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

“Let’s Open Up” case study

Effie Mena Awards

“Let’s Open Up” 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 Shaf Butt, regional director of marketing for Dubai and MEASA, Jumeirah Group, and Tahaab Rais, regional head of planning, FP7 MENA, discuss Emirates NBD’s “Perspectives”.

Effie Awards won:

3 Golds: Media Idea, Best Use of Social Media and Brand Experience

FP7’s winning streak seems to be based on a lot of social good this year, as evidenced by yet another win for a campaign with a social message. Rais was keen to know what set it apart from the other worthy campaigns in the winning categories. “The Effies are all about creating a magical idea – and, of course, the strategy behind it – and getting results,” says Butt. This campaign was based on “one single very simple proposition of bringing people together”, says Butt. And the timing was impeccable, considering the political instability in the region and that the campaign was released during Ramadan. Another winning factor was the use of social media, because “it’s quite a risky medium to challenge, but [this ad] hit home and resonated with [people]. That’s why it was so successful,” says Butt.

Considering the strong message of bringing people together, Rais wonders why it didn’t win in the CSR category. Butt does admit that, while it has certain elements of CSR, the “medium that you really owned was social media”. That’s why what really stood out for the jury were the social media statistics: second most-viewed Coca-Cola video of all time globally, $30 million worth of media coverage, 70 percent organic views, 35 percent engagement rate and the second-most viral ad globally according to YouTube’s Leaderboard. “Thirty-percent of weightage is given to results in the judging process, so that holds more weight by far,” says Butt.

Rais wonders if there are any differences in the judging of campaigns from international brands, such as Coca-Cola, versus local, homegrown brands that might be perceived as underdogs. “No, not at all,” says Butt. “If anything, we probably expect the bigger brands to do a lot better because they’re well established and obviously have bigger budgets.” However, he adds that “Let’s Open Up” stood out because, even though it was executed by a big brand, the idea was simple and inexpensive.


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