Y&R’s Dubai office has been busy executing Dubai Font’s #Expressyou campaign. In September2016, Y&R Dubai was appointed by the General Secretariat Executive Council of Dubai, winning a competitive multi-stage business pitch, by The Executive Council of Dubai to launch one of its unique projects for 2017 – the Dubai Font.
“It was a euphoric moment in the agency when we received the news. We were extremely delighted and honored to be appointed as the agency spearheading such a distinctive project. Since day one we knew this was big; a global initiative going down in the books of history. Our objective was straightforward, to create an everlasting mark through the launch and to surpass our previous achievements,” said Georges Barsoum, CEO, Y&R Middle East and North Africa.
Y&R’s mission was to position Dubai Font as a form of self-expression and to encourage reading which are the main objectives of the fonts launch. The assignment involved a fully integrated campaign across different media channels, aimed at creating awareness and driving adoption of the new font in the UAE, Arab countries and globally.
The creative concept #Expressyou is the story of what the font aims to achieve, reflecting the values that characterize the personality of the Emirate of Dubai, whose vision revolves around giving, happiness, smartness, boldness, living in harmony, respecting one another and combining the authenticity of the past, the modernity of the present and the aspirations of the future.
Kalpesh Patankar, Executive Creative Director, Y&R Dubai said, “We wanted the campaign to instantly connect with people. Embodying the values of the font, #Expressyou is for people who are cosmopolitan and open, proud of their heritage but believe in diversity, people who want to tell their story and become an inspiration to others through the form of self-expression to make the world a better place.”
The Big Push
The strategy involved generating buzz through a big launch followed by sustained content across different media platforms. The Dubai Font was launched to the world through a video shared by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, on his social media channels.
The Executive Council of Dubai conducted a press conference to officially unveil the Dubai Font and launch the campaign #Expressyou. Attending the conference were a mix of local and global media attendees. Almost immediately the Dubai Font and the hashtag #Expressyou became a top trending topic on Twitter and Instagram.
During the press conference key elements of the integrated campaign were launched which included a Snapchat filter, the official Dubai Font website, Instagram and Twitter pages. Influencers also jumped on the initiative and spoke about it to further create awareness An official film was also unveiled and giant alphabet installations of the Dubai Font were placed around the city.
With a ‘making of’ documentary soon to be released, the launch is just an indicator of what can be achieved through partnership, marketing strategy and an unbridled passion for delivering outstanding creative. The execution of the campaign relied on the network of WPP agencies. Aligning with WPP’s strategy of horizontality that calls for the formation of client-centric teams and organizational structures, Y&R Dubai put together and headed a multi-disciplinary team of experts, including MEC for media planning and buying, Asda’a Burson-Marsteller for PR and Mirum for digital marketing, to roll out an effective campaign across multiple platforms.
The Dubai Font
In line with the UAE’s vision to become a regional and global leader in innovation, Dubai Font – Microsoft’s first font to be created by a city and named after it – was launched globally on April 30, 2017, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council. This project was brought to life by The Executive Council of Dubai in partnership with Microsoft.
Designed by Dr. Nadine Chahine and team from Monotype, Dubai Font was created from scratch. It is the first Microsoft font where Arabic and Latin scripts were designed simultaneously. The Dubai Font will be compatible with 23 different languages and is available for free, either through Microsoft Office 365 updates and can also be downloaded from its website.