2019 Winners & Shortlists


Short List
Product/ServiceTHE FITNESS APP
CategoryUse of Mobile

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

"Every Step Counts" is a direct-response idea from Emirates NBD, driven by a mobile app, that is getting UAE to be physically and financially fit. Seamlessly integrating one’s fitness with one’s savings through gamification and mobile banking devices, it rewards people immediately for their physical activity and their movement, with higher interest. This gamification mechanism incentivizes further response from people (i.e. improved movement and better savings). The more they move, the more they earn.


The UAE has struggled for economic health in recent years with personal debt on the rise and individual savings, at a low. Physical health has also been a nationwide struggle, with obesity rates being one of the highest in the world per person. What could Emirates NBD, a leading bank that understands the importance of both wealth and health, bring to the table? Using their innovative pedigree a smart solution was needed to motivate people toward a healthier lifestyle – financially and physically. • We needed to incentivize the people of the UAE to start being more active. • We needed to incentivize the people of the UAE to start saving more. • We needed to make Emirates NBD the thought-leaders in bringing about healthy change in the UAE. • We needed to build brand love to help retain and increase customer base to Emirates NBD.

Describe the creative idea.

We teamed up with mobile-technologists and Emirates NBD’s data and product developments teams to create Every Step Counts: A first-of-its-kind savings and health initiative to incentivize the nation into better financial and physical shape. By offering increased interest based on the movement of an individual. Upon signing up to the Emirates NBD Fitness Account, people were asked to download a custom-built fitness app. A step-tracker designed to track every step you make that was linked directly to the individuals Fitness Account, which would then convert every step you take, into a higher interest rate. New customers could try the app by signing up for a free trial, as a means to get them excited by the app and to sign-up.

Describe the strategy.

73.8% of UAE's mobile consumers carrying smartphones; highest in the world. Given the high penetration of smartphones (according to Google, UAE ranks #1 globally in smartphone penetration), we chose to activate this idea via smartphones. We wanted to target those people who are fitness conscious or wanted to be fitness conscious, directly through their smartphones. Next, we needed to seamlessly integrates one’s fitness with one’s savings capitalizing on the trend of gamification.

Describe the execution.

We created the Emirates NBD Fitness Account and in parallel, designed and built the step tracker app from scratch with the help of tech, financial and fitness experts. We gamified the mechanics of the app: 5,000 steps = 0.25% interest on your savings. 5,001 steps = 0.50% interest on your savings. 8,001 steps = 1.00% interest on your savings. 12,001 steps = 2.00% interest on your savings. It was made available for download on both Apple and Android phones. Social posts and online content pushed people to download the app to start making every step count. We also created an on ground activation called the Financial Fitness League which with the Every Step Counts initiative further promoted health and wealth in the UAE, with competitive leagues and as well as better interest, additional prizes for the best performers.

List the results.

(1) 99% positive sentiments. (2) $300,000 earned media and counting; received endorsements across local and regional media. Examples: (a) “A new phase in digital banking as it effectively combines customers’ health and lifestyle goals with their banking needs.” (Gulf News) (b) “Turn health into wealth with Emirates NBD.” (T3) (c) “Be fit and healthy with Emirates NBD.” (GMR) (4) Winner of EFMA’S innovation award: “An idea whose time has come! Value-based behavior incentives were the one missing piece from wearable device models.” (EFMA & Accenture) (5) In total: (a) 100 million steps and counting. (b) AED 16.07 million saved (after 1 month) (c) 12,000 downloads and counting.


Name Company Role
Oliver Robinson FP7 McCann Dubai Executive Creative Director
Thomas Young FP7 McCann Dubai Associate Creative Director
Mike Awad FP7 McCann Dubai Associate Creative Director
Tahaab Rais FP7 McCann MENAT Regional Head of Strategy
Tahaab Rais FP7 McCann MENAT Regional Head of Strategy
Thomas Young FP7 McCann Dubai Copywriter
Mike Awad FP7 McCann Dubai Art Director
Spiro Malak FP7 McCann Dubai GM Business Unit
Vicky Kriplani FP7 McCann Dubai Senior Account Director
Marine Grat FP7 McCann Dubai Account Manager
Sasha El Jurdi FP7 McCann Dubai Senior Account Executive
Kuba Skowronski FP7 McCann Dubai Senior Designer
Application URL