2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists


Product/ServiceGMC SIERRA
CategoryFiction & Non-Fiction Films: 5-30 minutes

Why is this work relevant for Entertainment?

No matter what your offering, if you don't entertain your audience one scroll and you're instantly forgotten. Off-roading automotive ads follow a very traditional storyline. Out in the desert, beauty shot of the vehicle climbing dunes, drenching itself in a wadi and then coming to a rest at an outcrop. Boring! The GMC Sierra was ready to say goodbye to traditional. Real people, real expressions, real challenges. We took our audience on a journey and empowered them to experience it every step of the way. We welcomed a bold new outlook on traditional advertising. Truly un-skippable.


The all-new GMC Sierra was launching in the region. Heavy competition and a lack of emotional equity meant that our sales targets seemed out of reach. We needed to differentiate our proposition within a cluttered marketplace and take back our position as off-roading leader. Business Objective: Drive sales. Media Objective: Launch the next generation Sierra by reaching our target in relevant environments and on the right channels. Creative Objective: Introduce the all-new Sierra through a campaign as differentiated and powerful as the offering demanded.

Describe the creative idea

In 1930, legendary explorer Sheikh Saleh bin Khalut crossed the unforgiving terrain of the Empty Quarter by foot. It took him 60 days. Nearly 90 years later we would follow in his footsteps, this time with a GMC Sierra, putting the truck to the ultimate test. We partnered with MBC Driven and captured the thrill of this journey with a 5-episode mini-series. This massive expedition, involved 2 GMC Sierras, with 3 renowned off-road specialists from the MBC Driven team and Mubarak bin Kalut, the grandson of Sheikh Saleh bin Khalut who guided them with his old journals. With genuine storytelling, real time thrills and spills, and extreme driving, this journey was a true test for both, the men and the GMC Sierra.

Describe the strategy

Our insight came from closely observing our off-roading audience's culture. We dug past the observations of 'thrilling exploration' and 'adrenaline rush' and focused on the relationships between people in the community. If we wanted to connect with them, we had to unpack how they connected with one another, what led them to admire one another. This was our moment of revelation. This community was uniquely focused on earning one another's respect. Respect was not earned on the basis of how expensive your vehicle was or your family name - but the feats you accomplished and your skill as a driver. The toughest of challenges, the heart of a lion, the ability to conquer any terrain - that earns you respect.

Describe the execution

With genuine storytelling, real time thrills and spills, and extreme driving, our mini-series showcased the true test of both, the men and the GMC Sierra. An agile crew shot this massive journey, which involved 2 GMC Sierras, driven by 3 renowned off-road specialists from the MBC Driven team. Mubarak bin Kalut, the grandson of Sheikh Saleh bin Khalut guided them with his old journals and anecdotes. The content was gripping and soon hit the right notes with the off-roading community.

Describe the outcome

Reach: +5.5 million people (in just 2 months); Views: +10 million completed views; Sales: ~2000 sales (~300,000 unique visits and ~20,000 CRM leads) The campaign resulted in selling out the vehicle and truly capturing the hearts of our off-roading community


Name Company Role
Bechara Mouzannar Leo Burnett Chief Creative Officer
Michael Habre Leo Burnett Dubai Creative Direction
Ritabrata Saha Leo Burnett Dubai Copywriting, ideation
Shibith Saseendran Leo Burnett Dubai Art direction, ideation
Shinil Damodar Shinil.damodar@leoburnett.com Art Direction
Nabil Mufarrij Leo Burnett Dubai Communication Servicing Director
Danielle Jamal Leo Burnett Dubai Group Integration Director
Ghada Barake Leo Burnett Dubai Junior Communication Executive
Karim Mroueh Leo Burnett Dubai Project Manager - Digital
Shereen Moustafa Leo Burnett Dubai Head of Production
Ralph Matar Leo Burnett Dubai TV Producer
Shadi Khermasho Leo Burnett Head of Arabic
Mohammad Hussein Leo Burnett Arabic Copywriter
Sami Saleh Prodigious Chief Operating Officer
Naji Bechara Prodigious Producer
Steven Hendler Prodigious Director
Julien El Anati Choueiri Group Regional Sales Director
Halim Sader Choueiri Group Sales Director
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