2017 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryTravel, Leisure, Retail, Restaurants & Fast Food Chains
Media Placement MEDIACOM Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA

The Campaign

Saudis are still reading, but in a bit-sized format. So we Reintroduced books in newsworthy snackable form to grab their attention and lure them to ask for more. We summarized the plots of books used in our campaign and transformed it into controversial fake news articles, with intriguing headlines in both English and Arabic. We released our campaign on the front pages of famous newspapers and the news section of well-known websites with headlines like: “Farmer swears he was kicked out by animals.” (Animal Farm) For each headline we drafted a short story in an article form where curious readers had to flip the page or click to read more. Once clicked or flipped, readers were directed to another page that reveals the book behind the story. Our books were reintroduced in an interesting & shareable 21st century news format

Creative Execution

We made our books “newsworthy” by turning book plots into controversial news articles with intriguing headlines, tailored to Saudi people’s interests. We spread them online in collaboration with well-known news sites, and placed them as front page stories in the newspaper. After people clicked or flipped the page to read more, we revealed that the story they read was an actual book found at Jarir Bookstore, and we referred them to our online store where they could order the book instantly..


The results were outstanding. During the campaign period, books sales increased by 18% in comparison to the previous quarter which was above our initial objective by more than 300%. Additionally, footfall at Jarir bookstore increased by 20%. Online, we gained around 2.6 million impressions on each website and around 1322 clicks, and thousands of likes. But the best result was in creating a nationwide debate about the importance of books as a main source of inspiring & entertaining content which brought books back into the conversation.

We made our books “newsworthy” by turning book plots into controversial news articles with intriguing headlines, tailored to Saudi people’s interests. With the collaboration of well known online news-sites, we were able to target our stories based on peoples’ interests and search histories. So if someone browsed a lot of tabloid love stories he got our Fake Romeo and Juliet News article “Couple Commits Suicide after Family finds out about the relationship”.

The newsworthy campaign wasn’t about just selling but about regaining the conversation & reigniting a lost interest in books as an amusing and timeless source of entertainment. Preaching about the marvels of books or doing another book sale wouldn’t have achieved much as we are competing with a bombardment of social, political and pop-culture news. To get our message through, we needed a louder voice, we needed to be the news. Thus we carefully repackaged the plots of our books into attractive fake news and placed it exactly where our readers get their news from: either front pages of reputable newspapers or famous news websites. Unaware of the bait, our readers fell for it. Instantly we became the news. People started sharing the story and an online discussion about books became the topic of interest in Saudi, ultimately driving books sales & regaining a lost appeal


Name Company Role
Chafic Haddad J. Walter Thompson Chief Creative Operations Officer
Rayyan Aoun J. Walter Thompson Executive Creative Director
Rawad Eldahouk J. Walter Thompson Creative Director
Abeer Alsalem J. Walter Thompson Copywriter
Daniah Alaoudah J. Walter Thompson Copywriter
Tonie Tannous J. Walter Thompson SENIOR Digital Art Director
Manuel Kurkjian J. Walter Thompson Copywriter
Joseph Maalouf J. Walter Thompson Art Director
Alaa Abu Hammeen J. Walter Thompson Business Director
Rabie Hassoun J. Walter Thompson Account Director
Hisham Hinnawi J. Walter Thompson Account Manager
Ali Khalil J. Walter Thompson Strategic Planning Director
Mahaii Ali Al Buhairi Jarir Brand Marketing Manager
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