DUBAI: Fullstop, a Saudi advertizing and communications agency, was awarded the communication and media strategy pitch for the Saudi Cup, which took place at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on Feb. 19-20.

Fullstop, part of UTURN and Webedia Arabia Group, developed the strategy and managed the creative production of the campaign through films, key visuals, documentaries, and merchandise. 

The Kingdom is home to some of the world’s most renowned horse breeders and owners who regularly compete in events worldwide.

Although breeding and racing are time-honored traditions in Saudi Arabia, the scale of the Saudi Cup is relatively new to the Kingdom. Fullstop’s objective was to create awareness, build positive associations with the event, engage audiences, and communicate the variety of aspects of the event that go beyond the actual races.

Fullstop worked closely with the Ministry of Culture to produce a documentary series in addition to all other aspects of the media campaign including billboards, merchandise and a media plan.

Due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, the organizers of the event had to limit the number of spectators. “The unforeseen hurdle of the new pandemic regulations had the most impact on limiting the attendance to 2,500 people. This was to include all staff, horse connections, and guests, meaning no tickets were to be sold, and attendance would be by invitation only,” Omar Al-Abdali, Fullstop’s CEO, told Arab News.

“While this would normally warrant the cancellation of the campaign, we saw this as an opportunity to build on that brand’s equity and positioning. Our focus shifted to ensuring that the mass audience had some sort of access to (the) event and to create more interest and anticipation for the future,” he added.

This was done by gearing campaign communications toward online and TV viewing, so people could watch race-related content without being physically present.

As part of its digital strategy, Fullstop executed several social media campaigns including a Twitter takeover and Snapchat filters and lenses.           

“Our objective was to direct as much traffic to the live race coverage on YouTube,” said Al-Abdali.

Influencers were also an important part of the campaign, to “provoke a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) to viewers” and to create “excitement for this year’s event, but also anticipation for next year’s and future Saudi Cup events,” he said.

The theme coined by the organizers was “Racing to New Heights” but Fullstop changed it to “The Race to New Heights of Fashion, Food, and Culture.”

Al-Abdali added: “It was our ability to express this theme creatively … that led to (us) being chosen as the agency to lead the Cup’s communication campaign. The campaign truly put a strong spotlight on Saudi culture and how it can be beautifully expressed during a distinguished event.” 

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