Lays Arabia & Chipsy “Flavor Cup”: The First Regional Social Campaign. Ever.


With the World Cup drawing near, brands from all over the world are pulling out their big guns and for the time being the biggest players in the Middle East seem to be Lays Arabia and Chipsy, its local representative in Egypt.

The two teamed up to set the first truly regional social campaign in the Middle East. It is also the first campaign of the region to utilize social influencers as key players.

The mechanism of the “Flavors Cup” activation itself is not new and falls under the social voting category. Consumers are Lays Arabia & Chipsy - Flavor Cupempowered to vote via social media for the new global flavor they would like to see produced out of 5 suggested ones, each drawing inspiration from different corners of the world.

But the real twist was in the voting promotion.

For each of the 5 flavors,  one popular social figure was chosen to represent the taste and amplify the campaign message, among which well known Viners Mohannad AlHattab and Sherif Fayyed.

This marks a big stepping stone for digital marketing in the Middle East where using social figures for brand endorsements is rarely, if ever, implemented and much less from platform Vine which is still growing in the region.

The flavor ambassadors make for a strong lineup of well known names in the social media sphere. The edge these guys bring lies in the fact that they maintain a strong connection to their fan bases through social fame without alienating them through the perception of stardom fame.

  • Japan: Mohannad Al Hattab, Syrian, known on social media for his vines
  • Spain: Mokhtar Chahine, Saudi, internationally published photographer and known on Instagram
  • South Africa: Sally Abdelsalam, Egyptian, radio host, most influential on Twitter
  • Brazil: Raha Moharrak, Saudi, gained a following when she became the first Saudi woman to climb Everest in 2013
  • Mexico- Sherif Fayyed, Egyptian, mostly known for his vines

Every ambassador was sent to the country they were representing.

They were given challenges to complete while there to support the taste,  like “create a traditional meal for the locals”.

The social content generated from these activities was used to engage with followers and encourage social voting. It is worth noting that every flavor had both an Arabic and English hash tag allowing for larger reach.

imageFor the current final days of voting, running  from June 5th until June 11th, each influencer is also giving away a prize in exchange for engagement in a bid to encourage one last hoopla of votes.

While the new global flavor is set to be released on June 11th, the way the social votes are counted remains slightly obscure.

The website states the vote count is taken from hash tag mentions and engagement with campaign related content (likes, comments, shares), but the specific platforms tracked for engagement are not mentioned.

In the launching phase of the campaign, Chipsy had also made good use of its existing celebrity endorsement.

Egyptian actor and comedian Ahmed Helmy starred in a series of adverts to raise early awareness about the activation. There was one spot dedicated to explaining the campaign, and 5 others dedicated to presenting the flavors.

In addition to on screen, these spots were also placed on YouTube as preview advertisements.

To see the official campaign website and its aggregation of all related social content, visit
(two brands, one URL? This should happen more often).

#YesAllWomen: Stop repackaging gender discrimination to fit modern day rules


#YesAllWomenOn Friday May 23, Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a killing spree in Santa Barbara murdering 6 people and harming at least 13 before allegedly taking his own life. In a manifesto he had previously written titled “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger”, he outlines his intentions of causing harm and his hatred towards women in particular for their rejection of him.

What transpired next on Twitter is slightly distanced from his horrific acts but highlights a notion women long held quietly: gender discrimination is not dead, just neatly repackaged to slip through  today’s society incognito.

Using #YesAllWomen, ladies from all over the globe took to the platform to highlight the different forms of oppression that remain an unacknowledged reality. Through the 140 characters, they related chilling stories of modern day harassment ranging from inappropriateness at the work place to sexual assault. The hash tag reached over 1.2 million tweets as of May 26th with men taking part, press outlets and public figures from both genders.

The experiences of those brave enough to come forth on Twitter reveal to what extent the stigma of being “just” a woman lives on in the 21st century. From the glaringly obvious rapes in India and the laws that do not protect to the more subtle details of walking down the street minding your own business while eyes cling on to every sway of your body fault of it having curves.

