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An award-winning campaign that helped small businesses thrive during the pandemic

An award-winning campaign that helped small businesses thrive during the pandemic

While COVID-19 impacted businesses of all sizes, small and micro businesses (SMBs) were hit exceptionally hard.

For many merchants, survival hung in the balance because they had limited online presence or struggled to meet sudden changes in customer expectations to transact in a contactless/low-touch manner.

Recognizing the urgency for SMBs to go digital, Visa stepped in to provide merchants with business insights and support.

By using powerful storytelling, ASDA’A BCW helped Visa inspire community support by shining the spotlight on the UAE's hero SMBs, telling customers why 'Where You Shop Matters’ (WYSM).


The WYSM campaign was conceptualized within a matter of weeks and driven by PR and marketing led activations across print, digital and social media.

Communication goals included driving awareness for the campaign by sharing Visa's research and thought leadership, spotlighting hero SMBs, and facilitating access to capacity building tools to help SMBs navigate the crisis.


The campaign generated strong media coverage and increased traction on social and digital channels, successfully positioning Visa as a company that empowers SMBs.

The comprehensive media outreach programme generated over 200 hits in tier 1 media outlets across UAE, Saudi and Pakistan. The SMB videos reached a total of over 1.34 million users.

The campaign proved effective in raising the visibility of SMBs and shifting consumers mindset to think and shop locally.


The campaign won the Gold SABRE EMEA 2021 Award in the Best Consumer Services - Financial Services category and serves as a great example of the innovative integration of PR, research and digital.