During one of our trips to Porsche Ludwigsburg, I asked Porsche if they had any videocassettes we could have to use in Bahrain. Video players had proliferated throughout the Middle East by this time and according to Walt Disney, the average Arab household had 2.5 video players!
Porsche AG had very little material in those days but I watched a video during that trip called “The Little Bit More”. This was just what I needed to help market Porsche in Bahrain. Porsche were a bit dubious about giving me a copy. When I asked why, they said it was not a professional produced film, but I told them the quality was very good and the content just right for my purposes.
The Little Bit More was a film about Porsche owners from all over the world and as it was in English language and suited for our market. It was indeed put together by a group of enthusiasts so echoes of the 924 real hatch release sprung to my mind so dug my heels in and pushed to get a copy.
I finally obtained a copy in studio professional tape format and upon arrival in Bahrain I had a few VHS & Sony Betamax copies made of it. I had our company name and contact details added to the front and rear of the film as the local Porsche Importer by a friend and neighbour called Neil Stafford. Neil worked for Eagle Recording Studios with Graham Carter-Dimmock who were a video production company and recording studio, so he had access to all the equipment for us at the right price. Eagle Recording Studios was Graham’s idea and he worked with Tony & Anne Walker who were all part of the Ashraf Group. Tony Walker also ran the Kodak Film Studio’s business, which processed films for the general public and trade throughout Bahrain.
I then loaned these videocassettes to a few potential clients asking them to please return them when they had finished viewing them.
This media was so successful that within a week I had people coming in, especially the younger Sheiks, all wanting to order new Porsche’s from us. But I could not understand how a few videotapes lent out to a few Sheikhs had made so much difference to us in such a short time? One young Sheikh arrived at our office and so I asked him, “Where did you get a copy of the Little Bit More”? He said he had rented it in a video rental shop in West Riffa. This continued to perplex me, so one evening, I went up to this video shop and sure enough they had several copies of ”The Little Bit More” on the shelves and were hiring it out to their customers. I told them who I was and after smiles all round, I decided to turn a blind eye to this as it was helping the Porsche cause and copyright did not exist in Bahrain at that time, plus there was very little I could do about it in any case.
I found out later that Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa Al Khalifa who I had lent a copy to, had lent his copy to the shop and they had in turn made several copies for themselves and that the video shop was owned by one of our partner Sheikh Rashid’s half-brothers, another Isa!