People To People: Egypt’s Tourism Campaign Beyond The Pharaohs’ Landmarks

The campaign is supposed to serve as the next stepping stone for the tourism industry to continue elevating Egypt as tourist location that is more than just Pharaohs and Pyramids.

Last week, the Ministry of Tourism of Egypt and international travel brand and agency Beautiful Destinations launched the country’s newest tourism campaign, People to People.

The campaign’s first ad showcases a wide variety of local destinations, locales and locals, and also focuses quite a bit on our love of tea. It’s a beautiful, detailed, glorious look at the country we call home.

The campaign was named People to People to “reawaken the power of human to human connection”. It features several shots of locals, living their lives in beautifully edited shots.

It serves a slightly shallow look into the local culture and its people, but shows a lot of the natural beauty and pretty much unlimited supply of opportunities for travel and adventure.

The campaign is supposed to serve as the next stepping stone for the tourism industry to continue elevating Egypt as tourist location that is more than just Pharaohs and Pyramids.

The Minister of Tourism Dr. Rania Al Mashat stated in a statement that “’PeopleToPeople’ is a campaign that reawakens the power of human-to-human connection. The campaign video highlights the fact that beyond our known destinations, landmarks, and year-round sunshine, Egypt moves, astonishes and awakens the senses of visitors, not only through its places but through its people as well, inviting the people of the world to connect with us and experience Egypt’s dynamic and vibrant culture”.


Egypt As A Beautiful Destination: The View

There is no denying the gorgeous shots and filming that Beautiful Destinations (BD) is known for is shown off in the ad. The international travel brand’s aesthetic is bright, colorful, astonishing at times and simply beautifully shot; all of these show in the new ad.

However, it does seem similar to the first advert in the #ThisIsEgypt campaign by JWT back in 2015; not just in looks but even in its plan.

While ThisIsEgypt gave us a video through the lens of a classic tourist’s POV and adventure, including snapping photos using cellphones of scenic locations, People to People (P2P) provides a more scenic and expected travel ad approach with the added benefit of including more locals. It shows the wide variety of locations and adventures to be had in Egypt, from historical monuments to adventurous activities such as Desert Driving and Kiteboarding.

For those that don’t remember, the tourism ministry has switched control of the account since its separation with #ThisIsEgypt campaign creators JWT. Last September, it was said they would sign with Egyptian Media Group subsidiary Synergy, but at the start of this year, it was noted that the Minister met with Beautiful Destinations CEO Jeremy Johnson and the ministry signed a contract with Beautiful Destinations Company later in March. Perhaps they realize that an international campaign needs more of an international touch and connections?


People To People Tourism Campaign: The Execution

It’s a beautiful ad, and already has many people tagging friends and family to visit the country, but when it comes to executing its announced plan, it looks to be falling short so far.

The campaign seems similar to ThisIsEgypt, which we previously wrote as drawing “on the support of ordinary Egyptians to help drive its success through a digital-first, peer-to-peer advocacy campaign”. At least, that’s what the new campaign’s statements seem to lean towards.

The possibility of this being more of a “teaser” ad would be the most optimal solution, (however, they already published a teaser way back in May) meaning that we’ll hopefully see more of the people in the ad as they share their stories and our culture. Stories from a diverse set of individuals will help provide content for different audience segmentations; from historical tourism to adventure tourists across different age groups and interests.

The possibility of also using more original and distinctive music would be nice.

The ad also fails to provide a CTA for its campaign angle.

Dr. Rania Al Mashat also noted in the previous statement that “The Ministry of Tourism’s Overarching Objective is to have at least one individual from each Egyptian Household working directly or indirectly in the tourism sector and to achieve this objective, we are changing the narrative of Egypt to include immersive experiences, highlight the stories of its people and give travelers a journey of discovery”.

So far, we have yet to find any CTA or activities to encourage or even help locals get into the mood or mentality of improving the country’s perception through WOM to both locals and foreigners.


More Opportunities in Marketing Egypt’s People and Culture

According to the video caption and subsequent press statement, the ad is meant to showcase people, the locals, as the true hidden gems. This would mean that Egyptians should be the main focus of the content.

As the video comes to the end, we find Egyptians with their personality really filling the screen, which is what the whole ad and campaign is supposed to be about.

Egyptians are known for generous hospitality with friends, family, guests and even strangers on the street. We’re hoping to see more locals and their respective stories in possible future content as the campaign’s name suggests.

As mentioned before, this could still be the very tip of the content iceberg and there is still a lot of room for BD to maneuver and add insights and highlights from locals through interviews, mini-documentaries, UGC and etc.

When it comes to travel content marketing or travel marketing in general, the current main best practices are mobile marketing, personalization, dynamic content and video. There are a lot of possibilities to include all of these in a campaign like People to People.

YouTube and Facebook videos, personalized or segmented content for a “personalized” approach according to a variety of audiences/content topics, and etc.

We’re looking forward to see how the campaign will push both locals and foreigners to say “We Love Egypt” in their loudest voices.

Let us know if the campaign is making you excited or not in the comments.

Christine Salzmann

Christine Salzmann is a content strategist specialized in creating content based on digital insights. Currently the Head of Content at MENA’s most liked marketing community and magazine, Think Marketing Magazine, she uses her marketing knowledge to educate and update marketers in the region.