2019 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryCorporate Social Responsibility
Idea Creation 2 LEO BURNETT Jeddah, SAUDI ARABIA

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Every year, global and regional brands spend millions of dollars on emotional Ramadan campaigns, in hopes of even moving their market share by a mere point. The Holy Month is the commonly referred to as the 'Christmas of the Middle East,' and is the most competitive time of the year. Armed with a quarter of their spend (US $280,000 dollars), we launched a campaign that empowered an entire nation to swap their digital interactions with physical ones instead, by getting to know their neighbour. The results were historic. The collaborations between partnering brands, unforgettable. And the social impact was priceless.


With the rise of rapid urbanization and the early adoption of social media, Saudis were quickly trading their physical interactions within their community with their social media interactions instead. Saudi tradition is deeply rooted in a strong sense of community and daily personal dealings, yet today’s generation doesn’t even know their own neighbors. AlAila (which means, family in Arabic) has always stood for bringing Saudis together over a meal. As a leader in the premium rice category, AlAila felt it needed to remind Saudis about re-connecting with their communities again over a meal, instead of on Facebook, instagram or snapchat. With the holy month of Ramadan around the corner, and most of the country’s looking to devote more time to themselves and their families, AlAila saw the perfect opportunity to emotionally connect with its audience and encourage them to get to know their neighbor.

Describe the creative idea.

We launched an emotional Ramadan campaign that leveraged the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) teachings on the importance of having good relations with your neighbor. A unique basket was designed and filled with different goodies from our partner brands. The basket had a message inside empowering Saudis to connect with their neighbors by using our products to create a dish to share together. The baskets were deployed across the country to thousands of Saudi homes during the Ramadan month. Brands like Oreo, Tang and Barilla became part of Saudi’s dinner time, as they put down their phones and picked up their cooking utensils. Our campaign was so popular that even social media influencers and celebrities saw the true notion of the cause and began to share and re-post content about our baskets almost daily. This little ‘ice breaker’ became the catalyst for many posts, making the campaign go viral.

Describe the strategy.

Rice is the largest food categories in Saudi Arabia. An estimated 1.3 million MT* is consumed annually. They are a pivotal part of any Saudi meal and are what ‘fries’ is to the American hamburger. We knew that rice consumption was strong, especially during Ramadan. When it increases drastically due to the breaking of fast. We also knew that Saudi society have a stronger connection to each other during the holy month, as well as a desire to be better human beings. Leveraging this insight, we led by example, and got to know our neighbors first, on the shopping aisle shelves, where we shared space. Global brands were invited to take part in our social cause and spread the message of getting to know their neighbor. Collectively, we created a strategy that would aim to take the awkwardness out of meeting a neighbor by sharing a meal together. * http://www.arabnews.com/node/948626/saudi-arabia

Describe the execution

We ‘knocked’ on the doors of our own neighbors, in-store. Our cause got brands like Oreo, Tang, Barilla, Nada and Al Taj cream to join our cause. And, we didn’t stop there. We decided to extend our invitation to AlRomansiah Restaurant, who donated vouchers to share with neighbors, as well as The Saudi Food-Bank & AlMuhaidib Social Foundation, who supplied our cause with tupperware for leftover food donations. Our uniquely designed direct mailer was deployed across major cities like Jeddah, Riyadh and Damman, inviting Saudis to use our products to create a meal to share with their neighbors. To announce the initiative, we launched an online film tackling the problem head-on, and offered our baskets as a solution to today’s uber-socially connected society. To further extend our reach, we enlisted the help of 34 influencers to invite Saudis to take on our cause headfirst.

List the results.

The campaign exploded almost instantly with record number of sales and views. - We enjoyed a +375% growth in our shares, to levels AlAila has never-before experienced, especially during Ramadan, one of the busiest and most competitive times of the year. The campaign was a testimony of how we had won our consumers’ hearts and minds in a declining year. We also grew +44% over than our previous Ramadan season. -Our campaign launch video enjoyed over 25 million views in a short period of time. -62 Million impressions reached in the only one month. - Positive brand sentiment was more than 75% during Ramadan. But most importantly, we got neighbors to re-connect with each other over a meal by helping them disconnect from their online lives.


Name Company Role
Mohammed Sehly Leo Burnett Creative Director
Georges Serhan Leo Burnett Senior Art Director
Haitham Darwish Leo Burnett Senior Art Director
Mahmoud Eissa Leo Burnett Senior Copy Writer
Makram AlKhatib Leo Burnett Communication Director
Imad Jurdi Leo Burnett Communication Executive
William Karam ability senior digital media manager
Ralph Sreih ability Senior digital manager
Paolo Ghazal ability Operation director
Joseph Makhoul Mint MENA CEO
Ali Mokdad Mint MENA Creative Director
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