Land Rover Design & Branding, Case study, Making of CLASSIFIED THE SERIES by Boomtown Productions, Filmworks Dubai, MEC Dubai, Wunderman Dubai

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Industry Cars, SUV & Four Wheel Drive
Media Design & Branding, Case study, Making of
Market United Arab Emirates
Agency Boomtown Productions
Agency Filmworks Dubai
Agency MEC Dubai
Agency Wunderman Dubai
Director Ali Mostafa
Producer Daniel Kilalea, Gino Vassallo
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best fictional program, series or film where a client has successfully created a drama, comedy or miniseries around a product or brand
Advertiser: LAND ROVER
Agency: MEC
Land Rover Marketing Manager: Jean Atik (Land Rover)
Director: Ali Mostafa (Boomtown Productions)
Executive Producer: Shane Martin (Boomtown Productions)
Producer: Daniel Kilalea (Boomtown Productions)
Producer: Gino Vassallo (Filmworks)
Screenwriters: Ashraf Hamdi/Ali Mostafa (Boomtown Productions)
: Fatima Shaikh/Leena Kewlani/Vikrant Shetty (MEC)
: Richa Khan/Nuzhat Merchant Ali (Wunderman)
Chief Creative Officer: Greg Burke (Middle East Broadcasting Center)
Post Production: Optix Digital Pictures (Post Production)
Cinematographer: Anthony Smythe (Film Quip)
Sound Studio: Bkp Music (Sound Studio)
Sound Design/Mix: Sebastian Vronski (BKP Music)
Soundtrack: Dany Neville
Digital Strategist: Reem Hameed (Boomtown Digital)
Media placement: Trailer - Online/MBC ACTION (TV Channels) - 14 Sept 2011
Media placement: Episode 1 - Online - 28 Sept 2011
Media placement: Episode 2 - Online - 05 Oct 2011
Media placement: Episode 3 - Online - 12 Oct 2011
Media placement: Episode 4 - Online - 19 Oct 2011
Media placement: Episode 5 - Online - 26 Oct 2011
Media placement: TV Special - MBC Action (TV Channel) - 17 Feb 2011 - 19 Feb 2011
Media placement: Print And Online Media Coverage - Print And Online Newspapers Across Middle East - 14 Sept 2011
Media placement: Online Platform - Online - 14 Sept 2011

Campaign Description
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the Branded Entertainment landscape is sparse and still in its infancy. The vast majority of brands still adhere to traditional advertising avenues; they continue to subscribe to the features/benefits/unique selling propositions paradigm. The region’s advertising and marketing leaders do recognise the current movement towards branded entertainment, but are still hesitant to venture far from the status quo.
Pan-Arab broadcasting networks also function within a very traditional framework. Although broadcasters have recently launched Video On Demand and some online platforms, the region has yet to see substantial investment in the creation of branded entertainment online or indeed on air.
Regional networks currently exercise cultural restrictions that disallow content, such as scenes depicting drinking bars or pubs, to be aired on television. Content published online is under much less scrutiny by government and industry regulatory bodies.
Until the launch of the ‘Classified’ campaign, the region had never before seen a brand entertainment approach to marketing and advertising that truly placed the passion points of the target audience at the forefront; nor had branded content been used to introduce an automobile.

In this region, a more mature target audience, mainly 40+ Arab males, primarily drive Range Rover vehicles. To break into an untapped market, Range Rover launched the ‘Evoque’. The Evoque’s target demographic is the young, affluent Arab male, aged 21 to 35.
The challenge was to win the attention and trust of an audience that Range Rover had never spoken to. Our strategy was to first create an engaging narrative that spoke directly to the young Arab male.
With MBC, the region’s leading broadcast company, we created a 5 episode online series called ‘Classified’. The series was launched online – where our target audience spends most of their time.
To relate directly to our audience, the story was written in Arabish (Arabic + English), a dialect spoken in metropolitan Arab cities like Dubai. Ali Mostafa, a young, acclaimed celebrity UAE Director was commissioned to write and direct the series. The series was written, cast and shot over 2 intense months.
Over an online broadcast schedule of 5 weeks, with 1 episode released per week, we got our viewers hooked onto a story that spoke directly to them – an action-packed drama that followed 3 young Arab men, of different nationalities as they sped around the Gulf in a selection of Range Rover Evoque’s. Arab culture and the Evoque were seamlessly woven into the story line; high-speed chases across Dubai and fight scenes were integral to creating content that hit our target audience’s passion points.
The product name was never mentioned directly; its unique features were integral to the story and the drama. Range Rover's direct involvement in the series was not mentioned until the fourth episode.
The series was launched and viewed initially on an online platform created by, and subsequently on a dedicated YouTube channel.

3 weeks prior to the release of the first episode, a feature-film trailer was made for Classified and was aired on MBC, the Pan-Arab region’s largest broadcasting network. The trailer aired on MBC ACTION, a channel that specifically targets the Evoque demographic.
An online platform created by MBC, a blog created by Land Rover and all relevant social media channels were activated. The Director (a Range Rover Brand Ambassador) and all the Key Cast were engaged in bi-lingual conversations across a number of social media channels. Finally, viral content was spread through Land Rover’s database, website and social media.

For a branded entertainment campaign, the results surpassed our objectives. Quantitatively, the series generated 5.6m impressions (2.5 times more than the target). The Classified page received 200,000 impressions, of which 92,142 were unique viewers. The trailer generated high media-views of 52,540. The overall click through rate was 0.28%, which is higher than the (0.03%) industry benchmark for entertainment. We saw an increase of 150% search volumes in KSA and 300% in the UAE.
Qualitatively, the series received a fully supported PR campaign, handled by Weber-Shadwick. Campaign Middle East voted it as the no. 1 film in 2011. The online conversations and buzz about the film was so positive on social media channels that MBC aired the series on the MBC Action from 17-19 Feb 2012 as a complete 25-minute movie, with all episodes strung together. Moreover, all Range Rover Evoques in the region sold out until April 2012. The waitlist is still growing.