The UAE is on a huge post Covid-19 high. There is an energy on the streets and excitement in the air. With Expo 2020 finally open and KSA on our doorstep launching giga project after giga project, it feels like this is where the Covid-19 afterparty is. However, even with all this energy and opportunity, I don’t feel this drive converting into a creative drive. It feels like the afterparty is here and the creatives were not invited. Has the region lost its creativity, insight, passion and drive? Where have all those big crazy daring ideas gone? Where are the creatives? Where are the brands that want to stand out?
Peugeot - 'Disconnect Before You Drive'
Agency: Science & Sunshine
Production: Sensa Digital
A very relevant idea as we all now live on video calls. It has the changed the way we work. You can - and are somewhat - expected to always be available, even when driving. It's great to see that Peugeot is talking about this issue. The film could have been a bit more 'real' as you can feel it's been acted. However, it does the job.
Expo 2020: Emirates - 'The World's Greatest Show'
Director: Robert Stromberg
It does not get more epic that combining Chris Hemsworth, Robert Stromberg ('Avatar', 'Alice in Wonderland'), MPC and music from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. So much money, ticking all the boxes except perhaps one little thing...an idea. Money can’t buy that. On top of this, it's a shame these amazing UAE brands are not trusting agencies and talent with their briefs. First Dubai Tourism with the Zac Efron and Jessica Alba movie trailer series, and now Emirates. No wonder we are facing a creative bleed in the region.
Expo 2020: Nissan - 'Let's Move'
Another brand on the Expo 2020 train, Nissan is the official mobility partner for Expo 2020 and launched its 'Let's Move' campaign with this film. I feel it missed an opportunity - it's such a big sponsorship but the film feels like a mood edit taking footage from Expo’s films and their own footage. Again shame there is no big idea.
Burberry - 'TB Monogram Landscapes'
This is one area where I think the creativity of the region is really growing: experiential. Having lived for over a year when we could not attend events or mix with other people, brand experiences are back in a big way and are better than ever. This is an elegant collaboration with Burberry and artist Nathaniel A. Alapide. Beautiful, relevant, classy. It's just the brand logo...but a great idea.
Barakat - '#ReadTheLabel'
I'm not sure that reading the label is such a big problem, however, I do love this minimal and smart solution. It says we are a very pure and fresh juice and we are not trying to hide anything. Good modern communication, and it looks great with its nice packaging and design. I hope they keep it this way and that it's not just a stunt. My only comment (I just can’t help myself) is that the VO and script in the short film is not the best. I wish they had a better solution for this...