'A Dad's Job' describes how we integrated a new conversation, tackling an untapped social and cultural insight, by integrating into a conventionally used but attention-worthy cultural occasion in the Middle East: Father's Day.
It also describes how we effectively integrated into channels used for Father's Day and transformed those channels in a disruptive manner, to instead challenge the cultural taboo around Arab single moms, in a year-long plan comprising initiatives across channels.
In turn, we included and integrated single moms into not just Father's Day, but also, advertising, marketing and society.
Home Centre’s a homegrown home furniture and furnishings retailer from and across the Middle East.
It competes for regional market share with its biggest competitor - the well-known furniture brand from Sweden.
During COVID-19, while brick and mortar retail came to an abrupt standstill, e-commerce was growing and burgeoning in the Middle East, including in the home retail category.
With 80% of its buyers being moms, and its primary target audience being Arab and expat Arab moms, Home Centre needed to earn attention, trigger conversation and drive consideration during COVID-19.
Looking at research conducted into this audience, during COVID-19:
65% were paying more attention to what brands are saying.
72% preferred emotional stories.
83% wanted to associate with more purposeful brands.
95% of the work from that had earned their respect during Covid-19, did all of the above.
Home Centre needed to find the opportunity to do all of it.
Describe the creative idea
Home Centre believes in ‘every home has its own unique story to tell.’
But there was one story not being told across the Middle East.
According to Gallup, 15% of homes in the Middle East don’t have a father.
For context, Sub-Saharan Africa (32%), Latin America (30%), US/Canada (19%) are the only regions ahead. The global average is 13%.
Yet, single moms, remain a cultural taboo in Arab society, often, seen as having failed at being good wives to their husbands, or worse.
As a result, they are never shown in advertising in the Middle East.
Home Centre challenged that taboo, by becoming the first brand in the Middle East to ever speak about single moms.
A campaign titled ‘A Dad’s Job’ kicked off Home Centre’s commitment to single moms to celebrate and help those moms who double up as dads, every day, in homes across the Middle East.
Describe the strategy
In society’s eyes, single moms may never fill the shoes of an absent father. The role they have to assume to fill the void for the child, puts them under a tremendous pressure, that’s overwhelming. It’s also unfair, as they are doing a great job.
Seen from a child’s perspective (having spoken with children of single mothers), they don’t see anything imperfect about their mothers. They believe their mothers are doing a great job and are also being great at not making them miss a father. Their mothers are seen to play two roles very effortlessly not really making them feel like they’re missing a dad.
So, starting from Father’s Day, we wanted to celebrate moms who are also dads in a game-changing and positively provocative campaign in the Middle East. And we used channels that celebrate dads to instead challenge the cultural taboo of single moms.
Describe the execution
On Father’s Day, a moving film with a rug-pull featured real people, NOT actors, and showed children sharing tributes about their moms - real single moms.
Taking on a cultural taboo immediately triggered 50% negative reactions from conservative sections of Arab society.
But Home Centre expected it - and had a plan.
Influencers signed on organically, voicing support.
With leading Arab image banks, algorithms were changed, so search terms related to fathers or families, instead led to images of single moms with kids.
Door name plates for single moms, customisable online, challenged a cultural norm of homes having door name plates with the father’s name or family name.
“How to Mom & Dad” videos featured single moms doing things Arab dads do.
Career Workshops with certified coaches helped with career mapping and growth.
Genuine tributes from children were put onto gifts for single moms in store, as well as online.
List the results
“The first brand to recognize single moms in the Middle East.” (Arab Ad)
“A groundbreaking spot.” (Shoot Online)
“No other brand has dared to address these issues.” (Arab News)
“With 80% of buyers being moms, it has resonated not just with single moms but also, with moms across the region.” (Al Jadeed)
The idea travelled:
1) 1.1 billion earned media impressions.
2) $3.72 million earned media value.
3) 102 million cross-platform organic views.
4) 63% of the region reached.
With a $50,000 media and production budget, the positive sentiments earned for tackling the taboo of showing single moms in advertising, overwhelmed the initial negativity, changing from 50% negative to 86% positive.
Resultantly, the positive sentiment impacted the business over the 3-month period starting Father’s Day vs. 3-month period prior, during a health and economic crisis:
1) Consideration: +23%.
2) Relevance: +28%.
3) Footfall: +190%.
4) Revenue: +120%.
5) Purchases: +170%.