Brain Freeze proves “Far more creativity” with their OOH success for White Bay
In an industry where we see hundreds of billboards with sea views, beaches, vacation units and everything that screams BORING, a creative agency decided to spice it up a little bit to create something that stands out. With a challenging brief, a conservative client and tremendous competition, Brain Freeze - Advertising & Concepts Hubs made sure everybody says OOH! when they saw White Bay’s latest campaigns this summer.
Sitting on the Top 20 Campaigns throne as their campaign landed 1st place in our North Coast Edition, White Bay by Pact for Real Estate Development has been filling the streets since last June, starting with a teaser outdoor advertising campaign that made everybody’s heads turn around on the streets, raising questions on Cairo’s billboards, trying to know what this is? Who is behind it? And what does it sell? Revealing it later on another out-of-home campaign to announce the newly-branded White Bay in its new shape, colors and identity!
INSITE OOH visited Brain Freeze in their natural habitat; their workplace where they spend days and nights staying up late to create the work of art that we witnessed on both the billboards of Greater Cairo and the North Coast. We interviewed them to reveal their story, their work and their inspiration, starting from the smallest idea and the tiniest sketch for this campaign till we reached the last minutes of printing where some were having second thoughts on this direction, waiting for a feedback to make them feel that they took the right decision by swimming against the current.
The team’s chemistry was undeniable, instead of everybody highlighting his own work, they were glorifying each other, Sherief Omar, Brain Freeze’s Founder and Managing Director was praising both the agency’s Art Director, Mostafa Saadany, and the Account Manager, Yasmine Medhat, while both the Art Director and the Account Manager kept saying that their understanding and work chemistry was the key of their co-operation when they were not sure of what to choose or what to approve regarding the campaign. “We are a boutique agency, a small company that wants to stay small, enjoying providing focused attention and great quality for fewer clients” Sherief Omar stated, Founder and Managing Director. Explaining the main objectives of the campaign, while Mostafa Saadany, a comic artist and Brain Freeze’s Art Director said “Our goal was to stand out, create brand awareness and turning the disadvantage of Sidi Heneish, North Coast being an extremely far location into an advantage”, while Sherief started to elaborate more that “The North Coast has become like one huge sketchbook during the summertime, so if you are really willing to stand out, you need to work harder on developing a bolder, more relevant, and eye catchy campaign”. Both Sherief and Saadany explained that the biggest challenge that they have faced was that their client was super conservative, “Having a conservative client was tricky to us, our creativity was limited by many ideas that we couldn’t execute because it would be edgy for them” Saadany proceeded.
“First things first, we knew that in order to create something that will stay in everybody’s mind, we had to do our own homework, we did an extensive research using INSITE OOH, Egypt’s OOH encyclopedia, to know all the previous campaigns of each and every Sahel real estate project out there” Said Saadany, while Sherief added “You were our online archive”. The team did not want to use any of the cliche images of the sea, beaches or units, which is what most developers do; instead, they managed to capture special moments, inserting it in a work of art to stand out from the competition.
According to Serief, the campaign had three main selling points: location; smart homes and wellness, the wellness part was all clear on Cairo’s billboards and Brain Freeze’s creative team is promising even more wellness on the upcoming campaigns, their unique location with the clearest sea of all and the closeness to the beach, the team managed to picture this in both visuals and ad copies.
On ground, and to demonstrate White Bay’s “Wellness positioning”, we launched ‘Nirvana Wellness Huts’ at White Bay; 22 hotel-serviced huts, 20 meters away from the water. Yasmine Medhat was a key success to Nirvana Huts as she helped bring it to life, from design, building, to single-handedly furnishing the units in less than 3 weeks, all in parallel to our White Bay outdoor campaign. She did a tremendous job handling this out” Saadany proudly, “She is our hero” Sherief added. while the smart homes feature was not cleared yet on the billboards of Cairo. “We did not want to stress on the smart homes until Phase 1 is fully delivered so as not to jeopardize our credibility by claiming features that are not out yet” Sherief clarified.
