Qtel Case study PROPHET by Leo Burnett Doha

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Industry Mobile Communications
Media Case study
Market Qatar
Agency Leo Burnett Doha
Released January 2013


Dubai Lynx 2013

Credits & Description

Product QTEL
Type of Entry: PR: Sectors and Services
Product/Service: QTEL
Entrant Company : LEO BURNETT QATAR Doha, QATAR
Advertising Agency : LEO BURNETT QATAR Doha, QATAR
PR Agency : WALLIS Doha, QATAR
Name Company Position
Bechara Mouzannar Leo Burnett Chief Creative Officer
Peter Bidenko Leo Burnett Executive Creative Director
Munah Zahr Leo Burnett Creative Director
Munah Zahr Leo Burnett Art Director
Sami Saleh Leo Burnett Managing Director
Elliott Bastien Leo Burnett Planner
Hassan Rifai Leo Burnett Communication Manager
Suzanne Bouwes Leo Burnett Communication Director
Describe the campaign/entry:
In July 2012, the trailer of the movie "Innocence of Muslims" went online depicting Prophet Mohammed as ruthless imbecile. Suddenly, Muslims were blinded by rage. What started as an instinctive reaction, ended up being violent and deadly giving a very bad image about Islam and Muslims as well as doing the opposite of Prophet's Mohammed teachings. Once again, the angry few were representing the tolerant many.
 Frustrated Muslims were looking to break away from these suffocating and unjust stereotypes. As a telecom operator we wanted to give the majority, the tolerant Muslims, the opportunity to be heard. We started the conversation with social media and an ad showing the prophet’s stamp with one of his quotes “I was sent to perfect honorable morals”.
 To further change people’s behaviors and break the stereotype we invited them and the media to continue this conversation face to face with both Muslims and non-Muslims at our meeting point. We took over an entire wall in Doha’s biggest malls, allowing people to express their thoughts. Ultimately, Qtel gave the media and people something positive to cover and talk about, revealing the neglected truth and shining light on the tolerant many.
Describe the brief from the client:
It was time to even the playing field and give the tolerant Muslims a voice and a much needed place in the conversation. As Qatar’s main telecom operator we wanted to allow people to express themselves on the subject in a peaceful and respectful manner that truly represents Islam and generate a prosperous dialogue, and eventually spread these words of peace and respect through Print, TV, and Online media.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. Within a few hours people where gathering themselves around our wall. Filling up the wall with messages of peace, understanding and tolerance, the media closely covered the entire event and spread a much needed positive message in a clutter of doom and gloom headlines. A total of 1,322 messages where written down with the best ones being shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, with our top posts getting 2,806; 1640 and 2187 “likes” as well as hundreds of shares and comments. All local TV channels covered the event. All local newspapers published photos and quotes from the event online and offline. Furthermore, we brought Muslims and non-Muslims together in one physical space, which generated real human interaction and helped bring down walls of misconception.
With such a sensitive topic we didn’t want to add more fuel to the fire. As a result we kept our creative solution simple, straightforward and honest. We took over a wall at one of Doha’s busiest malls and asked people to write down their thoughts on the whole situation. We initially drove people to the activation by starting the conversation with our print and social media communication. We quickly realized that with the right timing and sensibility, the simplest and most honest creative idea can have the biggest impacts on people’s lives.
The Situation:
Post the outrage that stemmed from the “Innocence of Muslims” trailer, the media seemed to focus solely on the violence which ensued. The small majority of Muslims, which were causing the havoc across the world, were once again ill representing the majority of Muslims.
The Strategy:
As a telecom operator we seek to strengthen the ties between people. Qatar is a multi-cultural country where different cultures are aware of each other but don’t necessarily understand each other. The outrage of the few was causing a false representation of the Islamic values and its people, so it was important for the cohesiveness of the society that we generate a dialogue that lets people express themselves peacefully. As a telecom operator, we knew this was one of our responsibilities, no matter how daunting the task.