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Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB)

QIB Seatbelt Culture

Brief Explanation

According to customer surveys, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is the most renowned, respected and loved Islamic bank in Qatar. Having been here almost as long as the country has been established, customers, especially Qatari locals, view it as ‘one of us’, a bank that shares the same values as them. Both believe in progress, but based on a solid foundation of principles. Its customers are conservative, and choose the bank because it aligns with their religious beliefs. The bank’s mantra is customer-centricity, evidenced through their efforts to support the overall wellbeing of the Qatar community, beyond their core business offering.

The Brief

While Qatar enjoys high standards of living, one of the biggest concerns for citizens is the high number of road fatalities. Tragically, the reason for many of these deaths is that the victim was simply not wearing a seatbelt. And as we observe in our daily commutes, locals especially refuse to wear seatbelts. This has been a problem for decades in the Gulf, and despite attempts at changing the behavior, it’s still rampant – and fatal. As a concerned member of the community, QIB wanted to raise awareness of the lifesaving importance of wearing seatbelts while on the road.

How the final design was conceived

In our research, we discovered that the reason for not wearing them actually comes down to faith. Many, especially the more conservative, believe that wearing a seatbelt demonstrates lack of faith that God will protect them – that if God wills that they should die on the road, that is God’s will. In fact, a recent study found that the top 3 causes for car crash injuries and deaths were believed to be due to destiny (92% believed), the evil eye, or the ‘djinn’ or other supernatural creatures. A key consideration for the execution was the cultural sensitivity here in communicating uncomfortable topics. The graphic violence of depicting real car accidents, used in road safety campaigns globally, would not work here. We chose instead to attract viewers to our serious message through beauty rather than through violence. We visualised the integration of the seatbelt into a cornerstone of the culture: Islamic motifs. The Islamic pattern was chosen for its symbolic significance, its perfection and infinite repetition symbolising the sacred and divine. The campaign conveyed that while the seatbelt is not the ultimate Protector, it still plays a critical role in our culture as a means of protection.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

By creating a new pattern, QIB broke an old one. And being an Islamic bank, QIB had the credibility and respect from the country to successfully address the religious barrier preventing people from strapping up. The impact of the campaign has been two-fold: 1) Firstly its simple beauty and powerful message has received widespread recognition and word of mouth in the community, increasing the awareness of the issue. 2) It has increased goodwill and brand reputation of QIB, further emphasising its status as a caring member of the Qatar community.

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