Fallon unveils inaugural work for ADCB


Minneapolis-based agency Fallon’s first campaign for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is being rolled out across the UAE.

The much-anticipated work – in both Arabic and English – comprises print, online, out-of-home, in-branch, and brand engagement and will run throughout 2009.

Utilising the tagline ‘Long Live Ambition’, the corporate campaign aims to align the bank with the ambition of the UAE.


The campaign’s launch print ad features a red flag planted in the UAE desert, with an accompanying manifesto celebrating the power of human ambition. The flag and its design are recurring graphic elements throughout the campaign.

2“Conventional wisdom suggests a brand in a recessionary economy should keep its head down,” said the bank’s head of marketing services, senior vice-president, Martin Scott. “However, conventional wisdom often leads to missed opportunities, as it has been proven that companies who maintain advertising budgets during a recession significantly outperform their competition in the following years. But there is opportunity beyond the numbers, as in a pessimistic environment, an optimistic voice asserts leadership and earns respect at a time when people are looking for a voice of hope and inspiration that resonates positively with their values.”

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is Fallon’s first Middle East client.


10 Responses to Fallon unveils inaugural work for ADCB

  1. Tom Roychoudhury says:

    It’s bold. In the middle of doom and gloom here’s a bank (er, yes, a bank) that’s saying there’s room for ambition and space for realizing it. It takes a stand, flies a flag, and takes no enemies in that sense. Now, on to delivering on promise…

  2. MO says:

    Fallon is one of those agencies that you always looked up to produce path-breaking work. Until now. The current campaign is so cliched and on-the-surface. A flag stuck in a desert? WTF? I guess that’s what happens when an agency half way across the world works on a campaign for the Middle East. I’m sure they also think we in the UAE still ride on camels and snack on skewered desert rats. Wake up ADCB, and look in your own backyard first.

  3. Arm chair critic says:

    ‘It’s not where you’re from it’s where you’re going? Are you serious?What condescending rubbish.
    I’m guessing one of the teams at Fallon pulled this out of their bottom draw, left over from a pitch they did in the 90’s when they worked at a rubbish agency.
    Consumers don’t need, or want brands trying to tell them what kind of people they should be. The self help/motivation section of your local book shop has plenty of that stuff.. . Fallon know that, because it looks like that’s where most of the headlines came from.
    What a joke. I was really expecting something good from those guys.

  4. Tempus Fugit says:

    This campaign set a new benchmark of creativity in the region, not an ‘esteemed’ or ‘availed’ in sight! It’s a shame that ADCB had to go to the other side of the world to find a capable agency, but given the tangible display of local agencies efforts in the market at the moment (RAK Bank for instance), it’s no wonder. Hats off to a great campaign and taking a stand.

  5. themightyrouge says:

    The biggest problem – and Tom alludes to it – is that I simply don’t believe a word the campaign says. UAE banks in general couldn’t deliver on a promise if their mother’s life depended on it. Fancy photography can’t hide the fact that when I ring up ADCB I’ll probably be met with complete ineptitude.

  6. Cheng Olson says:

    Nicely done.
    Beautiful campaign and very bold for a bank.
    Finally a company that is smart enough to capitalize on something positive
    in this day and age.
    Makes all the other work out there look like wallpaper.

  7. anubis says:

    “ask interesting questions”- Ralf Langwost.

    Why didn’t ADCB award the work to any of the plethora of internationally awarded internationally affiliated agencies stuffed with top creatives from the recently re-launched DCDC (Dubai Creative Directors Club)?

  8. giggle factory says:

    The creative work is a disappointment. One expects more from Fallon. And you know the bank won’t be able to deliver on the claims in the ads. Like all banks in the UAE, it’s service is probably crap and the staff you’d have to deal with at the bank, inept.

  9. anubis says:

    No matter the level of creativity in advertising nothing can save a brand that is not delivering on its promise.

  10. Tom Roychoudhury says:

    Just out of curiosity… How many of these comments have come from actual ADCB customers? I am one, just to get that cat out of the bag and into the yard. And, no, I haven’t seen massive overnight change just yet. Rome wasn’t built in a day (and we now know thanks to Nike, that Great men made Rome Great, no kidding).

    What we now need to see (hello, I am a customer) is promise on delivery. From a marketing vs actualization POV, we need to see how ‘Ambition’ is not only a customer/consumer touch point (now that’s a bad corporate pun, I know), but where the Bank stands on it.

    What are ADCB’s ambitions? To be the unparalleled best there is? To set the standards? To define Customer Service (I’m waiting…), to prewrite history (sic) or to really engage, enthuse, interest consumers in capably designing their future – financially, that is. Long live ambition. Theirs. And mine.

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