Dubai Lynx

The Code Egypt Needed to Crack

FP7 McCANN, Cairo / ETISALAT / 2022

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Case Film






Hekaya is Etisalat’s hybrid tariff; a sub-category of telecom where all players have been showering Egyptian customers with campaigns and promotions, making it hard for the audience to keep up, and for campaigns to be noticed.

In 2021, Hekaya was presenting the Egyptian youth, who were drowning in their financial obligations, with an exclusive promo: Partial renewal.

Finally, they no longer had to pay their entire monthly fee at once. Instead, they could pay what they could afford, when they could afford it and get service for the partial amount they paid.

Aiming to generate awareness and interest, Hekaya desperately needed to couple great value with entertainment value that would enable the campaign to be noticed amidst the clutter.


“A promotion that Egypt needs to crack”.

Utilizing the S code, which was once famous in Egypt during the British occupation and then was passed on to generations of kids who used it to communicate with their friends, we formulated our coded message to communicate Hekaya’s promo; counting on Egyptians’ curiosity to crack the code.


In the middle of the clutter and despite big investments, it was no longer easy for telecom campaigns to get noticed. Customers were confused, unsure which is which and drowning in endless messages like they were drowning in their financial struggles.

The truth is the more ads the youth see, the less they could actually see them.

So, we wondered: if they no longer saw the obvious? Could their curiosity make them stop and see what wasn’t?

This was our strategy. To make our communication a little hard to get, and tease the audience with a coded message that they would somehow find familiar if they went down memory lane.


We collaborated with Ahmed Helmy again, and launched a film that communicated our promo being sung, on repeat, IN A CODE! Relying on the curiosity of the Egyptian youth to spend some time with our brand and crack the coded message we were sending them.

What they heard Helmy sing was:

Senew rabbit sour yard sundle brown svery elephant seek wonderful, swo tan, or shree tree!

And what he meant was actually:

Renew your bundle every week, two or three!

Next, we launched our outdoor campaign that communicated the cracked promotion, along with pieces of informative content on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to ensure sufficient awareness on our Partial Renewal promo.

This way, we started the conversation... and sat to watch what Egyptians did to participate.


Despite the cluttered scene, we did successfully stand out!

In just 2 days, the film was the fourth most trending video on YouTube, and millions of Egyptians were watching, singing along and even creating tutorial videos to crack the Hekaya code! We did not just create a successful campaign, we created a language that became the talk of town, including the press bringing us hundreds of thousands EGP worth of earned media.

We aimed for awareness, and successfully overachieved awareness category norms by 10%

Moreover, the campaign enabled Etisalat to score highest on brand love and Net promoter score versus competition in Q1 2021, grew Etisalat’s consideration and overall equity share, as well as Depth of awareness, Emotion, trendsetter and trust.

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