J. Walter Thompson was the creative agency behind DHL MENA’s strategic launch of its new B2C offering. The campaign leveraged the digital sphere to celebrate a traditional interaction, the human connection, as exemplified by famous Egyptian football player, Mohamed Salah, and his fans.
The story unfolded via a social media activation on 22 January, when Mohamed Salah shut down his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Confused fans were left wondering what had happened and the world’s media picked up on the story. DHL stepped into the void and invited fans to connect with their hero by sending him a gift that he could hold with his own hands.
Engagers were directed to a microsite “dhlconnectsyou.com” promising 50 fans the chance to send packages to the footballer in celebration of 50 years.
Finally after 72 hours of social media blackout from the football star, his channels were reactivated with a stunning film depicting the touching moment he received the physical gifts from many of his concerned fans. Mohamed Salah returned the thoughtful favour with a tangible, signed thank you trophy – bringing to life DHL’s new brand positioning “The human network”.
The essence of the campaign was simple, in a world where social media has become the only way to connect to one another, DHL showed that it can connect you in a real human way. The film has recorded organic 6 million views, with no paid media to support the campaign launch.
With an asset like Mohamed Salah, exposure and engagement wasn’t the challenge. It was how to utilize his impact in a way that was both original and relevant to the brand’s role.
Elliott Santon, Regional Marketing Director at DHL Middle East said: “The strategic and tactical approach that JWT applied to the DHL x Mo Salah partnership campaign “The Human Network” not only ensured solid cut through in terms of brand positioning in a globally saturated communications environment but also strongly helped convey a thought-provoking message surrounding the importance of tangible connections that has resonated with a global audience.”
J. Walter Thompson Cairo Managing Director, Mai Azmi, added: ”DHL’s “The Human Network” is a great showcase of how authentic brands must be rooted in a fundamental mission that defines their relationship to the world and to the consumer. To capture the hearts and minds of audiences, we had to be real, and Mo Salah, with the magnitude of influence he has, was the perfect fit for manifesting the importance of tangible human connections - which have been lost in today’s reliance on social media. We are thrilled to have been part of a journey abiding by such a brand ethos."
Agency - J. Walter Thompson Cairo
Managing Director: Mai Azmy
Creative Director: Ahmed Hamdalla
Associate Creative Director: Sherif Doss
Creative Head: Ibrahim Islam
Executive Director: Salma Hamouda
Account Director: Menna Hagrass
Planning Director: Amir Adib
Planner: Nazli Kassem -
Head of AV Production: Diana Jebally
Producer: Hadeer Khaled
Regional Marketing Director: Elliott Santon
Marketing and internal communication manager: Reham Elmessiri
Production company: The Talkies
Director: Martin Rodhal
DOP: Stuart Bently
Post Production company: Circle