- Pioneering “Abu Azziez” campaign plays to strength of Nissan brand equity among elders in rural Saudi communities
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 30 May, 2017: An innovative advertising campaign promoting the Nissan Navara pick-up in Saudi Arabia has been recognised with an award at the Festival of Media MENA held recently in Dubai.
The campaign, delivered by the UAE office of the OMD network, had the tricky task of reaching key influencers within the Saudi desert-dwelling population and overcoming some ingrained views about the suitability of modern vehicles for harsh desert conditions. In these rural areas, small businesses and farmers have a long tradition of using Nissan pick-ups to conduct their daily affairs, a tradition that dates all the way back to the period when such vehicles bore the Datsun brand. However, the elder generation has developed a belief that the older, less sophisticated vehicles of the 1960s and ‘70s were tougher and better suited to the dunes than their modern counterparts. In fact, such was the high regard in which the old Datsun pick-up was held that previous generations even had a name for the vehicle, Umm Azziez, meaning ‘mother of all that is dear’.
Within these societies, blood ties are strong and families have huge respect for clan leaders and are strongly influenced by them. Consequently, it is considered essential to connect with these elders in order to leverage their powers of persuasion within their extended family group.
Due to the nature of the campaign and its target audience, different approaches were therefore required to be applied by Nissan to reach this particular market segment, rather than the traditional approaches.
The winning campaign addressed the challenge of reaching the defined target audience with a bold and innovative solution where the elders were provided with Nissan Navaras to use as they wished while conducting their daily business. To make the connection with the fondly remembered Nissan and Datsun pick-ups of the past, the campaign used the title Abu Azziez or “father of all that is dear”.
“We really felt that it was essential to accentuate the connection with previous generations of Datsun and Nissan pick-ups which helped many of today’s tribal leaders establish their businesses and consequently their position in society,” said Fadi Ghosn, Chief Marketing Officer at Nissan Middle East. “The old Datsun pick-up was a capable and reliable partner for many of these individuals as they made their way in the world as young men. Today, as elders, they immediately understood the Abu Azziez reference and of course were intrigued to see how the all-new Navara would perform when compared with their memories of the Umm Azziez vehicles, which they still hold in such high regard.”
It didn’t take long for the desert-dwelling population to be hugely impressed by both the desert performance and the all-round cargo- and passenger-carrying capabilities of this rugged workhorse. Consequently, word quickly spread around the various tribal groups about the suitability of the Navara for day-to-day rigours of rural life in the Kingdom.
“We achieved high reach within our target audience through test drives in rural areas which in turn led to a market share increase. It was a truly stunning result for the Abu Azziez campaign,” said Fadi Ghosn, Chief Marketing Officer at Nissan Middle East.
The judges at the Festival of Media MENA certainly agreed with that verdict, giving the campaign a silver award in the ‘Insight’ category for ‘Best Local Execution of a Brand.’
Note to editor: The Festival of Media MENA Awards in Dubai is one of the foremost marketing and media events in the region. Judged by a senior panel of agency heads and regional brand marketers, they reward the very best media work, helping the winning agencies and media owners secure increased influence in the marketplace.