M&C Saatchi UAE and Déjà vu delight Saudi Arabian viewers with animated Gift of a Smile spot, writes Laura Swinton
For this year’s big Ramadan campaign, Saudi Arabian telecoms brand Mobily has decided to crank up the optimism. Their Gift of a Smile spot takes us inside a candy-coloured smile factory, likening smartphones to happiness-generating machines.
It’s a clever combination of much needed escapism that also acknowledges that many people are still unable to visit family members and loved ones this holy month, due to the ongoing pandemic.
The campaign was developed by M&C Saatchi UAE specifically for the Saudi Arabian market. Regional senior strategist Asmaa Ahmed says that the idea was to tap into the upbeat emotions that are normally associated with the festival while suggesting alternatives to the traditional family gatherings and gift-giving.
“Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, Mobily wanted to help rekindle Saudi Arabia’s traditionally optimistic outlook for this year’s Ramadan celebration. While social distancing meant no physical gatherings or gifting (Eidi), there was still one very small, yet very powerful gift any Saudi, living anywhere in the Kingdom could share with their loved ones," says Asmaa. "A day before Ramadan, we launched an animated social film that showed Saudi’s how, with the help of Mobily, they could still send one of life’s most simple gifts during Ramadan – a smile.”
The decision to use a playful CG animated approach further removes the ad from the dull reality of lockdown living. Déjà vu produced the spot with animation company Gizmo, and it was directed by Nico Presas.
It's an approach that seems to have chimed with the local market – the spot went live on YouTube just eleven days ago and it’s already clocked up over 5.5 million views.