Arab News: Japan edition

The challenge

Arab News, the english language newspaper of record for Saudi Arabia, has looked to expand its global footprint over the past 2 years as it becomes a vision of Saudi perception of the Arab World. This involves foreign language editions including Arab News France, Pakistan and, now, Japan. Therefore, D/A had to develop a concept that could resonate with a new audience.

The challenge? Make the campaign resonate in Japan, and Saudi Arabia, so both the home audience and those in Japan had a better idea of Arab News’ expansion.

The Arab News Japan insight

For the Japanese edition, Digital Ape was tasked with coming up with a creative strategy for Arab News. We set about looking towards SIla for inspiration. We found a strong undercurrent of GCC-love for all things Japanese. This made connecting with the audience easier, but how could we effectively connect two, on the surface at least, very different cultures?

On seeing that, we then dug deeper and found many cultural similarities. Firstly, family structure and practices in the household (guests, shoes, sitting on the floor) provide commonality between the cultures. Secondly, a survey for this launch revealed that although 87% of Arabs would like to visit Japan, only 3% really had visited OR understood it.

We could link those together to see how the cultures came together.

The strategy

人 is the word hito, the Japanese word for human (being/kind).

A myth exists that it represents two elements leaning into one another, showing relating as a fundamental experience of being human; relating to yourself, to others, and to the world.

We need each other to hold up our humanity.

This story links inextricably to the future relations being fostered by Arab News between Japan and the Arab World. So we set about creating a story about our similarities – see the gallery below. We also created short stingers for social media – sample here:

There was a YouGov partnership with Arab News as well, which we were tasked in weaving into he campaign. Here is a sample: