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Al Umobuwah: Putting "Mum" into "Parenthood"

basics
Industry: Retail & Distribution
Media:Cyber
Market:United Arab Emirates
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
Babyshop is a children's retailer in the Middle East. It has always stood for celebrating parenthood and being an ally in parenthood. Its primary consumers are Arab mothers. Now, in the Middle East, owing to a challenging socio-economic environment, the retail category is getting more competitive, with every brand losing focus on building its equity and affinity, and instead, ending up playing the price-offs and discounts game. In the race to temporarily win share of wallet, brands have forgotten the importance of share-of-heart and consumer respect. Arab mothers prefer buying from brands that mean something to them. Even though discounts tempt the purse strings, they prefer to buy into what the brand stands for and then, buy into the products sold by the brands. On Mother’s Day 2018, Babyshop wanted to win that share of heart and win love from Arab mothers, as a retailer they’d want to associate with.
Strategy
We wanted the word to be propagated by all Arabs, beyond simply a video for Mother's Day. But, Arabic is not a language that people change around.This meant that we needed support and endorsement from people who were trusted. In the Middle East, highly popular influencers are known to be commercial sell-outs and have been losing credibility. But, we found an opportunity in micro-influencers, who weren't sell-outs, had a credible voice on important topics and would be believed by people. And given the prevalence of social media, we chose these micro-influencers as the perfect trigger to spark conversations and create interactions, and also anticipating negative sentiments, we on-boarded these influencers to be the logical voices they were known to be. We also integrated the social nature of the idea into other mediums: social influencers launched our collection, a new magazine was printed, schools and on-ground activations spread the word further.
Relevancy
No brand in the Middle East has dared to touch the Arabic language or add to it, because of the fear of backlash and negative sentiments overpowering the brands' image. Babyshop - a children's retailer - set out to reform a word's etymology, that reflected a traditional, patriarchal outlook. And created a new Arabic word. It countered negative sentiments, anticipated them, and converted them into positive ones. As well as being an effective business move, getting Babyshop's core target of Arab mothers resonating more with the brand, the idea has also nudged and influenced culture as well as the lexicon.
Outcome
Standing for "celebrating parenthood", Babyshop created an equitable word for "parenthood" and captured attention. We countered negative sentiments (that we anticipated), and converted them into positive ones. As well as being an effective business move, getting Babyshop's core target of Arab mothers resonating more with the brand, the idea has also nudged and influenced culture as well as the lexicon. Leading Arabic news channels and talk shows endorsed it: “A new way to say parenthood.” “The word sounds different. But, most Arabic words do. The more we use it, the more we’ll get used to it.” “Everyone should use it. It adds to the language without insulting it.” “An innovative idea. Shows both parents matter. Doesn’t prejudice against fathers.” Generated 1.2 billion earned media impressions. Reached 200 million people regionally (91% of Gulf). Earned $1.3 million earned media and rising, featuring on leading regional and local news and media platforms. Triggered +27% brand buzz vs. January-February 2017. Earned +32% brand love with Arab mothers vs. January-February 2017. Importantly, despite 50% negative sentiments in its first week, today, the word has 87% positive sentiments. And a petition to include the word in the Arabic Dictionary, reached its goal, in just 32 days.
Execution
A social media video, on Mother’s Day, launched the word, instantly, sparking conversations. And provoked 50% negative sentiments, mainly from traditionally-minded men, who were outraged about a new word added to Arabic. The negative comments helped us fuel the social conversation. We partnered with 40 Arabic social media influencers, who endorsed it, engaging with the negative commentators. Through our influencers, we launched a new collection for toddlers, infants and kids - that was featured in a Dubai fashion show. Audio-based interactive experiences created more familiarity with the word. We created an audio pronunciation guide on YouTube. And we launched interactive screens across Babyshop stores that were activated by saying the new word ‘Al Umobuwah’, showing the change from the old word to the new word. School children learnt the word across classrooms and events. A new Arabic magazine - titled with the word ‘Al Umobuwah’ - was published, and distributed.
CampaignDescription
Arabic, like a few other languages, contains a variety of words stemming from paternal-centered roots. The word “parenthood” (Al Obuwah) is one such word. Although, many Arabs have, over time, understood that word to mean both - father and mother - the word “parenthood” in Arabic actually translates into “fatherhood” in verbal usage. The primary Arabic word for “parenthood” (Al Obuwah) leaves “mum” out. Other Arabic words, used for “parenthood” such as “Walediya”, are also derived from words such as “Waled”, meaning “father”. There is NO word for “parenthood” that includes or implies "mother". So, we did something no brand had ever attempted. Working with linguists, we created a new Arabic word, giving equal importance to both parents and putting "Mum" into "Parenthood". Introducing: AL UMOBUWAH. A word that means "Motherhood AND Fatherhood".
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Bronze PR
Sectors > Retail
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist PR
Corporate Image, Communication & Reputation Management
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Titanium
Titanium
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