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Dubai Tourism and Mother reinvent travel marketing for a new era

A new entertainment platform starring Jessica Alba and Zac Efron signals the return of big-budget destination marketing.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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Plans are back. For Dubai Tourism the return of travel also marks the launch of Dubai Presents; a star-studded new entertainment platform designed to showcase the diversity of Dubai as a destination.

In the wake of the Coronavirus crisis; where travel plans have been reduced to a shuffle from the bedroom to living room office, the return of big-budget high octane travel advertising signals the start of new possibilities for experience-deprived consumers to broaden their horizons.

Mother has enlisted Hollywood superstars, Jessica Alba and Zac Efron, alongside director Craig Gillepsie to create a series of six films, each in the style of movie trailers, designed to showcase the versatility of what Dubai has to offer as a destination. 

The Dubai Presents series will lean on the star power of Hollywood A-listers, while cinematography ensures that the destination remains the real star of the show. Shot on location in Dubai with the city backdrop acting as the set, the films will run in digital, cinema and TV media in 27 global markets in 15 languages.

Travel on pause

The high profile campaign signals a new chapter for travel brands. In the midst of a global pandemic in which travel brands turned to creativity to find new ways to talk about travel while freedom of movement was restricted, smart brands continue to evolve their messaging.

Notably, despite the pandemic, Dubai Tourism continued to communicate with audiences in key international markets to keep the city top-of-mind among travellers with social-led campaigns including #TillWeMeetAgain, #ReadyWhenYouAre and #LiveYourStory.

Now the ‘Dubai Presents’ platform will build on the city’s position as a safe, must-visit destination, as well as providing international travellers insight into the city’s diverse destination offering. This blend of reassurance and inspiration will be key to attracting travellers in the wake of the pandemic. 

Dubai recently marked one year since its reopening in July 2020, with data from Dubai Tourism highlighting that the city welcomed 3.7 million overnight visitors during the 11-month period from July 2020 to May 2021. 

As the global tourism market continues to recover, marketing will play a key role in re-imagining the role of travel in consumers' lives in the wake of the pandemic. 

A long-term investment in destination marketing 

The Dubai Presents platform marks a long term investment from the tourism body and the five remaining hero films will be released over the next four months. The integrated campaign includes several teaser content films highlighting other facets of Dubai - from food and nature to self-indulgence, plus a look behind the scenes of the shoot.

While a content hub - dubaipresents.com - sits at the heart of the campaign where potential visitors can find inspiration and get a personalised plan for their perfect Dubai holiday.

Chris Gallery, Partner at Mother, says: “Dubai is a destination like no other. Our challenge was to create a campaign which allowed every aspect of it to shine. There isn’t a single piece of content able to convey everything that Dubai has to offer; our solution, the Dubai Presents platform, is hard-wired to be flexible in showcasing Dubai as the ultimate destination.”

As consumers’ look forward to travelling to destinations beyond the four walls of their home once again, travel marketing has the opportunity to write a new narrative. For as the Dubai Presents campaign underlines the appetite for travel aspiration remains strong. 

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