2019 Winners & Shortlists


Client/BrandAL AIN
Product/ServiceBOTTLED WATER
Type of EntrySectors
CategoryFast Moving Consumer Goods

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

The Studio Shelf differentiates Al Ain in the retail environment, consistently driving footfall to our water first. The Studio Shelf recreates the appetite appeal shown in our communication visuals. When people reach the shop shelf and they are ready to make their final purchasing decision, the Studio Shelf helps us to directly connect with our target audience. It draws them straight to our line of products, romances them with the freshness of our water, and blurs out the competition – a powerful call for people to pick up a bottle of Al Ain and place it in their shopping basket.


Al Ain is the UAE’s number 1 water brand. However, we are under massive attack from competitors. New water brands are popping up, while existing brands are diversifying their portfolio at breakneck speeds. The competition constantly adds new SKUs with fancy-sounding claims like “zero-bromate”, “alkaline” or “sodium-free.” Al Ain has been trying to keep up, but in the end what we really needed was to find a competitive advantage without the massive investment that comes with developing, bottling and marketing new fly-by-night products.

Describe the creative idea.

The idea was to replicate the beauty of a studio shoot in the most unlikely of locations – the shop shelf – by creating what we called the Studio Shelf. We wanted to capture the ambiance and feeling consumers get from our communication, and recreate it in-store.

Describe the strategy.

Brands spend millions on design and photography to make their products look their best in communication. Research shows that 93% of consumers consider images essential when making purchasing decisions. The number of professionals and amount of craft that go into creating the right image, are comparable to the production of a work of art. But all the money and energy spent on making products look appealing in communication is undermined in-store. When consumers reach shop shelves in the Middle East, all water brands look the same. They are dull, boring and undifferentiated. Ironically, the shop shelf is where the most critical purchasing decision is made. This is where consumers will do the final equation based on price, product design and brand equity. So we decided to devise a plan that would give Al Ain a visual advantage on shelf, to capture consumers when they’re making their final purchasing decision.

Describe the execution.

We collaborated with a leading photographer to create a custom in-store lighting display that mimicked the conditions of a studio shoot. This helped us to create the perfect ambience for Al Ain water in the shelf space that we were given by supermarkets, and to recreate the ideal visual appeal for our water, which consumers are used to seeing in our communication materials.

List the results.

The Studio Shelf had a capacity of 628 bottles featuring all SKUs (330ml, 500ml, 1.5L & 4 gallon). It drove higher unit sales compared to surrounding shelves, and had to be restocked every night during the 1-month trial run. Al Ain will continue to roll out Studio Shelves in all flagship retailers.


Name Company Position
Bechara Mouzannar Leo Burnett Chief Creative Officer
André Nassar Leo Burnett Dubai Regional Executive Creative Director
Camilo Molina Leo Burnett Dubai Creative Director
Andre Couto Leo Burnett Dubai Art Director
Anton Marais Leo Burnett Dubai Senior Copywriter
Shereen Mostafa Leo Burnett Dubai Head of Production
Ralph Matar Leo Burnett Dubai Agency Producer
Ramzi Sleiman Leo Burnett Dubai Regional Communication Director
Nader Akram Leo Burnett Dubai Communication Director
Paras Ali Leo Burnett Dubai Communication Manager
Hoor ElShafei Leo Burnett Dubai Communication Executive
Deja vu Deja vu Production House
Manasvi Gosalia Deja vu Production House Executive Producer
Pratixa Kanojia Deja vu Production House Producer
Ayas Kandacheerakath Deja vu Director