Uber, the mobility company, has won the 2019 WARC Prize for MENA strategy for a campaign from FP7 McCann Dubai, Uber Legends, which used ride data to tell the brand’s story. A company first, it was the first non-US Uber campaign concept to travel globally.

Now in its third year, the WARC Prize for MENA Strategy rewards the best strategic thinking from the region’s marketing industry with a $10,000 prize fund distributed between the Grand Prix and three Special Awards recognising specific areas of excellence.

Grand-Prix winning Uber Legends saw the ride-hailing app convert its riders’ data into fun and entertaining stories for a social and out-of-home campaign to increase rider loyalty by converting Uber riders into brand advocates, while attracting new users. In addition, the campaign also won the Research Excellence Award for the best use of research in the strategy’s development.

In digging into rider and driver data, the agency found a way to build out stories in a way that would “humanise” Uber.

“Since Uber was perceived as being distant and foreign (it didn’t even have a call centre), we needed to turn to our only human element – our riders and drivers. By telling their unique stories, we wanted to make our brand loyalists the face of Uber, allowing them and their stories to turn other riders into loyalists as well”, the case study states.

A further five Golds, four Silvers, six Bronzes and two other special awards, recognising specific areas of excellence, were also awarded by the judging panel made-up of 15 client- and agency-side top industry professionals chaired by Özge Zoralioğlu, Chief Marketing Officer, Yum! Brands / KFC MENAPak & Turkey, KFC.

The full list of winners can be viewed on the Prize website where WARC subscribers can read the winning papers in full.

The Local Hero special award for the best example of a challenger brand from the MENA region using smart strategy to take on bigger competitors went to another Gold-winning FP7 McCann Dubai campaign for the Al Tayer Motors’ Unseen Potential in the United Arab Emirates. The car dealership asked its staff to create an art project from old car parts to showcase its dedication to service to drive brand preference in the UAE.

Meanwhile, the Brand Rebel award for the best example of a departure from category norms was claimed by the Bronze-winning JWT campaign, Back to School Blues, for Jarir Bookstore in Saudi Arabia. The brand reframed the back-to-school narrative with an outdoor, online and social media campaign to reassert its market-leading position in the category and boost sales of bags in the country, driving a 100% increase in online bag sales.

“Cases that were successful in this year's WARC Prize for MENA Strategy smartly and seamlessly integrated communications efforts into people’s lives and experiences”, said Ziad Skaff, Managing Director, Hall & Partners.

“They were even more compelling when brands adapted their approach and reshaped their activities as human engagement evolved.”

MENA Strategy

A free-to-attend event on the insights and lessons from the WARC Prize for MENA Strategy will be held on 5 November at Hall & Partners in Dubai.

Sourced from WARC