedded. Products have to act like services. The value of products has to be more than the product itself. Service brands need to innovate what they do in order to stay ahead of the broader conversion of value in every category into something tied to service.”

If you look at how advertising works these days, it’s less about enormous 360 degrees campaign involving millions of media spend and more about creating meaningful brand experiences and in the best case scenario, embedding a service in the product that solves people’s problem.

Assuming Mr. Walter Smith wasn’t explaining the Uber-all concept within a marketing-only framework, the quote below also sounds like music to my ears.

“The concept at work here is conversion. If a brand is not a service today, its value needs to be tied to service, and this service should convert a poor asset into a more valuable one.”

For us, marketers, it basically means that brands failing to convert their mere product benefit into something more useful for their users will rapidly fall into the commodity trap.

As a proof that we should all do a bit more of Uber-all thinking when we solve briefs, it turns out that a lot of the best work out there can very well fit at least in one or both of the Uber-all parameters. Here are some examples below:

PERSONAL SERVICE (service embedded in the product)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6lyEu25yhc]

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwB3kGCXeWY]

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD0AC43fc_4]

 

ON-DEMAND (availability anytime, anywhere) + PERSONAL SERVICE (service embedded in the product)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swud-0QENqA]

 

PRICING (pricing by usage)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0FowbxEe3w]

 

To conclude, remember one thing next time you get a client brief: products have to act like services and solve a problem or at least enhance the current brand experience. Otherwise, it could be the beginning of the end.

Source: “The Uber-all economy: A Challenge to traditional business models“. J Walter Smith, Market Leader, Quarter 2 2015.

Tonic 2015 Newbies

We have been growing a lot in 2015, and we’ve been so busy we completely forgot to introduce most of our newbies.

We’ve had creatives galore:

Cristiano Tonnarelli – Human Being After All

Cristiano

Award-winning thinker. Scuba diver. Inventor. Destroyer. Gifted. Giver. Travel buff. Inactive. Writer. Reader. Lover. Inattentive.

Executive Creative Director. Directions loser. Chef. Eater. Business solutions. Art is everything. Hierarchical. Leveler.

Born in Rome. Global citizen. Innovator. Traditionalist. Equations solver. Contrarian. Runner. Lazy.

Food practitioner. Low calories hunter. Beer evangelist. Wine aficionado.

Organizer. Deviant. Good improviser. 

Gentleman at heart. Bad behaviors upon request.

Enjoys obstacles. Smoother. Remembers fails. Forgets wins.

Respects people. Respects animals. Acts alone. Cooperates. Walls destroyer. Building designer. 

Human being, after all. 

Matteo Maggiore – Sandstorms Director

MateoMatteo is an Italo-Brazilian guy. Like a pizza with papaya. Add some slices of Jamon Serrano and one cup of tea for the one and a half year he spent working in London and Madrid and you have a great menu in one dish.

He’s a creative, writer and musician, specialising in engagement platforms, branded entertainment and digital/technology driven ideas. On his spare time he likes to write short films, songs and try to paint. Oh! And fishing too.

His way of thinking and strong focus on crafted insight has brought life to award-winning works for clients such as Rolling Stone Magazine, Mercedes Benz, Carrefour, TIM, Nike. This has resulted in awards such as Epica, Eurobest, London International Awards, Art Directors Club of Italy, ADCE*, New York Festival, El Sol and Young Guns.
He was ranked on the list of best young creative according Best Ads and Luerzer’s Archive.

On February 2014, he was elected Executive Board Member at Art Directors Club of Italy and he also had  the honour to judge at Cannes Lions and Eurobest Young Creatives Competition.

After seven years with Bassat Ogilvy & Mather Madrid, Saatchi & Saatchi Milan, BBDO Milan, Wieden+Kennedy London and Leagas Delaney London/Milan, he decided to put the wings and to land at Tonic International in Dubai.

Why? Because he likes the challenges and, according to him, Tonic is a winning horse in the land of camels. 

Valerio Mangiafico – Director of Wow

Valerio is from Milan, Italy and has worked as an Art Director for 8 years.Valerio

After working in various agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO and Leagas Delaney, he wanted a new change for himself. 

His desire for a new challenge led him to Dubai, a cultural hub filled with opportunities and great people like here at Tonic.

He loves graphics and crafting and he loves being a Senior Art Director at Tonic. To work well you need to be happy and Tonic gives you this: happiness.

He hopes that this will be a fantastic and exciting adventure which will enrich his life both professionally and socially by sharing ideas, emotions and Italian food with people!!

Phil Ramage – Crayon Operator

PhilPhil, born and raised in England, graduated from London’s renowned Central St Martins College. Armed with his colouring pens, excitement and advertising passion he spent 12 years working in both big and small London agencies, learning from some of the industries best minds.

