Communicate spoke with Ali Khalifa Al Shamsi, Director General of Emarat, to understand why it pays to use local talent.
What has been the brands’ marketing strategy since the lockdown restrictions were lifted?
At the start of the pandemic, recognizing that customer contact was limited, we launched our Instagram channel so that we could communicate with customers digitally. This has helped educate and reassure people that whenever they visit an Emarat service station, their safety is our number one concern. We used social media, across four channels, to showcase the precautionary measures we were taking, such as branded masks and gloves, and signage letting people know where to stand so that they were socially-distanced. We will continue to use social media to communicate, educate, and reassure our customers.
Most recently, we launched our ‘Expect the Expected’ marketing campaign. The new positioning reaffirms our promise to customers and clients that whenever they visit an Emarat service station or partner with our commercial teams, they can always expect the same great service that they have come to know and love at Emarat. The brand campaign is being rolled out across television, billboards, radio, digital, and social media and we are firmly reminding people of Emarat’s strong reputation in the market.
What were the reasons for using themes of reflection in your most recent campaign?
In order to evolve, it’s important to look back and reflect on the journey so far. Ahead of our landmark 40th anniversary next year, we were keen to celebrate how far we have come as one of the original pioneers of the petroleum industry in the UAE. We are very proud of our heritage and our commitment to serve the community is still of paramount importance. We have launched many retail and commercial services since our inception and want to use this opportunity to re-energize them as we work to evolve as a corporation.
What was the reasoning behind utilizing local talent in the campaign?
Emarat was established by the Government of the UAE for the people of the UAE, so it was very important for us to showcase and champion local talent. Ali Mostafa very quickly understood our values and applied his own memories of visiting Emarat service stations to tell our brand story in a compelling way in the film. Waleed Shah, who captured the key still images for the campaign, is also locally-based and very familiar with our brand.
Has utilizing local talent always been the approach? If so, what kind of benefits has it brought about?
We were keen to draw on Emarat’s rich history and using local talent allowed us to recreate the nostalgia associated with the brand in an authentic way. Ali in particular had very strong memories of growing up with Emarat as a young boy so his insight was invaluable. There are many talented filmmakers and photographers in the region, and we feel privileged to have worked with two of the best to tell our story.
Petroleum companies are facing a lot of pressure from civic groups to display their social and environmental credentials. What has been Emarat’s communications approach in this regard and how is the brand addressing it?
Petroleum companies in the 21st century are both very aware and very active when it comes to environmental issues. We follow all UAE Government directives and keep an eye on global innovation and developments. We share our messaging with customers, mostly via our service stations and through social media. Our service stations have recycling collection bins and customers are made aware that our plastic bags used in the C-stores are 100% biodegradable within six months. We also ask customers if they need a bag, rather than providing them automatically.
At the Emarat head office, we have applied a range of measures which reduce energy consumption with regard to lighting, including room sensors, air-conditioning, recycling, and our campaign to go paperless.
Across all of our locations, we employ LED lighting and energy-efficient air-conditioning pumps and meters, as well as water supply filtration and aerators which reduce water consumption. We recycle 100% of the car wash greywater and reclaim for the manual car wash system. Industrial waste, such as when we perform oil changes, is taken care of with oil interceptors which are drained into the municipality drainage network.
New Emarat Fuel stations are designed with vapor recovery systems to reduce the vapor loss during the refilling of the underground storage tanks and the filling of the vehicle tanks. The vapor contains benzene, xylene, toluene, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which would otherwise contribute to the local, regional, and global air pollution.
Our Emarat tank gauging system is an electronic device that monitors the fuel levels in the tank over a period of time and provides automatic alerts in case there is any leakage.
In addition, the corporation has plans to roll out a solar power project in December 2020, installing solar PV systems in 40 of our older service stations and the 25 newer ones, in phases.
So, you can see that we take the environment very seriously and we are always looking for new innovations to contribute to cleaner air, water, and land.