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Communicate Levant | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

“Back Off Radio” case study

Effie Mena Awards

“Back Off Radio” case study

The 2015 edition of the Effie MENA Awards saw 23 campaigns walk away with the Gold trophy. We caught up with the winning agencies and the judges to learn what made the campaign tick, what didn’t and everything else that went on in the jury room. However, this time we turned the tables around and let the agency guys take over our jobs and play journalists for a day as they asked the judges everything they wanted to about their campaigns.

In this article, jury member Dania Haffarbazzy, MENA head of marketing, corporate communication and events, Barclays Bank, and Ramzi Moutran, executive creative director, Geometry Global, discuss RTA’s “Back Off Radio”.

Effie Awards won:

2 Golds: Travel, Tourism and Transportation, and Single Media Company Activation

“Back Off Radio” impressed jury members at the Effies, as well as those at other international award shows. Specifically at the Effies, there were four things that stood out for Haffarbazzy:

1. The idea addresses a social safety issue, which is very prevalent in Dubai. That gives it much more importance.

2. It approaches the target audience right when they’re driving, so the impact it creates is stronger than if they had received the message while sitting at home.

3. Considering that Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures, the idea was able to target different segments according to their cultures and tap into their understanding effectively.

4. The device didn’t target just taxi drivers, but also other drivers, which added to its effectiveness.

While the jury was in agreement about the effectiveness of the device and the different channels, Haffarbazzy says there was a lot of debate concerning what more could’ve been done to augment the impact. Coming from the finance sector, she says every idea should be treated as a business in terms of ROI. Hence, it would’ve been great to understand what it translated into in terms of cost savings for the RTA. “In terms of measurement, I would’ve liked to see what was the cost – and profit – of this idea for [the] RTA,” she says.

Moutran agrees and his team plans to delve deeper into the idea, not just to gather insights from the RTA, but also to scale the campaign to different areas. However, Haffarbazzy cautions him to “assess and research the effects of tailgating and its prevalence in other regions and see if something like this would be a benefit”. She also suggests conducting a survey for taxi drivers whose vehicles were fitted with the device, to see how it made a difference to them – even after the device was removed.


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