2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists


CategorySocial Behaviour & Cultural Insight

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

The key differentiators for Emirates Airline are their onboard experiences like the best-voted entertainment system in the skies and their regionally-inspired cuisine. In this activation, Emirates went the extra mile to create a unique experience that would ultimately create history and a new Guinness World Record. The activation sparked conversation, excitement and a deep desire for people to participate and be part of this one-of-a-kind Emirates experience. While this was a single stunt involving 540 passengers, we captured the imagination of the entire UAE and also each of the nations represented on board, engaging them for 5 weeks.


Emirates Airline is a leading brand in the UAE. We wanted to continue engaging our audience here in our home market by launching a special project uniquely relevant to them. However, the UAE is a challenging market, because it’s home to many different audiences including locals, Arab expats, a vast Asian community, Western expats and beyond. Brands sometimes resort to creating different executions for different audiences. We needed an idea that would resonate with everyone.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

The Emirates product always needs to be central to the execution, and so the idea of placing an aircraft and the Emirates onboard service at the centre of our thinking came very naturally. With the core objective of connecting with the more than 200 nationalities that call the UAE home, the idea was simple: We created EK2019, a once-in-a-lifetime flight, aiming to gather all 200+ nationalities living in the UAE on the most multicultural flight in aviation history to mark The Year of Tolerance. The flight coincided with UAE National Day and followed a special path across all 7 Emirates of the country in a symbolic flight that also celebrated the union of the individual Emirates into one country in 1971.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

2019 became the perfect time to connect with the more than 200 nationalities that lived in the UAE, when the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, proclaimed it to be the Year of Tolerance – a tribute to the country’s openness to different cultures. As the airline that proudly carries the flag of the UAE and connects the world every day, Emirates Airline was perfectly placed to share this message of tolerance with the world. On average, each Emirates flight carries 50 different nationalities. Now we would go further. People could sign up to represent their nation on EK2019, a flight that aimed to gather all the nationalities living in the UAE on one aircraft – a true representation of the country’s diversity.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

This was a one-off experience, surrounded by 5 weeks of engagement. People could apply for a seat at Emirates.com. We sustained hype on our social channels and revealed our A380 aircraft, specially branded for the event. Shortlisted passengers received a welcome pack with a golden ticket. Before the flight, passengers posed for photos with our mascots, added their names and nationalities to our cloud wall, and engaged with tailored GIPHY stickers on Instagram. On board, passengers watched curated content about The Year of Tolerance and enjoyed lunch from specially designed lunchboxes. The Guinness World Record adjudicator announced the record on the flight and each guest received a certificate as keepsake. Upon return, the UAE Police Band played the UAE national anthem. Following the flight, media reported on our event, the world record and the positive message of diversity and tolerance. We and participating influencers released video highlights on social.

List the results (30% of vote)

• More than 30,000 people applied for seats. • 540 passengers from 145 nationalities were on board EK2019, setting a Guinness World Record for the most multicultural flight in history. • More than 280 pieces of coverage in local, regional and international media outlets. • 8.8 Million users reached on Emirates social channels. • 5.2 Million Instagram story views. • 4.4 Million video views. • 420,000 interactions on Emirates social channels. • 250,000 views across 3 GIPHY stickers. • #EK2019 received 27 million impressions. • 25% rise in sales compared to the same period last year.

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

The UAE is a truly unique country in the world. It is home to more than 200 nationalities. This has given birth to something we call “the third culture,” where people retain pride in their roots and cultural background, but are deeply proud of being part of the UAE, where we are exposed to diverse cultures, customs, cuisines and friends from all over the world. Yet, despite living in such a multicultural country, people often keep to their own, seeking out compatriots and experiences that remind them of home. Emirates Airline connects different cultures every day across the world. Now we wanted to help bridge the gap among our multicultural audience in the UAE to promote the country’s message of tolerance. So we brought the country together on a single Emirates flight – a celebration that transcended tongue and creed, uniting everyone living in the UAE behind a common cause.


Name Company Role
Bechara Mouzannar Leo Burnett Dubai Creative Lead
Munah Zahr Leo Burnett Dubai Creative Lead
Anton Marais Leo Burnett Dubai Creative
Aditi Shah Leo Burnett Dubai Creative
Danielle Jamal Leo Burnett Dubai Communication Management
Nourhan ElGeneidy Leo Burnett Dubai Communication
Gerard Fadel Leo Burnett Dubai Communication
Soha Nasser Leo Burnett Dubai Communication
Mohammad Almajali Leo Burnett Dubai Communication
Shereen Mostafa Leo Burnett Dubai Production
Ralph Matar Leo Burnett Dubai Production
Dan Newton Leo Burnett Dubai Production
Rula Tadros Emirates Airline PR Comms Development and Media Relations & Outreach
Mariana Abu Younis Emirates Airline Arabic Media Relations & Outreach
Hatem Omar Emirates Airline Arabic Comms development and Arabic Media Relations Outreach
Ranwa Zahr Havas Media Planning Strategy
Krista Milton Havas Media Social Strategy
Sweta Singh Havas Media Planning & Execution
Phil Griffiths Nomad Director
Tim Swan Nomad Production
Jemma Cassey Nomad Production