Excellence in Audience Engagement & Distribution Strategy
BEATTIE + DANE Kuwait, KUWAIT
Idea Creation 2
CINEMAGIC Salmiya, KUWAIT
MEC Kuwait City, KUWAIT
CINEMAGIC Salmiya, KUWAIT
FAISAL AL BISHER PHOTOGRAPHY - F.A.B. PRODUCTION Kuwait, KUWAIT
October 18, 2016 marked the 7th time the parliament was dissolved over the course of 10 years in Kuwait. This news called for a new election to take place and we knew that it would dominate conversations and news channels over the next 30 days. Election-season was incredibly aggressive with candidates spending in the millions on campaigns across all major media outlets online and offline.
So the idea was to use this existing platform and create a candidate of our own with his own unique voice, Bu Salem.
A fictitious candidate, who stood for what was important- good tea.
In the midst of a very controversial election in Kuwait, Bu Salem would be positioned as someone people could all agree on.
With only 14 days till voting day, we leaked photoshopped images of Bu Salem on well-known outdoor media outlets and newspapers without revealing the product on Whatsapp to the right contacts and group chats.
Within the first 6 hours the images went viral and were shared across multiple devices and social media platforms with the trending question of, “Who is Bu Salem?”
The next day, a video was leaked showcasing Bu Salem for 1 minute, sitting silently on a chair and sipping on an cup of tea with his credentials appearing on screen for people to read.
One day after the video leak which also went viral a series of promoted ads on twitter, instagram, youtube and news applications launched with the same video which included the revealing of the brand of tea.
Not only did some people believe he was a real candidate but Bu Salem started to receive personal invitations to places even candidates themselves struggled to get into. Bloggers, media outlets, magazines, social media influencers started to post about “Bu Salem.” People even started to mock up their own versions of the ads as a spoof to the character himself holding the Al Munayes tea box!
In response to all the buzz, we launched a twitter account for Bu Salem where he would answer questions from followers and react to trending political topics through reactive videos and images. The buzz drove supermarkets to offer more shelf space to Al Munayes’s new packaged tea products. Social media impressions rose to 3000% with over 4.6 million impressions. Al Munayes tea was at the forefront of conversations with a 48% engagement rate, and over 580,000 video views all within a 14-day campaign period.
Following the dissolution of the Kuwait parliament for the 7th time in 10 years, news of the upcoming elections dominated media. This inspired us to create a fictitious candidate and use that as a platform for our message. While candidates were very loudly fighting and campaigning for a seat in parliament, Bu Salem did the exact opposite and stood for good tea. A video and images of media placement were leaked 14 days before the election day on Whatsapp showing the candidate, for a district that many didn’t realize didn’t even exist, who was silent while sipping Al Munayes tea.
The character wasn't just a candidate but a tea expert. In Kuwait, usually the people who make the tea in places of business, homes or diwaniya's are "Nubi's" the equivalent of a chaiwala. So Bu Salem's physique, appearance, tone of voice and overall appeal was based on that character reference which gave him credibility.
When it came to a launch strategy, knowing we couldn’t match the millions of KWD media spend of electoral campaigns, our strategy was built to speak directly to the people. Whatsapp became our primary platform of choice to launch content as it would promote instant sharing between recipients and be in the hands of people having these big conversations.
To follow up, we had planned to leak the content first without revealing the brand of tea. As people began to talk about Bu Salem, the product began to appear across all communication and promoted platforms.