Then, Dubai happened. Keen to venture out of London and to see the world from another perspective he moved to Dubai in May 2010, claiming English weather had absolutely nothing to do with his decision.

After a few years flying solo, Phil found a great opportunity to partner up as a Senior Art Director with Tony Ting, Tonic’s Senior English Copywriter. It’s a partnership that’s already providing great work and hopefully soon, award winning work.

Outside of work you’ll often find him at the beach kitesurfing, biking in the desert and punching out his work frustrations kick-boxing* And every now and then he loves to make Hendrix turn in his grave learning to play the guitar, badly.

*Prior to Tonic

Tony Ting – Shifter
(actually joined end 2014 but was never formally introduced)

TonyTony grew up in the heartlands of Singapore. In school, he tried to get his friends to listen to his favourite rock bands. He only managed to convert one fan.

Since then, as a Copywriter at agencies like Batey Ads, Havas, Publicis and Iris, he has gone on to convince the world at large to part with their hard-earned money for a facial cleanser, a black dress, a sports car – anything that could truly transform their lives.  

He believes one has to know his audience before he can shift their behaviour. Currently, he’s picking up the art of telling the difference between a Lebanese, an Egyptian and a Jordanian.

Bassel Kanounji – Brandologist

BasselBassel is a Beirut-born graphic designer – most of the days – specialising in branding. Currently living in Dubai and working at Tonic as a branding specialist.

He believes that a successful brand knows how to say what it says. He has a strong passion for typography which he clearly reflects in his designs. 

Bassel loves burgers, and he’s still on the quest to find the best burger experience in Dubai. He’s a distance runner and aims to hit a 42K soon.

 

Abid Amin Khan – IT Geek

Abid Abid was born and raised in Mardan City in the KPK Province of Pakistan.

He completed his BS (Computer Science) in 2010 and started work as a Flash Developer. He spent more than 4 years of experience at different software houses based in Islamabad, Pakistan.

In June 2014, he moved to the UAE and started work as a Web Developer at Brand Moxie (an advertising agency based in Abu Dhabi).

He joined Tonic in April 2015 as a Flash Developer. His work is mostly related to animated web banners and static banners but sometimes he dabs into 2D animated videos and video editing. Here he works for different clients such as Starz Play, Roshan and Sedar.

He believes he will grow his skills further by learning new technologies that will be beneficial to Tonic and himself.

He expects the same energy and fun environment from Tonic where everyone is friendly and helpful.

Nicolas Richard – Knife Thrower
(also joined end 2014 but was never formally introduced)

NicolasNicolas is a young Frenchman who grew up in Lyon between the mountains and the beach in the south of France. He studied four years under Belgian rains and as a sunflower, now he is looking for the sun to flourish. The heavy sun of Dubai should quickly give him beautiful colors.

After several internships at Brussels, Milan and Paris. He landed at Havas 360 where the ECD was a Tonician. He told him about a country, especially an agency like no other.

Nicolas joined us with his creative partner Renaud to build the first stages of their careers, they aim to shoot on Lion at Cannes, a Lynx would also be a great prey.

Nico loves advertising, looking for insight and problem, but finding the best idea to address them remains his largest satisfaction.

Apart from work, he enjoys friends, sports, cinema, and French charcuterie around a good wine. 

Renaud Heneffe – Cerebral Magic Provider
(joined with Nicolas end 2014 but was never formally introduced)

RenaudBorn in Brussels, Renaud obtained a degree in Advertising Conception at the CAD (College of Advertising & Design) in Brussels (Belgium). His curiosity and enthusiasm gives him an innate ability to articulate and communicate ideas. After achieved several internships across Europe in agencies such as Publicis Milan, Havas Paris, he was especially interested in the global advertising market. Investing in the future of our world and the changes of our society, encourages him to discover new possibilities and technologies.

In order to broaden his horizons, Renaud is pleased to join Tonic International with the deep ambition to combine results and creativity. 

Used to work with his creative partner Nicolas, they strongly aspire feeding the agency with great ideas and ensure the success of this new experience.

Tiya Fazelbhoy – Digital Detective

TiyaBorn in Pakistan but considered a Dubaian by nature having lived here for nearly 17 years. After working in-house on digital and content-based work she jumped into the deep end to work in an agency for more of a challenge and a surrounding where she felt she could thrive.

She is a modern day feminist with a love for all things urban. She absolutely adores animals and believes in the tag line ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’.

Digital detective is her title because she has always dreamed of an alternate world where she could have worked in forensics, plus, she enjoy living and breathing digital and seeking statistics that can only be found in the deep dark corners of the Internet.

Jesper Ramadan – Digital Miracle Worker

Jesper

Jesper was born and raised in a small town called Kalundborg in Denmark.

