2019 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryFinancial Products & Services, Commercial Public Services, B2B Products & Services


In the UAE, a country that constitutes 80% expatriates, the UAE national banking population, albeit small in numbers, is very high in value for banks. Yet, Emirates NBD, a bank headquartered in Dubai, enjoys only 10% of penetration with this profitable segment. That’s because despite being a bank born and bred in the UAE, it has been perceived as the expat’s UAE bank, unrelatable to Emiratis and has been rated as the third-ranked bank in the preference set amongst Emiratis. Emirates NBD needed to build affinity with UAE nationals, bypassing geographic restrictions and ingrained perceptions of it being a primarily expat bank, and grow its brand engagement and customer acquisitions with a profitable segment. KPI 1: Grow Emirati accounts by +5% KPI 2: Grow Emirati customers signing up for products by +15% KPI 3: Improve Emirates NBD’s preference score with Emiratis KPI 4: Improve time spent with Emiratis

Describe the creative idea.

THE LOCAL’S UAE BANK: A range of Snapchat filters, giving an augmented spin to cultural moments that mattered to Emiratis, to win affinity and customers. In order to resonate with new-age, digitally-enabled Emiratis we needed to show them that what mattered to them mattered to Emirates NBD too. So, we decided to go where no bank ever went before and connect with them on a medium they love: Snapchat. We identified key moments that united UAE nationals, that were deeply related to their culture, traditions and national identity: Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha, Emirati Women’s Day, Flag Day, Martyrs Day and finally, National Day. Through a series of innovative fun and entertaining Snapchat lenses and filters, programmatically targeted to UAE nationals only, we connected to Emiratis on traditional and cultural rituals, making Emirates NBD the locals’ UAE bank.

Describe the strategy.

Emirates NBD was physically not present where most Emiratis were, so we needed to overcome the geographical limitations and media disadvantages to connect with them. We were targeting young banked Emiratis, aged between 18 to 35. They are avid social media users, with a zest for sharing their life with ‘their’ world on their social platforms. They want personalized experiences that fuel their individuality, and to them national identity is critical in defining themselves. When it comes to connections, they are naturally skewed towards social platforms that allow for discretion and a low-profile. Snapchat is perceived as being the most private social media platform. Consequently, 86% of Emiratis are active on Snapchat (40% more active than expats in the UAE). So, we transformed Snapchat, a personal and intimate medium for Emiratis, from just an awareness medium to a medium delivering brand engagement and business growth, and bypassed geographical limitations.

Describe the execution.

A series of Snapchat lenses and filters created innovative mobile-driven social experiences for Emiratis, and helped Emirates NBD integrate itself into the traditional and cultural moments that mattered to Emiratis. We promoted Snap codes, throughout the year, programmatically targeting only Emiratis through Snap Ads, direct SMSs, and offline (branches, ATMs and popular outdoor locations with Emiratis). In Ramadan, Emirates NBD was the first brand to use behavioral data and “dayparting”, displaying relevant filters at different times of the day. On the two Eids, we leveraged the concept of “eidiya” (monetary gift given on Eid). On Emirati Women’s Day, Snap filters celebrated women. On Flag Day, we helped people decorate their faces via Snapchat with the colors of UAE flag. On Commemoration/Martyrs Day, we launched a special campaign allowing Emiratis to take the sacred UAE Oath renewal. On National Day, we celebrated and shared national pride with exclusive Emirati filters.

List the results.

It became the most successful Emirates NBD campaign when it comes to targeting UAE nationals, as it has reflected positively on the business. And the partnership that we initiated with Snapchat, will continue as an ongoing channel. ACHIEVEMENT 1: +8.6% UAE national accounts (vs. KPI of +5%). ACHIEVEMENT 2: +32.2% UAE national customers signed up for products (vs. KPI of + 15%). ACHIEVEMENT 3: Emirates NBD went from being ranked #3 when it came to the preferred bank for UAE nationals, to being ranked #2. ACHIEVEMENT 4: Average playtime best-in-class benchmarks on Snapchat are 8-15 seconds. We achieved a playtime of 19 seconds which was +27% higher and +11% share rate, which is 100% above best-in-class Snapchat benchmarks. ADDITIONALY: - 100% reach with Emiratis on Snapchat - Millions of Snaps shared UAE national pride from Emiratis to their world - Most engaged Snapchat campaign by a brand in MENA


Name Company Role
Tahaab Rais FP7 McCann MENAT Regional Head of Strategy
Vicky Kriplani FP7 McCann Dubai Senior Account Director
Tala Arakji FP7 McCann Dubai Strategy Manager
Anna Sadykova FP7 McCann Dubai Associate Strategist
Spiro Malak FP7 McCann Dubai GM Business Unit
Oliver Robinson FP7 McCann Dubai Executive Creative Director
Mai Chablak Emirates NBD VP Group Media & Social
Hazem Bagh Emirates NBD Assistant Manager | Social Media
Mohammed Termanini Emirates NBD Assistant Manager – Social
Sanaz Samadi Emirates NBD Assistant Manager – Social
Hind Alali Emirates NBD Assistant Manager – Social
Rasha El-Ghoussaini Snapchat Agency Lead
Abdulla Al-Dabbagh Snapchat Marketing
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