Saudi National Day: How ads changed during recent years?

September 24, 2022
The Saudi people have noticed the radical shift in advertisements, especially the National Day ads, which the Saudis had been eagerly waiting to see the national’s creativity.
The Saudi people have noticed the radical shift in advertisements, especially the National Day ads, which the Saudis had been eagerly waiting to see the national’s creativity.

By Aljohara Zarea

When the recent transformation that’s taking place in Saudi Arabia is mentioned, what will quickly come to the people's minds is the digital, economic, labor market, and educational transformation. But one of the things that has witnessed a radical change and transformation and has had a positive impact significantly — perhaps indirectly — are advertisements in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi people have noticed the radical shift in advertisements, especially the National Day ads, which the Saudis had been eagerly waiting to see the national’s creativity, especially after the previous years adverts had witnessed sharp criticism and denunciation due to its lack of clarity, because it was not similar to Saudi Arabia or its heritage, and some ads had nothing to do with Saudis.

One of the unique comments that embodies the enthusiasm of the Saudis for advertisements during the Saudi National Day, is the comparison of a person who posted a comment on Twitter saying: “National Day ads are like Super Bowl ads.” — which is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League to determine the league champion. And its commercials are considered as high-profile television commercials in the US.

Ads in Saudi Arabia in previous years have always adhered to showing only certain details, desert, horse, sword, hot weather, veiled women with Niqab wearing bold Kohl (eyeliner) on their eyes.

But the new ads have shifted in recent years to telling a story from the history of the country or the change taking place or even sending a message through a song or short film. And the ministries, institutions have become dependent on 100% Saudi staff to create advertisements that show the true image of the Kingdom and its transformations over the years.

Speaking of employing and relying on Saudis 100%, meant enhancement of local content and increasing the benefit and development of Saudi talents. One of the unique examples that witnessed wide interaction and admiration from Saudis and even non-Saudis throughout the week, is the advertisement that the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority (LCGPA) made to celebrate Saudi Arabia's 92nd National Day.

The ad talks about the impact of choosing local products, that once a person decides to buy a local product from a particular company then he will indirectly support all local companies and factories, which is an endless cycle of support.

The details behind the LCGPA' ad story is that: a Saudi company decided to buy clothes in large quantity from another Saudi company, which made the clothing company need more fabrics, so it decided to buy from a Saudi company that sells fabrics, and the story continues in the same vein, embodying the need of Saudi factories and companies to support each other, which would boost local production.

It is noteworthy that the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef confirmed earlier that the total percentage of the local content reached 46% from the total spending of the companies on goods and services for 2022, with a value of SR113 million.

3 red lines will be placed under your name if you are (Saudi), and here comes the idea of the ad made by the Saudi restaurant (AlRomansiyah), which embodies the wrong idea taken from the Saudis, as Saudis always face situations when they travel abroad that make them feel that they will cause a threat to the area.

The story talks about 3 people abroad, the first of whom is Abdullah Khaled, who faces severe security restrictions while at the airport, due to the security men’s fear of him, but in fact he is the founder of the (Najda) team to search and rescue missing persons, through which he contributed to finding 16 missing persons. In addition, a missing person was found in the Empty Quarter.

While the second person is Abdul Hamid Rashid, who, since sitting on his seat on the train, has faced fear of a mother who has taken her child away from him, while in fact he is a pediatrician for 25 years, and a developer of medical technology to treat children.

And the third one is Amal Abdulrahman, whom her university colleagues talk about as the rich person spoiled by her father because she is Saudi. In fact, she started her first project at the age of 16, in addition to financially supporting her mother and younger siblings.

While the 4th ones are the participating delegation with a total of 9 scientific researches in science and engineering, which achieved second place during the past year. The story shows a man stopping them for not believing in the superiority of the Saudis.

Another highly influential ad that got 7 million views within two days is the ad made by the Ministry of National Guard, as it embodies a true story of the Kingdom's soldiers, who are defending the land of Saudi Arabia and sacrificing themselves for the sake of security and preserving the lives of those who live in it.

The true story talks about 6 heroes who withstood and fought more than 100 Houthi enemies while they were fasting on the day of Ashura (the 10th of Muharram).

SABIC made a beautiful gesture, as it made an ad reflecting the Saudis' welcome to residents from all over the world and their invitation to them to participate with them in their occasions. The story talks about 3 residents from different countries living in 3 different cities in Saudi Arabia, as it shows their participation in the gatherings of Saudi families with love and affection.

The Industrialization and Energy Services Company (TAQA) made an ad clarifying the importance of energy in Saudi Arabia for decades, as the story talks about how Saudi families have preserved energy, and how they will pass it on to future generations to preserve the Kingdom's wealth and also build its future.

As for the ad of the Maestro Pizza Restaurant for the National Day, it made a song in which it talks about 3 difficult and severe incidents that Saudi Arabia went through and how it overcame them.

The first incident was in 1919 AD, which was called the (Year of Mercy), due to the ordeals that affected the people as the Spanish flu swept the country.

The second incident is the Makkah incident in 1987, when violent clashes took place during the Hajj season between a group of Shiite pilgrims, most of whom being Iranians, and the Saudi security forces, which resulted in Riyadh severing its diplomatic relations with Tehran and reducing the number of Iranian pilgrims.

The third incident is the terrorist operation at Al-Malaz in 2004, when Saudi Arabia thwarted the terrorist movement despite the terrorists' attempts to undermine the security of Saudi Arabia.

No nation will develop or progress if they do not believe in empowering its youth, as they are the ones who will build the future and raise its wealth, and speaking of the future, it is almost impossible not to mention the city of the future "NEOM", whose ad on the occasion of the National Day talked about empowering youth.

NEOM highlighted the talents of Saudi youth, as it involved the first Saudi women's football team in the ad, in addition to musicians, science students, and athletes.

While Manga Production made a very intimate family ad that touched all Saudi children, as there is no child who did not play the famous game (Name. Place. Animal. Thing.) which makes children search for the name of a certain thing with a certain letter.

But what distinguishes the Manga Production' ad, is that it made the children choose letters and search for special things in Saudi Arabia, such as the letter T, which represents Tuwaiq (Tuwaiq is a mountain located in Saudi Arabia).

One of the unique and very creatively produced ads is the Arab Bank advestisement, in which it revealed all the shapes, colors, graphics and symbols that were placed on all Saudi currencies, including the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the Masmak Palace in Riyadh, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Jeddah and many more.

The number of creative ads produced recently is unlimited to celebrate the 92nd Saudi National Day, which reflects the pride of the Saudi people in their country, and demonstrates their great determination to produce local content befitting the Kingdom, which will contribute to spreading the true image of Saudi Arabia to the whole world.

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