2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryUse of Social & Digital Platforms

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

For a retail business that thrives on up-close and immersive interactions with the people, the lockdown situation was far from ideal. We needed an organic way to seep back into people’s imagination and conversations, like they’ve always experienced on our premises.


The avant-garde Dubai Design District is known for global fashion and design festivals, plus chic galleries showcasing work by up-and-coming designers and artists. But with the global pandemic and strict lockdowns, the visitors and energy all but disappeared.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

With no activity on ground, we took the action to Instagram. A virtual apartment that invited creatives from across the globe to move in. The rules were simple: 1) Take pictures of your living space 2) Write an inspiring note for the community 3) Send us a direct message Each submission got a unique illustrated tile and appeared on our feed, which in itself became an eclectic art mural, thanks to the grid format on Instagram.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

With Instagram being the go-to social media app of our core audience, and tying the newly created account with D3’s own Instagram page, we piqued their curiosity and imagination. We were certain that the living spaces of creatives would be an extension of themselves, and thereby worth sharing for inspiration during a tough lockdown.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We launched the initiative on the D3 Instagram page on 5th June with a video that was viewed over 100,000 times. We started receiving entries right away. Curated entries were then turned into illustration tiles, as the virtual apartment started taking shape. We went a step further and held online mental health webinars with certified doctors from The Lighthouse Wellbeing Clinic. Once lockdown measures were eased, we launched an exhibition with the artworks created in the art galleries of D3, where visitors can scan a barcode to visit the Insta-Apartments thereby closing the circle.

List the results (30% of vote)

Submissions from over 30 countries Over 100 qualifying submissions Over 10,000 interactions Over 4 million impressions Followers to D3 page up by 20% during lockdown months Site traffic highest in the last quarter Retail and business enquiries up by 30% during lockdown months, even from overseas


Name Company Role
Akhilesh Bagri Serviceplan Middle East Executive Creative Director
Andre Couto Serviceplan Middle East Creative Director
Sahar Iqbal Serviceplan Middle East Head of Social
Kunal Gagwani Serviceplan Middle East Designer
Natalie Shardan Serviceplan Middle East Managing Director
Frances Valerie Bonifacio Serviceplan Middle East Planning Director
Amira Mohammadi Serviceplan Middle East Social Media Manager
Laith Alemailat Serviceplan Middle East Account Executive
Michelle Peric - Illustrator
Reem Shaban Tecom Group Executive Director
Saad Yusuf Tecom Group Marketing Director
Khadija Al Bastaki Dubai Design District Executive Director
Social Media URL