Gift Campaign #1 – Cover Up UAE!

Royal Ascot dress code for Dubai World Cup?

Since moving in-house I have missed being able to design and pitch new campaigns to interesting prospects. Since I am flying home to Dubai, I have plenty of time to write and I was inspired recently by three interesting happenings.

The first being the current calls for mandatory decency for ladies in Dubai malls. The second, for similar and possibly more draconic decency rules at the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. And the third by quite an ingenious campaign by British Airways.

For those not aware of the UAE decency laws, please read here. Effectively Madonna crossed the line and catalysed a Twitter hate campaign of all clothing items above knee length and below shoulder cut. It has even been debated in the Federal National Council and in all Arabic and English language community forums and newspapers.

Last week we had Royal Ascot, where the Queen held court over the annual pomp and ceremony that I have listed as the number one must attend event in my PR Bucketlist. If you want to gain entry into the Royal Enclosure, guests have to adopt a very high standard of dress, which I believe would be acceptable in the UAE (Royal Ascot Dress Code 2012).

British Airways is running an ad campaign promoting ‘staycations’ telling its customers NOT to fly and stay at home for the Olympics and support team GB. This is a patriotic campaign and very cleverly shows commitment to the nation and raises brand appreciation by appreciating its customers and their own dreams.

OK – my gift campaign is therefore quite simple and would be most appropriate to a high end fashion store such as Galarie Lafayette, Saks or Harvey Nichols. All that is required is to use its in store windows and around mall advertising to promote modest dress – promoting hi-end shawls and other attractive and pricey alternatives to rara skirts and boob tubes.

The affluent Gulf National customer base should appreciate this. Expats won’t mind too much. It would raise awareness of the various fashion offerings of the department store and would also position the brand as being trendy and in line with local culture.

The possibility to use social media, facebook and Twitpic to promote new lines is enormous. Consider sending a – appropriately dressed twitpic to UAE customers and get thousands of retweets. Place photos of new ranges on Facebook and promote via Likes. Use Youtube even to provide clothing tips.

Massive, massive ROI – surely someone will do it.

If so, please do let me know how it goes as it would be great to track as a case study.


About stephenking2012

In 2012 I volunteered to hold the position of Chair - Standards & Ethics Committee for the Middle East PR Association (@MEPRA_org). I have set up this account to assist in this effort. You may also like to follow my Blog or connect with me on LinkedIn. In any case, please do visit, and if you are not yet a member, please do sign up!
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