2013 Winners & Shortlists


Short List

The Campaign

Branded Content may be the new buzzword at the moment, but its practice has been used in Middle East for many years. Especially in Egypt, where people are entertained by ads and talk a lot about them. Perhaps that's why many brands are still hungry for the big selling advertising message in any content they create, no matter what the medium is or how inappropriate it appears. Technology is rapidly changing people's behaviors, and today social media is at the forefront of branded content. So who's going to convince the brands that branded-content is now king? The traditional advertising shops although preach newness, are still using their old techniques. Meanwhile, the media companies actually think online ads are effective. The truth is people don't like online banners, and that's why global click-thru rates are dismal. Advertising is evolving, and in the Middle East it appears the content-creating agencies are the ones fighting to convince clients that one of the most effective ways to sell your product, is to not sell it. Entertain your audience, and reap the benefits of better relationships, positive sentiments, brand awareness, and most importantly increased sales.


With Valentines approaching, Axe saw this is an opportunity to help its male fans in the Gulf get dates. In a region where it's taboo to talk about hooking up, we decided to sing about it. THE PROBLEM - While some men don't bother, others get busy planning their approach, that they tend to undervalue one of the most crucial things about Valentines; popping the question "Will you be my Valentine?" THE SOLUTION - We believe that if a man asks a woman out in an unforgettable way, his chances of her saying yes are extremely high. And if it’s touching and personal as well, the guy will make a big impression… even before the actual date. THE IDEA - Tell us on Facebook about the girl you want to be your Valentine and we'll write, record, and shoot a personalized song for you in 4 hours. Share it with her before Valentine's arrives, and you'll make a big impression on her before the actual date. Unforgettable and personal, it'll be the best "Will you be my Valentine” she ever received. EXECUTION - 2 weeks before Valentines, we released a video encouraging our fans on Facebook to share with us stories about their loved ones. The more detailed, the better. We recruited some of the most talented underground songwriters in Egypt, and every weekday leading up to Valentines, we would choose our favorite comment of the day based on the quality of its content. At the studio, we would take that comment and create a song out of it. We would write, practice, record, and shoot that song in 4 hours. Then we would edit the video, mix the song, get approvals, and post the music video within one day of the fan's comment. High quality, personalized & instant, Axe Wingman has upped the social media/branded content bar in the region.

1) CONSUMER BEFORE BRAND: Our main goal was to hook up our fans on Valentine's in an unbelievable way. 2) PARTNERSHIPS: We partnered with some of Egypt's top underground musicians to make this possible. 3) VIRAL TEASER: In order to explain the idea better, we created a song and posted it all over social media. It went viral very quickly because of the song's catchy melody, simple lyrics and unorthodox humor. 4) USER-GENERATED CONTENT: We transformed people's comments into highly personalized quality songs in only 4 hours. We would then release them instantly as music videos for fans to share with their loved ones. People couldn't believe we could create such music and so quickly.

The campaign was intended to run in Egypt and the Gulf, but due to the political circumstances in Egypt at the time, could only be launched in the Gulf. None the less, Axe Wingman has been hugely successful, not only because of the unprecedented positive feedback from the fans, but also from major blogs and magazines including Campaign, AdsoftheWorld, Scoop Empire, Adbasha, Jazarah, Dubai Egotist, Communicate, MediaMe, and MarketingHub.me. The Axe Middle East fan page grew by 20,000 fans in 2 weeks, but what was most significant was that rather than spending most of the budget on media, we invested it on producing personalized quality content, and it really paid off. The fans loved the content and shared the videos with their friends, and with every new video release, more people wanted in on the action. In the 2 weeks leading up to Valentines: - We received more than 200,000 views on Youtube - Over 70,000 unique users engaged with us on Facebook resulting in a viral reach of over 1.3 million impressions. But the best result of all was that we managed to hook up 8 of our fans with the women they love on Valentines. And their reactions to the songs was immense.


Name Company Role
Karim A. Yusuf Digital Republic Creative Director
Mohamed Ghazy Digital Republic Copywriter
Karim A. Yusuf Digital Republic Art Director
Ismail Ternawly Digital Republic Head Of Accounts
Hassan Daoud Digital Republic Senior Digital Media Consultant
Ahmed El-Sadek Digital Republic Senior Social Media Consultant
Nadine Sayegh Digital Republic Social Media Specialist
Mohamed Khaled Digital Republic Director/Editor
Heba Elkest Digital Republic Motion Designer
Ahmed Safi Songwriter
Mohamed Ghazy Songwriter
Shady Ahmed Songwriter
Omar El-Deeb Songwriter
Mohamed Jamal Songwriter
Karim A. Yusuf Songwriter