2019 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryDurable Consumer Goods, including Cars


Through 2017 into 2018, two key factors were depressing new car sales in the UAE: lower global oil prices reducing consumer confidence and the introduction of 5% VAT shifting spending away from luxuries. Premium manufacturers such as INFINITI (Japanese giant Nissan's luxury brand extension) were being hit the hardest. Despite the market, new vehicles would still be bought - albeit at a lower volume. And given the market situation, INFINITI’s ‘affordable luxury’ positioning was actually more likely to resonate – provided we could identify buyers more effectively and get a stronger message in front of them. Ultimately, we had to make the business case that any new strategy was viable for the future. Our KPI's for this brief were to increase month on month leads by at least 15%, and to demonstrate that the leads were of a higher quality by increasing conversion rates from leads by at least 10%.

Describe the creative idea.

A key purchase moment for premium car buyers comes when people come into money; for example, after a promotion or new job. At this point, it’s normal practice that people enhance their lifestyle through purchases that an increased buying power affords them. This is about elevating living standards as much as projecting an improved status to the world. One of the purposes of self-projection in this context is to spark conversation. People are happy to talk about positive life events and want to be asked. We likened it to the way psychological studies have identified the dopamine effect of inviting likes and positive comments on social media platforms. The challenge for us was to identify people living in this moment. We felt a message from INFINITI targeted at these people at this exact time would score high on relevance, and would stand a better chance of converting.

Describe the strategy.

Mapping INFINITI’s wider audience (25-45 year old local Arabs, Arab expats, South & East Asians and Westerners, earning minimum 20k AED/month) to career levels, we identified: -INFINITI Q50 – Executives. Looking for powerful top-of-the-line vehicles, predominantly male. -Q60 – Early-mid career Arabs & Europeans. Enjoying premium lifestyles with sufficient career advancement to own a sports car with attitude. -QX60 – Established professionals; sufficient wealth to own a second household vehicle in the premium category. Whilst media couldn’t directly identify these targets, we understood that once promotions or new jobs was confirmed, LinkedIn is one media space where this news gets broadcast that we could access. LinkedIn advertising normally allows for targeting based on job title; but we were looking for a sub-segment who had *recently updated* job title. A slight tweak on the standard targeting that LinkedIn confirmed hadn’t been done before, but that was technically possible to execute.

Describe the execution.

LinkedIn users matching our audience clusters who had updated their job title within the last 3 months (the average buying cycle for a new vehicle in the UAE according to Google research), were sent a customized communication in the form of a LinkedIn InMail. The messages offered congratulations on their achievement along with an opportunity to take advantage of an offer tailored for them. It was made clear that INFINITI’s offer was designed exclusively for them in light of their news, lending an air of exclusivity and personalization to the whole campaign. The users were retargeted with the offer through display ads to support conversion. Over the course of a month we delivered 10,939 emails complemented by 238,988 banners exclusively to people who had all recently been promoted or landed a new job and who we believed were most likely to be in the market for a new premium car.

List the results.

Did we deliver a more relevant message? LinkedIn verified reports confirm email open rates reached a staggering 85.4% against platform benchmarks of 30% (+2.85x). Click-through rates reached 10.9% benchmarked against an average of 5.5% (+2x). Our retargeted banners achieved click-throughs of 0.4% vs. a benchmarked rate of 0.05% (+8x). Did these results translate to action? Of the 72 additional new leads from this campaign (a 20% increase from previous month averages vs. an objective of 15%), 31 visited the showroom to book test drives – a conversion rate of 43% and significantly beyond our initial target increase. Did the leads ultimately convert to sales? Whilst this was not a media target, seven of the 31 test drivers ended up buying a brand new INFINITI. Although the profit on sales remains undisclosed, it was significant enough for us to receive an instant approval to run this execution again.


Name Company Role
Alexandra de Smet Initiative MENA - Dubai Associate Media Director
Bassem Hoss Initiative MENA - Dubai Associate Media Manager
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