2016 Winners & Shortlists

ABBA AHMED'S PRICELESS JOURNEY

Short List
Client/BrandMASTERCARD
Product/ServicePRICELESS NIGERIA
EntrantFP7/DXB Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Type of EntryPR: Integrated Campaign
CategoryIntegrated Campaign Led by PR
Entrant Company FP7/DXB Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Advertising Agency FP7/DXB Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Media Agency CARAT Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Production Company THE VIDEO LOUNGE Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA

The Campaign

The 2015 Nigerian elections brought back memories of the long history of communal conflict between rival ethnic groups. However, the peaceful transfer of power after the elections prompted MasterCard to build on the positivity, and reinforce unity as a priceless possibility.  Football being the one thing that unites all Nigerians, MasterCard asked champion footballer Kanu to select an underprivileged child – Abba Ahmed (from a rival ethnic group than Kanu’s) as the winner of an online talent competition. Kanu then turned a regular movie outing into a priceless surprise for Abba by announcing him as the winner and handed him his player escort jersey. Ultimately, as the world watched, Abba’s dream came true as he escorted Neymar onto the pitch at the UEFA Champions league final in Berlin, while his family and friends watched him with bated breath on television. Abba had made the historic journey from Nigeria's streets to the world’s biggest football stage. A film documenting his journey from the dusty playgrounds in Lagos to the UEFA Champions League final was shared on social media and created waves of positive WOM for MasterCard. 15 million Nigerians reached and 2 million engaged through the film and social media. 99% positive sentiments. Organic reach of 40% was 3 times higher than the benchmark in Nigeria Share Rate of 22% was the highest in Nigeria. MasterCard’s transactions grew +60% (vs. the previous year). The idea became the foundation for Priceless Surprises in Nigeria, giving MasterCard a business and brand engagement platform.

The Brief

However, the peaceful transfer of power after the elections was a sign of hope for a better future. MasterCard believes in connecting people to priceless possibilities. Since unity was becoming a priceless possibility in Nigeria, MasterCard to build on the positivity and win share of heart.

Execution

We invited young football fans and players in Nigeria to showcase their best goal celebrations through a nation-wide talent competition online. Then we asked Kanu to select an underprivileged child – Abba Ahmed (from a rival ethnic group than Kanu’s) as the winner. Kanu then surprised Abba by announcing him as the winner during a movie outing and handed him the player escort jersey. Ultimately, as the world watched, Abba’s dream came true as he escorted Neymar onto the pitch at the UEFA Champions league final in Berlin, while his family and friends watched on TV back home leading to celebrations and tears of joy. Abba had made the historic journey from Nigeria's streets to the world’s biggest football stage. A heartwarming film documenting his journey from the dusty playgrounds in Lagos to the UEFA Champions League final was shared on social media and created waves of positive word of mouth for MasterCard. We promoted the video via YouTube Pre-Rolls, Video Posts, Video Cards and promoted tweets.

The campaign achieved the highest ever influence by a brand online in Nigeria. (1) 15 million Nigerians reached. (2) 2 million actively engaged through the film and social media. (3) 99% positive sentiments. (3) Organic reach of 40% was 3 times higher than the benchmark in Nigeria (4) Share Rate of 22% was the highest in Nigeria. (5) MasterCard’s transactions grew +60% (vs. the previous year). (6) And it became the foundation for Priceless Surprises in Nigeria, giving MasterCard a sustainable business and brand engagement platform. Most importantly, through Abba’s victory, a nation had come together. And this was priceless.

The Strategy

For a country embroiled in ethic tensions for years, Football was the unifying force to bring all Nigerians together. And one of the most popular tournaments was the UEFA Champions League – with whom MasterCard has an official partnership. We identified Kanu as Nigeria’s champion footballer who was unanimously loved by everyone irrespective of the ethnicity he belonged to. So we looked at the UEFA Champions League as an opportunity to win Nigeria’s share of heart with Kanu at the centre. We wanted Nigerian football fans to experience the same feeling through another one of their own - from the younger generation – the future of Nigeria by offering the chance to be a player escort to a young football fan. It was a way of bringing MasterCard’s global engagement platform of Priceless Surprises to life.

Credits

Name Company Position
Kartik Aiyar Fp7/dxb Creative Director
Ali Rez Fp7/dxb Creative Director
Tahaab Rais Fp7/dxb Regional Head of Strategic Planning
Spiro Malak Fp7/dxb General Manager - Business Unit
Paul Banham Fp7/dxb Executive Creative Director
Deblina Gupta Fp7/dxb Account Director
Razan Jalloul Fp7/dxb Account Manager
Khaled Hamza/Brence D'Sa Fp7/dxb Creative Services Director/Production manager
Salvador Porteria/Rizwan/Amit Borawake/Nikhil Fp7/dxb Senior Designer/Studio and Retouch artists
Simon Attwater DigitasLBi MENA Executive Creative Director
Tom Burrell DigitasLBi MENA Director of Strategy/Insight
Shaymaa Abuquta DigitasLBi MENA Strategy Consultant
Shwan Nazar DigitasLBi MENA Art Director
Katrina Petrenko DigitasLBi MENA Copywriter
Rachel Mwakule DigitasLBi MENA Designer
Liala Al Zein Omar DigitasLBi MENA Social Media Executive
Alice Elmi Carat Dubai Associate Media Director
Liam Cundill Director
Werner Els/Ashraf Mohammedunny Editor
Tarek Abdelnabi MasterCard VP Marketing/Sub-Saharan Africa