Advertising research in the Middle East is often literal and frequently promotes the production of safe, literal TV commercials. But is the Middle East consumer really so literal? Or so under-estimated? By means of investigating the relationship which consumers form with different advertising styles, this paper specifically addresses how the consumer responds to advertising rather than whether or not she has received a particular message. The paper concludes that the consumer is far from literal in the way she process advertising and is more favourably oriented towards new, distinctive advertising approaches. It is supported by original qualitative research evidence.