New York agency renames Middle East's city of the future

The country calls on New York's StrawberryFrog for the moniker Dubai South and an integrated campaign for the "City of You"

DUBAI — After renaming its 56-square-mile economic zone from Dubai World Central to Dubai South, the United Arab Emirates has launched a major new integrated advertising campaign to promote it as the "City of You."

The work of New York-based agency StrawberryFrog, the campaign covers television, outdoor, print and digital and is designed to instigate a "cultural movement" around Dubai South’s core values of "humanity, dignity, optimism and community."

The re-brand of Dubai World Central as Dubai South is one of the biggest ever undertaken in the Middle East, according to Sanjay Patney, director of corporate marketing at Dubai South, The new campaign will accelerate throughout September.

Dubai South was launched in 2006 by the government of Dubai. Its Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to be the world's largest; the new city is intended to house 1 million people and support 500,000 jobs.

"The long-term objective is to create a city that is the most desirable place to live, the most desirable place to work and the most desirable place to invest," said Patney. "That is the rationale behind the changing of the whole brand outlook. In fact, I personally believe it’s probably one of the biggest brand transformation projects ever in the Middle East because it’s not just a repositioning, it’s a rebranding and relaunching at the same time."

The main objective of the campaign is to create awareness of the new city and its new name, and also to create a cultural movement for more human-centered happiness and a higher quality of life for the people of Dubai.

Both the name Dubai South and the tagline of the "City of You" were penned by Scott Goodson, StrawberryFrog founder and chairman. The agency was chosen on the back of Goodson’s previous work for Emirates’ ‘Hello Tomorrow’ positioning and Downtown Dubai’s ‘Centre of Now’.

"What I have created is, I believe, inspiring and consistent with the business objectives," Goodson said. "But the ideas go deeper and work harder. They are designed to touch people deeply and motivate them. What I’m interested in is not advertising per se, it’s our life as part of the human species, our ongoing efforts to achieve progress, evolution and change."

The campaign features the work of illustrator Mats Gustafson, who created original watercolor sketches that capture Dubai South’s people-centric approach city living.

The rollout of "City of You" coincides with the appointment of Horizon FCB as Dubai South’s retained creative agency.

"StrawberryFrog was appointed earlier in the year to specifically develop the creative strategy and execute the relaunch of Dubai South and a new real estate product we’ll launch at Cityscape Global in Dubai," explains Patney. "StrawberryFrog are working for us on a project basis.

"The appointment of Horizon FCB is as the local retainer agency for Dubai South. We have several other businesses and products, like aviation, business park, logistics, commercial etc which will require a local agency to work with us. Additionally, they’ll also take the two campaigns (Dubai South and real estate) forward as and when required."

This article first appeared on

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