Steve Madden's first UAE visit

Steve Madden

Steve Madden's first UAE visit stirs a storm. Literally!



The Case

American footwear mogul, Steve Madden, visited Dubai for the first time to kick start the brand’s 30th anniversary celebrations in November 2019.

Here is a look at how the agency handled the event despite flooding in the Dubai Mall.



This exclusive brand warranted a big story surrounding Steve’s visit and the newly renovated Dubai Mall store.

Organize media and influencers to attend the VIP after party and the official celebrations of the brand’s 30th year anniversary

Aid the increase of sales revenue (footfall) in UAE’s largest store

Build cordial relationships between the media, the brand and Steve resulting in post-event mileage

Secure media and influencers at the exclusive press conference

Arrange one-on-one Tier-1 interviews

Generate valuable content during the campaign


  • Chaos at the mall, just to get a glimpse of Steve

  • Media coordination with every reporter, blogger and cameraman jostling for space and access

  • Steve’s hectic schedule & limited time at the store and being able to manage interviews/photo ops

  • Flooding – on the day of the event there was an uncharacteristic deluge, which resulted in massive flooding inside the mall. Cancelling/Rescheduling/Moving the event was definitely NOT on the cards!


Recent research and studies show that customers want a human experience and a direct relationship between the use of celebrity ambassadors and growth in company profits.

The study on millennial consumers’ attitudes stated that celebrities or popular personalities have a strong influence on their buying behavior.

It was time to “unveil” the face behind the brand.

Campaign Strategy

Campaign Strategy

  • Make the event a unique experience for the media

  • Give the target audience a first-hand experience with Steve

  • Boost brand visibility in the region

Execution & Tactics


Press Conference

  • A Press conference at the VIP room at The Dubai Mall with select media and influencers to know the real Steve. This included one-on-one interviews and photo ops with every attendee. A sneak peek into the new collection at the launch of the newly renovated Dubai Mall store was also arranged. The media was invited 30 minutes before Steve’s arrival, to avoid any chaos due to last minute rush.

Store Launch

  • Store Launch with a photo opportunity with Steve arranged for media and customers. A three-day pop-up display was also set up at the new-look outlet from November 8th to 10th showcasing Steve’s iconic shoe collection and brand journey. A series of activities such as a meet-and-greet with customers, autograph signing and giveaways was also planned.

After Party

  • After Party with a fashion show to showcase the AW collection for VIP guests and media



Imagine the news headline “VIP guests, media wade through water to attend Steve Madden store unveiling in Dubai Mall… The consequences would have been devastating, watering down the brand’s gains, overshadowing Steve’s historic visit as well as the new-look store unveiling. But the Matrix team acted super-fast and saved the day!

The team consulted the mall management and quickly agreed on a new route for guests and media. Each team member was assigned a VIP and media guest to escort through the new route. This ensured that the event went on as planned and that there were no unwanted sideshows before, during or after the event.

Tier 1 media

All the Tier 1 titles in English and Arabic media like Gulf News, Al Khaleej, Cosmopolitan, MBC, Kul Al Usra, Sayidaty, Hello ME, Grazia, Ahlan, Sony TV amongst others featured the news


40 media and influencers attended the exclusive press conference, 80 media and influencers attended the VIP after party


122 clippings secured


6 one-on-one interviews with Tier 1 media – MBC, Gulf News, Grazia, Arabian Business Sony TV and Zee TV

Related Case Studies

Case Studies

Strategic partnerships maximizes media campaign

Helping Liali Jewellery glitter with extra value

Articulating its position as an experienced brand forerunner

Steve Madden

Building a brand through strategic positioning in a crowded market