He spent the first 10 years of his life there before moving to Lebanon where he studied the Arabic language. A childhood filled with art, music and creativity meant he would eventually seek a relevant degree landing himself a bachelor of science in Digital Graphics from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, his love for the digital world made him seek further education back in Denmark as a developer.

Working at both branding and web focused agencies Jesper developed a wide set of skills that eventually allowed him to open and run his own branding and web boutique where he catered for high end brands and worked with companies such as JWT, impact BBDO and Leo Burnett.

Leaving a very unstable Lebanon, Jesper now works at Tonic as a Digital Creative. He hopes to further improve on his skills, and looks forward to add a couple more advertising milestones to his career.

And a complete digital media team

Jacqui Hewett – The Media Whisperer 

JacquieAs the new General Manager of Tonic Media Jacqui hopes to build and lead a cutting edge media department, which thoroughly understands its consumers and puts clients business needs at the heart of all solutions.

Jacqui has dedicated the last 13 years to fine tuning her media skills, 7 of which have been specialising in the MENA Region.  Whilst always cherishing her Aussie roots, Jacqui entered the international citizen community at an early age, growing up as an expat across an array of countries. Her love of other cultures is what brought her to Dubai where she has honed her skills as the Media lead across FMCG, Luxury, Airline, Telco and Communications client sectors to name a few.

Working closely with all Tonic departments is what excites Jacqui about this new role, and becoming a leader in full service communications is the result this collaboration will bring.

Jacqui is looking to immerse herself in Tonic’s full service agency life and culture, building a collaborative partnership with clients and colleagues.  Together, delivering award winning campaigns that drive business results and focus on smart and innovative solutions.

Sarah Freijeh – #digitalthinker

SarahSince 2008 Sarah has been working for multinational media agencies such as MCN Group, MediaEdge and Mediacom where she quickly grew from Junior, to Digital Media Executive, Senior Digital Media Planner and now Digital Media Manager at Tonic  International.

She graduated in 2013 from University of Dubai with Bachelor’s Degree Business & Marketing. Her experience spans Automotive, Healthcare, FMCG & Banking. She feels she started her career too early and had to work full time and study at the same time.

With her new career path with Tonic she plans toto develop digital and social media strategies to communicate brand stories that drive engagement, brand loyalty and ROI, while growing Tonic Digital Media Business.

Abdelaziz Mohammed – Idea Launcher

AbdelazizAbdelaziz was born in Sep. 1987 and graduated from faculty of engineering computer department in class of July 2009. He started his career during faculty in 2005 with his own business and with freelancing jobs as digital marketing professional. That’s where he started leveraging online media to reach organisational goals.

During those years he gained a lot of experience as a freelancer internet marketer. He was involved in many startup Arabian websites and leading projects like 6rbtop which was one of the top Arabian websites for 8 years.

In addition, his academic studies gave him a solid knowledge of programming languages and technical experience.

Today, he is a motivated digital marketing expert with 10 years of experience. He is passionate and as curious with digital media as he is with new technology. He is Tonic’s Search Manager and is very good at it.

Nisar Ahmed  – #dataprodigy

NisarNisar is an innovative and result oriented digital professional with extensive experience in managing digital operations for leading global brands.

He is from Hyderabad (the famous Indian city for Biryani). He started his digital career with Interactive Avenues (Interpublic Group) and managed digital campaigns for Dell, Travelocity, UTV, TravelGuru, Reliance ADAG and Tata Broadband.

His career in Middle East started in 2011 with OMD where he managed digital operations for Sephora, Dior,  Bulgari, HP, Henkel & Disney Arabia.

He joined Tonic Media team in March 2015 and currently managing the digital operations and programmatic. 

A whole collection of new suits

Reem Nassar – Orchestrator

ReemReem is Palestinian, born and raised in the UAE. She initially started out in fashion, working as a backstage director in fashion shows across the country. She then made the jump to advertising and hasn’t looked back since. She is the newest addition to the branding team and is working in the capacity of an Account Manager. 

Reem brings with her passion, killer time-management & multi-tasking skills, and quite a dry sense of humour to boot.

She joined Tonic in the hopes of working with people that are equally as passionate and crazy as she is. Her skills include being able to eat a whole pizza by herself and spending prolonged periods of time on the Internet without fatiguing.

Francesca Meloni – Coach

FrancescaFrancesca joins Tonic as Business Director.

She is Italian and has spent the last ten years between Geneva and Milan where she has been working in several brand and advertising agencies such as Publicis, Serviceplan, Lowe+Partners and Saatchi&Saatchi.

Constantly seeking for learning opportunities and enthusiastic she landed in Dubai and started a new adventure in Tonic.

 She loves the sun and the sea, so Dubai looks like the perfect place to enjoy life at the fullest!

