When Celebrities decided to ‘Think Strawberries’ and ‘Say Sharjah’

The emirate of Sharjah is well-known for its rich, cultural heritage – an identity that has been recognized a number of times as shown by the winning of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital 2014 awards. It is a vibrant city with an exciting food and arts scene, a heritage area that is the largest restoration project in the region along with various commercial centres and over 22 museums. However, the Indian traveler hasn’t been made aware of Sharjah’s diverse experiences and offerings.

Due to the limited awareness and imagery in both B2B and Consumer markets in India, our aim was to:

  1. Mobilize the market for Sharjah Tourism (SCTDA) through synergizing initiatives that will generate demand.
  2. Promote tourism to Sharjah as a “Long Weekend Getaway” Internationally and position it as the “Most Affordable International Holiday”.

We started with basic hygiene outreach on Think Strawberries social media channels – Facebook and Instagram; as this ensured Sharjah’s direct outreach to the TS B2B network of Trade and Media.

All content that was published was skewed and aligned to the targeted promotion pillars:

Thrill Seeker
Rich Culture & Heritage
Ideal Family Destination
Great Shopping Zone
Gastronomical Experience

which are all part of the core destination proposition to the India market. These elements also bind the travelers’ interest and activities, while experiencing a “weekend getaway”.

In the rapidly digitally transforming media environment, influencers and celebrities have a significant role in impacting purchase behavior, capability to build interest for Sharjah and organically grow engagements, comments and positive sentiments. Thus, alongwith general tourism promotion content, at regular intervals Influencer and Celebrity collaborations were also conducted to spur our positioning of Sharjah as a “weekend getaway” destination.

Each Celebrity Trip consisted of India’s 5 leading TV stars, celebrities with huge universal fan following, daily reach into millions of homes visit a destination and create a travelogue. This helped position Sharjah in a relevant Indian context with strong endorsements; and special emphasis on how culturally open, women friendly the destination is.