by Lauren Festa
Tuesday is the new Du-esday. If you are old or young enough to remember, you know that Tuesday was cleared for going to the movie theater. The two-for-one-ticket deals on Tuesday’s were hot – then not – but now revived again. Bechara Mouzannar, CCO of Leo Burnett MENA and acting ECD at Leo Burnett Dubai and Du win Black and Gold Cubes at the 94th Annual Awards for Advertising, in an effort to bring more movies to your life. Here’s how.
As they say, the best things in life are free; like love or taking a walk, maybe even sometimes dinner (if you’re smart). Du, a leading telecom operator in the UAE called on Leo Burnett to create a different buzz among youth, around a simple promotion: If you are a Du user, you can get a free ticket for your friend at the theaters, every Tuesday. All you have to do is be a Du user and you’ll be watching films every Tuesday. Simple right?
Not exactly. There were challenges along the way, but these would only help the creative team to come to some ground-breaking conclusions. “The first challenge” says Bechara “was found in the mounting of such an operation in this age of content. Based on a triple partnership between client, agency and director, which could have drifted at any moment of the process, but we’ve remained very solid for two campaigns in a row. I think that’s because the common goal and expectations were so high, during the production, that they created a huge synergy between the partners.”
“The second challenge came from the fact that the team was making in-real-time experimental films, with an evolving dialogue. The short films mock cinema, but our objective was to draw audiences to the theaters. The third challenge was to keep the bar very high throughout the whole production and post-production process, without compromise. Both the director and the co-director, as well as the agency, the client, and the production team made this their obsession, at every level of crafting.”
The team at Leo Burnett Dubai developed an inspiring series of digital boards to run online as well as in theaters. Partnering up with a great team of directors and storytellers – some former Creative Directors at Leo Burnett Cairo – helped to craft and deliver highly engaging and smart, modern storytelling. In the collective process, the team was content to let the initial boards almost totally transform into a series of ads that brought “a breath of fresh air” to the audience, as well as to online viewers all over the world. The promotion was a big success, thus leading to another series of stories that were shot later that year and aired in early 2015.
I believe that big challenges can very often lead to bigger rewards if in the process, everyone is giving the best at every phase of a campaign, and if nothing comes as an obstacle to the synergy that is needed to amplifying that effort. The biggest reward – I guess – is the one of having been able to launch such an uncompromising campaign.
The films gage and exploit simple truths, like ‘some films are too complicated to watch alone’, ‘some films are too depressing to watch alone’ and ‘some films are too boring to watch alone’. Wonderfully shot, heartfelt stories resolving at the end with a single man sitting alone in a darkened theater, make you want to get out of your current seat, call up a friend and get thee to the movies. In using loneliness, Du and Leo Burnett Dubai actually succeed in creating a need for people getting together over some popcorn. Even if the films are complicated, depressing, or boring, at least you’ll have a friend by your side.
Movies are better enjoyed as a shared experience.
Besides the Two for One Ticket deal, other rewards for Du users were instant online success of the campaign, the success of the brand’s promotion in the theaters and the success of these very short films, at almost every major ad show in the world.
“As the CCO as well as the acting ECD at Leo Burnett Dubai at the time of the campaign launch, I was involved in initially mounting the operation of triple partnership and keeping an eye on the process and on the evolution of the stories. But I had to do that from a distance, connecting from time to time with the agency’s team, in order not to interfere in the direct process until the editing phase. I did not attend the pre-production nor the production stages, since I knew that there were enough talents there who needed to be left on their own in order to create their best work. I knew that we could get the best, with a director at the helm, like the now famous Ali Ali, with Maged Nassar, his co-director, both among the most talented storytellers with whom I had ever worked, including with the restless account, creative, production teams from Leo Burnett Dubai, with our partnering and courageous client Du and with the entrepreneurship of Déjà Vu Productions.”
Special Thanks To Bechara Mouzannar.