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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

How we used Snapchat to launch the Dubai Comedy Festival

Entered in Snapchat


October 2015 saw the first ever Dubai Comedy Festival bring international and local comedians together for 10 days of side splitting shows.

1000heads were challenged to launch the festival in a new, fresh and original way.

Strategy and Execution

With its key millennial audience (71% of users are under 25) and rocketing popularity in the region helping push it over 100m daily users, we identified Snapchat as the perfect launch vehicle - the first time it has been the lead marketing platform for a major Dubai event.

The mobile-first nature of the platform allowed us to be on site and real-time; and that took us where the people are, with an estimated 80% of web traffic in the region coming from mobile.

Spontaneity, creativity, imagination and humour are all integral to the Snapchat experience and they aligned perfectly with the festival itself.

First, we had to build an audience. By offering the chance to win tickets to headline shows for following us, supported by takeovers of other DCF social media channels and cross promotion on Dubai Tourism entities, we quickly built a core following.

Next, we had to get them intrigued and engaged, achieved with a series of hilarious short videos counting down to the ticket launch.

Once the festival started, we went into overdrive. In the absence of paid promotion we needed to give our audience a powerful and compelling reason to follow - and that began in the form of the one-and-only Bader Salah, a high profile - and hilarious - Saudi comedian and social influencer. We enlisted him to takeover our channel - and engagement leapt by 3000%.

Then, we launched our on-ground in-festival Snapchat stream.

Our Social Media Ninjas took up residence in a dedicated booth on site to run activations including games and competitions (powered by Snapchat's unique native screen-shotting function), and also showcased behind the scenes exclusives. This was intermingled throughout with live coverage from world renowned names like Dave Chappelle, Hannibal Buress, Jarrod Carmichael and Trevor Noah.

Using native functionality like time-limited snaps, stories, screenshots, in-built doodling and annotation tools and of course rich video we gave the Festival a unique, engaging and visually rich voice.


Across various Snapchat Stories, each live for 24 hours, we produced around 200 pieces of content.

These received an incredible 250,000 organic views, and helped inspire conversations that reached 63.5 million people in the wider social space.

We brought people closer to the action - and the action closer to people.


Video for How we used Snapchat to launch the Dubai Comedy Festival

Entrant Company / Organization Name

1000heads, Dubai Tourism


Entry Credits