To announce their exciting event calendar for the winter of 2022, the Abu Dhabi Department of Tourism and Culture recruited famed NBA legend Shaqille O’Neal. Shaq is famously known for his love of Abu Dhabi, and the series of ads featuring Shaq as a news anchor borrow from Shaq’s quirky online personality for some ROFL fun, while the events are the true star of the show.
The Abu Dhabi Calendar, much like the city itself is a very dynamic and exciting one. And each experience is a headliner event. We wanted to create the gravitas around each experience, and the concept of merging Shaq as the new anchor to announce the upcoming lineup of events felt like a perfect match. It also helps that Shaq has followers across age groups and varied interests, because Abu Dhabi has something for everyone as well.
The spots were directed by Nalle Sjöblad with Production company Dejavu.
Akhilesh Bagri CCO, Serviceplan Middle East explains: “It’s a busy time for tourism around the world, with COVID restrictions all but gone. The idea of taking a humorous approach to this campaign was a no brainer consider the comedy chops of Shaq. The challenge was to make sure that the content becomes a thumb stopper on people’s scroll. If bitesize content is king, we thought why not super-size it. This approach gives us a chance to post fresh content all through winter. We thank Déjà vu and DCT for giving us this opportunity.”
Manasvi Gosalia, Executive Producer, Déjà vu adds: “As exciting as it is to shoot with legends like Shaq, the logistics involved in a run-up to it is always like walking a tight rope. We had less than half a day of shoot time with Shaq, understandably considering his packed schedule and travel. We found a way to find him mid-commitments and maximize that time to get the results we were looking for. Of course, Shaq is simply flawless when the camera starts rolling, so that made things easier. The only downside to his perfect take after take would be that now we don’t have a bloopers reel.”
Watch the spots on Instagram here:
Source: Serviceplan Middle East
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