2018 Winners & Shortlists


Product/ServiceBACK TO SCHOOL
CategoryTravel, Leisure, Retail, Restaurants & Fast Food Chains

The Campaign

Our starting point was the fact that very few kids in Saudi Arabia actually look forward to going back to school after the summer vacation, and that schools in the Kingdom are under intense public scrutiny due to their very rigid and harsh policies and rules. Despite the bleak situation, the beginning of every new school year begins with ads featuring nothing but crayons, notebooks, and smiling faces. They show you the situation through rose-colored glasses, although it stands in stark contrast to the reality. So we decided to tell it like it is, and communicate all the anxieties that school kids experience, showing everything from strict rules, and bullying all the way to rigid teachers. So no sugar coating, no fake happiness, just the plain truth. We then ended with a statement: no matter how tough your journey through school may seem,Jarir supports you every step of the

Creative Execution

Our campaign launched with a film that showed the siblings of one family on their first day back at school after coming back from a long summer break. With a real case of the back-to-school blues, the children experience a rough first day when they face all the different things that they know and loathe about school. The only light at the end of this dark tunnel is the brand-new school bag from Jarir that each one of them just got and that manages to put a smile on their faces when strict rules and rigid teachers get the better of them, showing how Jarir has their backs both literally and figuratively.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

The buzz created by our campaign positioned Jarir as the leader in its category, resulting in record sales. In fact, Jarir achieved a 147% increase in total sales of school bags in 2017 compared to the previous year, which prompted the bookstore giant to re-order additional stock twice. Additionally, our commercial was viewed more than 5.2 million times and gained more than 98 million impressions as well as 68,000 mentions. But most importantly, the film turned Jarir from a mere bystander into an active participant in the Kingdom’s ongoing national education debate, and made it a driver of change in a changing country.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

The main purpose behind this campaign was to boost the sales of Jarir’s school bags at the beginning of the new school year. However, we then went beyond this purpose and created an engaging piece of communication that mobilized a nation and fueled a national debate about the current state of affairs in Saudi schools.

Our target audience included both parents and school kids who experience heightened anxieties at the beginning of every new school year. Typically, school-related communication portrays unrealistic images of happy kids and smiling parents. To stand out, we needed to distinguish ourselves. To do that, we painted a real picture of what students in Saudi Arabia go through in order to show how Jarir understands their struggle and works hard to ease the pain. So, we launched our film, which demonstrates the bleak reality of schools in a brutally honest way.


Name Company Role
Chafic Haddad J. Walter Thompson Chief Creative Operations Officer
Rayyan Aoun J. Walter Thompson Executive Creative Director
Riyad Salhani J. Walter Thompson Copywriter
Maian Alken J. Walter Thompson Copywriter
Tonie Tannous J. Walter Thompson Senior Digital Art Director
Marco Torni J. Walter Thompson  Digital Art Director
Maher Kaidbey J. Walter Thompson Senior TV Producer
Jude Al Saati J. Walter Thompson TV Producer
Alaa Abu Hammeen J. Walter Thompson Business Director
Rabie Hassoun J. Walter Thompson Account Director
Hisham Hinnawi J. Walter Thompson Account Manager
Dana Alkutoubi J. Walter Thompson Head of Strategic Planning KSA
Mahaii Albuhairi Jarir Brand Marketing Manager
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