The all-new A-Class was Mercedes' first foray into the hot hatch segment. The launch campaign celebrates all of the young entrepreneurs, doers and dreamers who embody the potential and drive of an A-Class beginning. We call them the 'Driven Class.' The 360 campaign covered TVC, short video content, radio, print, banners, website, outdoor, events and showroom.
Short documentary styled interviews with the real "driven class" feature some up-and-comers who are currently making their mark in the Middle East. The video content was featured on the driveyourself.me landing page, and Mercedes' social media channels.
A lot of people ask me "Why Dubai?" This campaign finally let me take a stab at answering that. There's a lot more depth to the place than the absurd hotels and gilded supercars you see in the news. There's this optimistic, almost innocent energy there, and a generation (both expat and Emirati) see the opportunities and they're just going for it. This is the side of Dubai and the Middle East I stuck around for, because it was refreshing.
Can our humanity save humanity? It's a human truth that tragedy brings us together. After an earthquake or a flood we completely forget our incidental differences, and reach out to each other in ways we don't on a day-to-day basis. Our skin color, gender, lifestyles and politics fall the wayside and our reflex to care kicks in and becomes unstoppable.
And In every Dignity Health's hospital across California, Nevada and Arizona, the doctors, nurses and patients are seeing the impact that genuine human connection can have– It heals us from the inside out. This belief has been a part of Dignity Health's DNA from the beginning. And "Hello Humankindness" has given those beliefs a voice.
It's a simple platform and perspective on health care and the world at large, that has been embraced at every level of the organization. As advertisers we always hope to work with a brand that walks the talk, and allows us to bring good to the world. This is it. I can't think of anything better than helping people heal, spreading compassion, and reminding each other that even in our current conflicted world, when things get really rough, our humanity is still here, capable of beautiful, healing things.
With over 4.5 millions (organic) views and counting, this is our best performing brand TV spot, to date.
When I started working on Dignity Health, they told me “we don’t do funny.” But our innate ability to lighten a room and make people laugh is part of our humanity too. And it's actually a great way to help people start tough conversations. This campaign is one of my favorites. Partly because we ended up in such fun territory, and also because it was personal for a few people on the team. And having a chance to increase these early screenings means we could actually save someone's life. How often can we legitimately say that in advertising?
For nurses week we went straight to the source, because who better to cut to the heart of nursing, than our nurses? We collected hundreds of submissions of of truths, jokes, confessions and some of the most heart-breaking stories I may ever read. And poop jokes. There were definitely poop jokes.
The result's been a wildly successful social, print, and radio campaign with some of the highest engagement and follower growth Dignity's seen.
It's a part of our culture, our habits, our upbringing, and how we find comfort. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mother, physician, guru, yogi, herbalist, or granddad— these traditions bring us together. The World of Healing tour started out on facebook canvas then spread across our social channels sharing music, family recipes, and various cultural practices. Here's a sampling of some of the desktop and instagram posts. (click to view.)
I worked directly with Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan and her team at the Royal Hashemite Court to launch a rather delicate education program. Madrasati means "my school" in Arabic and is a pan-arab non-profit organization making solid strides in improving education and school infrastructure across the Middle East. However the students of Palestine face some unique challenges, and the school's are the one place where they can find some stability, and a chance to become a positive influence in this messed up region. We launched with this TVC which ran on Arabic TV and cinema across the MENA region, on regional flights, and the Queen's social channels.
Windows has a lot more apps than you think, and they have a pretty sweet way of working across devices. Rather than dive into mind-numbing demo-land, we met up with some passionate Windows users who are making a name for themselves in their niche fields, using the seamless Windows ecosystem to get them there.
We rode along with Storm Chaser, Scott Hammel through the wilds of Wyoming where he showed us his setup, some cows and how Windows and his go-to-apps keep him in the chase. The Lee brothers, founders of Bohemian Guitars, talk music, old cans, and how a young, tech-savvy startup's using Windows to get their business rolling.
At launch, the Icon was the best smartphone video camera out there (for me it still beats the iphone6.) And Millennials need to see technology in action before they invest. So we rigged about ten icons onto two F2000 race cars to push the limits of the phone's video capabilities, while showcasing it's features. At about 150mph the G-Force finally caused the video quality to warble a bit. Not too shabby for a phone. The campaign launched on Facebook and Twitter, and received almost 100k likes, 10k shares and thousands of re-tweets.
