YouGov evaluated brand awareness for the Expo 2020 Dubai partners in the pre-launch phase of the event.
After a year’s delay, Expo 2020 Dubai opened its doors to visitors eager to witness the first World Expo in the region. As brands prepare to engage consumers in a unique way, YouGov evaluated brand and sponsorship awareness for Expo 2020 Dubai partner brands before the start of the event.
In September, ahead of the launch ceremony, aided sponsorship awareness averaged 39% across the 31 Dubai partner brands among respondents familiar with the brands. Emirates registered the highest awareness (at 64%), followed by Etisalat (also at 64%), Dubai Chamber (57%), Emirates NBD (56%), and Emaar Hospitality (55%).
Understanding of sponsorship
When asked if they believe specific brands are suitable sponsors for the Expo 2020 Dubai, an average of 42% of respondents agreed these brands fit well with the event.
While technology is at the heart of the expo, the diversity of cultures is reflected in the food, with Emaar leading the way as the official catering, hotel, and hospitality partner. Most respondents agreed Emaar Hospitality fits well with Expo 2020 Dubai (51%). Other high-scoring brands on this aspect were Mastercard (48%) and DP World (47%).
Going one step further, an average of 32% agreed with the statement, ‘I believe this brand complements and contributes towards the objective of Expo 2020 Dubai.’ Agreement was the highest for brands such as SAP (39%), Dubai Expo’s official Beverage and Snack Partner PepsiCo, and Dulsco (36% each).
Brand activity around sponsorship
When asked if respondents recall seeing an advertisement recently about specific partners related to Expo 2020 Dubai, highest awareness was registered for ads by Emirates, Etisalat, and Dubai Chamber. At the other end of the spectrum, brands such as Dettol, L’Oréal, and Dominos registered ad awareness of below 20%.
At an overall level, average awareness of Expo-linked ads across all Expo 2020 Dubai partners was 26%.
Awareness of Expo 2020 Dubai-related activations such as partner programs, events, and pavilions varied by partner, but on average just under nine out of ten UAE residents had a high positive impression of and likelihood to engage with activations that they were aware of.
Impact of sponsorship on brand metrics
When measuring buzz score (whether one has heard something positive or negative about a brand), one of the sixteen metrics measured in YouGov’s daily brand tracking tool BrandIndex, we saw partners experienced an average 20% positive buzz uplift as a result of the Expo 2020 Dubai sponsorship (by comparing those aware of the sponsorship vs unware). The highest positive buzz uplift was experienced by brands like Swatch (36%), Dettol (31%), and SAP (30%).
The positive buzz is likely to have boosted impression (whether one thinks positively or negatively about a brand), with partners experiencing an average of 15% positive impression uplift because of Expo 2020 Dubai sponsorship. Brands that benefited the most to date were Siemens, PepsiCo, and Nissan, with all receiving uplifts of over 20%.
Sam Dawson, Commercial Director, YouGov MENA, said in a statement, “The data shows the power of association with Expo 2020 Dubai even before opening, indicating not only that consumers are receptive to partner brands but that their involvement can positively contribute to the event. As the Expo progresses and engagement opportunities increase, there is significant headroom for growth in sponsor awareness and potential further uplift in brand metrics throughout the marketing funnel.”