Broadcast PR - Markettiers


March 29, 2016


The unveiling of the new Expo 2020 logo was met with crowds of cheers when it was beamed onto the Burj Khalifa. The new design, the inauguration by H.H Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the projection onto one of the most iconic buildings in the world, made this a truly inspiring moment for the UAE – and one that underlined the country’s sheer excitement around the magnitude of hosting an Expo. 

Whilst all eyes will certainly be on the UAE in four years’ time, there’s little doubt that the country is already gearing up to embrace the Expo in what will be the first time ever that a country from the MENA region has hosted such a feat. Indeed, with such a global event and the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ tagline, the communications strategy naturally necessitated a similarly forward-looking approach.  That is why live streaming the event online to a global audience worked so well.

Just as crowds gathered in their droves to watch the unveiling in Downtown Dubai, so too did thousands of people on the web, with the launch of the logo itself being streamed to a global audience via the Expo2020 site and dedicated twitter channel. Promoted in the main via social platforms, people were urged to watch the moment online if they were unable to physically go down to the event itself. Suddenly, as a result, the potential live audience rocketed from those who could attend in person, to a potential global audience around the world who were interested in catching the first glimpse of the logo as it launched.

Rather than wait for the next morning’s papers and online equivalents to start sharing the footage and images, streaming the event in real-time, crucially made this a moment of global importance – not just for those in the UAE, but for anyone following the hashtag around the world.

And the stream itself did not disappoint. Whilst a locked off camera focused on the Burj Khalifa, a drone was circling from the skies above, capturing all of the aerial footage to build excitement and buzz around the event. Another camera on the crowd itself highlighted the interest around the unveiling and added a further dynamic element to the proceedings.

Viewers were quick to tweet using the hashtag, which served to further drive the conversation and engagement online. Snapchat as well was also used to drive interest, with clips of the location, short interviews and images of the Expo2020 team all helping to build excitement. As well as the stream to the main site itself, Periscope was also used to stream straight to twitter meaning that multiple platforms were used for the event itself – so viewers were able to watch this in a variety of ways.

In total there were approx 2,200 people who tuned in online according to the site information. Whilst there’s certainly room to grow this number through further extensive pre-promotion, having an on-demand version available immediately afterwards and streaming to media portals as well as the website and social channels, the very fact that the event was streamed live itself was a bold step and served to highlight the focus on integrated, digital platforms. With just under four years to go, it’s clear that just like its ‘Connecting Minds, Connecting the Future’ tagline, for the Expo2020 the future is all in the digital.