Events & experiential (incl. stunts and celebrity endorsement)
J. WALTER THOMPSON RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
J. WALTER THOMPSON RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
Al Arabia,a Saudi outdoor media company,wanted to differentiate itself from competitors by playing up the strength of its network,and reinforce its Saudi Credentials as a Saudi company.
The set objectives were: manage the company’s reputation, create more awareness about its identity, reinforce its image, and highlight the company’s values: “Saudi Pride”, “Responsible”, “Companion” and “Leadership”
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.
We thought to champion the Saudi artists by displaying their arts on its outdoor mediums in 33 cities, and turn it into one gigantic art gallery,because such unconventional initiative will lead to effective publicity about the campaign and the company.
The artists were invited via outdoor campaign to upload their work onto a dedicated website www.alarabiaarts.com. Within 6 weeks, we received around 3,200 artworks,which were filtered in collaboration with the ministry of culture and the selected artworks displayed on over 5,000 outdoor sites across Saudi Arabia.
On 22 December,Al Arabia had turned its nation-wide outdoor network into the biggest outdoor arts gallery.
The attained extensive media coverage disrupted the trend of usual PR coverage that any other corporate campaign would achieve, as it became the talk-of the-town in the local media, while the regional and international media had all been impressed in this unconventional artistic event in such “conservative country”.
Since our objective was to differentiate Al Arabia through its Saudi credentials and power of its outdoor network, we needed to prove these objectives to Al Arabia’s primary audiences, stakeholders, media agencies and brands. In addition, to create something relevant to the public to get them really know Al Arabia and understand that this powerful and national-wide outdoor network is part of a big Saudi corporate company.
The criteria for success was set to be based on the level of PR exposure, 3rd parties endorsement, opinion leaders’ thoughts, and stakeholders’ positive feedback; and all were successfully achieved.
The “Gallery” received significant PR exposure, including 12 TV reports & interviews, around 25 articles in local & international publications, and more than 45 articles in regional and international news portals. The total AVE for the coverage exceeded 3,500,000 Saudi Riyals ($ 930,000).
The most important coverage appeared in top tier media regionally and internationally, such as Sky News, MBC1, Al Arabia, AFP, Daily Mail, France 24, Campaign, etc.
All published stories were positive, with influential endorsements and favourable mentions such as AFP’s French Journalist who attended the “Gallery” and wrote in his article: “some reminiscent of early-20th century Cubism made famous by Picasso”, and this article was re-published by dozens of media outlets and newswires around the globe.
Through this campaign, Al Arabia achieved its objectives by engaging effectively with public, demonstrating the success & power of its network and enhancing the relationship with authorities and other stakeholders.
The PR program commenced in October 2014 with a press release, followed by reports and interviews for Al Arabia’s Spokesperson on different Saudi and regional Pan Arab TV channels (awareness phase: 2 weeks).
Speaking opportunities: As a result, of the awareness phase, Al Arabia’s Executive was invited to “the 3rd CSR Conference” to be a main speaker along with the other three Speakers of the leading companies: STC, SABIC and National Commercial Bank in the workshop about “the private sector’s experience in CSR programs”.
Then, the launching ceremony with the “red carpet” theme was organized in December 22, 2014 in Tahlia street in Riyadh in the presence crowd of local, regional and international media representatives, conducting interviews with the artists, Al Arabia’s Spokesperson, & the audience walking around.
Upon launching, we proactively kept pitching the story to the media, attaining positive opinion articles, lengthy pieces of stories and TV reports.
With 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 its positive involvement towards the Saudi community as a Saudi company.
Therefore, the PR campaign focused on creating a storytelling platform to achieve the right awareness about the company and its Saudi roots as well as its leading position in the market across Saudi Arabia. We did this by highlighting the power of Al Arabia’s network in an unconventional way that would be relevant to the Saudi market and would achieve maximum publicity among different stakeholders.
The strategy aimed to create maximum awareness about the company, and highlight its position in the Outdoor media market and the community.
To achieve the objectives, the strategy focused on creating big buzz in the media around “Gallery”. The strategy was segmented into pillars with different PR elements:
1) Editorial opportunities: To talk about this initiative as Al Arabia’s unique unconventional artistic and cultural campaign leveraging the “Saudi Arts”, supporting “Talented Artists” & highlighting the kingdom’s image as one of the Middle East’s arts hubs;
2) Executives Profiling: Highlight Al Arabia as the owner of the “Gallery” and position the company’s Spokesperson as successful Saudi Executive leading the outdoor media market;
3) Thought Leadership and Gained Endorsements: position Al Arabia as a leading Saudi Company in the market by launching untraditional national campaigns that would create positive cultural image about the country as well as creating pride & happiness within the community.