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ASDA'A Burson Marsteller - Multicultural Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: ASDA'A Burson Marsteller, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Company Description: Over the last 15 years, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller has earned its reputation as the Middle East’s leading public relations consultancy and the benchmark of PR practice in the region. The company’s growing list of prestigious clients and high-profile industry awards reflect this position. ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, a WPP company, has 11 wholly owned offices and reaches into 18 Middle East nations.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Multicultural

Nomination Title: Dubai Font: A New Form of Expression

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Situation Analysis

In April 2017, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller helped the Dubai Font make history as the world’s first Microsoft font to be created by and named after a city. A collaborative effort between The Executive Council (TEC) of Dubai, Microsoft, and Lebanese designer and legibility expert Dr. Nadine Chahine, Dubai Font was created to fill a design gap between Arabic and Latin texts, and can be accessed globally by more than 100 million users, through Microsoft Office 365.


Dubai being a melting pot of cultures, heritage and modernity, the launch of Dubai Font was aimed at encouraging self-expression and promoting reading. Building on this, together with global marketing communications agency Y&R Dubai- the lead agency of the consortium appointed to launch Dubai Font, we kicked off a nation-wide integrated campaign strategy, called #ExpressYou.

A key element of the strategy was to have His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, as the individual spearheading the initiative, to announce the launch of Dubai’s new font to the UAE and the rest of the world via his social media channels.


Our first goal was to generate hype prior to the launch, while at the same time adhering to strict levels of confidentiality. We began to stoke the curiosity of the press and the public, by releasing a cryptic message about the launch of a ‘new form of expression’ for Dubai, without providing further information.

To officially launch the Dubai Font, we organized a press conference for top tier local, regional and international media, at the Dubai Opera House. To keep things exciting right up until the launch, we introduced a surprise element: an hour before the press conference was scheduled, the official announcement made through a video, which was shared by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on his social media channels.

His Excellency Abdulla Al Shaibani, Secretary General of The Executive Council, then introduced the “Dubai Font” at the press conference. The media were also able to view the font first-hand, as letters were placed on stands arranged by Microsoft. Key elements of the integrated campaign which were launched during the press conference included: a snapchat filter, and the official Dubai Font website, Instagram and Twitter pages.

To further generate awareness and excitement, we partnered with high-profile influencers to sustain momentum. An official film was also released, along with giant alphabet installations of the Dubai Font strategically placed around the city, across Sheikh Zayed Road, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Design District and Kite Beach.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan later issued a directive to all government entities of the Emirate requesting them to use the Dubai Font in all their internal and external communications. Private companies also took the initiative of adopting the font and shared the news through press releases and on their social channels.


The launch of Dubai Font resulted in two, very rewarding outcomes: One, it succeeded in serving as a reminder of Dubai’s relentless effort toward a better, smarter future, by increasing the city’s digital footprint and establishing it as a pioneer in innovation. Second, it further awakened a sense of national pride among citizens- locals and expats, communities and businesses. This was reflected not only in #ExpressYou becoming a trending Hashtag on Twitter and Instagram with an outpour of positive posts, but also in publications such as Al Bayan, Khaleej Times and Identity Magazine adopting Dubai Font for a whole issue, and running multi-page features.

Overall, the campaign resulted in:

194,110,823 Total Reach
60 regional and international media at the press conference
$6,757,047 Perceived Ad Value


English: 44.42 million Impressions
Arabic: 94.48 million Impressions


English: 97.09 million impressions
Arabic: 119.54 million impressions

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).


#ExpressYou becoming a trending Hashtag on Twitter and Instagram with an outpour of positive posts

-leading publications such as Al Bayan, Khaleej Times and Identity Magazine adopted Dubai Font for a whole issue, and running multi-page features.

-194,110,823 Total Reach
-60 regional and international media in attendance at the press conference
-$6,757,047 Perceived Ad Value

-English: 44.42 million Impressions
-Arabic: 94.48 million Impressions

-English: 97.09 million impressions
-Arabic: 119.54 million impressions