“Starting with the teaser campaign to grab viewer’s attention, raise questions on Cairo’s billboards, create some shock and anticipation; we managed to call it a job well done, because not every agency can pull off an effective teaser campaign” Saadany said with enthusiasm, “Exactly!” Sherief agreed, adding that many teaser campaigns become either lame, not interesting or has no hook to grab your attention” he added. While Saadany preceded that even if the teaser campaign is successful, some agencies launch a campaign reveal that has zero connection to the teaser, so their efforts became useless!
The marketing team of Pact for Real Estate welcomed the idea of being different and standing out from every other summer campaign. “This was a challenging brief for both Saadany and Medhat, we managed to reflect the ideas that matched with the colors without using any human elements in the campaign”. “We created all their designs, productions, giveaways and gave them a whole new fresh identity with an extremely different character”. Knowing that the location of White Bay in Sidi Heneish, Brain Freeze knew that 50km before Marsa Matrouh is extremely far, a huge disadvantage that turned out to be their inspiration when creating the concept of White Bay. “We created the concept at first we created a version for the out-of-home advertising, then adapted it for the print traditional media and finally gave it to a digital agency to create a digital equivalent of our concept.”
“Far more wellness, far more beauty, far more stress-free, far more natural” and more were the key to their success, the whole team cooperated to create such a simple copy turning something negative into a positive message, explaining that it’s not only far when it comes to location, it’s far beyond what you could expect, “We made sure that the copy does not exceed a maximum of three words to get the OOH visibility we’re aiming for”. As for the visuals, the whole team agreed that they managed to create a buzz with elements like the saxophone, inflatable flamingo, hammock swing, kayak boat, hot air balloon and more that would definitely catch your eyes and maintain your concentration with these moments captured in the artwork, with the help of the colors used specific gradient colors with different popping shades.
In anticipation to the campaign’s feedback, Yasmine Medhat recalls the last minutes feelings of their printing phase “We were both (us and Pact’s marketing team) anxiously waiting for the market’s feedback on the campaign” she said, adding that the afterward feedback surprised them all with all the congratulations and love Brain Freeze and White Bay have received.
As for finalizing the project “We created a map for us to edit each if each visual fits every billboard direction and how they all integrate with the placement of our logo, hotline. We were basically looking for the tiniest detail that we could have missed by tracking all the files we have” Yasmine Explained, while Sherief reinforced that these little things that make one agency shine a little brighter than the others. They also explained that when it came to their client's media plan, they filtered what visual fit Al Sahel more than the other that resulted in seeing some special visuals only on the North Coast roads that are not there in Greater Cairo, which shows more attention to details that anyone could imagine.
Let’s Talk OOH
Discussing the outdoor advertising role in their campaign, Sherief explained that “The satisfaction of seeing your own work displayed on the roads can’t be put into words; the immediate reaction you get from viewers of the billboards is only given by the OOH media”, proceeding that it’s a nerve-wrecking challenge to make sure you pop among all these advertisers especially if you are promoting yourself in the real estate industry, this is very challenging ease to make sure you use the right media plan distribution to leave more room for the message duration on the billboards that will guarantee your ad the effective reach you have been longing for, in order to be awarded at the end with more visibility and exposure.
Filling the last piece of the puzzle we spoke with Ahmed Hesham, CEO & Co-Founder of TheHaus Real Estate Advisory and former Marketing Manager at Pact Real Estate to tackle White Bay’s marketing strategy, outdoor tactics and outcome results of the campaign.
The Head start
The last campaign I worked on at Pact was White Bay’s “Far more” campaign. “I was happy to be part of such a successful blast, where I had to manage the process to come up with satisfying results” said Ahmed.
At first, Hesham explained how they studied out the competition to know where their projects stand from their other opponents, taking into account White Bay’s brand persona and nature, the agency that was responsible for this step called the process “Brand health” which explains the target of this step clearly. “The first challenge we had once we buckled up for the trip was that we are a prime project competing in a red ocean of other prime developers and in comparison to our competition” Hesham went on, explaining that they had smaller land area, budget and amount of investors, that for Pact to overcome those obstacles they smartly allocated their budget so they won’t burn out the campaign. And this won’t click successfully until we analyze the project itself, understand the concept of “everything that is far is more rewarding, beautiful things need more efforts to be reached.
