CareemKSA Pulls a Major Stunt with Khattabah Um Turki

Fatima Mousa, May 19 2016

Last April, CareemKSA pulled off a stunt on Twitter that made a lot of ripples in the region. The car-booking service tweeted about its upcoming campaign “Khattabah Um Turki”: for one day, Careem customers could book a ride and get an appointment with a matchmaker (a service still practiced in Saudi Arabia where arranged marriages still exist).

It turned out the whole thing was a media stunt!

Because they understood their market well, CareemKSA knew that “Khattabah Um Turki” would create controversy around Saudi culture, and matchmaking in particular. In fact, their tweet resulted in a socially-critical conversation around the topic, with more than 2 million tweets (pro and con).

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Moreover, CareemKSA knew that Twitter is the fifth most visited website in the kingdom, with Saudi nationals making up 40% of total users in the Arab region, according to the “Reintroducing Social Saudis” report by The Online Project (TOP).

“Careem is all about innovation and localization. We innovate and localize logistics, marketing, and operations. At its core, it’s more than just a marketing strategy. It is how Careem describes itself. At Careem, we view ourselves as value creators who understand the market need better than anyone else in the industry. This translates not only to picking the right features in the app but also to picking the right topics for our marketing or perfecting the best processes in the way we operate.” said Muath Khlifawi, CareemKSA’s Riyadh General Manager. 

We asked Khlifawi how many "Khattabah Careem" requests they received. “You’d be surprised, we received hundreds and hundreds of matchmaking booking requests! People were extremely curious. Of course, we (the fictitious Khattabah Um Turki) did not deliver.”

CareemKSA takes great care not to be disrespectful to anyone. They believe they invited a hint of healthy controversy to the surface and tons and tons of sympathy.

Check out this video in Arabic celebrating the stunt: 

What will they bring next? Stay tuned, Careem is all about surprises!



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