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How brands are turning play into solutions

By Jalaja Ramanunni

Saudi Telecom Company (stc) created a game Baity Battle during Ramadan to help gamers who were fasting to keep track of time.

Baity Battle is a virtual island in the interactive video game platform Fortnite Creative.

While playing on the virtual island, gamers keep can track of sunrise and sunset times as it syncs with the real world. As a result, gamers can tell when it is time for Iftar and Suhoor, the two main meals of Ramadan. It turned into a smooth, natural in-game solution for a real-world problem, inspired by a strong cultural insight.

Gaming is booming worldwide, and the Middle East is no different. Baity Battle was inspired by Ramadan and was available from the first day of Ramadan to the last day of Eid Al Fitr.

The game is based on the map of Saudi Arabia and the landscape includes mountains, cliffs, deserts, the sea, a modern city and a traditional village. It includes challenges and side-missions inspired by Saudi hobbies such as camping, falconry and dune bashing.

“Brands will search for smart ways to be present in that world (gaming), because that’s where people from all ages and genders really engage as a community. The connections built in gaming environments are strong, and finding a way to reach that audience in a relevant way will only help brand connect with this community,” Pablo Dachefsky, ECD at Wunderman Thompson Dubai, told Campaign.

He adds, “Studies show that 99 per cent of gamers lose track of time when playing, and that they play for longer hours during Ramadan. With this in mind, the goal of Baity Battle was created to help solve this cultural behaviour, and offer gamers a practical solution that helped them keep track of time so they did not skip meals, rather than increasing gaming numbers or subscriptions to the Baity Games plan. With our solution, we were able to do this within the game, in a relevant way, and speak to players in the virtual and digital world.”

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt stand out for their gaming audiences. In 2021, the revenue from gaming is expected to rise to $3bn by 2025 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The number of gamers in the region crossed 65 million and it is expected to grow to nearly 86 million by 2025, a Google report states.

“Ramadan campaigns and activations often fall under the same topics, year after year. What makes this campaign so interesting is how we solve a problem that is very true to a specific audience, that is often overseen this time of the yea,” said Tiago Bastos, Creative Director at Wunderman Thompson Dubai.


Client: stc
STC Senior Media Analyst: Wajd Almusallam
STC Digital Media Director: Abdullah Alotaibi
STC Commercial Marketing Communication GM: Faisal Al Saad

Agency: Wunderman Thompson Riyadh & Wunderman Thompson Dubai
Chief Creative Officer, MENA: Chafic Haddad
Executive Creative Directors Pablo Dachefsky (Dubai), Rayyan Aoun (KSA)
Creative Director, Dubai: Tiago Bastos
Associate Creative Director: Marcelo Zylberberg
Senior Art Director: Tiago Bastos
Junior Art Director: Yamin Inayah
Senior Copywriter: Sara Ibrahim
Copywriter: Benjamin Kirby, Mohammed Binkhudhair
Motion Designer: Aashim Kadayikkal
Business Director: Jad Haddad
Account Director: Joseph Elhage
Account Manager: Ahmed Al-Ajami
Production Company: XCave Studios
Executive Producer: Camila Vulcanis
XR Creative Director: Rod Hurtado
Game Director: Paulo Furtado
Producer: Rafaela Aquino
Lead Technical Artist: Harry Jekyll
Technical Artist: Breno Giovanelli
Game Artist: Pedro Alvez
Game Operations: Felipe Falkiner