Mr Monopoly Invades Dubai


Nowadays it seems like kids spend all day on their cell phones, tablets or laptops. Meaningful playtime, which is so essential to a child’s development, is slowly being replaced by touchscreens and pixels. Quality family time has also become a rarity, especially in a fast-paced city like Dubai, with studies suggesting that almost 95% of children in Dubai are raised by nannies and housemaids (Source: Gulf News). Research has also shown that less than 10% of parents in the UAE spend time with their kids (source: Children playtime index).

Research showed that shopping malls were one of the few places in Dubai that families frequent on a regular basis, attracted by various events promising fun and excitement for all ages. However, while residents may be spoilt for choice, rarely do these events cater to the entire family, young and old.

The challenge is creating a platform that cuts across all generations and resonates with parents and children alike, giving them the opportunity to create long lasting memories. 


No platform works better than board games - a tried and tested recipe for quality family time. 

Today’s sad reality, however, is that board games have become obsolete and are sitting on people's shelves gathering dust. Studies have shown that old fashioned board games not only help in mind stimulation, but also play a big role in helping young children develop important learning skills. Research showed that in an increasingly digitally ubiquitous society, analogue board games possess the rare quality of bringing families back together in the real world – just like in the good old days. 

Starcom MediaVest's strategy leveraged this human understanding and, building on Majid al Futtaim’s commitment on creating great moments, the malls gave families the experience of a lifetime by creating the first live action supersized version of Monopoly.

In order to attract families to come and play, the agency needed to excite families about the life-size Monopoly. Starcom MediaVest's strategy was built around ‘Monopolifying’ media – giving everything a ‘Monopoly’ twist.


Mall floor space was converted into a larger than life monopoly board, complete with large size playing pieces like an actual Jail Cell, a Silver Car, large Dice, Community Chest, Chance Cards and a real life Mr.Monopoly himself hosting the game. Built-in TV screens around the board allowed players and spectators alike to follow gameplay and ipads were available to participants for access to their social media pages. 

The media strategy incorporated icons like Mr.Monopoly himself and board pieces like the Monopoly House, Ship and Money into the agency's ATL media buys. The easily recognizable, iconic imagery instantly created awareness and helped stand out of the summer ad clutter.

In key high traffic locations frequented by families, Starcom MediaVest retrofitted standalone bus shelters to look like the Monopoly house, complete with MAF branding and call to action. Over 200,000 cars were exposed to this messaging on a daily basis resulting in mass awareness and clutter breaking recall. 

Due to the undeniable similarities between Dubai’s real estate growth and a gameplay that involves buying property, Starcom MediaVest were inspired to merge reality with fiction to create satirical content in print: Mr. Monopoly himself announcing a new ‘Property Development in Dubai’. The spoof launch was a complete front-page takeover of a leading Tabloid newspaper including parody style mini articles about a ‘new monopoly currency being introduced in the GCC’ and ‘sightseeing tours announced in solid silver ship.'

High reach page takeovers were also included on leading portals like, which succeeded in generating high reach amongst users. 


Monopoly was the best performing combined campaign in the portfolio as it contributed to the highest sales revenue generated outside a government festival period. Its transaction values were higher by +23% at MOE, +30% at CC Deira and +33% at CC Mirdif vs the second best performing portfolio campaign outside government festival period (Source: MAF)

The activation created an online viral effect which resulted in 204,521,390 reach on social media platforms in addition to a noticeable increase of fans on Facebook, twitter & Instagram (20,000 fans/followers) (Source: Digital Agency data) 
The campaign achieved over $450,000 worth of Arabic and English PR on top tier media, including CNN and MBC in two weeks. (Source: The Portsmouth Group)

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United Arab Emirates
June - June 2014
Starcom Mediavest
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