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As a marketing stunt, Dubai-based startup Insydo’s Save Steve’s Jobs campaign has certainly piqued a lot of interest in the days since it went live on January 15, 2015. The premise is quite simple: Insydo’s Marketing Manager Steven Worobec –who bears a rather uncanny likeness to Apple’s Steve Jobs- is asking people in Dubai to help save his job at the startup by, well, making use of Insydo, an online guide to the Emirate. Besides several billboards and signage showcasing his Jobs-esque face around the city, there’s also a dedicated website for the campaign- it is, essentially, as Insydo founder and CEO Tanaz Dizadji put it, “a little social experiment” with the people of Dubai.
But while the marketing stunt has got a lot of eyebrows raised in Dubai, does the campaign work in favor of, or take away from Insydo, given that it is, after all, an enterprise just starting up and trying to make its presence felt? It’s still too early to tell: conversations about the campaign have ranged from how quirky and fresh it is, to whether it is a waste of Insydo’s marketing budget that could have been put to better use by highlighting the website instead. But Dizadji does say that since the campaign started, there have been over 45,000 searches on Insydo, with the hope being that Dubai residents continue their support and use Insydo on a day-to-day basis. But will this surge in searches be just a one-off occurrence, or does Insydo have the pull to get visitors to return to the site? Time will tell.