Originally published in Campaign Middle East.
The Emirates has long been known as the land of dreams; people of different backgrounds and upbringing from all over the world live, visit, and admire the country’s ethos and vision. The Emirates is a story that narrates the power of the human potential and imagination in driving progress and uniting people under the inspiring principle “the impossible is possible”. Only the Emirates could offer audiences from across the globe a chance to make their aspirations a reality, no matter how ambitious or unobtainable they might seem. The #MarsShot, the unique global digital campaign, invited people across the world to share one inspiring dream for a chance to make it happen.
THE NEED TO DREAM BIG
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there is a universal longing for positivity with people looking towards social media platforms for new aspirations and inspirational content that act as beacons of hope amid life in lockdown. The Emirates and OMD UAE worked together to marry the right media mix to communicate meaningfully with a very real and impactful message; to dream big and conquer the impossible through an inspiring competition.
To inspire people across the globe to dream big and incentivize them to participate in a campaign that delivers on a meaningful purpose, bettering the world and inspiring others to do the same.
The media challenge OMD and the Emirates faced was empowering audiences when feelings of doubt and uncertainty exist across the region and beyond. They needed to offer empathy and act as a guiding star leading them to their personal version of a Mars mission. In addition, they needed to consider the major shifts that have taken place in the way people engage with content since the outbreak of the virus and find a way to differentiate themselves. All the while, inspiring audiences to enter a competition that could lead to having their dreams realized.
A global trend, but particularly pronounced in our markets, social and streaming services achieved double-digit growth in the number of UAE users in the last few months. “While consumers are looking inward and restricting physical world interactions, they are also actively expressing themselves to the outside world through social platforms. Social media is used as an outlet for escapism from an uncertain world. What better way to leave daily worries behind than embarking on a journey to space?”, commented Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director Marketing & Communications, UAE Ministry of Cabinet Affairs & the Future, Public Diplomacy Office.
Knowing social media usage worldwide has increased by 60% since March and internet data traffic due to surges in video consumption by 40%, OMD instantly understood where they needed to strike. The social campaign consisted of a balanced approach between awareness and performance with two defined stages. An awareness phase that was optimized towards campaign visibility and engagements, and a data-driven re-targeting strategy; where those who engaged with the awareness phase were provided with further details around the entry mechanics and a clear call to action.
Khaled AlShehhi adds, “we chose to work with content creators who offered a valuable story to tell and who wholeheartedly believe in the power of people’s dreams and ambitions. They focused on creating relevant and authentic content centered around people and their dreams”. This is why OMD selected IG stories as their main platform. People are more tuned in when watching IG stories as this is where people showcase a more genuine and authentic side of their personality. Influencers could reach out from their natural environments in their homes without scripts or professional lighting, just influencers and their audiences intimately exploring their genuine hopes and dreams.
Carefully they selected a range of influencers across 3 key groups, including the ‘inspiration and caring’, ‘the genuine and human’, and ‘the experience maker’ to widen their reach to a vast number of dreamers. The campaign also included one key anchor ambassador who embodies the true spirit of the Emirates, who is internationally recognized for his ability to resonate with audiences from all over the world. Kevin Hart was a perfect choice to instill confidence with his bold message to ‘dare to dream.’
In just a matter of days, the competition saw phenomenal levels of engagement from the UAE. Known for better decisions, faster, OMD was able to pivot quickly; identifying where the message resonated the most, they amplified the focus to the UAE which resulted in a 196% increase in daily competition submissions and 125% increase in daily page follows.
In total, over 75M impressions were generated, over 25M views, a 50M reach globally and 46K Instagram page followers in under 10 days. In terms of organic reach, FP7 McCann reported 230K profile views, with a total of 15.6M reach and 161K stories impressions.
More importantly than this, OMD and the Emirates nation brand saw online conversations move to a more hopeful message, they were able to create a large community of ambitious dreamers, and 3 lucky winners will see their dreams come true, contributing to a nation-wide elevation of pride.
For more information and to learn about the finalist reveal, visit www.MarsShot.ae