Nidal Bou Hamdan, associate creative director at FP7 McCann Riyadh, delves into five pieces of work from the KSA that have caught his ad-keen eye in recent months
I'm an ad addict, history freak and gaming nerd all in one...weird, I know! I might be one of the few people who takes notes while watching any ad-related event and doesn't skip a TV commercial. I relish on anything new in the ad, gaming and digital industry, and I’m pretty sure I'll keep enjoying the creative field until the freelancers and content creators take over...
Domino’s Pizza - 'No Terms & Conditions'
"Hello." "How much do I owe you?" "Your bill is 36 riyals." *Sneezes* "Add two riyals to that." "Under what condition, Sir?" "According to Condition 87, every sneeze will cost you an additional two riyals." "This is obviously an exploitation; I don’t want the things." "Unfortunately, it’s too late." "Oh, come on, those conditions of yours, why are they even there?" "Your objection will cost you, Sir." "We don’t want the toys anymore" *turns towards his son* "Drop the things. Let’s go" *two giant security guards block his way* "Guys, come on..." "I’d like to have helped but these are the conditions." "He’s paying cash." "Cash? Add three riyals."..."Because transparency is a principle, our offer comes without any conditions. Any two pizzas or more for 29 riyals each."
Two things fast-food brands are good at: 1) blurring out the terms & conditions, and 2) bombarding us with the delicious-looking yet far-from-real-looking food shots. Well, when it comes to this ad, it is not the case. Domino’s created a visual parody where they showcase a virtual toy store that injects ridiculous terms and conditions into every purchase, attempting to gain an extra buck at every turn, and making the cashier experience uncomfortably funny with a dose of hardcore local lingo and insights.
stc Pay - 'Era Champion'
"This is him - the champion of this era, he who has saved the night. He went far, with no return in sight. Want me to give you a piece of information? You’d spot him at a place like this, where he used to pay in cash, where he used to take an appointment and stand in a queue. Now he’s holding onto his phone. Crazy how the times have changed. He was the pioneer and that makes him the smarter one - download, register, communicate. And he was a helping hand for others. Order, send, renew. And he was distant. He then activated and six million followed. They pay, they transfer, they greet one another. And when they go out, they are asked "do you have Tawakkalna?” Of course they have Tawakkalna. Their names are many: citizen, resident, user, employee. This is what it is, this is you. You are the champion of this era, You are the champion of digital transformation. The Saudi citizen, without the Saudi citizen we cannot accomplish what we’ve already achieved.”
stc is one of the few brands in KSA that have successfully managed to shed its old skin and rebrand itself as a youth / hip-driven brand with digital transformation always in mind. This ad is a testimony to that, especially for National Day. Where most brands decided to take a poetic approach, stc went with a retro-sarcastic vibe that rings a bell for the young-at-heart, featuring one of their key new products, stc Pay.
MRSOOL - 'Walk the Talk'
The script takes us through the various qualities of MRSOOL delivery man:
"Dependable, experienced, fast learner, enlightened, hardcore, tough, good driver, fast, patient, 10-men-strong, virtuous, chivalrous, night crawler, always available, never gets lost, presentable, good eye, clean, elegant, powerful, reliable, helpful, original, always in a good mood, calm-faced. A whole dictionary won’t give you justice, MRSOOL’s man walks the talk."
Delivery food apps are all over the place, and this is the case in the KSA as well where there are more delivery food app options than restaurant options. This has left MRSOOL in a bit of a pickle when it comes to standing out. Its answer? A witty tongue-in-cheek campaign that effortlessly showcases all the qualities of a MRSOOL delivery man. The sarcasm and smart usage of the local lingo made this ad a piece to remember that can leave any creative copywriter flabbergasted to say the least.
Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) - 'Start Now'
Agency: FP7 McCann Riyadh
Being a semi-governmental and non-profit organisation with the sole purpose of creating a healthy and active community, SFA took the lead in creating the movement #StartNow
. The purpose was to drive people to become active and let go of their excuses. With a human-centric approach spanning multiple demographics from disabled people to working mums, SFA managed to turn the tide and drive physical activity by breaking the fear and excuse barrier that hinders people's physical health progress.
Al Ula - 'The World’s Masterpiece'
Agency: Leo Burnett
What do you get when you mix beautiful sensational poetry with jaw-dropping scenery from Al Ula’s ancient and majestic typography combined with goosebump-inducing music? You get this
. A warm cinematic film showcasing the beauty and heritage of Al Ula via a well-written poem narrated by a talented voice. A tourism ad like no other where 'out of this world' seems a flight or even a drive away.