Allan Backhouse – Digital Composer

AllanAllan grew up in the sunny metropolis of Cape Town, South Africa, where he spent his life meandering through school and college. Upon finishing 1 year in computer sciences, he started working for a small agency and grew to find digital is his passion.

Allan’s experience is vast like the sales of a ship, ranging from SEO, creative management, PPC and social media to account management and project management, always learning and consuming information from his peers.

He then moved to Dubai in 2014 propelling his career internationally, and chose a place he could call “home”. After 1 year with MEED as a Digital Marketer, he finally chose Tonic International as the next stage in his journey, and looks to continue learning and developing whilst making a difference to the Digital department.

Allan has a passion for movies, the beach (always tanning), technology, Apple (both), travelling and sciences.

Benjamin Sharpley – Brand Dot Joiner
(actually joined end 2014 but was never formally introduced)

BenFrom the small town of Burnley, near Manchester, UK, Ben joins Tonic as Senior Business Manager. In addition to a broad northern accent, he brings with him a wealth of brand development experience.

Having worked with branding and marcom agencies in the UK, establishing a full-service agency and then a brief stint at Gyro, Ben thinks of himself as a brand dot joiner, helping to take clients from where they are, to where they want to be.

Since graduating with degree in Public Relations, he’s worked with a diverse range of b2b and b2c clients including Kier PLC, Jumeirah, Kuehne + Nagel, Trelleborg, Navman Wireless, Amundi Asset Management and Avenue at Etihad Towers.

A self-proclaimed superstar DJ, Ben loves downhill mountain biking, snowboarding, a weird football team (Burnley FC), cats, doodles and used to have a blog about sandwiches (which we are trying to convince him to start up again).

And a bunch of producers

Stephanie Christy – Bubbly Problem Solver

StephanieShe moved to Dubai in 2010 after finishing her graduation from India. Wanting an early start to her career, joined Livingroom Communications and grew to be Traffic Manager earning 4 years of experience in the field.

Currently perusing her Masters in Business administration and working with Tonic as Traffic Manager, she aims to contribute in planning, organising and streamlining work flow to be able to deliver more efficiently to clients while maintaining coordination internally.

She believes that anything can be achieved in life if you have an honest and positive approach towards it.

She has strong passion for cooking, dancing and Bollywood!

Ali Danyal Syed – Digital Maestro

AliAli joined Tonic International in the capacity of Digital Producer.

He graduated from University of Huddersfield and started his career as a software developer at Multinet Pakistan and then at Synentia, a UK based software house which later relocated him to Dubai, where he  joined them as a project coordinator managing asset tracking, point of sale systems, e-commerce and web applications. He then moved to i-mate where he was exposed to project management delivering various mobile and web applications, Ali was the architect of a multilingual online app store clubimate which offered a unique content and apps delivery service to i-mate device owners. Ali then relocated to Melbourne where he joined the Department of Primary Industries delivering geo spatial applications and looking after their enterprise architecture and service delivery. Ali moved back to Dubai where he joined Flip Media as senior digital project manager working on key accounts such as Philip Morris, Dubai Islamic Bank, Crescent Enterprises, Zain and Mubadala to deliver innovative digital solutions across web and mobile platforms.

Ali is passionate about innovation and how it is used to shape the future.

Ali enjoys producing electronic dance music and is also a DJ, he has played at some of the major festivals and clubs in Australia.

Renato Lamberti Sagliano – Catalyst

Renato was born in Italy. He has lived in Bari, Naples, Rome, Milan, Bozen, Sophia and Malta.
He is currently moving to Dubai, and he is leading the production department at Tonic International Dubai.

In his life, Renato has been a runner, a director, a partner, a councillor, a sailor, a voice-over person, a spark. a grip, a producer, a brother, a son and a father.  

In 20 years in the business, he has produced more than 250 projects and has worked with directors from the USA, UK, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, Denmark.

He has won awards in Cannes, London, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Milan. He’s joining Tonic as TV Producer  because of its creative vision and to acquire more wisdom and knowledge. 

Crazy for sailing too.

Gilbert Kahawaty – Magic Movie Maker

GilbertGilbert , Lebanese born. Grew up discovering his passion for photography. At the age of 18, his career turned from a hobby into working as a photojournalist with The Daily Star. Capturing front-page photographs, he developed a passion for the big screen.

In 2009, he studied Cinema. In 2013, he graduated as a filmmaker.
Directing his short film “Unvisited”. His film was selected and awarded by Abu Dhabi TROPFEST, acclaimed world largest film festival.

In 2014, he moved to Dubai and lent his talents to acclaimed agencies while building a video production department that catered clients with promotional films. In most of his jobs, he occupied the role of a director, cinematographer and video editor.

Gilbert is Tonic’s filmmaker & video editor – He embraces creativity, he is highly digital, but a storyteller. His aim is to tell great stories that are based on reality and transparency – just like the world we live in.