18th Apr 2016
Almarai, the largest producer of dairy products in the Arab world, has created an internet sensation by launching a poignant film on the highly sensitive issue of breastfeeding. In partnership with Leo Burnett KSA, who created the film, Almarai launched the campaign in early February and the rest is history.
There has been a growing trend amongst Saudi mothers to avoid breastfeeding their babies, and to seek out more convenient alternatives. This trend has been fuel by a lack of accessible information to new mothers regarding the vast benefits of breastfeeding, as well as the fact that such a subject matter is considered extremely private and almost never discussed in a public forum.
In a bold move, Almarai decided to tackle this subject head on in the interest of educating young mothers on the importance of breastfeeding for the good health of their newborns. However, the issue of infant nutrition is not just the concern of young mothers. Healthy babies will make a healthy nation.
The campaign that Almarai co-created with Leo Burnett KSA elevated the subject of breastfeeding onto a national platform and inspired a movement focused on one single big idea: The best milk for your baby cannot be purchased.
The national campaign from Almarai in support of breastfeeding was launched with the release of an online film that captures the emotions of a new mother who desires the very best for her baby. The film explores all the emotions and aspirations that a newborn inspires within all mothers, and by tapping into these emotions, the film has been able to create conversations amongst its citizens at a national and public level that is unprecedented!
Within a week of launch, the film went viral. It became the second most shared video in the world at almost 1.3 million shares! Almarai’s Facebook page became the fastest growing page in the world, garnering over 39,000 new fans a day. This made Almarai the third most popular FMCG brand on Facebook, right after Nestle and P&G. With over 45 million views on social media, click here to view the video that launched the breastfeeding movement in KSA.
In his feedback, Hussam Abdulqader, Head of Corporate Communications at Almarai, said: It was our strong partnership with Leo Burnett KSA that helped create an exceptionally committed and passionate team. We, at Almarai, were also pleased with Leo Burnett KSA’s creative approach that treated the subject with great care and sensitivity, yet boldly challenged the status quo. We are looking forward to continuing the momentum of this movement through our ongoing collaborating with Leo Burnett KSA on new and innovative ways to improve the lives of infants and mothers in the region.”
Raja Trad, CEO of Publicis Communications ME, declared: “The creation of this important national movement by Almarai in partnership with Leo Burnett KSA gives us all a deep sense of satisfaction. Embracing social responsibility under challenging circumstances brings out the best in people, and this campaign has unfolded a truly exceptional story in Saudi, with plenty more yet to come.”
In addition, Georges Maktabi, Regional Managing Director of Leo Burnett KSA stated: “The hard work and collaborative effort put in by the team at Almarai and ourselves has resulted in a tremendous wave of support for breastfeeding in the country. Being part of something this big is humbling and energizing! I would like to thank Almarai for trusting us with their business.”
About Almarai Almarai (Arabic for "The Pasture") was established in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1977 as a partnership between an Irish agro-foods business and Prince Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer. Today, Almarai is the largest vertically integrated dairy company in the world. Almarai enjoys an unrivaled reputation in the region synonymous with delivering excellence and quality across its entire range of products.
In 2010, Almarai entered the infant nutrition market with the construction of the region’s first infant nutrition plant at Al Kharj, commissioned in 2012. Almarai formed the International Pediatric Nutrition Company (IPNC), a 50-50 joint venture with Mead Johnson Nutrition. Its infant nutrition products are co-branded under Almarai and Mead Johnson’s flagship range, Enfa.
Currently operating across the Gulf, Almarai employs over 35,000 employees servicing some 50,000 retail outlets with a turnover that exceeded $3.36 billion in 2014. According to the 2015 BestBrand Rankings launched by global market research company YouGov, Almarai has been ranked the most positively perceived brand in Saudi Arabia.