For a country known more for its restrictions than its cultural endeavours,the story quickly became news around the world with coverage in over 10 TV channels,20 publications & 45 websites,with a free publicity value of close to 3 million riyals in local,regional and global media.
Unknown painters, found themselves in the limelight,especially women as Al Arabia’s biggest art gallery in the world became a conversational piece, in social circles and across social media.
More than just an outdoor company, Al Arabia became a Saudi cultural space,and the website became the national art gallery, demonstrating Al Arabia’snational credentials & network strength.
On 22 December, Saudis woke up to the country's first public art show: almost overnight, Al Arabia had turned its nation-wide outdoor network into one gigantic art gallery.
We had invited artists to upload their work onto a dedicated website www.alarabiaarts.com, creating what became - and still is - the biggest database for art in the kingdom. We curated it and filtered the paintings in collaboration with the Saudi ministry of culture and the selection found its way to over 5,000 outdoor sites across the 2.1 million km2 Kingdom.
In the capital Riyadh, we dressed the outdoor sites in the main street Tahliyah with frames, so that the gallery really came to life, and as people walked up and down the streets to enjoy the art, we made available booklets with detailing the artists behind the work.
For two weeks, Saudi became the biggest art gallery in the world.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea
With the increasing pressure from mainly foreign owned competitors, Al Arabia, a Saudi outdoor media company, wanted to differentiate itself by playing up the strength of its network and as a Saudi company, its Saudi Credentials. With an outdoor network of over 11,000 locations, we wanted to leverage the space to bring to life the power of Al Arabia’s network in a way that would be relevant to Saudi.
Saudi is a country full of talented artists, but in a country where most forms of entertainment are forbidden as it is frowned upon by religious authorities, there are very few art galleries - those that do exist tend to cater for the elite.
So we thought, why not use Al Arabia’s outdoor network, to champion these Saudi artists and their talent.