AHLAN MSN by Wunderman Istanbul for Microsoft

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AHLAN MSN

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Industry Internet Service Providers, Portals
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Turkey
Agency Wunderman Istanbul
Creative Director Pooja Chandani
Copywriter Shweta S.tariq
Designer Jessy Shoucair
Released November 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Localisation Campaign
Advertiser: MICROSOFT (MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA)
Product/Service: MSN INTERNET PORTAL
Agency: WUNDERMAN
Agency: MICROSOFT
Date of First Appearance: Nov 15 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: WUNDERMAN, Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Entry URL: www.ahlanmsn.com
Creative Director: Pooja Chandani (Wunderman Dubai)
Head of Copy: Richa Khan (Wunderman Dubai)
Senior Designer: Rasha El Saadi (Wunderman Dubai)
Copywriter: Shweta S. Tariq (Wunderman Dubai)
Designer: Jessy Shoucair (Wunderman Dubai)
Arabic/French Copywriter: Celine Barakat (Wunderman Dubai)
Senior Artworker: Babu Nair (Wunderman Dubai)
Business Director: Adrian Otto (Wunderman Dubai)
Account Manager: Jean-Baptiste Saulnier (Wunderman Dubai)
Account Coordinator: Denise Veiga (Wunderman Dubai)
Animation Artist: Rita Dhankani (Vivi5)
Developer: Mohammed Jameer (Tattoo)
Media placement: Email - Online - 15/11/2009
Media placement: Web Banners - Online - 15/11/2009
Media placement: Website - Online - 15/11/2009

Results and Effectiveness
Nothing short of extraordinary. With an unusual media selection and no media spend we engaged with a huge mass of people who had never before looked at MSN as theirs. The campaign spread virally. First day of release saw 1,500 hits on the website. Within two months out of the 628,070 visits, 241,000 actually downloaded and used the emoticons. Numbers are growing every day as the site is still live. We are now in the process of creating culturally relevant, country-specific emotions for the region as the first round was such a big success. MSN has finally come to Arabia!

Creative Execution
What this region didn’t have is a familiar way of expressing when it comes to chat. Whether its language or in the use of standard smileys, known as emoticons. We decided to localise this particular experience using the client’s own media. We created a set of 10 free emoticons with local expressions. Richly-animated, these icons used popular greetings that people across the region could easily identify with. By offering them a localised medium of expression through language and emoticons, we made our audience feel connected to the brand. What’s more, we advertised these on existing MSN web banners, space and chat windows in English, Arabic and French to get maximum attention and push for immediate download. The timing of their release coincided with Ramadan & Eid – the biggest festive season of the year in the region, and the one time everyone wants to call or connect with each other.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
To engage with the local audience in the Middle East, MSN had pursued many different tactics. One of them was establishing the local version of its website, MSN Arabia. However, most people in the region still preferred other sites and services such as Maktoob, Google and Yahoo! for local content. Usage of MSN was low in general, so we had to find a way to localise their experience. Our insight was that MSN chat was the most popular service used by our target audience in the age group of 15-35. So we decided to use our client’s own digital media, MSN Messenger – innovatively. We made this our first entry point of localising MSN in general.