MANGOJAM STUDIO FZ LLC Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
SILKROAD IMAGES Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Summary of the work
15% of homes in the Middle East don’t have a father.
But single moms remain a cultural taboo in Arab society. Often, seen as having failed at being good wives to their husbands. Never shown in advertising.
Home Centre, a home furniture retailer, challenged that taboo across Gulf markets in the Middle East, winning share-of-heart and share-of-wallet with its primary target group of Arab moms, who sympathised with the topic of single moms on a human level.
On Father’s Day, a film featuring real people, NOT actors, showed children sharing tributes in what seemed like yet another Father’s Day ad, until the rug pull moment when it’s revealed that the children were talking about their moms - real single moms, shot across their own homes.
Taking on a cultural taboo immediately triggered 53% negative reactions from conservative sections of Arab society.
But Home Centre expected it and had a plan, effectively transforming conventional channels meant for Father’s Day into channels recognising, celebrating and supporting Arab single moms; in turn, including and integrating single moms into not just Father's Day, but also, into conversations and brand actions.
With a low budget of only $50,000 ($25,000 for production and $25,000 for media), this meaningful initiative was breakthrough and had an instant impact - influencing perceptions, and in turn, positively influencing brand attributes, impacting a commercial spike for Home Centre.
“Home Centre’s purpose is focused on enabling every home to tell its own unique story.
Now, as that strategic purpose was being developed by our strategic partners, we were also exposed to an untapped insight about one story not being told across homes in the Middle East.
It sparked a breakthrough strategy for us, with Arab Moms - our decision-makers and buyers.
We shot with real people. We did not cast actors. And we executed this entire initiative (versus a one-off film) during COVID-19. We faced a lot of timing limitations owing to curfews and location limitations owing to lack of studio spaces. We executed with bare minimum budgets; we had to pull budgets from all corners owing to the freezes the retail category faced.
Then, despite the negative sentiments, we were persuaded to stick to our plan as we had one. We continued standing up for the cause, celebrating and backing it even more.
Being awarded multiple times globally and regionally, importantly, the work has been meaningful to the segment we’ve focused on, to the culture, to our brand and business.
And it all began with that disruptive strategy.”
– Siddarth Sivaprakash, Head of Marketing, Home Centre, Landmark Group