2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists


CategorySocial Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Idea Creation DDB EGYPT Cairo, EGYPT

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

In 2013, the World Economic Forum warned that the biggest threat that will face our society today are 'Digital Wildfires'. In Egypt the amount of fake online language providers accounts are endless, which poses as a threat to anyone in the Egyptian society that are wanting to learn for their professional or personal development. So what we did for The British Council is tackle this challenge heads on and showcase that the digital wildfire phenomena that we are facing today, is not the fault of the audience but the fault of the world of social media.


The English language in Egyptian schools is close to non-existent, resulting in only very few people speaking proper English. With English being essential in the world today, many Egyptians find various ways to gain the language, even if it means only ending up learning gibberish. This has contributed to many fake institutions claiming to teach the language with very few actually teaching it correctly. And in a culture where people get easily offended when told they have it wrong, it was a challenge to convince them that not all sources are credible. The real challenge here, was that The British Council was losing shares to new online language providers which were failing to demonstrate the quality and expertise offered at The British Council. The objective was to raise awareness of the issue in the least offensive way possible, and position The British Council as the solution.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

The copy features the most ridiculously translated signs across Egypt. Making it a point to highlight the amount of fake and incorrect English present in our everyday life and the deteriorating quality of English we are facing. The voice over stresses on the fact that everyone and anyone is teaching English nowadays and while it is not your fault you've been taught incorrectly, you should always go to the trusted institutions. It was the first to break the taboo of not making fun of anyone’s English and it sympathized with the people at the receiving end. They are the victims, not the ones to blame. Because whoever taught them, taught them wrong in the first place.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Our target were the 18 to 34-year olds, middle to upper B class, especially senior year university students or fresh graduates who are actively seeking career opportunities. Which makes our target audience widely familiar with the fake English language provider alternatives as they are their main target as well. With that in mind, what better way to learn a language than from the source? And this is exactly where The British Council comes in. In a hyper-connected world where content is highly abundant everywhere, you can not guarantee the value of the knowledge you receive. If you want to learn proper English, you learn it from the place that is originally English and by doing so, you guarantee to learn English the right way.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

The campaign aired in back to school season, where everyone is already in the studious state of mind. The main channels we focused on were MBC Masr, MBC 2, and Al Kahirah Wal Nas as they were the ones most relevant to our audience based on research. The copy aired at times and after shows where it was almost guaranteed our target was watching. And to make sure we weren't missing anyone and tackle the problem from the source, the campaign was also placed on social media and digital platforms, with posts of fake English signs and relevant content supporting the campaign and emphasizes on our messaging.

List the results (30% of vote)

The campaign was a huge success in terms of viewership and business results.The results were phenomenal. No other Educational institution has seen more social media engagement. The result was an increase by 133% in business leads and class enrollments. The video had over 8 million views online and the consumer feedback was very positive, with people highlighting how The British Council has taken a new approach to speaking the language of their consumer and highlighting the real problems faced by Egyptians trying to learn English.

Please tell us about the social behaviour and / or cultural insights that inspired your campaign

In Egypt, the English offered at schools is of very low quality. Resulting in students graduating only to figure out that it is essential if they want to stand a chance in the employment market. Having the English language in Egypt, opens a world of opportunities. It is an essential skill that means upward mobility from which ever point you start. A head-start for children, entry in to higher education, a first job, or a promotion. Perhaps more importantly, English is the perfect confidence tool which builds self-esteem amongst peers. So when fake English providers come in play with very minimal costs, Egyptians tend to fall for it. And as a culture that gets easily offended when told they are wrong, we made sure to highlight that the blame is never on those who try to learn, but only on those who teach incorrectly.


Name Company Role
Basel El Deeb TN The Academy Managing Partner-Head of Communication Services
Ahmed Tarek DDB Egypt Managing Partner
Salma Ayman DDB Egypt Account Supervisor
Hosam El Akil DDB Egypt Senior Copywriter
Mohamed Lewa DDB Egypt Junior Copywriter
Ahmed El Azazy DDB Egypt Senior Art Director
Ahmed El Sebai DDB Egypt Junior Copywriter
Mazen Nawar DDB Egypt Junior Copywriter
Karim Badr Red Productions Director
Rula El Kaliouby DDB Egypt Head of Strategy
Heba Farag Red Productions Executive Producer
Kimo Rady Red Productions Post Producer
Bush Rosefelt NA DOP
Baher Rashed NA Editor
M Samy Nasser NA Grading
Nada Kamel NA Assistant Editor
Hosni Aly NA Sound design and mixing
Mohamed Kandil NA Director Producer
Baher Eid NA Music composition
Mohamed Ghazy DDB Egypt Copywriter