The creative process
Hesham elaborated that they do not necessarily work with big agencies, but always work with agencies who are dedicated, creative and willing to understand our mentality. In the past, they used to work with white & blue colors to establish their identity and give the audience a chance to get used to seeing us on Cairo’s billboards. “Among my years with Pact, with lots of previous campaigns and many agencies, I usually never give my feedback on the first try, but in Brain Freeze’s case and by the end of their presentation, I told them that we are going to go with the concepts they presented in the campaign”. Saying that Hesham added a request of turning this into a fully-fledged story, even if this would cost more money and exert more effort. “But in the end, without creating such a story with lots of messages and suspense, we would not get the results we were thirsty for” Hesham said proudly.
Pact’s OOH strategy
“We rolled out across the city, taking into consideration choosing the most visible available OOH locations in the main access roads, using big formats” he explained, adding that the marketing team decided that to get the ultimate results they are shooting for, they had to compliment the outdoor campaign with a fully integrated media plan, continuing that choosing the right timing to launch the campaign which was the summer; was great, since the OOH arena gets on fire during this specific part of the year, with a guaranteed high ROI results. “Our campaign was out there in parallel to delivering homes & units on the real ground of the first phase to the clients” he mentioned.
The Wonderful Feedback
Mentioning that their mission was accomplished and everyone recognized the brand easily when they stood out with the new colors used which resulted in the audiences of the OOH market raising questions, where people start asking “Who is this brand?” to get surprised later that it’s someone they already knew. To measure the results of the campaign, we turned to monitor the campaign’s revenues, then raised the following questions; What did people think about us? How long did it take from them to buy from us? What kind of property did they buy? What is the value of this property? How much time did the closing cycle take? and at last, we also ran brief research to have an overview of how the general public that did not buy from us but has heard of us have perceived us before and after the campaign?
Last but not least, we were extremely satisfied with the results we got, noticing that the power and recognition of the brand have increased, “We were keen on delivering reality to the people and it paid off” Hesham concluded.
Finally, Brain Freeze team enlightens us more with their upcoming plans, explaining that their next project for White Bay won’t necessarily follow the same artistic path, as we are eager to surprise the billboards viewers every time, but everyone will definitely recognize that this is White Bay. INSITE OOH wishes all the team more success, you can check Brain Freeze’s social official Facebook page for more of their work, along with their upcoming website.
Art Director at Brain Freeze
With an aim to portray the daily Egyptian life in an artistic modern way, Mostafa Saadany has climbed the ladder of creativity with different eliete designing houses till he managed to launch his start-up “Koshk Comics” to crown 9 years of experience.
Founder & Managing Director of Brain Freeze
After graduating from the American University in Cairo (AUC), Sherief moved to the US and worked for 5 years there, after which he pursued an MBA in Marketing Management and Strategy from The Ohio State University. Sherief worked in most of marketing disciplines both in Egypt and the US, from Marketing Consulting, Brand Management, Communications, to Strategic Planning and Advertising. He founded Brain Freeze and has been the Managing Director since its inception.
Account Manager at Brain Freeze
Graduated from Mass Communication Cairo University, Radio & Tv. Yasmine Joined the marketing field 2009, she played a vital role in linking different agencies and clients, managing day-to-day affairs and ensuring client satisfaction. Medhat worked with several clients between Egypt, Sudan & London till she joined Brain Freeze Jan 2019.
Pact’s Former Marketing Manager
Currently the CEO & Co-Founder of TheHaus Real Estate Advisory, Ahmed Hesham is a guru marketer, graduated from the Germany University of Cairo with a double major of Marketing and Strategic Management. Hesham has worked for many prominent establishments such as Google, Pact real estate and more.
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