Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production
CEO Karim Khalifa on the new Partnership Between Unilever and Digital Republic Linked by Isobar
Advertising Agency
London, UK

In what aims to revolutionise the way children in the Middle East access education, Unilever and Digital Republic Linked by Isobar are proud to announce the brand’s partnership with Nafham, a free online educational video platform that provides students with five to twenty minute crowd-sourced educational videos.

In light of the new partnership with the free online educational platform, Digital Republic Linked by Isobar CEO Karim Khalifa offers his insights.

Q> Why have Unilever chosen to support Nafham’s mission of providing K1- Grade 12 students with free crowd sourced videos?

KK> Unilever and Nafham share similar values and goals when it comes to social responsibility toward the community and wider society. With Unilever also sharing the same consumers and audiences, the brand would like to engage with them on empowerment, and promote sustainable social change.

Q> We know Nafham provides 23,000 videos covering Egyptian, Saudi, Kuwaiti, Algerian and Syrian curriculums — what role do they play in schools?

KK> Nafham is a purely digital crowdsourcing educational platform that is predominantly targeted at young people who are either not attending schools, require additional educational support and tools, or where existing educational services are not fulfilling their aspirations or needs.

In developing areas, this is very often linked to limited resources, over-crowding or little to no access to educational material. While not working directly with schools, Nafham follows the same approved Governmental curriculum and has been designed as a tool for parents, teachers and students alike to improve their learning and teaching experience. Via the Rexona University Program, Nafham will now also benefit from promotion of their platform in over 20 universities in Egypt.

Q> What will Digital Republic Linked By Isobar be delivering as part of this partnership?

KK> In addition to identifying and brokering this ad-tech partnership, Digital Republic Linked by Isobar will be helping Unilever and Nafham develop the relevant sponsorship and branding propositions for the platform, as well as producing the sponsored content.

Further to this, we will be delivering all digital promotional assets for the various partnership campaigns that will be activated for the three Unilever brands — Rexona, Lifebuoy and Signal — over the coming months.

Q> In this mission about societal change, what are the ambitions for the project?

KK> Nafham began as a seed for change by a passionate group of men who wanted to do something for their community, and that would benefit the generations of tomorrow. Via partnerships with big name brands, like Unilever, their mission and message will reach a far larger audience who can benefit from the platform - while also enabling the brands to deliver on their own corporate social responsibility goals in a relevant, authentic and sustainable way.

Q> Finally, the partnership is part of your ‘Innomedia’ product offering. Can you tell us more about the innovative solution and give any other examples of the work brought to life through ‘Innomedia’?

KK> Our Innomedia product offering (stemming from the term “Innovative Media”) was launched in 2013, with the aim of offering our clients a differentiating edge through engaging with innovative, high potential ad-tech startup solutions and platforms outside of the typical incumbents like Facebook, Google and Twitter. The offering allows for the research, identification, and monetisation of these ad-tech media technology solutions and platforms with the aim of delivering high return and additional value to our clients over their competitors.

The Innomedia solution also engages and develops Egypt’s and the region’s entrepreneurs, while supporting our clients with technology and innovation, and building on our own capabilities through best-in-class ad-tech partnerships. There are lots of great ideas and start-up solutions out there, yet often the product teams have limited or no experience in marketing or monetising their solution when it comes to brands and advertising. Digital Republic Linked by Isobar bridges that gap.

Nogoum FM is another example of this. Nogoum FM is an innovative radio station, online streaming platform and radio app. Our Innomedia team have engaged our client McDonalds with a view to developing advertising and branded content solutions through the platform.

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