KRAFT – Ohood Sohail: Saudi Arabia’s Martha Stewart


Kraft Cheddar Cans was at risk! Consumers were increasingly choosing to cook with fresh cheeses and the brand was perceived as outdated. GolinHarris was tasked to develop a PR campaign specifically to reconnect with female consumers in Saudi Arabia, which was their key market.


A women’s PR campaign in Saudi Arabia is a challenging task at best. In this collectivist society, women tend to follow a prescribed way of life with shared values and codes of behavior. Purchase and consumption behaviors tend to be interwoven with tradition, religion and culture. A largely patriarchal society, Saudi women also have a limited socio-economic role, although it was slowly progressing.

In addition, women’s activities are closely scrutinized and often banned by religious authorities. Saudi Arabia’s media culture was another challenge as publicity surrounding women’s activities were often downplayed, if publicized at all.

Yet, when speaking to Saudi women, we found that although religious and cultural factors played a part in determining their purchase mindset, they were also increasingly influenced by their evolving needs and aspirations.

Saudi women, we found, were ambitious, courageous and welcoming of change, as long as it was within the confines of what they felt was respectful of their personal and societal values.

Therefore it was vital that our PR campaign strike the fine balance between the entrenched behavior of Saudi female consumers and their changing mindsets. We were convinced that the brand needed a face to its name, someone that could become a household name amongst Saudi consumers.


So we devised a bold and definitive strategy – to create the Martha Stewart of Saudi Arabia!

Daring and ambitious, this was a first-of-its-kind PR campaign targeting women in conservative Saudi Arabia, and by far one of the most successful and exciting ones ever conducted by a consumer brand in this market.

During our research, we discovered Ohood Sohail. Young, modern and ambitious, she was a nutritionist and aspiring Chef with a dream of writing her very own cook book. She had participated in several cooking competitions organized by Kraft Cheddar Cans in the past and was a self-confessed fan of the brand. She was indeed the perfect candidate!

Meanwhile, Kraft Cheddar Cans was planning to launch a cooking competition on Saudi TV, one of the local TV channels in the Kingdom, and was looking for a Chef to lead the show.

The fit and the timing were just perfect.

Daring and ambitious, this was a first-of-its-kind PR campaign targeting women in conservative Saudi Arabia, and by far one of the most exciting ones ever conducted by a consumer brand in this market. 

The Ohood Sohail campaign would be about Kraft Cheddar Cans enabling an ordinary Saudi woman to rise to fame and become a household name by doing what she loves best – cooking! Through the campaign Ohood was offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch her dream cook book and star in her very own cooking show on national TV!

Her book entitled Delightful Recipes with Ohood’s Touch, included 40 nutritious and tasty recipes from salads, starters, soups to main courses and desserts, all showcasing Kraft Cheddar Cheese as a versatile ingredient. 

On March 1st , a press conference and book signing event was held to launch the campaign, following which Ohood embarked on a series of road shows in the Kingdom through March to meet her fans and conduct live cooking demonstrations as well as recruit participants for her TV show.

Her TV show, called I am a Chef with Kraft Cheddar Cheese went on air mid March 2011, and spanned 13 weekly Episodes, offering women in Saudi Arabia the opportunity to cook, compete and win a dream kitchen makeover worth USD13,500.


Strong support by Saudi community

  • 5,000 autographed book copies distributed in one month
  • Competition entries exceeded targets: 238 ( target: 200)
  • HRH Princess Noof Bint Salman offered Ohood a position as Head Chef and Nutrition Consultant in the Royal Palace
  • Saudi Arabian Chefs Association invited Ohood to be a guest judge in their annual cooking competition named “Salon Culinaire 2011

Reconnect with consumers; showcase  product versatility

  • Campaign website visitors: 14,633 unique visitors (Minimum Action Standards:11,500)
  • Total page views: 42,678
  • Online recipe views: 10,351
  • Online sharing of recipes: 1,017
  • Online likes to recipe (non competition): 1,427

Strong coverage ROI:

  • 16 print, online, TV and radio clips in key media
  • PR value: USD376, 488; media impressions exceed 3.3million
  • ROI of 8.5 times the investment

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