Behind the Work in association withThe Immortal Awards

How Peugeot Harnessed ‘The Power of Allure’

Advertising Agency
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Science & Sunshine and Stoked Films share the process of collaborating with Saud AlTurki, Chndy, Ajwa Al Joudi and Raha Moharrak on the car brand's latest campaign, writes LBB’s Nisna Mahtani

In its continued comeback into the Middle East, car company Peugeot worked with various ambassadors in the UAE and KSA to create ‘The Power of Allure’ campaign. Filmed, edited and rolled out within a four-month period, alongside Science & Sunshine and Stoked Films, the spot considers the millennial market who are set to be a large proportion of the buying demographic in 2025. 

Informing Peugeot’s latest campaign, research conducted by Mckinsey showed that millennials will make up 45 percent of the car buying market in 2025, giving the automobile company a reason to target the demographic. Alongside this, the campaign’s aim was to “make a local film, featuring local talent, for local audiences” and so the task began of choosing trailblazers who would attract consumers across the UAE and KSA markets. 

The fast-paced campaign plays on the ‘lion’ aspect of Peugeot as a brand, highlighting the brand logo, jumping between each of the four chosen influencers –  Saud AlTurki, Chndy, Ajwa Al Joudi and Raha Moharrak – and combining both digital and film shots. With the aim of contrasting the sharp imagery with softer filmmaking techniques, it blends ‘90s nostalgia with modern, clean imagery. The result is a campaign which shows what it means to “Be a Lion.”

Speaking to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about the spot are Science & Sunshine’s creative director Wael Baytamouni and business lead Myriam Ghazal, as well as Stoked Films’ executive producer and partner Rita El Hachem, and the campaign’s director Alvaro Stocker.

LBB> When you first saw the brief, what was it that the client wanted to achieve?

Wael> Peugeot’s new platform is ‘The Power of Allure’. It’s the power of pushing your boundaries, believing in yourself and doing whatever it takes to reach your goals. For its first brand campaign for the region, Peugeot wanted to encourage people to harness the power of allure and make it their own. To do that, we collaborated with four ambitious trailblazers Saud Al-Turki, Chndy, Ajwa AlJoudi & Raha Moharrak, who epitomise allure and Peugeot’s lion DNA in their own unique ways.  

LBB> What was your initial response and creative vision? Tell us the first thing that came to mind.

Wael> The first thing that came to our mind was the ‘Lion’. It’s the common factor between the product and the concept we’re trying to convey.

The lion is a well recognized icon in Peugeot’s DNA and now more than ever, the alluring design of the cars has been heavily inspired by it. For example – the triple-claw tail lights, the front LED Fang lights and the sharp/aggressive car lines.

Conceptually, lions are the kings of the jungle. They are charismatic and alluring animals. They don’t follow, they get followed. They are the perfect representation of The Power of Allure, and that was our starting point.

LBB> This campaign has a specific focus on millennials, who will represent more than 45 percent of the potential car-buying demographic by 2025. How did you conceptualise the campaign to appeal to this audience?

Wael> There are so many tools that give you exposure to your potential target audience. All you have to do is dig in and spend time trying to understand who they are, what they like, what inspires them and who they are influenced by.

Adding influential people who actually achieved life goals wasn’t an arbitrary decision. The new generation is constantly looking for motivation and real life examples. And that’s what we presented to them in this campaign by featuring four regional lions.

Alvaro> What I particularly liked about this campaign is that we didn't underestimate our audience. From my perspective, my goal as a director is to shoot the most honest and pure film. When I achieve that, I feel that the connection with the audience, whatever it is, is direct and real.

In this case, from the initial brief the agency and the client were very clear about who we were talking to and that was embodied in the script.

I wanted to create a visually powerful and captivating film, but not perfect or overly stylized.

That's why I decided to shoot multiformat, both with digital and film to achieve contrast between a purely aesthetic sharp and strong image to make the cars stand out, and on the other hand, a relaxed and genuine look and feel that only 16mm provides, for portraits and b-roll footage.

LBB> You’ve described the four protagonists you feature as “culture shapers”, why was this significant and what did it bring to the spot?

Wael> We still remember the days when brand ambassadors used to be superstars with real life achievements. They inspired us and made us who we are today.

Nowadays the lines are blurred between who is an actual influencer and who is not. This is why it was very crucial for the campaign to have people who have achieved life goals and who are actually shaping the new scene in the region, each in their own way and in their own fields.

Alvaro> Working with Chndy, Ajwa, Raha and Saud was an incredible experience. They are four bold and inspiring people, each one of them being a reference in their field. Working with real people, not actors, gives the campaign a human touch. They are not actors driving cars, they are real individuals who stand out and reinforce the campaign's concept of allure and what being a lion means.

LBB> Where was this campaign set and what was the process of finding the various locations?

Rita> Locations were extremely important for this campaign, we shot in multiple places in Abu Dhabi. We had a great challenge to find them since we needed dissimilarities that could be aligned with the outstanding personalities of the protagonists and their cars.
Finding them was a major production effort that required us to scout for several days in order to find places that are not very recognized and have a special unique vibe, a distinction that can somehow give us this feeling of inherent attraction to the film.

LBB> The script includes lots of references to the ‘lion’ aspect of the Peugeot brand. How long did it take to create the copy and when did you know you landed on the final draft of the script?

Wael> The Lion was the core of our concept. In the copy, we tried to explain The Power of Allure by showing the similarities between a lion’s behaviour and a successful person’s behaviour.

It took us a couple of rounds to perfect the English copy to make sure that the message is coming across clearly. Once we got approval on that, we jumped straight into creating the localised copy. That on its own was a whole different process. We literally kept crafting the copy until the day before the recording session.

LBB> The campaign goes between the four ambassadors, which is showcased through a series of edits between clips. Can you talk to us about the editing process, how long it took and what you wanted the final campaign to look like?

Alvaro> The editing process took a few weeks. We had a very well defined approved storyboard, but in editing, we decided to get a little more creative and play with the footage, since our main goal was to make it look organic and different from any other car commercial.

In this way, we were able to bring some shots to the final edit that were not previously drawn.

It was very rewarding to work with a client and an agency that were open-minded and permeable to accept the challenges that were happening within the creative process. Intuition and sensitivity are key in my work, to be able to see with good eyes the directions that a project can take, whatever the state in which it is.

LBB> From start to finish, how long did it take to create this campaign?

Myriam> It took us around seven months from the time we got the brief to execute this idea. The first half was spent in idea development, then we spent a good chunk of time researching and finding our lions - we wanted real people with real stories to tell, and then we got to scripting and weaving those stories into narratives for each one of them. 

Rita> Since we received the brief, got into the treatment, pre-production, shooting and post-production, approximately four months went by.

LBB> So far, what has the response to the campaign been like?

Myriam> The response has been great so far, the campaign is performing well and the feedback and conversations around it have been pretty awesome. But we are just at the beginning of the rollout with four films still to run, so let’s see how it goes.

LBB> Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Wael> Our relationship with Peugeot is deeper than a normal agency / client relationship. We started working together four years ago when the brand was just re-entering the market and the agency was just a couple of years old, so we’ve grown together and this is a special moment for both of us. It’s the first brand campaign ever created specifically for the GCC region and we’re the first agency to kick off the communication on Peugeot’s new global platform which is pretty awesome. It’s been a great journey so far, and there’s more to come!

Alvaro & Rita> We want to thank Science & Sunshine for trusting our vision and allowing us to collaborate with them during the whole process.

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