How did a communications agency from the Russian Federation conceptualise an advertising campaign for Saudi Arabia’s main airline?
Hello everyone, Svyazi agency is on air! A short backstory: in 2022 our founder Ilya moved to the UAE and opened an office in Dubai to focus on business development in the GCC. We've done a lot in that time, if you're interested, you can go to the separate website for OAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar clients. We live by the principle: water does not flow under the lying stone. That's why we decided to contact the employees of SAUDIA and VISIT SAUDI via Linkedin and to propose our creative concept.
Let’s first dive into the Saudi context so that everyone understands what we’re dealing with here
Saudi Arabia is a future-oriented country whose achievements and plans are not widely known in Russia. Many people associate it only with huge oil reserves and Ronaldo, who signed a contract with the Al-Nassr football club. Until a few years ago, almost no one travelled to Saudis because the country was closed to tourists. By 2030, the government set a target of 100 million tourists per year. Active investments in tourism infrastructure were launched, and the realisation of truly royal plans began — the construction of megaprojects of the future in the desert. One of the leaders of this revolution is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. We sincerely recommend reading about Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud. He is definitely creating the future for his country.
How the idea was born?
My team and I asked ourselves the question:
"What would London look like with Big Ben and all its calling cards if it were in Saudi Arabia? For someone who lives in London, it would be a whole new image of his hometown. It would also beg the question, "What does Saudi Arabia look like in real life?". So, we decided to take Midjourney’s neural network and imagine what such an advertising campaign could look like for a country that is now building its future
About the realisation
The illustrations created in the network were the key idea of our project
We decided to do something unusual: to show people a little-known Saudi Arabia using familiar images of the most popular cities in the world  New York, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, London.
We thought how to develop our idea by studying cases of popular airlines. So we remembered one of S7 Airlines' advertising campaigns, Photos Come True, which is famous for its posters with images of popular tourist cities and names similar to computer files. The message to the audience was that a picture of Moscow is just a picture on a monitor. It will not give you the same emotions as a real trip. Travelling that's the real experience
We have come to the conclusion that our illustrations from Midjourney, which combine the world’s most popular landmarks with the unfamiliar scenery of Saudi Arabia, will feature the slogan-question "IS IT SAUDI?".
The question "Is this the Saudis?" attracts the audience’s attention because people see an unfamiliar arrangement of familiar world objects. Seeing such an image, a person begins to wonder, "If this is not Saudi Arabia, then what is it?". Mixing the image of a well-known city and such an ambiguous question we will try to involve a potential tourist in the study of Saudi Arabia. We have also devised a way to do this, but more about that later on
Midjourney's prompts
If anyone thinks that Midjourney gives you the results you need quickly, we’re sorry to disappoint you
When our designer started working with the network, he encountered some difficulties. As it turned out, it was a difficult task to make cool illustrations according to our request. We were even scared, because that was the main idea of the whole concept.
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Creatives are not created for the sake of creatives
The aim is to catch the attention of potential tourists and draw them to the website with SAUDIA’s special offer. The resulting illustrations are placed on buildings, billboards, cars and wherever possible. Also, of course, attention is paid to SAUDIA’s social media. We have depicted what posts on their account might look like.
Interactive part
Next comes the most interesting part — the interactive part
A person sees a QR code on all outdoor advertising materials, and by clicking on it he/she goes to the website "Is it Saudi?" and completes a quiz. This kind of interactivity helps you learn more about the country and travelling. But the most interesting thing about the quiz is the opportunity to get a nice discount on SAUDIA air tickets. Besides, the site provides an opportunity to learn more about Saudi Arabia: where to go, what to try and see. All information of interest to the potential tourist is collected in one place.
Saudi Arabia reminds us of Russia in the 00s: people genuinely believe in the future, the economy is growing rapidly, and the government is actively recruiting expats for ambitious projects. We re glad that our concept has caught on with department heads, so our story on the Arabian peninsula is just beginning.

P. S. If you’re interested in the technical aspects of the project, then get on our Behance.
We ve covered everything there.

Love, Svyazi.
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