In a country where failing to give out Norooz (Iranian New Year) gifts can be seen as culturally offensive, corporate gift selection is very difficult. It must be something cheap so it doesn’t hurt the bottom line, whilst on the other hand, it has to be something nice to correctly reflect your brand and its values.
Saman Bank, one of Iran’s largest private banks, had a very specific brief this year – we do not want to give out any presents. Instead, Senior Management had decided to donate the Norooz gift budget for the year to charity. They wanted to communicate this to all the people who would have usually received a Norooz gift from the Bank, and were probably expecting one this year. Communicating this was a delicate matter for the following reasons:
We did not want to offend people who were expecting a gift from Saman Bank this year
We wanted to communicate
The fact that the Norooz gift money had been donated to charity
The above fact with something that could be kept as memorabilia
… all while keeping costs low so the recipient doesn’t think that the money was wasted
It is very common in Iranian culture that you do not boast about the charity you are doing (exactly what we needed to do here!)
Iran had recently suffered from a major in the city of Tabriz, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Since a large part of the money that Saman Bank’s Norooz gift budget had been spent on aid and relief for the affected area, PGt Advertising’s creative team went there and did a photoshoot of local children holding up a sign saying “thank you!”. This photo was made into a card and we used some of the ‘Thank You’ notes received from children who had received the aid to create individualised cards for the recipients.
It was a simple, emotional, touching, and successful way to say thank you for all the people who had helped Saman Bank provide relief to hundreds of thousands of innocent people.