This 360 brand campaign was all about creating opportunities to get people to actually stop for a second, take it all in, and just be. So we commissioned a variety of artists to create these scenes full of little details, interactions and hidden Twix. The more time you spend in a Twix cityscape, the more you discover.
The digital & newspaper games, print, postcards, point of sale, pack wraps, outdoor, events, live radio games, banners, giveaways and wandering trucks, all worked together to create moments away from the routine.
When Ferrari launched their first theme park, it was also their first leap into the advertising world and the first time they *genuinely* wanted to throw the hallowed gates open and invite their fans in, to experience it all– to get behind the wheel, to take a spin through history, stuff your face with cannoli and gelato, and try to hold it together under G-Forces your little body probably isn't prepared for.
We had about 4 clients on this project. The park guys took the lead and together we navigated the rest: the leadership in Maranello, Yas Island developers (where the park's located), and Abu Dhabi Tourism. While the TV tackled brand story, the print and outdoor swung far more product-centric almost as a separate campaign, showcasing the key attractions. The fact that everything was still under construction, posed some challenges but also helped us keep the campaign in more imaginative territory.
The launch covered TV, cinema, print, outdoor, radio, online, B2B, all in-park design, (signage, collateral, tickets, VIP gifts and so on.)
For the fun of it, this is the campaign we pitched with. The idea was that we each have a little Forza– our own little Ferrari spirit, waiting inside. You just need to feel the rush and hear the roar to wake up yours. And just like our fans, every Forza's different. I still really like this campaign since it solved this character and cuteness gap they wanted to fill, without getting too off brand and cheesy. This was going to generate loads of interactive gaming potential, brand swag partnerships, limited edition F1-driver Forza's, in-park interactive projections, with ways to personalize, etc. We were planning to get the engineers in Maranello involved with design to keep these little Forza dudes tightly aligned with their car design and aesthetics.
Omniyat is a Dubai based luxury property developer. They partner with cutting edge architects like Zaha Hadid and Foster + Partners. With a portfolio of buildings laced with the latest technology, Omniyat's territory in the real estate business is defined by innovation and driven by imagination and art. Here, in the inspired world, we call it "Imaginology".
Cityscape is one of the biggest real estate expos on the planet. For us, it was a great place to let potential investors, partners and lessors actually step into the inspired world, drawing from various elements in the print and TV campaign.
This is Omniyat walking the talk, integrating design + technology + sustainability. We embraced what the Middle East has an abundance of: sun and heat. Solar generators instead of billboards accumulate energy to help power the construction site.
When Axiom came to TBWA they had a tagline and wanted something "funny with a twist." This is the previous work. Our brief: fix it.
Thanks to cultural disconnects in comedic taste, and cultural sensitivities it's super hard to sell comedy in the Middle East. But after a number of rounds we found common ground: Axiom loves Hollywood and safe territory for satire. So we took iconic scenes from films that people in Saudi, Kuwait and Egypt would recognize and love, and threw Axiom's services into the story to create the comedic twist. We launched with Braveheart.
This is one slice of an integrated campaign to launch Skittles in the Middle East. At the time there was some debate about "does taste the rainbow translate?'" It does, but for the launch we ended up keeping it vague, raising the question of where Skittles come from, leaving it open to answer directly the question later. The campaign covered webisodes, games, print, radio and experiential. My efforts focused primarily on the mermaid scripts, and to help 360-ify the campaign at concept level.
Led by Dubai-based master developer Limitless, Arabian Canal had some pretty grand plans in the works including giant hills and a city built around a meandering canal system. Think Panama Canal in scale. Now make it bigger, urbanize and Arabize it.
This was the beginning of a 5-year, 3-phase 360 campaign, designed to grow and evolve as the canal approached completion– from boastful stats, to little moments that feel big, then opening it up into Amalie-esque stories about the characters who live there, caught in a fleeting snapshot in time.
Set in two worlds of old and new Dubai, between imagination and reality, photographer and subject– Into Dust is a story of transformation, discovery and friendship, revealing that we’re not so different after all, regardless of the faces we wear.
Director, Stefan Rand at Keyframe also heads the film department at S.A.E. Institute where the students need on-set experience and something to shoot. Then a few friends from TBWA and BBDO were chatting one night about how nice it would be to drop a confused, depressed clown into Dubai's circus of a landscape. Then this happened. We had about a week of prep, zero budget, and were racing the sun to shoot before the summer heat got too unbearable. Sometimes I think I learn more from these improvised things than the slick, scrutinized-to-death, professional jobs.
This is the AgeOfOptimism.com. A little window to how I tick in the raw.