YouTube launched the first edition of The Lantern, an award program to recognize the work of creative and media agencies, as well as advertisers in the MENA region during Ramadan, back in 2016.
“Ramadan is MENA’s Super Bowl,” said Alex Brunori, head of Google’s Creative Impact Team in the Middle East and North Africa., in 2016 explaining the launch of the award. “Many brands during the Holy Month make a focused communication effort, creating unique Ramadan-themed campaigns, and people are waiting for these brand stories and the values and insights they offer. It is a moment for introspection and altruism, but also for celebration and togetherness – profound and light-hearted at the same time. We wanted to honor the immense and timeless richness of this tradition by creating a unique award, The Lantern, offered by YouTube, which is the space where these stories live and thrive.”
Egyptian telecom Orange won last year’s award with its “Nothing Gets Past Mohamed Henedi” campaign which featured the iconic comedian. Kuwaiti telecom Viva won the first edition of the Lantern in 2016.
This year’s winner is Toyota/Abdul Latif Jameel Motors.
Its Ramadan campaign built on the existing success of Khebayyes & Abu Hurayyes’s web-series and leveraged its loyal audience base and won due to its success in “driving high viewership, engagement and retention.”
The campaign is the second season of a web-series Abdul Latif Jameel Motors had launched to much acclaim with the aim of promoting the company’s aftersales vehicle maintenance program in Saudi Arabia. The goal was to encourage the use of Toyota genuine parts and services rather than other independent workshops or service chains. The first season reached 1.8 million people and garnered more than 187 years worth of ‘watch time’ as well as 202,500 new subscriptions to the YouTube channel, making Toyota Service Saudi the leading Toyota channel globally.
“Abdul Latif Jameel’s winning campaign is a testimony to the growing enthusiasm with which the advertisers are embracing the award. The campaign’s format, a web-series, is, in fact, a departure from the past years’ winners which were based on music or comedy. We are proud of the success of this campaign and the engagement it garnered on YouTube and we look forward to sharing these learnings with all advertisers in MENA,” says Brunori.
Creative Agency: FocusAd
Media Agency: Performics