2022 Winners & Shortlists


CategoryBreakthrough on a Budget

Why is this work relevant for Creative Strategy?

In the midst of the pandemic, the industry and advertising landscape had changed completely and Chevrolet was at risk of losing out during its biggest sales period of the year. With a media budget 61% lower than pre-pandemic levels, we needed a different approach to turn Ramadan into a success for Chevrolet. With a cultural insight rooted in local entertainment culture, we created a truly unique campaign that broke all the rules. Tapping into nostalgia at a time when it was needed most, our campaign blended in with Ramadan entertainment, rather than Ramadan advertising.


The pandemic didn’t just change the auto industry, it changed the advertising landscape. The auto industry was one of the hardest hit: • Lockdowns/WFH kept people away from showrooms and reduced the need for a car • The UAE lost 8.4% of its total population in 2020 • Struggling businesses led to layoffs, reduced expendable income and job insecurity (a major factor in big-ticket purchases) Reeling auto brands all switched to survival mode: • Total car industry sales in Chevrolet’s active segments dropped 30% in 2020 • With the consumer climate hitting a sharp decline, every auto brand switched to defense, honing in on their bottom line at a tough time (i.e. more offers, incentives, discounts) Chevrolet had a few high-priority segments that needed to do well in Ramadan. For each, we had a hero vehicle to feature in our communications. (SUV-C: Captiva | SUV-E: Tahoe | Luxury Sport: Corvette)

The Interpretation of the Challenge (30% of vote)

When every month has a special offer, then no month is special: • This resulted in a 2020 where everything was on sale, all year long. Everything was aiming to entice and incentivize drivers to buy now. • With consumers inundated with promotional offers for over a year, their expectations were higher than ever when it came to car prices & offers. • So, in the lead-up to Ramadan, the usual car buying excitement was gone. It was just more of the same. After a full year of pandemic-driven tactical offers from reeling car makers, “Ramadan sales” felt dull and no longer special. • From the start, we knew that if we wanted to make up for this new lack of Ramadan excitement, we’d need to take a different approach to the rest of the category. While they were all out to sell, we’d go out to entertain.

The Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote)

This Ramadan wasn’t about business as usual. It wasn’t about attracting new buyers and spreading our net wide. We needed to refocus on our core Chevrolet Arab audience. Research has shown that nostalgia is a great way to forget about your current struggles and transport yourself to a time when things were better – something that couldn’t have been more relevant than now. YouGov uncovered that 55% of people would return to the past if time travel was possible, and holidays (like Ramadan) are more likely to make people think fondly of the past. We were past the worst of it, but 2021’s Ramadan still wasn’t going to feel like it should. We wanted to bring that Ramadan feeling back, and nostalgia was the key. Audience Insight: With life not yet back to normal, only nostalgia had the power to bring back that exciting Ramadan feeling.

The Creative Idea (20% of vote)

If we wanted to make up for this new lack of Ramadan excitement, we’d need to take a different approach to the rest of the category. Chevrolet didn’t want to come across as just another car brand trying to sell. Knowing our audience were big into shows (TV & online) during Ramadan, to stand out from the sea of sales offers we wanted our campaign came across less like advertising and more like entertainment. While others were all out to sell, we’d go out to entertain. “Fawazir Chevrolet” fused Arabic riddles with fantastic savings, injecting a difficult Ramadan 2021 with a much-needed dose of entertainment. The Creative Idea: Chevrolet modernizes a favorite childhood pastime, Fawazir riddles, to transport people back to a time when Ramadan felt like Ramadan.

The Outcome / Results (20% of vote)

General Motors had a few high-priority segments they wanted us to prioritize in Ramadan. For each of these segments, we had a hero vehicle to feature in our communications. (SUV-C: Captiva | SUV-E: Tahoe | Luxury Sport: Corvette) At a time when the auto market still hadn’t recovered and with a budget 61% lower than in 2019, Chevrolet saw brand improvement & sales growth exceeding even the pre-pandemic era: • Chevrolet increased key brand metrics: Brand Consideration +27% (50% higher than before the pandemic) • Key image attributes also improved with perceptions of Chevrolet as “a brand you can trust” increasing 26%. • Total Chevrolet sales in UAE increased 31% (over 3 times higher than overall industry growth in the same period) • Chevrolet sales in key segments: o SUV-C: Sales +123% o SUV-E: Sales +34% o Luxury Sport: Sales +800% - Our best YOY (year-on-year) sales since 2017


Name Company Role
Andrej Arsenijevic Commonwealth McCann Creative Director
Habiba Allam Commonwealth McCann Copywriter
Mayar Essawy Commonwealth McCann Art Director
Abdulkader Asfari Commonwealth McCann Arabic Copywriter
John Hassan Commonwealth McCann Executive Producer
Jesse Armstrong Commonwealth McCann Account Director
Saad Naamani Commonwealth McCann Digital Director
Salam Beirakdar Commonwealth McCann Head of Social
Sami Kabbarah Commonwealth McCann Senior Social Media Manager
Ali Marashi Commonwealth McCann Head of Strategy
David Minkin Commonwealth McCann General Manager
Matt Canzano Commonwealth McCann CCO/Global Markets
Jeff Beverly Commonwealth McCann EVP, Global Director Content
Diana Ceausu Commonwealth McCann EVP, Global Head of Strategy and Innovation
Grant Theron Commonwealth McCann Global CEO
Ayman Hussain Craft Editor
Walid Abu El Ala Craft Senior Graphic Designer
Vinod Kumar Craft Digital Developer
Ingrid Bawab Boomtown Productions Director
Shane Martin Boomtown Productions Executive Producer
Supporting Webpage