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Saudi prince stars in Mobily commercial

Impact BBDO Riyadh has rolled out its first TV commercial for Mobily featuring the grandson of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

The TVC, starring Prince Abdullah bin Miteb, represents the first time a member of the Saudi royal family has appeared in a commercial and, if you believe Reuters and the Associated Press, has caused some eyebrows to be raised.

According to Reuters, the advert has sparked a debate among diplomats and Saudis alike on what it could mean
for the absolute monarchy, which has always been secretive about its internal affairs. Prince Abdullah is a professional equestrian sportsman and is sponsored by Mobily.

Filmed by acclaimed director Mehdi Norowzian, whose production company Joy Films opened an office in Dubai in late 2008, the one-minute commercial shows the prince caring for his horse, riding and jumping over a fence – a fence that represents the challenges faced by both the rider and, by association, Mobily.

Khalil Minawi, managing director of Impact BBDO Riyadh, said: “The idea was to create and deliver copy that reflects the passion and determination for the sport in a refined style. It also highlights the challenge that the prince faces, as well as those faced by Mobily.”

Mobily is the official brand name of Etihad Etisalat, the second mobile service provider in Saudi Arabia. It is part owned by the UAE’s Etisalat. Last year the company reviewed its creative advertising account, finally deciding to split the business between Impact BBDO and Drive Dentsu.

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