Several times throughout the year, the best marketing and advertising agencies in Iran try to exceed themselves. They do this by making and sending creative gifts for their clients. This practice is somewhat like an arms race in that agencies use calendar occasions as an excuse to flex their creativity. With the absence of a client brief, agencies can explore concepts that might not fit corporate restraints. However, even with this absence, there are other challenges to solve.
Our challenge would be to flex our creativity for the Iranian celebration of the winter solstice, known locally as Yalda Night. However, showing off our capabilities to stand out among the other Iranian branding and advertising agencies in Iran would only be the start. We wanted to go further! We are an advertising agency built on a belief in being better in a better market. Continuing in this belief, we chose to compete with ourselves. Thus, our main challenge would be to make a better gift compared to the last calendar occasion.
For the ancient celebration of Yalda Night, we chose to appeal to modern tastes, quite literally. The occasion of Yalda is about celebrating the longest night by seeing the light conquer the dark. This occasion is celebrated with friends and family and involves many traditions.
One such Yalda Night tradition in Iran is the presence and consumption of certain foods. Aside from dried fruit and nuts, typical of the season, Iranians also celebrate with red fruits such as watermelon and pomegranate. The colour red is symbolic of the light conquering the dark as the days begin to get longer.
Our solution was to create a feast for the eyes and stomach. We did this by creating a complex yet creative package of goodies. We chose to base our gift package on a popular red-coloured fruit. This fruit is both native to Iran and often used in Iranian art. This fruit is, of course, the pomegranate.
Firstly we created an outer container styled like a pomegranate, using photorealistic imagery. We then included several inner containers similar to those found in this fruit. Each inner container held items relevant to the Yalda occasion, such as dried nuts and fruits.
Iranian marketing, branding and advertising agencies that create gifts for calendar occasions receive a different response to regular advertising campaigns in Iran. We don’t get sales reports or information on consumer behaviour shifts but do get direct word-of-mouth responses.
Our clients were quick to respond to us and thank us. One specific response of gratitude explained that our package inspired young children to ask questions and learn about the traditions of the Yalda Night. Another client also responded with questions, one of which being, “why did you only give us one?!”. Yes, pomegranates can leave a sour taste in the mouth.
The resulting feast for the eyes and mouth successfully adhered to another strategy agencies have for such occasions. Our packaging appealed to our client’s taste to such a degree that it became a feature on their shelves. This result is one that we are proud to have achieved. It’s an honor to have our efforts featured as part of their decor.