Winning a global account is scary. It’s also bloody awesome.
After a 5 month pitch, the Emirates account was an immense piece of business and it came with multiple challenges.
• An entire Emirates account team needed to be built.
• We needed a deep dive into the client's entire business model.
• We needed to plan their immediate must-haves, plus plan what internal & external communications were going to be created.
February 2010 became an insane month peppered with positive energy and enthusiasm. The client opened the doors and welcomed us onboard.
The following months saw the agency team and myself spending weeks in Dubai meeting Emirates’ senior management teams, listening to their roles and functions plus sharing the initial strategic thinking for the Hello Tomorrow platform. The agency led workshops with key stakeholders, giving them the responsibility for owning the internal Emirates brand platform and the change to come. Emirates needed to live and breathe what the agency were living and breathing so they could internally spread the strategy and new brand thinking to 1000's of their employees.
From here the agency began building the global creative work that would later become the Hello Tomorrow integrated launch campaign, launching across 150+ markets with huge success.
This was by far the biggest and most complex piece of business I've worked on during my career.
I learned incredible lessons from everyone I worked with; the client, the producers, the agency teams, the photographer; it is a lengthy list of talent that worked tirelessly to deliver the launch campaign and propel Emirates into another successful chapter of their ever evolving brand story.
After the launch of Hello Tomorrow, the Emirates brand grew by $398 million in 2012, to more than $4 billion. The brand was worth 40 per cent of total enterprise value, the highest contribution of all Middle Eastern brands.
Emirates reached the No.1 position of "The Most Valuable Airline Brands" on BrandFinance's Top 20 Airline Brands 2012 (source)
OPENNESS & TRUST
As we jetted off to start our 3-week global shoot, I wanted to keep the Emirates client in the loop plus keep the agency up to date with what we were doing. I created a password protected blog. The work that we were doing was such a closely guarded secret that only 5 people had the encrypted login.
Each day I photographed a behind the scenes account of our day and wrote a short update.
Today, this could be done on any number of platforms, i.e. Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok, but in 2011, Tumblr was the best blogging platform to share everything.
This simple engagement kept the client and the agency connected and happy simply because they were included and informed of everything our close '5 person' agile production team was doing.
21 DAY GLOBAL PHOTOGRAPHY SHOOT
Producers: Julia Llamas / Odette Stuyt • Photographer: Maurice Heesen • Client: Georgette Kolkman