It is in the fact that nearly every girl, regardless of where she is from, has been subject to some form of modern day harassment but could not speak up because a hand brushing past too close on public transport is not a violation. Being afraid of walking alone in the dark and being taught to yell “fire” instead of “rape” for attention are common, though they should not be.

For those skeptical about where the tweets are coming from, have a look at the heat map of the Twitter activity shared on Mashable.


The viral Coca Cola Video that sparked a debate – Hello Happiness


Dubai woke up a little late to Coca Cola’s Hello Happiness video, but when it did finally rise and shine the clip went viral while the feedback split into two strong camps.

Genuine CSR or sleazy marketing to further Coke’s brand image?

The video, created by Y&R Dubai, shows how Coke helped laborers get in touch with their families by using cola caps as currency for 3 minute international calls back home.

The company reports that over 134K minutes were logged through the branded machines they set up and that the conversation on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is 95% positive. The debate is still ongoing about whether or not the Hello Happiness is more marketing exploitation than doing good.

This is not the first time a Coca Cola initiative causes heated discussions. Only a week ago, the Coke Drones activation in Singapore received the same feedback, though the video did not go viral.

The idea behind the Singapore video was for airborne drones to deliver Coke boxes to the laborers with Thank You messages from the population. The video came in the mist of growing tensions from the labor workers who feel disconnected from the rest of the city as they are, literally, almost unseen because of the way scaffolds and the construction sites are set up.

MTV Movie Awards: Grumpy Cat, Twitter Mirror and a Reporter Gone Rogue


MTV-Movie-Awards-2014-HDTV-x264-Multi-Single-Link-Ketuban-JiwaAll glitz and glam ceremonies of the TV industry have become associated and nearly dependent on successful social media integration. Particularly on Twitter.

MTV Movie Awards was no exception. The event aired on April 13th to over 2M interactions brought in by #MTVMovieAwards alone. It ruled Nielsen’s Twitter list at first place for this week, outshining Game of Thrones and Mad Men.

One of the more interesting social extensions was Twitter Mirror. This is a nifty new toy from Twitter first introduced at the Grammys. It is a tablet mounted on a specific design allowing users to snap a picture, scribble a message on the image and send it out straight to any linked account. This means that celebrities can stop to say hello to followers right before heading out on stage, post crazy selfies or visuals from the behind the scenes.

MTV Movie Awards introduced their first ever “Rebel Correspondent” whose entire on screen activity was dictated by the audience. Tyler Posey, from Teen Wolf, had but one production manager that night: viewers. They were able to vote live on Twitter for what daredevil action they wanted to see him do on screen in real time resulting in good TV and even better social engagement. The votes were sent via hash tag or polling card from within a tweet. This is great social TV integration as it closes the loop between on screen and second screen.

The subject matter already lends itself to extensive social chatter what with the star studded guest list attending. Some of the key players that helped maintain the buzz are Host Conan O’Brien’s with his pre-event teasers and 50+ cameo opening, all the celebrities live covering and.. Grumpy Cat. THE grumpy cat from the memes. This point in particular is so simple yet so clever: an online pop icon was brought to screen near guaranteeing the interest of the 206K followers the cat has on twitter.

Why The Whole Realm Tweeted for #GameOfThrones


The long anticipated S4 premiere of Game of Thrones was both the most watched and the most social HBO episode to date.

It aired to 6.6M viewers, taking home the title for most watched HBO episode from the Sopranos 2007 finale.

On Social Media, it ranked 3rd on Nielsen’s Twitter Ratings list for the week.

The hash tag #GameOfThrones and the direct account mentions alone brought in over 455K interactions on April 6th, and that number does not even include #TwoSwords, #GameOfThronesSeason4 and #TakeTheThrone.

There is no doubt that the social strategy for HBO production shows as a whole set the standards for social TV, including Game of Thrones and its clever episode announcements.

However, the more crucial component to the show’s successful strategy on social media is that Game of Thrones is just that good.

Just like the viewership would not have been as high had the show been poorly executed with bad acting and – let’s face it – a lot less downtown action, no social media heights would have been reached either.

Despite the lack of a fact based research proving the link between viewership and mentions, these type of examples do strongly suggest that good TV = good social engagement.

It still starts with traditional media.