19 May 2009

Abu Dhabi, 19 May 2009: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, one of the United Arab Emirates' largest full-service retail and commercial banks today unveils its new corporate campaign under the tag line 'Long Live Ambition'. The campaign, which was developed by Minneapolis agency Fallon, aligns the bank with the Ambition of the UAE. It is targeted to a broad group of UAE Nationals and Expatriates, and establishes a platform of creativity using the new positioning statement."

"Banks, traditionally considered a low involvement category, have in recent months been thrust into the limelight with the onset of the global recession, with everyone paying attention to our category" said Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ala'a Eraiqat. "But in this economic downturn there is considerable opportunity for a financial services brand to project a resonant voice, particularly in the UAE, which has such a unique demographic make up and attitude, combined with an economy that is stronger than in the rest of the world". He continued "Market cycles are inevitable, but our 'Long Live Ambition' campaign recognizes the fundamental and timeless spirit of the UAE population - regardless of market cycle".

In the campaign's launch print advertisement, a red flag is planted in a UAE desert landscape. The flag design features the campaign's tagline, "Long Live Ambition" written in Arabic. An accompanying manifesto celebrates the power of human ambition and lays the foundation of the campaign. The flag and its design are recurring graphic elements throughout the campaign.

"Conventional wisdom suggests a brand in a recessionary economy should keep its head down," said Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Head of Marketing Services, Senior Vice President, Martin Scott "However, conventional wisdom often leads to missed opportunities, as it has been proven that companies who maintain advertising budgets during a recession significantly outperform their competition in the following years. But there is opportunity beyond the numbers, as in a pessimistic environment, an optimistic voice asserts leadership and earns respect at a time when people are looking for a voice of hope and inspiration that resonates positively with their values".

The work, shot by renowned French photographer Jean-François Campos, celebrates the spirit of the UAE, and the intangible quality that so effectively unifies its diverse population of Nationals and Expatriates: Ambition. The campaign will transform ADCB into a brand that stands for Ambition and champions the spirit of ambitious people through its advertising and its actions as a brand.

"Through significant market research and testing, we recognized that the people of the UAE, both expatriates and nationals, are unified by ambition. Daily, they engage in shaping the country's culture and coastlines - from Saadiyat Island to The Palm Islands. And in that respect, they are unique from consumers in other major economic and cultural centers, where place typically has the upper hand in shaping the individual," said Fallon Group Account Director Michael Craig. "In the UAE, it's the other way around."

The fully integrated campaign comprises Print, Online, Out-of-home, In-branch, and Brand Engagement and will run throughout 2009. Print is the dominant medium and provides the cornerstone of the communications. A heavy outdoor rotation is also included to drive awareness and give the campaign a ubiquitous presence. The highlight is a domination of billboards along the 120 km highway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Campaign executions will appear in both English and Arabic.
High resolution images from the campaign along with screen savers and desktop background can be downloaded from: