The Role of Brand Ambassadors:
A New Age

The ‘’Visit Dubai’’ video ad with boxing champion Anthony Joshua on the iconic helipad on Burj al Arab One, racked up one million views, two hundred thousand reactions, and five thousand comments in only 24 hours after the release. 

And that’s only counting Anthony’s social media accounts. ‘’Visit Dubai’’ has done it again when David Coulthard four years ago took the Red Bull F1 for a spin on Burj al Arab in a spectacular manner. And again in 2005 when two tennis legends, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer competed in their most fun game 320 meters above ground to promote Dubai Duty Free Tennis Open. In a recent interview Roger stated that this was an extraordinary experience and a lot of people after twelve years still ask him; how the tennis ball moves and if he could actually play tennis over there.

What Dubai – and the UAE in general – have managed to achieve in order to be acknowledged and remembered, lies in offering the most astonishing experiences coupled with being one of greatest sporting destinations. The ‘wow’ factor in many cases is also preceded by great buzz from celebrities. Anthony Joshua, the world’s best heavyweight boxer, surely unequalled as an athlete, embodying athleticism and humbleness, and attractive enough to inspire, was carefully selected to promote Dubai as a tourist destination, and as ambassador for The Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC). DFC is a new initiative that aims to get people of all ages and fitness levels to make a healthy habit for life by committing to 30 minutes of exercise every day for 30 days. Brand ambassador projects have more impact when there is a purpose around them; a CSR activity is one; promoting tourism and healthy living in this case.​

Messages, content, campaigns around ambassador partnerships should be on the same line with a brands marketing strategy. A brand ambassador should not be chosen solely based on a popularity basis e.g. how many followers he/she has. The values and characteristics that the specific person brings to the table (personality, past experiences, etc.) should be in sync with the marketing campaign. If this comes with a fresh and an untold story, the human brain is more receptive to, because stories trigger emotions. ‘’Visit Dubai’’ as a brand could have created a factual report/video of how nice is to visit; information that can easily be found. But instead they created a story and showed to the audience what they share in common; their values by metaphorically linking Antony Joshua’s daily routine and past experiences with characteristics of their brand. Sharing a beautiful experience that will last in the years to come is a key essential to make a brand unforgettable and if Roger and Antony will remember-how can we forget?