2020/2021 Winners & Shortlists


EntrantKAIRO Cairo, EGYPT
CategoryFast Moving Consumer Goods
Idea Creation KAIRO Cairo, EGYPT
Media Placement KAIRO Cairo, EGYPT

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Al Abd is the largest traditional sweets maker in Egypt. The most important day for the brand is the birthday of the prophet Mohamed, where boxes of so-called “Prophet’s Birthday Sweets” reach the homes of millions of Egyptians. The idea utilized Al Abd’s most important medium - its packaging - to create a unique brand experience that engages its millions of customers.


“Moulid Al Nabi” is the celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, which Muslims await each year for the special mystical atmosphere it holds. Particularly in Egypt, the celebrations are deeply rooted within the country’s history, going back a thousand years. El Abd is the biggest name in the market of the “Prophet’s birthday sweets”. The brand’s promise is to always act as the “Custodians of the Egyptian culture”. How do we create an engaging experience that harnesses this brand promise on a medium usually overlooked as a viable medium beyond just good aesthetics?

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

When approaching El Abd's new packaging design, we decided to engage customers through an experience that celebrates a “Moulid Al Nabi” tradition. One of the most authentic forms of celebration is the conducting of what is known as “Halaqat Al Zikr” (or mystic circles), where poems and songs that praise and honor the Prophet are chanted in a rhythmic dance. The performance is led by a “Nucleus Chanter” together with “Supporting Chanters”, standing in a circle around him. We decided to translate the mystical experience of “Halaqat Al Zikr” into a brand experience through the design of the packaging.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Our strategy was to utilize the packaging to generate word of mouth and spark online conversation through El Abd’s customers. Using the “prophet’s birthday sweets” tin boxes and a letter left inside each box describing the experience behind the design concept we turned the packaging into a megaphone for the brand and created a brand experience that reached millions of homes.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

“Halaqat Al Zikr” has a very particular spatial and musical structure that is exhibited by Sufi groups mystically swaying back and forth to the rhythmic beating of a drum. We captured this deeply spiritual experience by generating heat maps of their motion, which revealed circle-like forms that we traced and refined to create geometric and rhythmic arrangements. We chose 3 Sufi-inspired color palettes for the rhythmic arrangements, from which we created our own design language. We then applied them on 3 different tin boxes. We involved our customers in this unique design experience by placing a letter inside every box to explain the idea behind the design process, detailing the process from inspiration to ideation to execution.

List the results (30% of vote)

The design experience helped shed light on a forgotten yet important sonic practice of “Moulid Al Nabi” that is not conventionally communicated through visuals. The letter placed inside the box engaged our customers and triggered an organic online conversation that generated unprecedented engagement on social platforms for the brand. But more importantly, the total number of boxes sold increased by 28% from 2018 to 2019.


Name Company Role
Hesham Ellabban KAIRO Concept and Experience Design
Sameeh Selim KAIRO Head of Strategy & Data
Mahmoud Dogheim KAIRO General Manager
Anan Raafat KAIRO Experience and Graphic design
Alaa Elhadidy KAIRO Multimedia Designer
Mahmoud Elhossieny KAIRO Designer